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Technical Jargons/Terms for Portable Air Conditioners

Some of the repeated terms you will hear with an air conditioner are BTUs, kilowatts, square meters, horsepower, and watts. Though these might sound like Greek and Latin to the layman, with a portable air conditioner, which can be self-managed to a great extent, a basic understanding of the terms and the mode of operation of the PAC will be helpful. Not only will these terms come in handy during yqour process of zeroing in on a particular brand per your requirement, they will also come in quite handy during installation. Further, you can even manage small repairs on your own, if you have an understanding of is function.

BTU (British Thermal Unit): BTU is an acronym for British Thermal Unit and is a unit of energy essentially used to calculate how much energy a portable air conditioner can deliver. A single BTU is how much energy would be required to increase the temperature of a pound of water by one degree (fahrenheit, not celcius). In many other calculations of energy, the BTU has been replaced by joules, however with referring to cooling equipment such as air conditioning, the BTU is still a very common measurement.

Kilowatts: This is the unit of energy and determines the amount of power your unit is consuming. More powerful your unit, more energy consumption but greater is the cooling efficiency. On the other hand, if your unit is not using adequate amount of energy, you are not getting the best cooling effect from your air conditioner unit. It does not mean that your unit should use more energy for it to be more effective. It may be just that your unit is not giving you the right optimal combination of energy consumption and cooling efficiency. Knowing how much energy should be ideally consumed helps you identify problems, if any, in the unit. This also helps save money and improves cooling efficiency. Given normal circumstances, a portable air conditioner requires about 80 watts of power to cool a square meter space in a closed place (example bedroom) and approximately 120 to 130 watts to cool a square meter area in an open space (living room).

Size of the PC: Air conditioners are measured in inches. The usual size of a portable air conditioner is between 28 inches and 34 inches or 60 to 100 cm. Since air conditioners and window sizes need not be an exact match, you could chose the one that you like best. However, if your window size is too small, then you could pick a different size from the store.

Horsepower: This is an indication of the speed at which the motor of your air conditioner is running. This also indicates how much energy is being consumed. In simpler terms, 2.55 kw is equal to one horsepower.

Area of your Room: Most places, the area is measured in square meter. In addition to the actual area of the room, the number and size of windows would also determine which portable air conditioner you should choose. More windows mean more sunlight in your room, making it warmer than otherwise, which calls for greater air cooling and a little more energy consumption. Needless to say, bedrooms will require a little less cooling than living rooms.

Energy Efficient Ratio: Put in simple terms, this explains how efficiently your energy is being used to cool the air. Higher this ratio, greater is the efficiency of the cooling of your unit. However, the cost of a portable air conditioner with a higher EER will be slightly more than another unit with a lesser ratio, but in the long run, this cost is more than recovered. Add to that the better cooling efficiency you get.

You might have come across these terms in your high school days and long forgotten them, but if you are buying a portable air conditioner, you better refresh your memory. These terms will help you understand your air conditioner better and also save you a lot of money in terms of making the right choice and managing maintanance of the unit in the long run.