Using a Portable Air Conditioner: 9 Tips & Tricks


There is a big, long list of reasons to have air conditioning, particularly in the summer months when it is hotter outside. It will reduce humidity, reduce the risk of the effects of high temperatures for both you and your home, will make for more comfortable living space and can help reduce the likelihood of asthma, hay fever and other allergies.

But here in the UK, high temperatures never last forever, which is why most homes don’t have air conditioning installed. Buying one just means you have to store it away for months when not used. Therefore, hiring an air conditioning unit from Speedy Services makes sense.

There are a few different ways to get the most out of your air conditioner as possible. After all, you don’t want to waste your hire or purchase – or your electricity power.

Following the tips below will help your home to cool down and remain stable, as well as use the lowest possible energy consumption.


How to improve air conditioner efficiency

The below tips are efficient, cost-effective, and easy to follow. They will have your air conditioning unit working to its optimum, with cool air flowing throughout your home.


Tip 1: Hire the air conditioner for your room space

All air conditioners have a limit on how much space they can deal with. If you’re trying to keep your home office or bedroom cool and clear of allergens, you won’t need to hire a unit which is overly powerful or large.

But if you have an open plan living space on your ground floor, where your living room, kitchen and other spaces aren’t enclosed, your unit may have to work harder. The same applies if you want to keep an entire floor cool, such as the bedrooms and bathroom.

Check the cooling capacity of the air conditioners before you hire one. This will be measured in BTU (British Thermal Units), per hour. You should also look at the airflow, usually measured in M3 per hour.

  • SPEEDY TOP TIP! BTU required = cubic volume of room (height x length x width) x 4

You should also bear in mind how insulated your room is, your window area and what the room is used for. If it is poorly insulated, you have large windows, or you’re going to be active in your room, you’ll need to hire an air conditioner which is more powerful than the BTU calculations.

For rooms facing north, add 15%. If you have French windows, add 20%. If your windows are double-glazed, you can deduct 10%.

If you need more than one room cooling, add the measurements to each other.


Tip 2: Keep windows and doors closed

To save energy and improve efficiency, just air condition the room you are using. Therefore, close the doors to prevent too much cold from escaping/heat from getting in. If you do need to cool an entire floor, shut the doors to the rooms on the other level.

Keep windows closed to prevent the cold air from escaping, and warm air from getting in too. This will help to regulate temperatures. If anyone is cooking or showering, close the door to that room so this hot, smoky or moist air doesn’t come into the air-conditioned space.


Tip 3: Get ahead of the game

If you know we are in for a heatwave, hire your air conditioner ahead of time. If you know that day will be hot, turn your air conditioner on before you start to feel the heat. This way, it won’t have to work as hard.

The appliance will find it easier to keep a room cool than to cool down a hot room and get rid of hot air. This will help you save on electricity, too. Think long, slow cooling over changing an oven into a freezer!

  • SPEEDY TOP TIP! Does your air conditioner have a timer? If so, set this to turn on ready for you to get home from work rather than putting it into overdrive when you get home.

Tip 4: Clean the filters

When you hire an appliance or power tool from Speedy Services, it will be ready to use straight away, cleaned and checked over for any issues. Air conditioner filters need cleaning regularly, to ensure they can still capture the dust, allergens and other particles in the air and keep everything cool.

If you’re hiring the unit for a prolonged time, say over a week, just check the filters every day to see if they need to be cleaned. If you’re buying an air conditioner, the filters will need a thorough cleaning every few months.


Tip 5: Keep the temperature stable

Rather than boosting the air conditioner then turning it off, and repeating it throughout the day, keep it on low and steady. This way, it doesn’t have to work in overdrive at any point.

While it can be easy to think that turning it off when the room goes cold enough will help save money on your bills, it has the opposite effect. The same applies to your central heating in winter.

Keep your air conditioner set to a stable temperature, such as 21°C, rather than low in temporary boosts.


Tip 6: Put the air conditioner in the shade

If you put the air conditioner in direct sunlight, it has to keep cool too! This can also mean it thinks the room is hotter than it is, so it will work really hard. Not good for energy consumption.

So, while you want to keep the air conditioner in a good spot to allow for maximum airflow around the room, it needs to be in the shade. If this means closing one curtain, or shifting things around a bit, so be it.


Tip 7: Keep it free

Check it has plenty of free space around it as well. It’s no good if it is stuck behind a wardrobe as it will think it only has to cool down that tiny area.

Make sure the conditioned air it is putting out is in contact with the room as a whole. Another reason why shifting furniture such as chairs and tables may be required.


Tip 8: Reach for the iced water

You will have probably heard that putting some iced water in front of a fan can help cool your room down quicker, as it will give the cooling properties an extra boost. The same applies to an air conditioner.


Tip 9: Limit hot devices

All electronics produce heat. There’s probably some you need to keep on, such as your laptop, TV and any lights in the evening. But do you need to run the dishwasher? Can you make that dinner in the microwave rather than in the oven?

These large appliances put out a lot of heat. Try to limit their use to first thing in the morning or overnight (for dishwashers and washing machines). This way, they don’t heat the room while you’re there and your air conditioner doesn't have to fight against them.



Yes. Speedy Services, the UK's leading tool hire company, have a range of portable air conditioning units for hire nationwide. Speedy has more than 200 service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery.

Cooling your home during a surprise UK heatwave has never been easier!

You’ll find all the tools you need right here. Why not make the most of the nice weather and start planning your next DIY project? Open a Speedy account today online and in-store.


Ready for more home & garden DIY tips and ideas?

We hope this guide on getting the most out of your air conditioner is useful. Take a look at our Speedy Services blog if you want some inspiration on how to improve your home and garden.

Speedy in your pocket
Get a Speedy Account