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Why Do Some Portable Air Conditioners Cost More Than Others?

When shopping for a portable air conditioner, it can sometimes be confusing why some are priced higher than others. There can be a number of reasons for this, but there are only six important features that set units apart from each other and are cause for a price increase.

Light Commercial Use

If a unit is intended for commercial or light commercial use, then it is manufactured with materials and designs that will help it withstand more than typical usage. The more aggressive the intended application, the more important the specific components of the product are. This means that if a product is specified as being qualified for other-than-residential use, it will typically cost more.

Dual Hose

All portable air conditioners can be divvied up into two separate categories—single or dual hose. What this means, is that the unit either has one exhaust hose from which to expel heat and moisture, or that the product has an exhaust hose and an intake hose. The benefit of the extra intake hose is substantial. This extra hose works to pull in supplemental air from the outside to be cooled by the unit, while a single-hosed unit only has the capability to pull in air from the room being cooled. Dual hosed units, like the AP14001HS or the AP14009COM, can cool an area up to 40% faster than a single-hosed unit, accounting for the price increase.

Design & Materials

If a portable air conditioner is made from exceptionally durable materials, such as stainless steel, then you can expect its price to be higher than a similar unit made from plastic. This is the case with the EdgeStar AP14002HS. Also, on the same note, if a significant amount of resources were spent designing a unit that is notably more attractive than most portable air conditioners, then again you might expect a price increase.

Multiple Featurs/Seasonal Versatility

Another reason for a portable air conditioner to cost more than others would be seasonal versatility. This means that the manufacturer has provided enough additional features that the unit will be of use to you no matter what the season. Special features to look out for are a heating function, a dehumidify-only function, and a three (3) speed fan-only option. Units with all of these capabilities include the AP14001HS and the AP14002HS.

High Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

A unit’s energy efficiency is calculated by its EER. The higher a portable air conditioner’s EER, the more energy efficient the unit is and the more money you will save. If a unit’s EER is 10.0 or above, the portable air conditioner is considered markedly energy efficient and your potential savings on energy costs is high, thus a slightly higher price will typically accompany these units. Check out some of our units with high EER's here.

BTU's/Cooling Power

The higher a portable air conditioner’s BTUs, the larger the area it can cover and the more powerful the unit is considered. For example, a 14,000 BTU unit, like the Koldfront PAC1401W, is much more powerful and covers a much larger area than an 8,000 BTU unit. The higher the BTUs, the more powerful the compressor and other components and the more expensive the product will cost.

When shopping around, it is important to not only know what you’re looking for, but also know why some units are priced higher than others. If you need help determining which unit will best fit your needs or have a pricing question, please give our product experts a call at 1.800.297.6076.

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