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What Are Portable Heat Pumps? | Rare Techy


Efficiency Model of Portable Heat Pumps
Room Size (sq. ft.) Heating (BTU) Cool (BTU)
500 13,000 14,000
450 10,000 12,000
350 9,000 10,000


Heat pumps are very efficient and use about a third of the energy used by natural gas heating. Look for the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) ratings for the heating and cooling efficiency of a heat pump, which is measured by how much energy the heat pump uses to cool, or heat a room.

In the United States, SEER ratings must be at least 14 in southern states and 15 in northern states, while HSPF ratings must be at least 8.8 by 2023. HSPFs greater than 10 and a SEER greater than 18 are considered optimal. Energy Star certified heat pumps must have a SEER of 15 or higher. Star certified heat pumps are 20–50% less energy efficient than other units.

Advantages of Portable Heat Pumps

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In addition to the ease of moving from room to room, there are many benefits to using a portable heat pump in your home.


Heat pumps are a sustainable option for space heating since they do not burn fossil fuels. In addition, as the power grid relies more on renewable energy, the electricity they use will be cleaner.


Heat pumps of all types are easy to clean and maintain. Heat pumps filter the air of dust, bacteria, and viruses (depending on the model), and only need a quick cleaning and vacuum once a month.

Also, portable heat pumps have little or no investment compared to whole house heat pumps. It runs on household electricity. For RVs, 12-volt heat pumps are available.


Portable heat pumps or fireplaces use less heat compared to furnaces and radiators. Nothing gets hot, no metal radiator gets too hot to touch.


Heat pumps are simpler than air conditioners and furnaces. Instead of going back and forth to maintain the right room temperature, heat pumps are much better at keeping cold or warm air flowing.

You can still hear noise from a running fan, the hum of a heater running in circles, or vibration on uneven surfaces. Since all of their functions are boxed into one category, look for models that are known to be quiet. Compare the decibel levels specified in the product literature before purchasing.


Many heat pumps have Internet controllers that allow you to use an app on your phone. You can, for example, pre-heat your studio before you leave work so that you come home to a warm and cool house.

Installing a Portable Heat Pump

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One of the biggest advantages of a portable heat pump is its ease of installation.

Find a good location for the heat pump, so that nothing blocks the air. For proper ventilation, place the unit 20 inches away from a wall or large object. Be sure not to hide behind plants, furniture or blinds, out of the sun. A solar powered heat pump will work harder to cool a room.

The only assembly required for installing a portable heat pump is in the window kit. The window kit creates an opening for the exhaust to the outside without you having to modify the windows, doors or walls. The package is usually installed using the following steps:

  1. Open glass is a window.
  2. Enter two rate tables to fill that space.
  3. Insert the hose (or hoses) into the available slots in the bar(s).
  4. Insert a hose through one of the panels.
  5. Seal the areas with foam sealing tape and masking tape.
  6. Insert the other end of the hose into the heat pump.
  7. Plug the unit into a standard household outlet.

For irrigation, you’ll want to install a gravity-flow water setup using a garden hose, which is usually not included.

Are Portable Heat Pumps Expensive?

The average American household spent $2,120.00 on energy use in 2021. More than half (51%) of that, $1,081.20, was on space heating and air conditioning. (Expenses are different for each region.) Based on these numbers, customers should look for the most efficient, effective, and sustainable system.

Depending on the size of the room you need to heat/cool, a portable heat pump can cost between $300 and $500 for the best model. The higher the efficiency, the more expensive the heat pump—but the less electricity it uses, and therefore the less efficient it is.

Depending on how much you plan to use the unit, a portable heat pump may be more cost-effective than a large-capacity heat pump. A SEER rating above 20 or an HSPF above 13 will make it worth more than it’s worth. The more you decide to rely on a heat pump for heating/cooling, however, the more reason you should buy a better heat pump, as it will save you more money on long time.

Also, consider the external characteristics of the machine itself: the quality of the installation of the heat pump, and more importantly, the efficiency of the area that will be heated. Install the ducts and seal the windows properly so you don’t have to let air get in or out of the window. Consider taking a home electrical audit to find weak points in your home’s “envelope”. Investing in double- or triple-pane windows and adding insulation in wall cavities can save you more money than buying a heat pump with higher SEER and HSPF ratings. more.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How good are portable heat pumps?

    The efficiency of a portable heat pump depends on several factors. Consumers should not consider a model’s SEER or HSPF rating but the quality of the installation and the energy efficiency of the space. In general, especially when compared to natural gas heaters, portable heat pumps are very efficient.

  • Need a portable heat pump installed?

    Yes, a portable heat pump should be installed in order to function properly.


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