Are you worried that the portable air conditioning unit in your home is consuming too much electricity? You probably should be -- overall, a portable air conditioner is usually the least effective way to cool a home. Still, there are some situations in which they can be necessary, and there are ways to improve upon their efficiency.
1. Pay Attention to the Venting
A portable air conditioning unit has to be able to vent warm air well. There are two areas that you could be having issues: where the vent hose connects to the unit and where the vent hose exits the property. Make sure that the hose is properly secured to the vent and firmly sealed. You can use duct tape to brace this connection. The vent hose should not be compressed in any fashion (such as by being squeezed through a shut window), and the area around the hose should be completely sealed where it exits the house, to maintain insulation.
2. Move It against the Window
A portable air conditioner should always be as close to a window as possible, making the vent hose should be as short as possible. Don't try to run a portable air conditioner hose throughout your entire house -- it's not going to be as effective.
3. Purchase Fans
Fans will circulate the air and make it easier for the air conditioning unit to cool it. Standing fans, desk fans and ceiling fans will all be effective. Make sure that the ceiling fans are pushing the air downwards rather than upwards, by pulling the direction chain on the fan. (Downwards cools; upwards warms.) Fans should be placed so that they circulate the air in a single direction, rather than blowing air back and forth between them.
4. Keep the Interior Doors Closed and Insulated
With a central air system, it's best to keep all your doors in the house open to allow the temperature to balance out. With a portable unit, it's best to only cool the room that you're actively in. Keep your interior doors closed and invest a little in making them insulated -- which they generally aren't. You can purchase a foam or plastic weather-stripping to go around your door and create an insulating seal.
If you still find that your air conditioning unit seems to be taking up too much electricity, you might want to contact an air conditioner repair company like Mike Kearsley's All Service. Not only can they take a look at your unit, but they can also walk through to identify any cooling issues you might be having throughout your home.