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How to Set Up Your Portable Air Conditioner

new A/C? Congrats. Use these tips to make sure your portable air conditioner is properly installed

These tips will help you set up your portable A/C

When it comes to air conditioner units, there are two routes to go: window air conditioners and portable air conditioners. If you’ve decided to go the portable air conditioner route, then your installation process will be a little bit easier than installing a window air conditioner. However, like with all things installation, you’ll want to be sure to stick to instructions and smart tactics to make sure that your portable air conditioner will work most effectively. After all, a poorly installed portable air conditioner not only leaks cool air to the outside while letting in warm air, it ends up wasting energy and raising your bill.

Here you’ll find both a step-by-step guide to installing your portable air conditioner, as well as some must-know tips when it comes to things like choosing where to put your portable air conditioner and how to connect it to a power source. As you're shopping for a window or portable air conditioner, make sure you choose the best one for your room setup so that it'll be easy to install properly.

Where Should You Put Your Portable Air Conditioner?

Ideally, portable air conditioners should be kept on hard, level floors. Never place a portable air conditioner on a table or chair. In addition to this, you don’t want to have any obstructions within eight to 12 inches around the appliance. This can include the likes of furniture, plants, and walls.

You also need to make sure that your portable air conditioner’s power source can reach a wall outlet without the need of an extension cord. Because portable air conditioners draw a lot of power, they need to be connected to grounded electrical outlets.

Finally, you of course want to keep your portable air conditioner near a window, as the appliance’s vent hose will need to be installed in a window frame to access the outside.

Installing the Adjustable Window Kit of a Portable Air Conditioner

The only major step of installing a portable air conditioner is setting up the adjustable window kit that will connect the vent hose to the outside of the home.

Every portable air conditioner will come with a window kit that you will place into your open window. If there is any gapping between the kit and the window pane, you can use weather strips or foam to help prevent warm air from entering the room. Many portable air conditioners will come with these strips, but if yours doesn’t, you can always easily purchase materials at a local hardware store.

Additionally, if you don’t feel comfortable with leaving your window unlocked, you can purchase security locks to ensure that the window can not be opened from the outside.

Connecting the Portable Air Conditioners Hose

The next step in installing a portable air conditioner is connecting the vent hose. The vent hose should connect to both the window kit and the back of the portable air conditioner. Most appliance sets will have an easy connecting process where the hose will simply lock into place.

It’s ideal to have the vent hose in as linear a position as possible, as this will ensure a healthy and fast air flow. Additionally the shorter the vent hose is, the better. Many portable air conditioner manufacturers recommend keeping the vent hose shorter than nine feet for the most effective results.

Turning on Your Portable Air Conditioner

The final step in setting up your portable air conditioner is turning it on. Your portable air conditioner should immediately start the process of blowing out cool air. You can adjust the settings of the air conditioner on the appliance itself until you find your ideal air output and temperature.

Finally, while the longer you let a portable air conditioner run, the cooler the room will become, you never want to leave the appliance on and running when you’re not home. Like with all electrical appliances, it’s important that you monitor the machine to ensure that there are no safety hazards or malfunctions.

Preventing Water Leaks from Your Portable Air Conditioner

If you find that your portable air conditioner is leaking water, you’ll want to take a close look at the drain hose. The most common cause of portable air conditioner leaks are drain hoses that are not properly sealed. If you ever find a puddle of water on your floor, this is the first place to start before calling a repairman.

Resources— Cool & Portable, Consumer Reports, Howard Air

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