THIS is where you should be putting your portable air conditioner

The best (and worst) positions to put your AC unit

Where to put your portable air conditioner
(Image credit: Raychan / Unsplash)

Having the best portable air conditioner in your home is a must-have for hot summer days and nights. But one of the most common mistakes everyone makes with portable air conditioners is putting them in the wrong place.

Proper placement of your portable air conditioner is crucial for its performance. If it’s put in the wrong location, it makes a huge difference on how well your AC unit cools you and your home, and how much it will cost you to run month on month. Not only that, but having your air conditioner in a bad or hard-to-reach location means you can’t get to it when it needs cleaning, resulting in a blocked and filthy AC unit (see how to clean your portable AC unit for more details).

To help you avoid these problems, we’ve found the best places to position your portable air conditioner so it continues to pump out refreshing cool air while helping you save money on your energy bills.

1. Well ventilated areas

Air conditioners rely on air flow for its performance and output. When setting up your portable AC, it’s best to place it in a well-ventilated area where it can use the natural air flow to its advantage. Having said that, it shouldn’t be placed too close to or opposite doors and windows, as the opposing air flows will work against your AC unit, resulting in it overworking and jacking up your energy bills. Your air conditioner should have enough space around it so its air circulation isn’t blocked, meaning it shouldn’t be hiding behind any furniture. Instead, leave it in an open area where plenty of air can move towards it.

2. In the centre of the room

It can be tricky to position your AC unit in the right place if you have a lot of furniture and decorations in your rooms. But as your air conditioner needs plenty of ventilation without it being blocked, you should place your unit where the air can flow freely, so ideally in the centre of your room. While this might take up a lot of space, it helps improve your AC’s cooling power and will provide a more even temperature and breeze to your room.

portable air conditioner getty

(Image credit: Getty)

3. Away from heat sources

Putting your air conditioner near a heat source is one of the worst things you can do. AC units tend to have an internal thermostat or heat recording device that will cause it to shut itself off when the room reaches a certain temperature. But if you place your air conditioner near a heat source, like a radiator, stove, fridge or boiler, this will cause it to run continuously and unnecessarily, as it’ll detect the heat from your appliances. Not only does this result in your room feeling colder than you want it to be, but your AC unit will use too much energy which can increase your monthly bills.

4. Out of direct sunlight

Similar to heat sources, your air conditioner should be placed out of direct sunlight. The heat from the sun will make your AC unit cool your room excessively which can cause it to overheat and overwork. So, remember to place them as far away from windows and glass doors as possible to avoid your air conditioner breaking.

5. Near shaded windows

Although your AC unit should be away from open and sunlit windows, there is an exception to this rule if you have a window air conditioner. A window air conditioner is exactly what you’d expect it to be: it’s a type of AC unit that’s installed or mounted on a window to draw hot air out and blow cold air into a room. To improve the power of your window air conditioner, place it near a shaded window. This keeps it out of direct sunlight, helps it run more efficiently and it can keep your energy costs down, as window AC units tend to use less electricity compared to central air conditioners.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!