Portable air conditioners are popular and get used mostly in small spaces such as home offices, small rooms, and attics due to their convenience. They are helpful for human comfort and are easy to store and set up. The wheels at the bottom make it easy to move around at your convenience.

Portable AC units function the same way as regular ones. A portable AC is made up of the following components:

  • Fan: Pushes the air
  • Condenser coil: Cools the refrigerant
  • Refrigerant: Cools the air
  • Compressor: Increases the temperature of the refrigerant

The fan lets in the room’s humid, hot air into the AC and the coils cool the air’s temperature as well as dehumidify the air. The portable air conditioner then releases the cool air back into the room. The refrigerant is essential for cooling the air through a process of compressing and quickly expanding. During the compressing process, the generated heat is exhausted out of the room through an exhaust pipe.

The portable AC gets rid of moisture in three ways:

  1. Internal bucket: Old models have a bucket on the inside that collects water that has to be manually drained out.
  2. Gravity drain: A hose pumps out the water collected.
  3. Self-evaporation: Newer models get rid of warm air and moisture through an exhaust vent.

Single-Hose Portable Air Conditioner

These portable ACs have one exhaust vent and are in the most demand because they are cheaper and simple to install. The AC unit cools the hot air it pulls in and lets out the heat and moisture. The air is then exhausted out through a single hose. As the air is being exhausted, a negative pressure is generated because the air has not been replaced. Hot air from other rooms gets sucked in due to the negative pressure through windows and gaps, causing your portable AC to work harder. Closing doors and making sure your home has proper insulation can improve efficiency.

Dual-hose Portable Air Conditioner

Dual-hose portable ACs are more energy efficient despite being expensive and more complicated to install. They let in fresh air from the outside rather than re-using indoor air. One of the hoses functions like the single-hose unit by getting rid of the heat and moisture generated while conditioning the air. The second hose brings in fresh air from outside. This air is conditioned before being released into the room. The process is generally quicker with two hoses because it doesn’t need to work as hard as a single-hose unit.

Portable AC Unit Features

Depending on the brand, portable units have various different features:

  • Oscillation: The portable air conditioner will rotate to condition the entire room
  • Dehumidifier: Gets rid of the collected moisture
  • Auto: Sets the room temperature and cools the room automatically
  • Fan: Release the desired air temperature for the room
  • Remote: Allows you to control it from a distance
  • Timer: Allows you to set the unit to start and stop operating at your preferred time

Portable AC Unit Maintenance

Here are some basic maintenance tips for your portable AC unit:

For the best performance, clean the air filter twice a month or change it entirely. If you own pets, cleaning the air filter will need to be more frequent due to the pet hairs getting into the unit. Setting reminders to clean the air filter is a simple way to make sure it gets done regularly.

You can wash the filter with warm water and dishwashing detergent. If you have pets, you will need to regularly wipe the grill to get rid of any pet hair that could be preventing airflow. Drain the water collection tray after and before use to prevent mold. Be sure to unplug the unit before cleaning the portable air conditioner. You can use mild soap and a damp cloth. Store it in a dry, cool area and cover it during winter. Direct sunlight would lead to the color fading over time.

Benefits of Portable AC Units

  • You can easily install the unit without the need for a professional. Install the hose’s exit using the provided toolkit.
  • You can vent the exhaust through a roof, door, wall, or window.
  • They are lightweight and have wheels that allow you to easily move them across rooms.
  • They don’t cost that much and are getting more affordable over time.

If you want to improve the indoor climate of your home with a portable air conditioning unit and learn more information about the units, visit Lyerla Heating & Air today. We offer heating and cooling services to residential, industrial and commercial customers in Joplin, MO, and the surrounding areas.


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