Knowing very little about maintenance, repair, or handy work can be a tough hurdle in life.

This is particularly true once out on your own and fending for yourself without your family’s comforting safety net.

You are forced to make huge decisions, often regarding large expenses. Then you have to live with the consequences, whether they are good or bad. My ignorance with appliances and technology has led me down a dark path of one bad purchase after the next. I must be easy prey for the seasoned salesperson, just seeing the helpless look on my face the moment I step foot in the door. After getting sold the wrong microwave when I was forced to return the one I picked out myself, I started to get weary of taking advice from store employees. Therefore, when I needed a new air conditioner for my apartment, I had to make a choice between buying a window air conditioner and a slightly larger portable air conditioner. Like so many before me, I assumed that the newer technology in portables makes them superior, but that’s not always true. Basic air conditioning works by passing a refrigerant through a loop where on one end the coolant is in a gaseous state and the other end it moves in a liquid state. As energy is pulled from your air, dropping the temperature in the room as a result, this heat energy is pushed back out to the condenser outside. It uses a heat exchanger to cool the refrigerant and ready it to loop back into the indoor system again to continue the cycle. The condenser is put outdoors so the heat can leave the HVAC system with the simple help of a fan to move it. But in a portable unit, every part of the machine is indoors and it is actually forced to pull in air from your house just to cool off the condenser. It then takes that air that was once cold but is now warm, and then it throws it outside. You literally have to waste air that your machine just spent energy cooling as a means to counteract the device from overheating in the process. It’s pure irony in mechanical form.

a/c care program