Air Conditioners & AC Units
When the summer starts to heat up and you want to cool the inside of your home, an air conditioner is what you need. Best Buy has a wide range of portable air conditioners and window air conditioners you can easily install in any type of home.
Window air conditioner
Window air conditioners are placed in a window in your bedroom, kitchen, living room, or basement. They are mounted securely to the sill and have brackets that snugly fit the side of your window to prevent hot air from entering. Because it’s mounted, a window air conditioner is meant to stay in one room, so it’s not a portable air conditioner you can move from room to room.
Portable air conditioner
A portable air conditioner is an all-in-one unit you can move from room to room in your home. This type of air conditioner comes with a vent hose you’ll need to drape out a window, so you’ll want to place it near a window and an electrical outlet. These portable air conditioners are great if you live in one floor home and you want to use your air conditioner everywhere.
Window air conditioner or portable air conditioner?
Which air conditioner you choose depends on what type of room you would like to cool, what type of home you live in, and how large the space is.
If you live in your own home and you are happy to mount a window air conditioner to a window sill, you may want to choose a window air conditioner for the main rooms in your home. When you live in a condo or apartment, your strata group or landlord may not want a mounted air conditioner visible in your window. In that case, you may choose a portable air conditioner so you can move it from room to room in your apartment and enjoy cool air wherever you are.
What you should look for when buying an air conditioner
There are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration when buying an air conditioner. To start, you’ll want to choose the right cooling capacity and that is measured in BTU (British Thermal Units). The higher the BTU, the more powerful your air conditioner will be. To determine your appropriate BTU you’ll need to know how big the room is that you’re trying to cool. As an example, a 5000 BTU air conditioner will cool a room that’s 100 to 150 square feet.
There are also unique features on window air conditioners and portable air conditioners. You can find models with remote controls and sleep timers so they turn down as you sleep. In the case of portable air conditioners, you’ll find 3-in-1 units that cool, work as a fan, and dehumidify. Browse from a selection of air conditioners offered by brands like Insignia, Danby, LG or Hisense.
Air conditioners on sale
Best Buy offers air conditioners on sale, so if you’re looking for an air conditioner you’ll want to take a look at window air conditioners on sale and portable air conditioners on sale.
Find the right air conditioner for your home at Best Buy.
Portable Air Conditioners: Ventless & More
What is a portable air conditioner and how does it work?
Portable air conditioners are floorstanding appliances that use air from within a room to cool an area by exhausting the hot air outside. Typically, hot air is exhausted through a hose fitted to a standard window. Some also vent through a wall or drop ceiling. In each case, a compatible mount kit is often provided.
Some self-evaporating portable air conditioners recycle condensation back into the air while others require drainage from a reservoir that collects water produced from the evaporated air. Ventless portable air conditioners, called evaporative portable air conditioners, don’t need to vent out of a window but are best used in very humid and dry environments since they include a humidifying function as well to add much-needed moisture to the air.
Portable air conditioners are typically tower-shaped, either wide and rectangular or tall and slim, and often come on castors so you can easily move them around to position air flow accordingly, move them to another room, or put them away for the winter.
When are portable air conditioners the best option?
A portable AC unit is a good option if you want to be able to move it from room to room, cooling different areas as needed (though would have to move and re-mount a window kit each time as well. ) They are good for apartments or rentals where you might not be permitted to install a window AC. Ones that don’t require venting are ideal for rooms that don’t have windows, like a basement or play area.
A portable AC is best in a larger room that has the floor space to accommodate it, but you might also find it fitting for a small house since they can be easily put into storage at the end of the season and are easy to set up again each year.
What features should you look for in a portable air conditioner?
While portable air conditioners are among the least energy efficient type, they are more energy efficient than central air since they only cool a single room at a time. With enough BTUs, the right positioning, and open doors, however, one might be able to cool multiple rooms. Still, look for an Energy Star-rating for efficient operation.
BTUs (British Thermal Units) are the measurement of how much hot air can be removed from the air in relation to the square footage of the room. You need about 20 BTUs for every square foot of space: a 300 square-foot room would need a portable AC unit with at least 5,000 BTUs while a 500 square foot room would require at least 12,000.
