Portable Aircon for Home Office in Dry Climate - Evaporative?

Dying here in Perth working from home, and the recently re-located home office doesn't quite get good airflow from the house's installed split systems in the main house areas (old house)… gets really really hot when I close the door in school holidays on serious phone calls, which is most of the day.

Have a big 52" ceiling fan in place, but not cutting it with long days in there.

Was thinking of getting a portable evaporative unit, as the climate is dry and I have two outside windows either side that will allow airflow.

That said, looking for deals and previous bargain search requests there was great negativity / warnings against portables.

1) Evaporative don't work so well and is noisy
2) reverse cycle portables release their heat in the room, even with the exhaust pipe and is not efficient.

It is a 35 to 40 degree week here in Perth. Room is just under 20m^2


  • +1 vote

    Vornado 660 (~$150 Costco) and angle it towards the wall upper corner. It bounces off and creates a cooler room through circulation. Works really well and far better than a normal tower fan pointed at you. Have it at home and reduced my reliance on AC significantly. Can be noisy on high settings but fine on first or second for all-day calls. Worth a go. Return if not satisfied.

    • +1 vote

      I had 660 before and now got a 633DC.
      633DC is not as powerful at highest setting, but it's a lot quieter because of the DC motor. It's almost silent on lower speed and have much better speed control.

  • +1 vote

    Vornado helps take the edge off, even if you point it straight at you.

    Blacking out your window will also help, preferably from the outside. If your office door is normally shit and your room in particular gets hot, then vornado can help to open the door and quickly move all the warm air out.

    Taking some clothes off can help too. Maybe not with Zoom meetings.

  • +1 vote

    Temporarily (or permanently) mounted refrigerative Window unit?
    The portable evaporative do absolutely nothing.


    Don't bother with portable evaps. I had them last summer when our ducted died and we were waiting for replacement. Family was very happy the day the new ducted AC was installed….

    Noisy and in effective. And when it is smoky you have to close close doors and windows so it just gets sweaty inside


    Those portable single-duct units are absolutely useless, they blow cold air, but the way they are designed means they are incredibly inefficient:

    • Negative air pressure in the room your trying to cool will result in hot air forcing it's way through your window cracks/gaps
    • It throws out air that it has already cooled, it's not just cycling air in the room, it's literally blowing it out
    • The hot part of the unit is inside, the tube gets very hot and just radiates heat back into the room
    • You'll have to constantly fill it with water/drain it, so expect your floor to get wet, and to do a trip every 2 hours.

    I bought one for summer to try it out (can't be that bad right) and returned it. Get a split system, window AC unit (not as good as split but infinitely better than portables) or a fan.


      Mine does a pretty good job of making my room sleep-able in.

      1. True
      2. Like every A/C ever?
      3. I put some thermal ducting over mine, works well.
      4. Most good unit put the water into the hot air and blow it out of the room, so no need to ever empty it.

        2 No
        Window units and Split Systems physically separate the Compressor from the Condensor, so the cooled air is not evacuated out the Compressor exhaust.

        • +1 vote

          Oh I see what sp3ctr41 is getting at. I thought it was a reference to the cold air just being blown out via fan into the room and not in some cyclical pattern in the room like that Vornado in the first post of the thread. I was thinking that doesn't make sense. Now I see. So than yes I agree it uses the cold air to cool the unit too.

          In saying this, my unit brings my room down from 30-35 degrees down to a very sleep-able 20 degrees. Absolutely necessary for someone doing night work and trying to sleep in QLD summer during the day. Is it able to get it below 20, no. Would a split or window mount be better, absolutely. But for someone renting and not wanting to invest money in someone else's house it works well.

  • +1 vote



    If you can be bothered installing these units, these are much better than single-ducted portable air conds.

    I have a Delong'hi Pinguino that I switch on once in a while but as Technology Connections explains they are extremely inefficient and very loud.

    Portable AC's should be sort of a last resort solution or if you simply can't install anything permanent in your home.

  • +5 votes

    Install a 2.5kw split system.

  • +1 vote

    Dont waste your money on evap units in Perth. Perth is not dry often enough for it to work all the time. I just got a Kelvinator 2.5kW reverse cycle unit installed for $1150. Far more efficient in cooling and can do heating too. Beware of cheap air conditioner that are not heat pump. They cost about $1 an hour to run in electricity. The Kelvinator above uses about $0.15 per hour to run.


    The window/wall mount small unit like the Kelvinator for $400 looks the go, but those things are so Fugly.

    I only need to take the edge off a few days every now and then. When the Seabreeze is in, we are cool. We run the main house' 2 split system ACs maybe 20 days a year.

    So I am thinking about the turbo fan (already have a ceiling fan in the room, but given how we configured the office, the airflow is not good, or cut a 50cm hole in the wall. (My office view is too nice to destroy part of the window) both windows are under a veranda, so no direct sun.


      See the post above. $1150 installed. No ugly box, quiet, efficient, and just works. In WA, I assume (quite possibly incorrectly), that you have a double brick house. Cutting a hole in the wall for a stupid box AC to go through is not easy or cheap, and comes with other problems. Do it once, do it right.


        Yeah. The whole reason I am resisting the bigger play is the house is 45 years old and due a new kitchen which borders the office.

        Hence the look at a portable unit first.

        Arggghhh. You're right on a good solution. Just can't being myself to 'waste' 1.1k

        • +1 vote

          You'll be near on $1k after you have that window rattler installed in a wall, and it will be noisy and ugly as sin.