A spot cooler is a portable air conditioning unit designed to add additional cooling or for temporary use in a location where there is no existing air conditioning.  Examples of locations where a spot cooler may be used include offices, aircraft while on the ground, computer rooms, server rooms, and tents or other temporary facilities.

As a portable air conditioning unit, the operation of a spot cooler is similar to a window air conditioner, it pulls air into a condenser, cools it, and circulates it back into the room. However the unit is typically on wheels and in a self contained cabinet making for ease of portability. Like any air conditioning unit, a spot cooler’s performance capabilities are measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). Most spot coolers range from 12,000 BTU to 100,000 BTU although some large commercial units can go up to 1,000,000 BTU or more.  Note that 12,000 BTU is also known as 1 Ton of cooling capacity.

A spot cooler cools and dehumidifies a room or area of a building where either no air conditioning exists or additional air conditioning is required. Some large industrial buildings have areas where no air conditioning exists or central air conditioning units fail. A spot cooler can provide localized or temporary cooling.  Rooms with large amounts of electronic equipment such as server rooms, computer rooms, and media rooms generate excessive heat.  A spot cooler can solve this problem as well.

Many hospitals, as well as other businesses, elect to use a spot cooler for emergency purposes.

A spot cooler may also be used to cool a home. In homes with no central air conditioning, usually cooler climates, an owner or tenant may choose to use a spot cooler. Although a spot cooler may cost more than a window unit it may provide greater flexibility, efficiency and less effort to install and use.