When you go through your hvac training course there will be a part where you will have to learn about portable air conditioning units. There are some other types of portable air conditioners such as window units or ductless air conditioners. Though these can be handy for many reasons they also have a handful of flaws about them also, but once you have soaked in enough hvac training you will know how to trouble shoot a portable air conditioning unit, and know when you should actually consider getting one.
Common places that you will see portable air conditioners are hotels and motels, especially down in Florida. This is usually pretty convenient because hotel rooms are fairly small, and portable air conditioning units are only meant to cool a small space, such as a small room. So in this case they would work well, and they are usually mounted into the wall.
Some houses and apartments use portable air conditioners too, the kind that are mounted into the wall, but in the long run you will wind up paying more money for a portable air conditioner than you would if you had central air conditioning installed with ducts, especially if the apartment or house was over 500 square feet, if it was below that you may be able to get away with using a ductless A/C.
If you have been following my posts, I had one that went over the Seer (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). All central air conditioners and heater must have a rating of at least 13, but when it comes to portable air conditioners and heaters, the rating will usually fall much below that number. Meaning you will be using more energy to get the appliance to work, which means more energy used from the Earth, and more money that comes out of your wallet when it is time to pay the power bill.
If you have a yacht or a boat that has a cabin, and you want a way to keep the inside space cool, then a portable air conditioner will definitely come in handy. You just have to make sure that your boat or yachts power source is compatible with the portable air conditioner. On land in the United States they are operated off of 120 volts, but not all yachts have a 120 power supply going through the entire boat so keep that in mind if you have a yacht and are looking to put in a portable air conditioning unit.
How a Portable Air Conditioner Works
They are no different than a refrigerator, or a central air conditioning system, well, almost. The principles are all the same, heat is removed from the room via Freon and then discarded outside or out of the room. With a window unit there is no need to vent as the discharge side of the window unit is outside. With a portable air conditioner you will have to have a vent kit, which should come with the package to move the warm air out.