Check how the size and design fits within the room and that the AC unit isn’t too loud when running. Measure and confirm that the window kit fits, if one is required, and that it’s easy to drain water if necessary.
Other useful features include WiFi connectivity for remote control from a mobile device, an included remote, adjustable cooling levels, timer, and humidifying and/or dehumidifying function. Find more options and save when looking for air conditioners for sale and portable air conditioners for sale. Choose from top air conditioner brands including Insignia and Danby.
Want more info about portable air conditioners? Check out some of our resources:
Air Conditioning 101
Chill out this summer with a portable air conditioner
How to map airflow and make the most of your portable air conditioner this summer
How to Properly Size Your Air Conditioner
Why we need Air Conditioning – not just for Comfort!
Portable vs. Window Based AC Unit: Which One Should You Choose?
Cool it now – Here’s your guide to choosing an Air Conditioner
difference between alternating and direct current
Direct current (DC or Direct Current) – electric current over any period of time, not changing direction, that is, it always moves from plus to minus. Direct current has the ability to accumulate in batteries or it can be obtained due to a chemical reaction in the battery. A large number of modern gadgets and other portable devices operate on the accumulated electric charge of direct current.
Alternating current (AC or Alternating Current) – an electric current that changes its direction and magnitude over a certain time period. If we explain in simple words: let’s take an ordinary electric light bulb. If you connect it to the AC mains, then the “+” and “-” on the contacts will change places with a certain frequency, or the current will change its direction from direct to reverse. The number of direction changes in a certain period of time is called frequency and is measured in hertz (Hz).
Advantages of AC and DC
AC is needed to carry current over long distances. It is more expedient to transmit alternating current without large losses, and without spending serious finances on the purchase of expensive equipment. It is these factors that make this type of current so “popular”.
Residential building? Company? Hospital? All these facilities cannot be built in close proximity to the power plant, so all electrical networks use alternating current.
Direct current is best used in a stand-alone system (for example, in a car, for a ship or an aircraft). Direct current is used in the power supply of microcircuits, in communications and other equipment, where it is extremely important to reduce the amount of interference and ripple.
AC and DC Charging Stations
It really doesn’t matter if you use an AC or DC charging station. After all, electric car batteries will only store DC energy. When you drive up to a DC charger, the process of converting AC (which comes to the charging station from the network) into DC takes place inside the station itself.
Accordingly, DC chargers are equipped with special converters (rectifiers), which are responsible for the process of converting AC to DC. That is why DC stations can provide power up to 350 kW and recharge your electric car in just 15-30 minutes.
AC charging stations are widely used due to the absence of complex conversion systems and low cost. Their power is limited, and the charging time exceeds that of DC stations.
However, recharging using only DC current for a long time may cause the charging quality to gradually deteriorate. The fact is that the batteries of an electric car initially receive a more powerful flow of energy, but as the charge is replenished, it needs less and less power.
Let’s take a simple example: we have a glass (electric car battery) and a bottle of water (DC charging station). If at the very beginning we can quickly fill the glass, then when the water level gets closer to the edge, the more slowly we need to pour the liquid in order to prevent overflow. The same thing happens with electric cars – batteries need less and less energy when the charge is replenished to 80%.
In general, it all depends on the allocated period for replenishing the batteries. To save time on charging, fast and ultra-fast charging stations are ideal, and if you have time, an AC station is also suitable.
Photo courtesy of Google’s open source
things you should look for before buying a portable power generator
As battery technology advances, portable power generators now have the power and raw power needed to power large electronics that require more power than a conventional power supply can provide. While not as powerful as fuel-fired generators, they are quieter, lighter, and require no consumables to get the power going.
Therefore, purchasing a portable power generator is probably the best solution if you are looking for a quiet and portable device to power your smartphone, laptop, desktop or TV. To help you find a good quality generator, here are a few things you should consider before buying a new generator. Check out What is Tesla Powerwall, how is it used and how much does it cost?
1. Battery capacity
When looking for a portable power generator, battery capacity is the most important feature to look for. The higher the battery capacity, the longer your devices will last without recharging. So, in general, buy the battery with the highest possible capacity.
However, given the size, weight, and additional costs, you may need to take a more balanced approach when considering how much portable power generator battery capacity you would like to have.
