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Portable Air Conditioners vs. Ductless Mini Splits

Published March 24, 2022

By Quality Contracting Electrical & HVAC

Portable Air Conditioners vs. Ductless Mini Splits

We are officially in the stage of needing air conditioning during the day and heat at night. Many ask the question, “Is it bad for my system to switch between heat and AC?” If done properly, your system and energy bill will not suffer. But for things such as seasonal weather changes, a portable air conditioner or ductless mini split may be something to consider. 

What exactly is the difference between a portable air conditioner and a ductless mini split?

If you are in the market for a new air conditioning unit, there are a few options to consider. A portable air conditioner provides one room cooling. This unit requires a hose to feed out of a window to vent out hot air. Much like a portable air conditioner, a ductless mini split cools individual rooms or spaces. This unit is typically installed on the wall in a room you would like cooled. Both improve energy efficiency due to the option of cooling a designated space rather than an entire house. 

Advantages/Disadvantages of a Portable Air Conditioner

  • Lower Cost: A portable air conditioner is an inexpensive air conditioning option. There is little labor involved, therefore, a large portion is the expense of the unit itself. 
  • Easy Installation: As a result of the low cost, the installation process is relatively easy. The only things required are a window and an electrical outlet. 
  • More Maintenance: A portable air conditioner resembles an AC unit, just smaller.This means you must clean the hose and air filter much more often for it to continue working properly. Keeping the unit clean will also increase energy efficiency by not overworking the unit. 

Advantages/Disadvantages of a Ductless Mini Split

  • Versatile: A ductless mini split can double as both a heating and cooling unit. Depending on the model, there can be other features such as timers and wireless remotes for your convenience.
  • Appearance: Depending on your preference, a ductless mini split can be more visually appealing than a portable air conditioner. The mini split can sit up high on a wall where you choose, while the portable must sit in front of a window and require a visible hose. Mini splits also do not block your window view. 
  • Higher Cost: Ductless mini splits are more of an investment than a portable air conditioner. They are pricier, but also have more features. 

We recommend considering these options when deciding if a portable air conditioner or ductless mini split is the best option for you. Give Quality Contracting a call at (757) 752-7077 to evaluate your space and get you cooled before the heat wave!

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