What follows will help the consumer understand the basics of a portable air conditioner, how to install one, and why venting the unit is essential.
A portable air conditioner is just that; it is portable or movable from one location to another without permanent installation on the part of the consumer or technician.
Critical to its operation and to proper cooling of the area is appropriate venting of hot air from the unit to the outside environment through a suitable window or created opening in a wall.
How to Vent a Portable Air Conditioner
A venting kit comes with the purchase of a new unit. This kit should only be used when the unit is completely turned off and not in heating or fanning mode. The consumer can then follow some simple steps to vent his unit.
Pick an appropriate spot for the vent such as a centrally located window free from obstacles and barriers such as a bed or couch. Air must flow freely around the unit to ensure it operates efficiently.
Remember, too, that portable ac units not only produce hot air which needs to leave the building, but they also make condensation and noise!
Check the unit before purchase to see if the moisture gets vented outdoors of if the user empties a drip pan. To deal with condenser noise, pick the quietest unit possible, and/or place a pad, cushion or carpet remnant under the portable unit to help muffle the sound.
Next, place the exhaust connector provided over the discharge opening typically on the backside of the unit. Hook-up the exhaust hose to the exhaust connector.
Then prepare the window insert. Most inserts for air conditioning units are made of Plexiglas, a material which is easy to cut and also transparent, allowing light to pass through the window and into the room.
Measure the width of the window, and cut the Plexiglas insert to size. (The local hardware or big box store can make these cuts for the consumer if the right tools are not available at home.) Center and cut a 5-inch hole in the insert. With the width adjusted and the vent hole cut, connect the vent adapter to the insert.
Place the insert in the window, and hook up the exhaust hose on the portable unit to the adapter on the window insert. Make sure the hose is straight.
Allow slack in the length of the hose between the unit and the window; however, do not leave an excessive amount of length as this will cause the unit to work harder to move hot air outside. More work equals higher energy costs. Also, choose a dedicated electrical outlet for the air conditioner, and never plug the unit into a simple extension cord.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for best and safe operation of the portable air conditioner. Then enjoy the nice cool environment the unit provides.