Because different manufacturers use different metrics to measure the battery capacity of the portable power generators they manufacture, knowing battery capacity can be confusing. The most common metrics used to measure battery capacity include mAh (milliamp hours), Ah (amp hours), Wh (watt hours), and kWh (kilowatt hours).
Electronic devices usually list their maximum power consumption in watt-hours, which you can find on different types of power supplies. If your power supply lists its wattage rating, remember that 1 watt equals 1 watt-hour.
To better understand how long a portable power generator can power your device, you first need to know the battery capacity in watt-hours. To do this, you can check the Wh rating. But if the battery capacity is only listed in mAh (milliamp hours) or Ah (amp hours), you can take those numbers plus the nominal system voltage (12V or 24V) and see its watt-hour rating using this chart below. :
Let’s say your laptop is rated for maximum power 90 W or 90 Wh and your portable power generator is equipped with a 40.000 12 mAh battery in a 480 V system. Using the table above, you will see that the generator battery has a capacity of 90 Wh. If you divide the value by the 5 Wh the laptop uses, you can expect around 5 hours of operation before power loss and other variables are taken into account.
2. Battery technology
Another important thing to consider when choosing a portable power generator is battery technology or the type of battery you use. The type of battery used in a portable power generator largely determines the size, weight, cost, charge rate, and how long the generator can continue to produce AC power before shutting down.
Lithium ion (Li-Ion), lithium polymer (Li-Po), and lead batteries are the most common batteries used in portable power generators.
Li-ion batteries charge three times faster than lead batteries and are the most energy intensive of the three. On the other hand, Lithium Polymer batteries have a lower energy density than Lithium Ion batteries, but have fast charging capabilities and are generally safer to use than Lithium Ion and lead batteries. While lead-acid batteries are the least expensive of the three, they are also bulky, charge slowly, and have the lowest energy density.
If you’re looking for something compact, lightweight and used frequently, a lithium-ion battery is usually worth the investment. But if you want something safer, charge faster, and have the lowest negative discharge rate, a lithium polymer generator might be a better choice.
Lead batteries are generally not recommended, but if you really need a cheap backup power plant for emergency use, then a lead battery power plant should suffice. Check out Reasons why a desktop is always better than a laptop.
3. Power Inverter Technology
Depending on the device you are trying to power, having the right power inverter in your portable power generator can protect your sensitive devices from damage and make them perform at their best while conserving battery power.
Power inverters are electrical components that convert battery direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). DC power is used to charge portable battery-powered devices such as phone, tablet and Bluetooth headphones, while AC power is used to power more energy-hungry devices such as laptop, desktop computer, TV and dedicated game consoles.
In general, there are two types of power inverter; Pure sine wave inverter and modified sine wave inverter. Pure sine wave inverters provide alternating current that produces waves, while modified sine wave inverters use pulse width modulation (PWM) which creates an electronic signal that attempts to mimic a pure sine wave.
If you want to power very fragile and sensitive equipment, a pure sine wave inverter should be your only choice. But if you’re only going to use the generator to power your computer, monitors, game consoles, and TV, a generator with a modified sine wave inverter should work just fine and save you a lot of money. Check What is a car inverter? Other reasons why you might need it.
4. Peak and Continuous Power
Peak power and continuous power are important features to consider when purchasing a portable power generator. While portable generators are commonly used to power computers, televisions, and other electronic devices, they can also power things like refrigerators, power tools, electric fans, and kitchen appliances like blenders and food processors. However, these devices can only be powered by a portable generator if it has sufficient peak and continuous power.
Most energy intensive appliances and equipment require some peak or power just to start up. Once enabled, it will require a lower but continuous power supply known as direct current.
To find out what peak and continuous power you need from a portable generator, here is a list of typical appliances and their power ratings:
there will be enough outlets to charge and power your devices. This is especially true for DC charging outlets, where you can always use an extension cord to get more AC outlets.
We recommend purchasing a portable generator with multiple USB and USB-C charging ports for mobile devices, a 12V charging port for your internet router, and at least two AC outlets. You may also need an Anderson power connector if you plan to store the generator in your vehicle.
After reviewing all charging and portable power generator ports, you should also find out which outlets are used to charge the power generator. This will include AC and DC charging ports, solar charging, and an Anderson charging power socket in your vehicle. Check out Several ways to charge an electric car for free.