Portable Or Window Air Conditioner? What should you buy.

Air Conditioners | 4 Min

What Is A Better Choice – Portable Air Conditioner Or Window Air Conditioner?

Written by Mahima

The humid June weather in Canada is just around the corner, and it is the perfect time to look for an appropriate air conditioner. But a critical confusion that needs to be resolved is the endless portable air conditioner vs. window air conditioner fight. While both have their benefits, it is crucial to make an informed decision as investing in an air conditioner can cost quite a few bucks.

Usually, families settle for a central air conditioning system, but portable and window air conditioners are convenient for many people. You need to consider ownership of your place, size, budget, and ease of installation before choosing one. So, let’s end the portable air conditioner vs. window air conditioner argument with this brief guide.

Portable Air Conditioner Vs. Window Air Conditioner- Which One To Choose?

The significant difference between both types of air conditioners is the ease of installation and mobility. A portable air conditioner can be moved from one position to another, while a window AC will be installed within a window. However, there are many more pointers to be considered before finalizing an AC for your place.

Portable Air Conditioner

Given its name, the portable air conditioner is an AC type that can be moved freely from one room to another. It is also called a stand-up air conditioner. All you need is a socket and a window to install one. Usually, there are two kinds of stand-up air conditioners, one with a single hose and the other with a double hose.

Window Air Conditioner

Window air conditioners have been around for a long time and are likely the first choice of masses. Unlike a portable air conditioner, it is fitted within a window and has no mobility. A window AC works by taking in outside air and cooling it down before circulating it in your room. Simultaneously, it pulls out humidity and heat from the room for optimum cooling.

Window air conditioner models are pretty heavy and require an experienced AC technician for installation. Hence, do not try installing it yourself, as it is tricky and can go wrong. The most important thing is to measure your window correctly to bring home an accurately sized window AC.

Portable Air Conditioner Vs. Window Air Conditioner- 5 Deciding Factors

So, now you know how both air conditioners work. But how do you make the final choice? While portable AC is mobile, window AC can cool more. Let’s look at these five factors to end your portable air conditioner vs. window air conditioner dilemma.

Ownership Of Place

One of the major factors that can help you decide between the two is the ownership of your home. Do you own your place, or are you living in a rented space? Window AC is an excellent option if the place is yours. However, many landlords do not entertain extensive alterations like AC installation. Therefore, portable AC is the ultimate choice if you like to move around a lot and live in a rented space. Moreover, window AC will not be an ideal choice in a rented space as they may not fit the size of any window when you move to someplace else.

Winner: Own the house-window AC. Rental space- portable AC

Air Conditioner Noise

If you like a quiet and peaceful place while resting or working from home, you need to consider the sound of your AC. Typically, window ACs are noisier when compared to portable ACs for an equal number of BTU( Unit for calculating the ideal capacity of your AC according to your floor space). For instance, a 10 thousand BTU window AC will emit noise around 58-60dB, whereas portable AC will make somewhere 54dB. However, there is a twist! As portable ACs are inside your room, the noise is apparent. In contrast, the noise from the window AC is directed outside, making it quieter.

Winner: Depends on the air conditioner’s energy usage.

Floor Space

Floor space is a crucial factor that needs your utmost attention while choosing an air conditioner. While a portable air conditioner is mobile and easy to install, it takes up a lot of your floor space. On the other hand, window AC is fitted in a window, taking up zero space. Hence, if you live in a smaller apartment or your room space is not much, then window AC is the one for you. However, if space is not a problem for you, both options work fine.

Winner: Window Air Conditioner


Let’s be honest! Price is a significant deciding factor no matter how much benefit a particular AC model promises you. A portable air conditioner can range anywhere from $250 to $500, whereas a window air conditioner can cost between $150 to $500. Hence, there is no clear winner between the two. The bright side is that you can find a model per your budget in both types of AC. Cooling capacity, sound, size, floor area, etc., are some of the points that will determine a model’s price.

Winner: Both types of air conditioners are at par.

Cooling Efficiency

We all want an air conditioner to fulfill its primary purpose: to cool down a place effectively. A window air conditioner has reliable data to back up its efficacy and is more effective per BTU. However, portable air conditioners have a chaotic effectiveness measure. Many portable models can be competent while others not so much. Hence, the window air conditioner lives up to its trustworthiness regarding its colling capacity.

Winner: Window Air conditioner

Conclusion: Portable Conditioner Vs. Window Air Conditioner

By now, you must have a fair idea of which type of air conditioner to go for. Although the forever portable conditioner vs. window air conditioner fight may go on, both are energy efficient for single-room cooling. Evaluate your options and choose the one that suits your needs.