Skip to content
Home » Can you sleep with a portable AC on?

Can you sleep with a portable AC on?

If you’re like me, you spend most summer nights struggling to fall asleep without any blankets on. A cool room is a crucial part of good sleep so it’s tempting to use a portable air conditioner while you sleep. But can you? Should you? 

Can you sleep with a Portable AC on?

Yes, you can sleep with a portable AC on. In fact, using a portable AC while you sleep is a great way to keep cool and improve sleep quality. However, the noise may disturb your slumber.

The Ideal Sleep Temperature

A cool room is essential to a good night’s sleep. The scientific consensus is that the best temperature for sleep is 65 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s much cooler than the night-time temperatures of most US cities during the summer.

Impact of High Temperatures on Sleep Quality

As anyone who’s spent a night tossing and turning while sweating through their sheets can attest, a hot room can destroy your sleep quality.

Some recent studies indicate that any temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit significantly reduces the duration of REM sleep. That’s a big problem because solid REM sleep is essential to all areas of health, both physical and mental.

Benefits of Using a Portable AC at Night

So the big advantage of sleeping with a portable AC on is that it keeps you and your room cool. A cooler room means better sleep and a healthier body/mind.

Downsides of Sleeping with a Portable AC

But there are downsides to sleeping with your portable AC running. For starters, a portable AC is very loud, around 55 – 60 decibels. That’s like someone conversing in the room while you sleep.

Portable air conditioning, like all air conditioning, also dries out the air. That won’t be a problem for most people and may even be beneficial if you live in a humid climate. But for some, dry air will cause itchy, sensitive skin and eyes.

Safety and Environmental Concerns

There aren’t any safety concerns associated with leaving a portable AC running while you sleep. Portable ACs are designed to be used continuously and there’s no reason why you would be in danger for sleeping while one runs.

Portable air conditioners don’t produce any harmful exhaust or emissions, so there’s no concern there either.

Health Benefits of Sleeping with Portable AC On

Sleeping with a portable AC on can lead to several health benefits, especially during the hot summer months when temperatures can disrupt sleep patterns. Here are some of the benefits and risks associated with using a portable AC in your bedroom:


  • Enhanced Sleep Quality: Cooler temperatures promote better sleep. A portable AC can maintain an optimal sleeping environment.
  • Prevention of Overheating: Using an AC helps prevent heat-related sleep disturbances and discomfort.
  • Reduced Allergens: ACs can filter out pollen, dust, and other allergens from the air.
  • Humidity Control: ACs can reduce humidity. This prevents mold growth and dust mite populations.
  • Air Circulation: Good air flow in a room can improve breathing, which is beneficial for overall health.
  • Prevention of Electronics Overheating: A cooler room protects electronics from overheating, which can be a fire risk.


  • Dry Air: ACs can dry out the air, which may lead to dry skin, throat, or eyes.
  • Noise Disruption: Some AC units are noisy and may disrupt sleep if you are sensitive to sound.
  • Air Quality Concerns: Without regular cleaning, ACs can circulate poor quality air.
  • Temperature Fluctuations: Inconsistent temperatures can cause colds or respiratory issues.

To mitigate these risks, it is important to:

  • Use a humidifier to maintain moisture in the air.
  • Choose a quiet model to minimize noise.
  • Clean and replace filters regularly to ensure air quality.
  • Set a consistent temperature that is not too cold.

By understanding these benefits and risks, you can make informed decisions about using a portable AC for a healthier sleep environment.

Choosing the Right Portable AC for Your Bedroom

Selecting the appropriate portable air conditioner (AC) for your bedroom involves several considerations. It’s not just about the cooling capacity. You must also consider the unit’s size, noise level, and additional features. This section will guide you through the process.

Understanding BTU Ratings

The cooling power of portable ACs is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). A higher BTU rating means more cooling power. For a bedroom, units typically range from 5,000 to 14,000 BTUs. Choose a unit based on your room’s square footage. A standard rule is 20 BTU for each square foot of space.

Size and Portability

The size of the AC unit should match your room’s space. A bulky AC can overcrowd a small room. Look for compact models if space is tight. Wheels and handles add to an AC’s portability. They make it easier to move the unit around.

