The Pros and Cons of Portable Heat Pump

Heat Pump

22 Feb
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Texas weather is extreme and unpredictable at the best of times. Searing heat in the summer and deep cold snaps in winter are both a regular part of life in the Lone Star State each year. Commercial and industrial spaces can quickly discover their existing heating and cooling is insufficient to keep workspaces comfortable during hot summers and frigid winters. 

Many businesses choose to rent a heating or cooling solution during harsh weather conditions to keep workers comfortable and preserve raw materials/product inventory. One  of the best potential solutions for smaller spaces is a portable heat pump. Whether it’s the right fit for your business is a matter of weighing the pros and cons and deciding if you need more or less heating/cooling capability, and what type of power source is available. Unsure if a portable heat pump is right for your commercial or industrial space? Here’s a brief overview of the pros and cons of portable heat pumps, and what types of spaces most suitable.

Pros of Portable Heat Pumps

Size

Portable heat pumps are among the smallest heating/cooling systems you can rent or buy for industrial and commercial spaces. Most weigh significantly less than many portable air conditioning systems, and they typically run on standard 120V AC power. 

Ease of Installation

So long as there is a window space or other exterior access point, portable heat pumps can be installed anywhere. All you have to do is roll the unit into place, set up the intake/exhaust hose, plug it in and power it on. Air temperature control is now available at the touch of a button.

Convenience

Heating and cooling in one portable unit is significantly more convenient than renting or installing an HVAC system. Most have underside-mounted casters, so they can be rolled to where they are needed. Additionally, they can run on AC power or small generator power in an emergency. Best of all, they require little maintenance and storage space when they aren’t in use.

Mobility

Many portable heating and cooling solutions are cumbersome and bulky. If they don’t have an integrated generator or power supply, they also require a heavy generator to keep them running. Portable heat pumps have minimal power requirements, and they are far lighter than other portable heaters or air conditioners. More importantly, they provide both heating and cooling for small spaces, allowing facility managers and owners to keep things warm or cool with a single unit

Energy Efficiency

The power draw involved in operating a portable heat pump is significantly lower than running separate air conditioning and heating systems. This means lower energy costs during extreme weather conditions, too. 

Cons of Portable Heat Pumps

Cost Of Dual Vs. Single Pumps

Dual pumps use a two hose system to draw and expel air where the unit is placed for more efficient heating and cooling. The drawback here is the higher cost of dual portable heat pumps. Single hose pumps are less expensive, but also less effective and possess a smaller coverage area.

Limited Coverage Area

While portable heat pumps are excellent at heating and cooling small spaces, they do have a much more limited coverage area than other portable HVAC solutions. In small spaces and homes, they work well. In larger warehouses or shops, portable heat pumps may prove less effective or even insufficient to keep conditions comfortable in the workplace. Many owners and property managers often find the unit needs to be unplugged and rolled to a different location throughout the day to keep conditions comfortable.

Effect Of External Conditions

Extreme heat or extreme cold outdoors directly affects the performance of portable heat pumps. Since they draw air from outside and process it through the pump, effectiveness is directly impacted by the prevailing weather. If it’s too hot or too cold outdoors, portable heat pumps are far less effective. 

Placement Complications

If there isn’t an access point for the single or dual hose system, placing a portable heat pump can be difficult and inconvenient. For smaller shops and spaces this isn’t an issue, but it is a consideration that sometimes eliminates portable heat pumps as a viable solution.

Noise

Unlike central or outdoor heating and cooling systems, all machinery processes take place inside the portable heat pump itself. That means that all the noise of an air conditioning unit is inside the room instead of outside and muffled by the exterior walls and windows. In machine shops or manufacturing spaces it probably won’t be noticeable, but in commercial and office spaces it can create an irritatingly noisy environment.

Final Thoughts 

Ultimately, the space to be heated or cooled determines whether a portable heat pump is a viable option for a commercial or industrial space. Buying a unit outright and keeping it for those searing hot or freezing cold days or weeks can require a hefty up-front investment, and that also carries the risk that the unit will be less effective than other, more powerful and expensive portable HVAC solutions. 

For these reasons, many businesses choose to rent portable heat pumps as needed throughout the year as a means of controlling costs and preserving storage space. Rentals also carry the benefit of upgrades should a portable heat pump prove insufficient for the space where it’s needed due to placement complications or an insufficient coverage area. 

It may be that a portable heat pump is perfect for the needs of a commercial or industrial space, or it may not. Better to rent and discover the effectiveness of the solution rather than invest in a portable heat pump and have it come up short.

Are you a Texas-based business considering a portable heat pump for your commercial or industrial workspace? Preferred Climate Solutions has an excellent selection of single and dual portable heat pumps available for rental at competitive rates. Moreover, they have the expertise to determine if a portable heat pump is the best heating and cooling solution for your workspace. Contact us today for a consultation and estimate.

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