Portable air conditioners have long been popular with homeowners due to their easy transportability. Small and light, you can set them up wherever you want. They are also ideal for small spaces or spot cooling. With portable air conditioners, you don’t have to cool your entire home. Even better, there are now portable air conditioners equipped with heat pumps. These nifty little appliances can both heat and cool your house, helping you maintain your home temperature in every season. 

If you’re wondering how portable air conditioners work, the answer is just like regular ones! In a portable air conditioner, all the features of a traditional AC are condensed into one tidy package. They remove moisture from the air through a hose or an exhaust vent. Similarly, portable air conditioners with heat pumps work just like regular heat pumps, except they are easy to move around. Hence, you’re able to heat/cool a particular room instead of wasting energy to condition your entire house. 

All you need to do is wheel it to whichever room you’re going to and turn it on. Sounds convenient, doesn’t it? 

However, portable air conditioners with heat pumps have a few drawbacks, mainly that they are less efficient than regular air conditioners. Read ahead to determine if a portable air conditioner with a heat pump is right for you.

Advantages of Portable Air Conditioners with Heat Pumps

Here are some of the advantages that make potable ACs a go-to choice:

Low Upfront Cost

Portable air conditioners are significantly cheaper than other air conditioners, typically costing anywhere between $250-$500

Small Size

These days manufacturers are producing portable heat pumps in increasingly smaller sizes. Portable heat pumps are among the smallest heating/cooling systems you can get your hands on. If you live in a small apartment, this is a significant advantage. 

Easy and Cheap Installation

One of the most significant advantages of portable air conditioners is that they are easy to install. You only need to unbox them, find an exit for the hose, plug them into an outlet switch, and you’re good to go! Given how expensive AC installation can be, this is a huge advantage. 


Portable heat pumps offer heating and cooling capabilities in one compact package. This is much more convenient than installing a separate air conditioner for cooling and a furnace for heating. They are also easy to store when not in use. 

Disadvantages of Portable Air Conditioners

While portable air conditioners beat their less mobile counterparts in many ways, they still have a few disadvantages that should make you think twice before buying one. 

Low Energy Efficiency

Consumer reports found that portable air conditioners are significantly less energy efficient than other air conditioners. They do not provide as much heating or cooling as other air conditioners, given the energy they consume. 

Unsuitable for Extreme Temperatures

Portable air conditioners are not as powerful as central air conditioners or ductless mini-splits. This makes them unsuitable for extreme climate areas. If you have mild winters, you may be able to get away with a portable air conditioner with a heat pump. However, if winter temperatures routinely go below freezing temperature, you may have to consider other options. 

Low Area Coverage

Due to their small size, portable air conditioners are not powerful enough to heat or cool large areas. They are only suitable for tiny apartments. In a larger home, you may find that any time you walk more than a few feet away from your portable AC, you are chilly. 

Placement Complications

Portable air conditioners need an outlet switch nearby. You can’t heat or cool any area without an outlet switch in the vicinity. Moreover, if your portable AC uses a hose to remove moisture from the air, you also need a window nearby. 

They Can be Noisy

One of the biggest problems people have with portable ACs is that they are pretty noisy. Unlike regular air conditioners, the condenser unit of a portable AC is within the unit itself. The condenser unit generates a lot of noise which can be highly irritating and distracting. 

Final Thoughts

While portable air conditioners with heat pumps have a lot of advantages, they are only suitable for those living in small homes or apartments in areas that don’t see harsh winters. If you live in a frigid climate, a portable AC with a heat pump just can’t cut it. However, if you live in a mild climate and need a small and cheap solution to keep your toes warm, nothing beats a portable heat pump!