Top 10 Tips You Never Knew About Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners can be worth their weight in gold when the summer gets hot and humid. They are portable, easy to install, and economical in comparison to central air conditioning. Yet, there are a few minor annoyances that are not obvious when reading the model’s specs online or in the store. Here we have compiled a list of 10 tips that will make owning and operating your portable air conditioner just as enjoyable as the cool, refreshing air coming out of it.

bedroom with portable air conditionerImage Source

  1. Remember that all portable air conditioners must be vented to the outside. Most people accomplish this by venting it out a window. A few make a permanent hole in the wall and vent it to the outside. Before deciding where you will place this unit in your room, consider not only the dimensions of the air conditioner but also remember that you need to give yourself about 20 inches additional clearance from the wall to accommodate the exhaust hose(s) that will be connecting to the window kit or wall.
  1. When the unit arrives, if you think it may have spent any time on its side, sit it upright and let it rest for 8 hours before plugging it in and turning it on. If you start it right away, you run the risk of ruining your AC. (The oil in the compressor needs time to settle so that the motor will not seize.)If this item has been shipped to your home, I would assume that it has spent some time on its side and wait the 8 hours. Better to be safe than sorry!
  1. If you live in a basement apartment or have windows that are higher, the hose may be too short to reach. Try placing the unit on top of something so the exhaust hose can reach the window. An economical option would be cinder blocks. If you prefer something more decorative, try a chest of drawers. This will solve the problem and provide some additional storage in your living space.
  1. Most units have auto evaporating features so you will not have to empty a water tank. However, there quite possibly will still be some moisture that will not evaporate and will collect in the unit. In low humidity areas, you may only need to drain the unit before storing it away at the end of the summer. In high humidity areas you may need to drain the unit more frequently. In any case, place the air conditioner on top of a plastic boot tray to ward off any leaks and catch water that may drip when you remove the drainage tank to empty it.
  1. If your unit is not as quiet as you would like, place it on top of vibration absorbing pads. This should help muffle some of the sounds. Additionally, try installing computer sound dampening pads inside to help absorb some of the white noise.
  1. Maybe the noise only bothers you when you are trying to fall asleep. In that case, try setting the timer for an hour or two after you go to sleep. Turn the unit off when you go to bed and it will automatically turn back on when you are in a deep sleep. Hopefully, it won’t disrupt you, and your bedroom will stay cool and comfortable all night long.
  1. The LED panel lights on some portable air conditioner models can be extremely bright. Some people say that it annoys them more than the noise. If you are struggling with this, a permanent solution would be to cover the display with black electrical tape. The only problem is that then you can never access it to read information like temperature or settings.
    Instead, take a piece of black poster board. Cut it to slightly larger than the dimensions of the display. Apply a piece of black electrical tape across one side leaving half of it hanging over the edge. Adhere this excess part of the tape to the air conditioner display to create a flap. The black poster board should completely cover the display but you will be able to fold it back when you want to read the display or use the remote.
  1. Most units do not oscillate or have movable vents. Use a small fan next to the unit to help direct and circulate the cool air into other parts of your home.
  1. If you need to install the window kit in a sliding glass door, you will need to make some alterations. The window kits are designed for sliding windows and will be too short. It can be fitted to your sliding glass door by turning the window kit vertically and purchasing a piece of plywood that will fill in the extra space at either end of the window kit. To seal off some of the gaps, use air conditioning weatherstripping between the door and side of the window adapter.
    Note: Most manufacturers do not sell a sliding glass door window kit, but you may be able to purchase a window kit extension piece. This may make the existing kit long enough to fit the vertical spot in your sliding glass door. Check directly with the manufacturer.
  1. Keep the box the unit arrives in. You can break it down and tuck it away in your garage or attic. If you ever need to take advantage of the warranty, you will have to provide a box for the unit to be returned. Finding the right size box and purchasing it will be a hassle and extra expense you won’t want.

Now that you have solved any issues with your portable air conditioner, we hope you can enjoy some cool relief from the summer heat!

3 thoughts on “Top 10 Tips You Never Knew About Portable Air Conditioners

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