How Does a Portable Air Conditioner Work?

This is a question often asked by homeowners who face the challenge of having to keep their homes cool without an air conditioning system installed.

portable ac units

The difference between a portable AC unit and stationary air conditioners is that a portable ac unit does not require installation; you just plug them into any electrical outlet, set the desired temperature, and let the unit work its magic.

There is no need to call an HVAC professional and spend thousands of dollars on a cooling system installation.

What is portable air conditioner?

A portable air conditioner is a compact cooling appliance that cools the air within a room, much like a mini-window unit. Although they are usually much less powerful than the bigger models, the capacity of a small portable AC will be enough to keep an average bedroom or porch comfortable during summer months. Portable ACs are inexpensive to buy, easy to install and convenient to use.

portable ac units

Typically, a portable air conditioner is set on the floor and wheels are attached. The machine’s automated mode is also good for moving the gadget from one home region to another. Warm air and dampness must be extracted from a room like any other air conditioner.

This includes a hose to remove exhaust and distribute it throughout the glass. You may immediately start cooling your home once this portable device is set up. The window kit must be installed to the battery, and this cover package takes care of the exhaust.

How do portable air conditioners work?

Portable air conditioners work by transferring heat from one place to another, much like a basic refrigerator. In fact, the same cooling system is used in both appliances.

A compressor compresses gas and pumps this liquid through coils that are cooled by cold air.

Thus, the heat flows into your room while you use it so fast. Then the fan blows it out. The more powerful the unit, the more heat can be removed from your home.

portable ac units work

This is why portable air conditioners are not as effective as central AC systems that distribute cool air throughout entire buildings.

The cooling system of a portable ac is composed of two main parts – the compressor and the condenser. The first part takes in atmospheric air and compresses it to high pressure.

This raises its temperature and makes it more humid, which then comes into the condenser that contains coiled tubing that is cooled by refrigerant vapor until it becomes liquid.

The compressor then pumps the cooled air to the cabin through a hose inside it.

You can also check out our post here on the Best Humidifiers UK.

Advantages of using a portable air conditioner

ac units

There are three main benefits of having a portable ac in your home, which are as follows:

1. Portable air conditioners are easy to install and require little maintenance. If you are thinking about installing central air conditioner, consider that this is a long and difficult process.

The installation of ductwork can damage your ceilings and walls (especially around windows) if not handled correctly.

Although the machines themselves are usually quiet enough to place in any room, you may need to make some modifications to the electrical wiring to prevent tripping circuit breakers or blowing fuses.

2. Portable air conditioners are very economical. A central air conditioning system is extremely efficient, but you often have to invest lots of money in installation and maintenance costs. Since these appliances do not require permanent fittings, they are much more affordable – even if you need to buy one for each room.

3. Portable air conditioners are small enough to be taken from one location to the next.. Before buying a central unit, think about what you want to use it for.

If you want to cool one room at a time or need better control over the environment, then this is an excellent choice.

Single Hose vs Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioners

most portable units

Single Hose Portable Air Conditioner

A single-hose portable air conditioning unit works just like a regular window air conditioner, but it also has an exhaust hose that takes the warm air outside of your room.

This gives the unit more cooling power, but has an influence on the external temperature of your home. Since heat is transferred out of the room, the external wall becomes warmer than usual.

Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

portable unit

While dual hose portable air conditioners are a great choice for a cool or a warm climate. A single hose unit takes longer to cool down your room because it is pulling air from both the inside and outside, but would be better suited for cooling in climates that get cooler at night or on cloudy days.

In warmer climates, the compressor will have to work harder to cool your room. If you are looking for a unit that is less expensive, either dual hose or single hose units would be the best choice.

Portable Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

portable units

Even though portable air conditioning units are easy to use and maintain, there are some things that you will have to pay attention to.

Here are some important tips that can help you keep your air conditioner at its best for a long time:

  • Empty the water tank on the back of your unit once per season. To do this, simply remove it and empty it in a sink. Make sure you do not leave any standing water inside, as this can damage the machine
  • Clean the filters every two weeks or so to ensure maximum efficiency – more often if they are dirty. The size of your filters will vary depending on the inch number of your unit. For example, 1-inch portable air conditioners use filters that are 1 inch by 25 inches, while 2-inch units use filters that are 2 inches by 20 inches.
  • Clean the coils on your unit at least once per season. To do this, you will need to disconnect them from the machine and clean them with a brush attached to an extension pole. This process is absolutely crucial when you live in humid areas.

Although portable air conditioners are powered like a regular window unit, the exhaust hose and the power cord must be placed where they will not be damaged or broken.

This is especially important if you own a single hose model, as it will make the device less effective.

Wrap up

portable units

Portable air conditioners are excellent choices in smaller rooms, especially when you want to cool them down in the summer. They are inexpensive, easy to use and maintain, quiet enough for bedroom or living room use, and can be taken with you when you move home.

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