All Categories


Become an Appliance Expert. Subscribe to our Knowledge Base!

How to know if you need supplemental cooling?

How to know if you need supplemental cooling?

NewAir AC-12200E Portable Air Conditioner

When it comes to cooling a home, office, warehouse and more, be sure to know what options are available. It is important to know what type of cooling options are available depending on one's individual needs, budget and ease of installation. In the warm summer months, it is essential that the indoor temperature be kept at a comfortable and pleasant level and that the hot elements of the outside are kept there.

When deciding on whether or not you need supplemental cooling, ask yourself if there is already a cooling unit in place, and if so, is there an area or hot spot that still needs to be cooled down? Once it has been decided about which type of cooling unit to purchase, it is then important to look at the air conditioner capacity. There are many different things to know when it comes time to choose supplemental cooling, if needed, and these guidelines are meant to help with the many different choices. The answers to many of your questions will help you on the way to the correct decision, as well as important tips and information to remember, which is found below.

Primary cooling, supplemental cooling or spot cooling?

Most people are aware of the main cooling system; however, there is actually more than just the primary cooling unit that one should know about. In fact, there are three types of cooling to be aware of: primary cooling, supplemental cooling, and spot cooling.

Making the right decision has to do with many things such as what cooling system is already in place and how big of an area need to be cooled. So, no matter what area in your home, office or warehouse that needs to be a little cooler, there are three different types to choose from, and the descriptions are:

  • Primary cooling. This type of cooling is the main one. It is used in places such as homes, offices, classrooms, trailers, computer rooms and more. This is when people don't have any air conditioning to begin with, or the air conditioning they do have turns off after hours and/or weekends.
  • Supplemental cooling. This type of cooling many be needed if there is already air conditioning installed, but it is still hot in certain areas throughout the building. This type of cooling is needed if you don't have enough air conditioning in the space. Supplemental cooling will help because it will provide the extra push of cool air in areas such as homes, offices, classrooms, trailers, hospitals, computer rooms, and much more.
  • Spot cooling. This type of cooling is perfect for areas that are hard to cool using traditional air conditioning. Spot cooling is used when you don't want to cool a very large area, but you just want to keep particular spots cooler than others. These particular areas are usually extremely large areas such as factories, warehouse, commercial garages, sporting events, and outdoor events. Spot cooling will actually cool a person, process or equipment that would normally not feel the cool area in the hot summer months.

So what happens if someone either doesn't have a primary cooling unit, or if there is a primary cooling unit and it just isn't cooling things off enough, either because the existing unity was not sized for the room properly, or the number of people in the place has increased significantly? The answer is simple. If there are certain areas that are warmer than others, then one might think about having a supplemental cooling unit installed. On the other hand, if there is a particular area that is utterly impossible to cool off, then spot cooling is what is needed.

Supplemental cooling units are used when a particular area won't completely cool off, or if it needs to be even cooler in certain areas. Perfect examples of these types of areas include computer rooms or laboratories. These single zone cooling systems can also work well in large homes or offices. Basically, supplemental cooling units will work well wherever it is needed in any particular time. Supplemental cooling units can either be portable, or it can be mounted to a wall or ceiling.

A spot cooling unit is a portable air conditioner that can be placed wherever one needs it the most. These types of cooling units are quick and easy to install, and normally only need to be taken out of the box and plugged into a regular electrical outlet. They also have the capability to be moved easily from one room to another, so it is extremely versatile and can be a great choice for a hard to cool area. This cooling unit can be used whenever and wherever it is needed the most. When a home, office, or any area is kept at the right temperature, it will not only keep people comfortable and certain machines safe from temperature changes, but it will save on energy bills and protect the environment.

Make sure to get the right size

Now that the three types of cooling units have been explained, it is important to know how and when to choose the right one. When it comes to choosing whether or not to have a primary cooling unit, a supplemental cooling unit, or a spot cooling unit in your home, office, warehouse, or other area, it is important to do a little bit more research before making the right decision. The air conditioner capacity is something very important to know.

The sizing of cooling systems, as well as heating systems, are based on how many BTUs per hour there are. What exactly does BTU stand for? It stands for British Thermal Units. Also, it is rated in terms of tons as well. And, 12,000 BTUs equals one ton. This will give one more of an idea of how to choose the correct cooling system. A main rule of thumb is that one ton can cool an area of approximately 300 to a little over 500 square feet. So, when it comes time to choose which type of cooling unit to purchase, be sure to research how many BTUs it offers, as well as how big of a square area it will cool. When making this type of purchase, it is extremely important to choose the right size cooling unit.

Is it really that important to know the right size?

When it comes to cooling a particular area, it is extremely important to know the right size of cooling unit to get. The main reasons are plain and simple: having the correct size of cooling unit will keep the area and/or person comfortable since the temperature will stay where it needs to be depending on individual comfort level and outside elements, and energy savings. In short, being comfortable and saving money are the two main reasons to choose the correct size cooling unit. Supplemental cooling units can come either as portable, which makes them easy to use, and move from area to area as needed, or units that can be easily mounted from the ceiling or wall.


When it comes to choosing a supplemental cooling unit, or portable spot cooler, it is essential to know that there are many different types of portable air conditioners available that can fit any budget, lifestyle or individual need or want. If the primary cooling unit that is currently being used isn't enough, then remember to look at these things before making a uniformed decision on which type of portable air conditioner to purchase:

  • Do you need to add cool temperatures to a space that is already using air conditioning? In this case, then a supplemental cooling unit is probably what you need.
  • Do you need to cool off an area that the main cooling unit does not reach, or is it an area that is noticeably warmer than the rest of the area? If it is a hot spot that you are wanting to cool off, whether for workers or equipment, then a portable spot cooler is more than likely your best choice.
  • Always remember to choose the right size of cooling unit. It is essential that you know the square footage of the area that needs to be cooled and protected from the warm, outside elements.
  • Always look at the extras that are included when purchasing a portable cooling unit. For instance, some of the little extras can make a huge difference. Some things to look for include portability, energy savings, and installation.

If the proper research is done, and you know exactly what you are looking for, there won't be an issue with cooling down a particular area. Now that you know the difference between a primary cooling unit, a supplemental cooling unit, and a portable spot cooler, as well as the importance of size, then you will be able to make a uniformed decision that will save both money and energy. Having more options than just a primary cooling unit adds much needed flexibility to your budget plans. It also allows you the ability to choose a supplemental cooling unit that will help with your particular need.

Like our article? Subscribe for more!