Energy Efficiency

An energy-efficient AC saves money on electricity bills. Look for the Energy Star label when shopping. It indicates efficiency. Also, check the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). An EER of 10 or above is excellent.

Noise Levels

Noise is a crucial factor for bedroom ACs. Units are rated in decibels (dB). The lower the dB rating, the quieter the unit. For a bedroom, look for ACs under 50 dB. This level is comparable to a quiet conversation.

Additional Features

Modern ACs come with various features. These include remote controls, programmable timers, and sleep modes. Some offer dehumidifying functions as well. These features provide convenience and enhance sleep quality.

Maintenance Requirements

Consider the maintenance each AC needs. Units with washable filters are easier to maintain. Check how often you need to empty the water collected by the AC. Some units evaporate this moisture, reducing the hassle.


Set a budget before you start looking. Portable ACs vary in price. More features and higher BTU ratings often mean a higher cost. Yet, investing in a quality unit pays off in the long run.

Warranty and Support

Check the warranty and customer support options. A good warranty can save you from future expenses. Reliable customer support is essential for troubleshooting.

By considering these factors, you can find the right portable AC for your bedroom. It will ensure comfort and convenience throughout the warmer months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to leave a portable AC on all night?

Yes, it’s safe to leave a portable AC on throughout the night. These units are designed for continuous operation and have built-in safety features to prevent issues like overheating. To ensure maximum safety, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and maintenance.

Can sleeping with a portable AC on make you sick?

Sleeping with a portable AC on can sometimes lead to health issues if not managed properly. For instance, if the AC unit is not cleaned regularly, it can circulate dust and allergens, potentially causing respiratory problems. Moreover, the dry air produced by an AC can irritate your skin and eyes. To prevent these issues, clean your unit’s filters frequently and consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

How can I reduce the noise from my portable AC to sleep better?

To reduce noise from your portable AC, consider the following tips:

  • Place your AC on a rug or carpet to minimize vibration noise.
  • Use a noise-reducing sleep mode if your unit has one.
  • Regular maintenance can prevent and reduce noise caused by dust and debris.
  • If the noise persists, consider using earplugs or a white noise machine to mask the sound.

What temperature should I set my portable AC to for the best sleep?

The ideal temperature for sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, as recommended by sleep experts. However, personal preferences can vary, so it’s best to experiment within a few degrees of this recommendation to find what’s comfortable for you.

Does a portable AC use a lot of electricity?

The amount of electricity a portable AC uses depends on its BTU rating and efficiency. Higher BTU units consume more power. To keep costs down, select an energy-efficient model with an Energy Star rating and use it judiciously. Setting a timer and maintaining a consistent temperature can also help manage energy consumption.

How often should I clean or service my portable AC?

You should clean the air filters of your portable AC every two weeks, especially during high usage periods. A deeper clean of the entire unit is recommended at least once a season. Professional servicing may not be necessary annually but consider it if you notice any efficiency issues or before starting it up for the summer season.

Can I use a portable AC in a room with no windows?

Portable ACs typically need to vent out a window to expel hot air. However, if you don’t have a window, you can vent through a drop ceiling or a wall. Some units also come with a venting kit for alternative setups. Always ensure proper ventilation to prevent condensation and maintain efficiency.

Are there any portable AC features that can help with allergies?

Yes, many portable AC units come with built-in air filters that can trap pollen, dust, and pet dander. Some even have activated carbon filters to reduce odors and smoke. Look for units with HEPA filters for the best allergen control.

What should I do if my portable AC starts leaking water?

If your portable AC starts leaking water, it could be due to a clogged drain line or full condensate pan. First, turn off the unit and check these areas, clearing any blockages and emptying the pan if needed. Persistent leaks may require professional repair.

How do I choose the right size portable AC for my room?

To choose the right size portable AC, calculate the square footage of your room and match it with the appropriate BTU rating. Generally, you need about 20 BTUs per square foot. So, for a 300 square foot room, you’d want a unit with at least 6,000 BTUs. Keep in mind that high ceilings, sunlight exposure, and room occupancy may require a higher BTU rating.