Factors To Consider When Choosing a Portable Air Conditioner Rental

Spot coolers

21 Jul
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As Texas faces hotter days and nights, portable air conditioners for renters are a hot topic. State minimum and maximum temperatures increase by 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit, and residents face sauna-like conditions indoors.

Unfortunately, rental housing is less adaptable to climate change. Renters today are more likely to feel the summer heat compared to homeowners.

Many renters cannot access fixed air conditioning systems, and installing a unit is expensive for a rental you don’t own.

TX Landlords Don’t Have To Provide Air Conditioners

In most states, including Texas, landlords don’t have to install air conditioning. However, tenants can request upgrades and repairs to beat the heat.

After offering to cover part or all the cost of installing an AC unit, landlords can say no. They are within their rights when there’s no mention of the unit in the rental contract.

You can choose to look for another rental with cooling. But the tough Texas rental environment makes moving even harder.

Portable AC Rental to the Rescue

Whatever your circumstances with a rental unit, it’s unpleasant to go through hot summer days without cooling. The fastest and simplest solution is a portable AC rental.

Renting a portable air conditioner gives you instant relief from the scorching summer. Other benefits of a portable air conditioner include:

  • Flexible—You can place the unit in inconspicuous spaces in your rental. It’s easy to move the AC between rooms if you connect an exhaust to an opening.
  • Easy installation—Installing a portable AC takes an hour with access to an opening or a window for the exhaust hose.
  • Multiple options—Whether you’re looking to cool down a large or small space, portable AC units come in various sizes.
  • Cheaper—The initial cost is low. Plus, you can move the portable AC from the bedroom to the living room overnight, increasing the savings.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Portable Air Conditioner

Expect disappointment if you rent a unit not designed for the job you need to do. Choose a portable AC that works in your space, at a manageable cost, and meets your requirements.

Here are factors to consider when looking for a unit that checks all the boxes.

Running Costs

Air conditioners use a lot of energy, so the price tag or rental cost is a small part of owning a portable AC. Close to 13% of the average home energy bill goes to cooling, according to Energy Star. Consider energy efficiency when considering the thriftiest options.

Also, consider the ongoing costs, such as replacing air filters. Research how much the replacement filter costs and how often the AC requires one.

Unit Size

If you want a unit that’s easy to move from one place to another, choose an easily portable AC. The size depends on the unit weight and size.

Some things to watch out for include:

  • Will the unit fit in your car?
  • Is it easy to pick the AC?
  • Does the unit have wheels for easy portability?

Consider the size of the unit relative to your space if you’re not moving it much. Measure your space to ensure product specifications match your room. You may have to rearrange your room for the AC to work in the chosen spot.

The Size of Your Room

Portable air conditioners are more suitable for cooling specific rooms, such as the living room or bedroom. But you need to consider the size of the room.

Manufacturers use the British Thermal Unit (BTU) to measure the power of their air conditioners. A higher BTU number means the AC will cool a bigger room.

Many AC manufacturers specify the room size the air conditioner will work in. Here’s a simplified list of room sizes to BTUs needed to help you:

  • Room size between 150 square feet to 550 square feet requires between 5,000 BTUs to 12,000 BTUs
  • Rooms between 700 square feet and 1,400 square feet need 14,000 BTUs to 23,000 BTUs

However, doors and walls affect how cool travels in a room. For example, an 18,000 BTU portable AC will not cool down a 1,000-square-foot rental sufficiently. Renting a weaker unit for each room or moving the portable AC to each room according to your needs is a better option.

Account for ambient heat fluctuations that heat a room. For instance, sunlight hitting your room most of the day increases the ambient heat. The same happens when you run appliances such as a range or oven.

For both scenarios, consider getting a higher-BTU unit.

Energy Consumption

The amount of energy you’re using can increase depending on the use of the AC unit. However, Energy Star offers a convenient directory of portable ACs they have rated so you can compare the energy efficiency performance of specific models.

Prioritize units with a programmable thermostat if energy cost savings are important. The thermostat turns the unit off when your room reaches a specific set temperature. Regular maintenance and cleaning will also help you save more energy.


The two common hose configurations for portable AC units are:

  • Single-hose—The design uses a single hose for air intake and exhaust. However, these units work harder than dual-hose air conditioners.
  • Dual-hose—The design has intake and exhaust hoses. Separate hoses increase energy efficiency and cool your rooms faster.


Your portable AC rental vents out hot air, so keep it close to the window. Most portable units have a window venting kit and clear setting instructions. The setup is simple and makes it possible to move the unit from room to room.


Some features to watch out for in a portable air conditioner for your rental property include:

  • Auto draining—The system turns condensation liquid into the exhaust, so you never empty the unit.
  • AC/heat combo—A unit doubling as a heater saves you from purchasing other products for keeping your home warm in winter.
  • Remote control—Control AC functions from a unit without climbing out of bed or getting off your couch.

Keep Your Rental Cool

You can’t install an air conditioning unit in a rental and carry it to the next property. The next best solution is a portable AC rental for the summer months or the hottest weeks of the year. Get in touch with the air conditioning experts and find a unit that’s right for your needs and space.

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