Tips to Help You Use Portable Air Conditioners

Learn About the Air Conditioner Filter, Window Kit and Water Tray

Photo of portable air conditioner

Even the best air conditioners need repairs from time to time.  Now that you've finally decided on which portable air conditioner to buy, it is important that you follow these tips so as to use your unit properly:

  1. Venting. Rule #1 for air conditioners is to have them vented properly, either through a window or a wall. A portable air conditioner vents warm, humid air from indoors to the outside. When it comes to venting your unit, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions as venting standards will vary from unit to unit. You'll often receive a venting kit or the option to purchase one as part of your package. The kit will include a hose and a window kit that provide venting options for a variety of window sizes and styles. Make sure that the window you intend to install the vent on matches the type of window covered by the kit (i.e. sliding or casement).
  2. Electrical Power Available. Make sure that you haveinstalling portable air conditioner enough electrical power available for your portable air conditioner so that you don't blow a fuse. Air conditioners pull a lot of juice and you don't want to trip your switches. Do not use extension cords with your unit as the cord could become overloaded and present a fire hazard.
  3. Water Removal Trays. Different portable air conditioners will handle the condensate that accumulates from the cooling process differently. Some units have water removal trays while others use a continuous drainage hose (dual exhaust hoses). If your unit does have a water removal tray, be sure to empty it at the frequency recommended by the manufacturer's guidelines. Otherwise, your portable air conditioner may either automatically shut off or the tray could spill over. Also check that the water removal tray is easily accessible as different units locate the water trays differently.
  4. Change Filters. You may have two different types of filters on your unit - a carbon air conditioner filter that helps to remove odors, and an air filter that collects dust particles. These are either washable or replaceable, and need to be cleaned or replaced regularly, depending on the type. Again, reference the manufacturer's guidelines regarding how often you need to change out the filter (or filters).
  5. Exhaust Hose. Make sure you keep the exhaust hose straight while the venting system is in use. When installing the exhaust hose, it is generally okay to shorten it, but not to add on any additional length. Obviously, try to place it somewhere that Grandma won't trip over it when she's not wearing her glasses.

If you follow these tips on how to use a portable air conditioner, you should be well on your way to enjoying a cool summer.


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