This is a powerful system that keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer. As a heating and cooling machine, it has powerful features such as an LCD which allows you to monitor temperature changes. It also features a bucket less evaporation system that does not create any mess from spilled water.

Equipped with heating and cooling functions, the portable heat pump moves heat from one place to another. Unlike the AC, it uses the standard principle of refrigeration. The unit draws heat from the air using the built-in fan.

People love portable heat pumps for their efficiency. Instead of heating the air like the conventional electric heater, they draw heat from the air and distribute it in the room. They are versatile thanks to their dual functions – heating and cooling.

Another advantage is that they come in a compact size and are mobile. As such, you can use the portable heat pump in your RV or any room.

How Does a Portable Heat Pump Work?

The first thing you need to know is that a portable heat pump works in reverse to a portable AC. Instead of releasing heat into the air via a duct, it does so via vents. Here is how heat pumps work. They have a mechanical compression cycle refrigeration system. This system can reverse to heat or cool a room. In the unit, you have a compressor with refrigerant.

During winter, the unit draws heat from the outside air via a built-in pump. It gets transferred to the evaporator coil where it heats the refrigerant. As the refrigerant gets pumped from the compressor, heat dissipates into the room.

During summer, the unit reverses direction. It draws heat from the indoor air. This helps to cool your home. Since the unit does not generate heat, it saves you on electricity. Heat pumps normally last many years. Since they use ambient air to heat a room, your living space will become faster than using electrical heaters.

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Heat Pumps Save You Money on Electric Bills

Modern heat pumps can reduce your electricity use for heating by more than 50%. This is in comparison to electric resistance heating such as baseboard heaters and furnaces.

In homes without ducts, you have ductless portable heat pumps called mini-split heat pumps. When shopping, you will come across 8,000 BTU to 18,000 BTU heat pumps.

How Much Do Portable Heat Pumps Cost?

Portable heat pumps are an alternative to complex HVAC systems. They are mobile, self-contained and easy to install. There are several types of heat pumps.

The most common type is the air source heat pump. This model works by transferring heat between the outside air and your living space. As such, the cost of operating the heat pump will vary. When you include extra features such as dehumidifiers, LED displays, activated carbon filter and more, the cost of the unit increases. From our research, portable heat pumps vary in price.

Most portable heat pumps cost between $250 and $350, while some models can cost more.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do Portable Heat Pumps Use a Lot of Electricity?

No, they do not use a lot of electricity. In fact, they save you on electricity and fuel consumption. In the market, you will find 8,000 BTU to 18000 BTU.

An 8,000 BTU uses less electricity compared to an 18,000 BTU heat pump. Problem is, an 8,000 BTU covers a smaller area compared to an 18,000 BTU heat pump. For example, an 8,000 BTU can heat and cool a small single room while an 18,000 BTU can cool and heat a much bigger living space.

Since a heat pump is mobile, you can move it from one room to another. In fact, most models have wheels.

Do Heat Pumps Need to Be Vented?

Portable heat pumps are self-contained. As such, they do not require professional installation like complex HVAC systems. Since they are stand-alone units, you can position the unit anywhere in a room.

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For the heat pump to work, you need to connect to an electric outlet. Once you power on the unit, it will draw heat from the surrounding air and cool your home. When it comes to heating, the unit works in reverse.

Remember, when choosing the correct size, hire an HVAC expert. They will calculate the correct size for maximum efficiency.

How Should Portable Heat Pumps Be Maintained?

To ensure the unit works efficiently, have the heat pump inspected by a professional in fall and spring. By hiring a professional, he will inspect the unit and find out if repairs or parts need replacement. For example, the professional can discover if the unit is leaking refrigerant.

By doing so, the professional can prevent the problem before it becomes severe. It is also important to change the filters to prevent poor indoor air quality.

Since air filters can catch pet dander, dust, dirt and other contaminants, they can prevent allergy symptoms and other health problems.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Portable Heat Pump

Portable heat pumps are mobile and efficient. As plug and play systems, they do not require permanent installation. To buy the right size or model, here are a few things to consider.

Single vs double hose

One of the major differences that heat pumps have is the number of hoses. Some models have a single hose while others have a double hose – intake and exhaust. Double hose models are energy efficient and faster compared to single-hose models.

What this means is that your indoor air quality will be much better with double hose units. Problem is, double hose units are a bit expensive.

We recommend that you buy a double hose unit because its more efficient. What you need to keep in mind is that the hose length cannot be changed. So, it’s important to choose the right position before buying.

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Power consumption

Portable heat pumps use electricity. They are efficient than conventional electric heaters. In fact, they can save you more than 50% on electricity usage compared to conventional electric heaters.

What you need to know is that each unit has a different heating and cooling power expressed as BTU/h. Today, you will find 8,000 BTU to 18,000 BTU models. Each model has the capability of heating and cooling a specific area.

For example, a 12,000 BTU is capable of heating and cooling a room of up to 400 square feet. To save, buy a unit that efficiently heats and cools your living space.


An undersized unit will not heat or cool your living space efficiently. For an oversized unit, it may increase your energy bills. Not only that, it will cost more upfront and the machine will cycle on and off too many times. As such, the strain will shorten the machine’s life.

To ensure you have the right size for your living space, we recommend hiring a professional contractor. He will use the Air Conditioning Contractors of America Manual J calculation to help you buy the right size.

To find the right size, the contractor will consider insulation R-value, wall thickness, number of windows and more.

Extra features

To ensure maximum efficiency, heat pump manufacturer adds extra features. Such features include an LCD panel with a touch sensor, safety function, ozone-friendly refrigerant, and ionizer.

You also have washable filters, fan speed control, carbon air filter, antimicrobial filter, and swing air direction control.

Some models may have a remote control which allows you to control the unit from any location in the room. We recommend buying a heat pump model that offers maximum efficiency and has the features above and more.