Are you a proud owner of a portable air conditioner, or are you looking to purchase a portable air conditioner and want to get the most from your purchase? Here are 5 tips and tricks to maximize your portable air conditioner’s effectiveness and ensure you have a long and happy relationship together.
Close off the space
Portable air conditioners are meant to cool a specified, enclosed space. If you have an open concept kitchen-living room floor plan, for example, you’ll want to count the entire combined space when calculating square footage. If the spaces aren't closed off, the portable air conditioner will be working to cool down the entire space. The easiest way to account for this is, when looking for a portable air conditioner, to go up in BTUs or purchase multiple units. If you were thinking you needed a 10,000 BTU unit, but your space does open up to another room, go for a 12,000 BTU unit or supplement it with a 8,000 BTU unit. With that said, the more you can close off the space, the better and more effective the unit will work. Try to close any doors or openings leading into the room you are trying to cool. Another way to boost efficiency is to eliminate as many heat sources within the room as possible, like lights and electronic equipment.
Turn it on early
The best tip anyone can give you is to turn your portable air conditioner on before you actually need it. If your portable air conditioner is the only source of cooling in a room, it is best to turn it on earlier in the day while the temperature in the room is relatively cool. For example, if you know you’ll need the unit to cool a room that gets hottest mid-day, turn it on a few hours before the mid-day heat has its full effect on your space. That way, the unit will be able to sustain a comfortable temperature while operating efficiently. If you wait until it is 95 degrees in the room you are trying to cool to turn the unit on, your unit will have to work twice as hard and may not be able to get the temperature down to a comfortable level. The best and easiest way to do this is to employ the timer function many portable air conditioners have. If you know there’s a specific time you’ll want your area cooled, like when you get home from work, you can set the timer and have the unit power on an hour or so before you even get home. You could also set the timer to power the unit on mid-morning if you plan to enjoy the cool space during mid-day. In addition, if you use a fan in conjunction with your portable air conditioner, the cooling power of your unit will be supplemented and the cold air will better circulate
Many people feel they cannot use a portable air conditioner because they do not have a window in the room they are trying to cool. This is not a problem! Though most portable air conditioners are designed to vent out of a window (most come with a handy, easy to install window kit), you are not limited to that form of venting. Two other popular venting options are through a sliding glass door or the ceiling. Venting through a glass door is just as easy as venting through a window, and the process is essentially the same. You’ll need a separate large window/ sliding door venting kit to accommodate the vertical length of the door, but otherwise, it’s exactly the same. Venting through the ceiling is the most popular venting option for portable air conditioners used in offices. Ceiling vent kits are easy to use and fairly simple to set up. You can also vent through the floor, chimney, or even another room. Venting through a casement window is also possible and easy to do. We have instructions on how to do so here.
Most people think of portable air conditioners as a one-season commodity, but that doesn’t have to be the case. With multiple functioning units available, you could be making a year-round investment. Many models have a dehumidify-only mode that works to pull multiple pints of moisture from the air. If you live near the coast, this could be an invaluable tool usable in all seasons. Some models also have a heater function. There’ll be no need to store your portable air conditioner for the winter if it serves as a cozy space heater in the colder months.
Filters, Filters, Filters
Though portable air conditioners come with a washable pre-filter, it is often best to use an additional filter. Many units offer a carbon filter as an accessory, which work to not only remove smoke and odors from your air but also to boost the efficiency of your unit. There are also great anti-microbial filters available from 3M. Antimicrobial filters increase your portable air conditioner’s efficiency and decreases maintenance needs by capturing dust, lint, smoke, pollen, and mold spores from your air. You’ll not only be receiving cooled air but also clean air. You want to be sure to replace the filters about every 3 months, so buying a five pack of filters will not only last you over a year but it is also cheaper than buying them one at a time.
A portable air conditioner can be a fantastic investment, easing the burden of seasonal heat and subsequent energy bills. Follow these tips to ensure you get the most bang for your buck and experience everything your cooling unit has to offer.