It’s that time of year again. Temperatures are creeping up, and if past years are any indication, the heat is likely to be extreme and stick around for much longer than is comfortable. So, you’ve reviewed the options available and determined that a portable air conditioner is the best option for you. You’ve shopped around and brought your purchase home—now all that’s left to do is install it.

In this quick guide, we’ll first go over the basics of how your portable air conditioner works, then outline how to properly install it. As long as you follow your portable A/C’s included instructions and make sure to check a few details outlined in this guide, you’ll be cooling down your home in no time.

How do portable air conditioners work?
Before setting up any piece of equipment, it’s a good idea to quickly review how they work: It may help you notice issues during installation that you otherwise might miss.

A portable air conditioner will take in air from around your room and pass it over coils to extract its heat. The cooled air is blown back into the room, while the heat is exhausted out a nearby window (or door) through its ventilation tube. It’s important to ensure the run of ventilation hose is kept as short as possible: a long run of the hose means more surface area radiating heat back into the room instead of being vented outside.

The cooling process also produces condensation, which is either collected in the unit itself, in a reservoir you’ll need to empty, or pushed out through a hose you’ll need to secure to a nearby drain.

If the portable air conditioner does collect condensation in a reservoir, it will likely alert you when that reservoir needs to be emptied, often shutting off to prevent it from overflowing. This isn’t always the case, however—check your manual for confirmation. In this case, your particular model doesn’t have this feature, or if you’ve secured its drainage hose to a container like a bucket, it’s important you empty these vessels frequently to prevent them from overflowing. Read More

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