How to Set Up a Portable Air Conditioner

The heat is on and you’ve decided to take the plunge into the world of portable air conditioning.

Hold your horses though, contrary to popular belief portable air conditioner setup isn’t always as easy as just sticking it into a room and switching it on. Don’t throw down your exhaust tubes in despair just yet though. Below you will find a handy guide of things to think about before you buy, rent or install a portable air conditioner.

Considerations When Buying Portable Home Air Conditioning Units

Portability – some portable air conditioners are actually more portable than others. Things to consider when deciding on an air conditioning system include weight of the unit, ease of movement (does it have wheels?), size of the unit (is it small enough to fit where you need it and be easily moved?) All these variables can have a big influence when it comes to portable air conditioner setup.

loud noise for Install portable air conditioner blog postNoise Level – if the unit is going to be in bedrooms or living areas for example is it going to be too loud to bear? There’s not much point in making a room comfortably cool if it’s too noisy to be in. Luckily all our portable units list decibel levels on our site, meaning you can make an informed decision.

Ventilation – almost all portable home air conditioning units, evaporative coolers not included, need some form of external ventilation within a certain range of the unit. This is a particularly important consideration when it comes to exhaust tube units that need external ventilation, such as a window, within 3 metres.

Air Circulation – properly considering air circulation can greatly improve the efficacy of your portable air conditioner setup. Placing a couple of fans around a room that is being cooled can extend the range of a portable air conditioner system significantly and can also increase the ‘cooling’ effect thanks to the air movement.

air conditioner controls for how to set up a portable air conditionerControls – some portable air conditioners, like our Coolair 12, come with LCD control panels on the front of the unit or remotes. These allow you to easily control the temperature of any room by setting the units output. Some also allow you to set timers for when your unit should kick in. This allows you to proactively cool a room rather than reactively.

Energy Efficiency – some portable units are more energy efficient than others. You can determine a units EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) by dividing its BTU (British Thermal Units) by how many watts it uses. The higher the EER rating the more efficient the unit is. It is also worth noting that more efficient units are often more expensive.

Cooling Requirements – it’s also extremely important to consider your cooling requirements. It’s not quite as simple as just buying or hiring a machine and hoping for the best. A unit’s BTU rating indicates how much cooling power it can supply. There are some variables that will increase or decrease the BTU rating you require. They include:

air conditioning calculator for portable air conditioner setup blog post

–          The size of the room.

–          The number of people occupying it

–          The amount of heat generating appliances in the room

–          How much sunlight the room is exposed to

Luckily we’ve put together a very handy calculator to help you work out just that. You can find it here.

How to Install a Portable Air Conditioner

So you have decided on your dream (maybe a bit strong) machine. It’s nice and portable, quiet, efficient and meets your cooling requirements perfectly. Read on to find out how to set up your portable air conditioner.

Once you have got it in the room to be cooled:

1. Decide on which window would be best suited for venting the unit and measure the length of the hose from the window, this will help you figure out where your air conditioner can be placed. You must also ensure you have an electrical supply within reach of the unit. 

2. Now work out the best direction for the air conditioner to face. Make sure the front is pointing out into the room in a position that gives it the best coverage. If there are certain areas of the room that will be inhabited, such as a bed or sofa, you may want to make sure the air conditioner covers them. 

3. Once you have it in position attach the hose to the rear of the unit, if it isn’t attached already, and place the other end out of the window.

4. Next you should ascertain whether your unit has an internal condensate bucket or an external line, if unsure checking the user manual will confirm this. If your unit requires an external line connect this to the unit and feed the other end out of the window.

5. You can now plug in your unit, switch it on and set it to your desired temperature. Allow it some time to bring the temperature of the room down to the required level. 

Portable Home Air Conditioning Unit Quick tips:

• Close all windows and doors of the room that’s being cooled, this will increase the air conditioners efficiency.

• Close blinds when the room is exposed to direct sunlight. This will help lower the temperature of the room naturally putting less of a demand on your portable air conditioning system.

off-switch-for portable home air conditioning units blog post• Switch off. A surprising amount of indoor heat can be generated by appliances such as TVs and laptops. Try switching these off during the hottest parts of the day to reduce the load on your portable system. This is the perfect time to start a new book.

• Think about investing in a ceiling fan. Not only will it help you feel cooler thanks to the effects of air movement it will also ensure the air in the room is properly mixed leading to more even cooling.

There you have it, you should now have a perfectly installed portable air conditioning system cooling what was once a stiflingly hot room. Of course, if you still encounter issues you can drop us a message in the comments below or via our social media channels and we’ll do our best to help you out.

If you are considering renting a portable air conditioning unit drop us a line on 0800 082 8001 or for more information on the solutions we can provide. Alternatively take a look at our temporary and emergency air condition hire range.

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Written by Ryan Hill

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