Portable vs Wall Mounted Air Conditioner - Which One Should I Choose?

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Portable vs Wall Mounted Air Conditioner - Which One Should I Choose?

Are you torn between getting a portable or wall split air conditioner? Swelting temperatures are here, and you're trying to decide on the best air conditioning unit to keep your living space cool. The two most popular options are portable air conditioners and wall split air conditioners.

But what’s the difference? In this article we will compare both types of air conditioners with these criteria:

For a quick view, take a look at our comparison chart:

a comparison chart of all the information in this article


image of two people agreeing on a deal and exchanging money

When it comes to choosing between a portable air conditioner and a wall-split air conditioner, cost is a crucial factor that cannot be ignored. In the UK, the average cost of a portable air conditioner is considerably lower compared to its wall-split counterpart. Expect to spend anything from £250 - £850 for a portable unit and £700 - £2,500 for a wall-spilt unit, not including installation costs (see below).

Cost of running

an image of a woman smiling calculating her bills

In the UK, the average cost of running a portable air conditioner is typically higher than that of a wall-split air conditioner. While both appliances use electricity, portable units tend to consume more energy to cool the same size space. Additionally, portable units are often less energy-efficient, meaning they use even more electricity to achieve the same cooling effect.

But how often and for how long will you be running the unit? Would you be able to see a return on the extra outlay costs and ongoing service checks? These are all good questions to ask when weighing up cost of running.

Wall Split Air Conditioning

On average, a wall split unit will cost you around 16p per hour, £3.84 per day which makes it around £115.20 a month.

Portable Air Conditioning

A portable unit will cost you on average aroun 33p per hour, £7.92 per day, making it £237.60 per month.

Note that these prices are indicative as each household has a different energy tariff, room size and unit.

Installation cost

an image of a technician installing a wall split air conditioning unit

Portable air conditioners are easy to install and cost-effective. Although they need to be vented through a window, they do not need an F gas engineer to set up. In fact, anyone can set them up as long as they follow the instructions. You may need to purchase a window kit, but these are low in cost, and some are included with the air conditioner unit, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious buyers. Then simply plug in the unit and go!

On the other hand, wall split systems require professional installation with an F gas-registered engineer. The wall split air conditioner installation cost for a double bedroom or conservatory is about £2,000-£2,500. If you're looking at installing a split air conditioner system for a whole house, then a six room multi-split unit will cost around £6,000-£9,000.

Renter friendly

an image of a man sitting on a couch while reading a book next to an air conditioning unit

As a renter, you're aware that maintaining and improving your living space can be a delicate balance. While you want to make your living space as comfortable and accommodating as possible, any alterations or damages that you cause can lead to additional charges or even the loss of your deposit. This is why a portable air conditioner unit can be such a blessing for renters.

Unlike a wall split system, a portable unit is easily movable and doesn't require any permanent installation. This means that you can enjoy the benefits of a cool, comfortable living space without worrying about causing any damage that you'll need to fix or pay for when you're ready to move again.


image of a hand holding a remote control pointing it at a portable air conditioning unit

When shopping for air conditioners, there are several important features to keep in mind. First and foremost, consider the size and capacity of the unit, as this will ensure it can effectively cool the space in which it is installed. One feature to look out for is sleep mode, which automatically adjusts the temperature to ensure a comfortable sleep whilst saving energy. It’s also worth ensuring the air conditioner runs quietly, especially if it's for the bedroom. Additionally, consider models that serve dual purposes and include heating and dehumidifying functions for all-season use.

One of the most convenient features to look out for is its Wi-Fi connectivity, you can control the temperature and settings from your smartphone or tablet. This allows you to adjust the temperature, set a schedule, or turn the unit on and off from anywhere, at any time.

Some portable units have a voice control feature that allows you to operate the air conditioner using simple voice commands. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can control the unit using your voice, even if you're not in the room. Another feature to look out for is the built-in air filtering system, important for those with allergies or asthma.

Both portable and wall split units can offer lots of features, but the fact that the portable air conditioner can be easily moved from room to room, often with the help of wheels or castors is one feature the wall spilt can't compete with. If this is something that would be invaluable to you, then portable is the way to go!

We hope this comparison has made it easier for you to pick the perfect air conditioner for your needs! If you'd like more help in choosing the right air conditioning try: