The Different Types of Portable Air Conditioners: Which One Is Right for You?

Are you looking for a way to cool down your home, office, motorhome, or campsite without breaking the bank?

Portable air conditioners might be just what you need. These versatile units offer an energy-efficient cooling solution that’s easy to set up and move from room to room.

However, with so many options on the market, deciding which type is right for your needs can be difficult.

Below, learn about the various types of portable air conditioners and their features to find one that works best for you.


How Many Types of Portable Air Conditioners Are There?

Portable air conditioners come in various designs, but the primary difference between them comes down to the hose system.

1. Single-Hose Portable Air Conditioners

Single-hose ACs use one hose for air intake and exhaust. They aren’t as efficient as dual-hose models but are popular because they’re typically the cheapest option.

Since cool and hot air use the same hose, the machine must work harder to cool the air. You’ll still enjoy cooling, but not as efficiently as with a dual-hose device.

2. Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioners

Dual-hose ACs use two separate hoses—one for drawing in air for cooling and one for expelling hot air and excess moisture. The EcoFlow Wave 2, for example, has an attachable dual-exhaust duct. It also comes with a single air outlet, sometimes called a “return outlet,” which allows it to circulate spent air for faster cooling.

Dual-hose portable ACs are more efficient than single-hose models and are an excellent choice for larger rooms and hot climates. The dual-hose design cools your home much quicker than single-hose models.

Dual-hose models are typically more expensive than single-hose options. They require additional components but offer a far more efficient cooling experience.

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What Are the Advantages of Single-Hose Portable AC Units?

Single-hose portable AC units are best suited for those looking for something affordable, extremely portable, and easy to get up and running.

Cheaper to Purchase

Single-hose AC units are typically less expensive than dual-hose, making them an attractive option for those on a budget. You pay the price for reduced efficiency, but as long as you’re okay with that trade-off, single-hose units will help you save money upfront.

Just note, however, that the savings may stop after your purchase. Since single-hose models are less efficient, you’ll use more energy to run them and keep your space cool.

If you’re connected to a traditional energy source like a wall outlet, that could run up a sky-high electricity bill in no time.

Easier to Set Up

With only one hose, these portable ACs require minimal setup. You can place them in any room with access to windows or vents. If you want to minimise the time it takes you to install your portable AC unit, a single-hose design might simplify that.

Smaller and More Lightweight

Single-hose models are smaller and more lightweight than other types, making them ideal for anyone who needs to move their air conditioner from room to room or place to place.

Single-unit options will take up less space and weight. If you plan on using your portable AC in multiple rooms or bringing it with you as you travel, a single-hose design offers greater portability.


What Are the Advantages of Dual-Hose Portable AC Units?

Dual-hose portable AC units are ideal for those who need more powerful, efficient cooling.

More Efficient

The dual-hose design provides better efficiency. The EcoFlow WAVE 2, for example, can cool your space much faster, dropping the temperature from a toasty 86°F (30°C) to a comfy 68°F (20°C)  in just five minutes.

With 5100 BTUs of cooling capacity, that’s a fast 18°F (10°C) temperature drop!

Dual-hose models are great for larger rooms and hotter climates. This efficiency carries over into longevity. A more efficient model with better quality of manufacture will work longer, extending the lifetime you can use and enjoy the machine.

Better Cooling Performance

More efficient cooling also means more balanced temperatures and better air quality. The two-hose design prevents warm and cool air from mixing, which helps avoid hot spots or overly cold areas in your room. With dual-hose units, you can enjoy an even cooler temperature at all times.

Lower Energy Costs

While a dual-hose unit will cost you more up-front, don’t let that be the only thing that turns you away. Dual-hose models offer better energy efficiency. As such, they will also use up less electricity once they start running. Higher efficiency could translate to lower electricity bills in the long run and potentially higher savings than single-hose units.

You can reduce energy costs even more with EcoFlow WAVE 2, which can run off a portable power station. Connect it to the DELTA 2 PPS with 220W solar panel to take advantage of solar charging or the DELTA Pro with 400W solar panel for even longer run times or to power up additional appliances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dual Hose Better for a Portable Air Conditioner?

Dual-hose portable AC units are more efficient and have better cooling performance than single-hose models, making them a better option for some. However, they’re more expensive to purchase upfront and take up more space. A single-hose model may be better suited for someone looking to save money upfront and travel light.


So, Which Type of Portable Air Conditioner Is Right For You?

Portable air conditioners are an easy and effective way to cool down your space wherever you go. Both single-hose and dual-hose models have advantages, so you’ll need to consider your needs and budget before purchasing.

Single-hose models are more affordable and easier to set up but tend to be less efficient. Dual-hose units cost more upfront but use less energy once they’re running and have better cooling performance.

For exceptional cooling speed and energy efficiency, consider the EcoFlow WAVE 2. You can attach optional ducts or use it accessory-free from anywhere – no hoses required.

EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.


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