How Do Portable Air Conditioners Work

In this article, we’ll explain what portable air conditioners are, how they work, what types there are, and what are the benefits of buying a portable air conditioner. We’ll also provide you with useful tips on how to maintain yours and by doing so improve its efficiency. Keep reading to learn all about portable air conditioners.

What Portable Air Conditioners Are and How Do They Work?

Each portable AC unit consists of a refrigerant that cools the air, a compressor that compresses the refrigerant, and a fan that moves the air. Simply put, the portable AC draws the warm air, then cools it using the refrigerant, and finally returns the newly cooled air back into the room. At the same time, the heat produced during the process is exhausted on the outside using a vent or a window kit.

Portable AC units also dehumidify the air by trapping the excessive moisture in a tank, which can be emptied in different ways such as:

  • Newer versions of portable air conditioners have a self-evaporative technology built-in. This means that the device includes a system whose purpose is to release captured moisture through the exhaust pipe.
  • Some portable AC units come with a drainpipe and condensation pump, which allows the device to release the water through a floor drain or transfers it to another place.
  • Regular models collect water inside a tank that needs to be emptied regularly.

What Types of Portable Air Conditioners Are There?

There are two types of portable air conditioners:

  • Portable AC units that use the same hose to draw the air in, circulate and cool it, and release it back into the room are called single hose portable air conditioners. Their process produces a negative pressure in the room, which can result in warm air bursting in from outside. Single hose portable AC units have better results in smaller rooms.
  • On the other hand, dual hose units use one hose to intake the air and move and cool it, and the second one to let the hot air out. This system leaves no space for issues such as negative pressure. Another upside of dual hose portable AC units is that they’re more effective in larger spaces.

Based on the ventilation system they use, there are two types of portable air conditioners:

  • Windowless portable air conditioners don’t have to be located on windowsills. They are usually connected to a window using a single hose system. The advantage of windowless portable AC units is that they’re simple to install, and are able to eliminate smells from the air. The main disadvantage, on the other side, is that they’re not very effective in really high temperatures. Running it alongside a central AC unit is the most effective way of using a windowless portable air conditioner.
  • On the other side, we have portable AC units that use a tank or a container that collects water and humidity trapped during the cooling process. The device then evaporates the water, which decreases the room temperature. This type of portable air conditioner is known as ventless. Ventless portable AC units have higher energy efficiency and a faster cooling process than windowless portable air conditioners.

We should also note that there are portable AC units that are capable of warming the air. Those devices are called portable reverse cycle air conditioners, and they offer an option of warming the air that they draw in.

Benefits of Portable Air Conditioners

Compared to other models of AC units, portable air conditioners stand out by following advantages:

  • Portable AC units are easy to move around the house. This comes very handy in case you want to cool different rooms of your home at different times of the day. Most portable air conditioners come with wheels built-in, so they’re easy to move.
  • Another upside of portable AC units is an easy installation. Anyone can do it since it’s as simple as plugging the device into the socket and putting a hose out the window. Find the optimal spot, connect your device to the wall outlet, select the desired temperature, and the job is done.
  • Contrary to the larger devices, mobile air conditioners are very simple to maintain. Wiping the unit frequently with a fabric made of natural fiber, washing the filter every 15 days, and cleaning the whole device on yearly basis is pretty much all servicing that portable air conditioners need.

How to Maximize Efficiency of Portable Air Conditioner?

In this section, we’ll provide some tips on how to increase the efficiency of your portable AC device.

  • Always make sure that your portable air conditioner is suitable for the size of the room.
  • Keep in mind that avoiding the sources of moisture will improve your device’s efficiency. Keep all windows and doors shut while the portable AC unit is working since this will help cut down the sources of external moisture if it is a refrigeration type. If it’s an evaporative cooler, you should leave the doors/windows open.
  • Consult the manufacturer’s instructions on how to ventilate the device, since this will allow the device to work as intended.
  • Remember to clean the device frequently in order to keep the filter free from dust and other particles. You can do this by yourself in less than 5 minutes.

Final Words

As always, if you have any questions, or simply want more information about a particular point, feel free to post a comment below, and we’ll be happy to respond.