Once considered a temporary solution, portable heating and cooling units continue to evolve as consumer demand calls for new units and new uses.

“Historically, portables have been used solely in hot locations where more permanent solutions could not be provided,” said Brittany Calderon, product manager at Friedrich. “Today, we are seeing increasing use of portables as a primary means of cooling for areas, such as home offices, server rooms, and in homes that don’t have central air and only need cooling a few months out of the year.”

Here’s a look at some of the latest products on the market for portable air conditioning and heating today.



The Portacool Jetstream™ 250 is a portable evaporative cooler that provides powerful cooling with 8,500 cfm for up to 2,125 square feet. It is equipped with Kuul Comfort™ evaporative media to provide maximum cooling relief, and it has built-in handles and heavy-duty casters for easy mobility for a variety of work and spaces.

“Ultimately, we find that contractors want a product that is truly portable, easy to use, and that can be adapted to multiple applications throughout varied job sites,” said Shane Cupp, director of sales at Portacool LLC. “With a standard 115V, it is easy to plug a Portacool portable evaporative cooler (like the Jetstream 250) into a generator and feel confident about achieving a cooler, safer workspace with energy-efficient consumption.”


For small spaces or areas where dual-hose venting may not be an option, Friedrich Air Conditioning Co. released the single-hose ZoneAire® Compact portable unit, a 115V unit that serves as an air conditioner, a dehumidifier, and a heater. A mere 17 inches wide, it’s designed to accommodate personal cooling or heating needs, according to the company: think bedrooms, dorm rooms, garages, and home offices.

The ZoneAire Compact features a large LED display, a rotary dial four-speed fan, and temperature adjustment controls, along with an easy-to-install, easy-to-secure hose attachment; swivel casters; and a built-in hose storage compartment. The Compact line offers cooling in 8,000-, 10,000- and the newly-expanded 12,000-Btu models. It also boasts “bonus heat” performance capabilities with 12,300 Btu.


In hospitals and high-tech health labs, controlling air temperature and air purification is critical. That’s why KwiKool launched the BioKool, a hospital-grade portable air conditioner that provides cooling, cleaning, and disinfecting via a HEPA-filtered 1.1-ton model.

The BioKool combines its standard dual ducting with a 4-inch HEPA filter that controls particulates down to 3/10 of a micron; a UV light inside each chamber that irradiates the cool airstream as well as the evaporator coil and the internal surfaces of the evaporator chamber; and a smooth, non-porous evaporator insulation that repels moisture so that mold and other microbes can’t attach and grow on the surface.

“We believe that BioKool is poised to significantly improve everyone’s cost/performance ratio and enable short- and long-term regulatory medical industry compliance,” said Michael Volle, owner of KwiKool. “This will fundamentally change our industry’s expectations of spot cooling performance.”


Modine Mfg. Co.’s Hot Dawg H2O is a low-profile, residentially certified hot-water unit heater for North America. Available in two sizes, it can satisfy residential garages and workshops, along with light commercial or industrial applications.

The unit has no external moving parts, and the internal coil can handle water pressures up to 150 psi and temperatures up to 200°F. Features include quiet operation, a permanently lubricated motor for trouble-free dependability, light weight, and a low-profile design. Blowers are also available.

“The Hot Dawg product line is a great choice for the installing contractors because it is easy to install and its reliability and durability mean no callbacks,” said Kevin Walker, Modine regional sales manager. “Furthermore, the Modine Hot Dawg line is a full line, including natural gas or propane fuel, propeller or direct drive blowers, and even a hot water model: the Hot Dawg H2O.”


The OWC 1811 by Spot Coolers is a water-cooled portable unit. When connected to water loops, chiller loops, or faucets, it provides air conditioning to out-of-the-way building areas where condenser air is not available, such as electrical rooms, labs, and small offices. It cools a space without exchanging air in surrounding areas, which makes it a good choice for medical locations, such as surgical suites and confinement areas, according to the company.

The OWC is equipped with a regulating valve (for water usage control), a condensate pump that automatically removes condensate while cooling, a high-pressure reset feature that shuts down the unit if water supply is interrupted, and an optional hose kit for connecting to a water source and for draining the unit. The unit also has an automatic temperature control with adjustable fan speeds, and the cooling display can be remote-mounted.


Temp-Air’s new PAC-15A4HD industrial portable air conditioner provides precise temperature and humidity control in temporary applications, such as new construction, production processes, manufacturing centers, supplemental cooling, emergency cooling, and disaster relief efforts. The 15-ton unit contains heat and dehumidify mode options with an air delivery of 6,000 cfm and can be installed either inside or outside a facility. Other features include remote thermostat/humidistat operation, fin and tube coil construction, four-way fork pockets, and lifting eyes for ease of placement.

“The custom Temp-Air model PAC-15A4HD provides 15 tons of cooling and 6,000 cfm at 2 inches external static pressure, enabling longer duct runs,” said Scott Brainard, vice president of sales. “Hot gas reheat is used in dehumidification mode, which significantly reduces the electrical power requirement.”

To operate the unit, construction managers must make sure a 460V/3PH/60HZ power supply is available.


Publication date: 7/2/2018

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