Portable AC Maintenance Tips
While many people are super conscientious about cleaning, there's one appliance that almost always goes undetected - the air conditioner. Not only do many people forget that their AC is in fact an appliance, but (just like other appliances) they take for granted that it's always going to run. While that's mostly true, the question is whether it's running effectively?
Chances are, if you're not cleaning and maintaining your portable air conditioner (or any air conditioner for that matter), then not only is not going to run at optimal levels, it might actually also make you sick!
If you have a central air conditioning system and have ever looked at the filter, you know exactly what I mean. And if you haven't, then imagine the filter from your dryer but much, much dirtier, harboring all sorts of bacteria, dust mites and possibly even mold. And naturally, the more you use your AC the greater the need to clean it frequently.
The same holds true for your portable air conditioning unit. Though it has a compact design and is designed to blend with your indoor decor, it too is an appliance in need of maintenance. Check out a few tips to get started on not only having a cleaner AC, but a healthier AC.
1. Dirt Removal - Just like with anything else, portable ac units are not immune to dirt and dust settlement. So when dusting your home, don't forget your portable AC. Just run a damp cloth over it and make sure you wipe thru the air vents as well. Ideally, you should do this every two weeks.
What makes cleaning portable ACs really easy is the fact that they're compact and moveable. This means it takes considerably less time (and no cost) to clean one - which isn't the case for any other cooling unit.
2. Carbon Filter - Most portable ACs today include some kind of filter, which work to eliminate odors, allergens and other impurities from the air. These filters can become clogged over time, and should be cleaned regularly - at least once a month during the summer - or your unit won't be able to pull in air effectively. Some portable air conditioning units feature activated carbon filters, which are not washable. These will need to be replaced at least once a season.
3. Ventilation - One of the key maintenance tips is proper ventilation. Most portable ACs require a duct or hose that connects quite discreetly to a window. The hose exhausts the heat removed from the air during the cooling process. If it's not properly vented, all that hot air will just go back into the room you're trying to cool. Click here to see a video on proper AC venting.
4. Drainage - Because dehumidification is part of the air conditioning cycle, most portable air conditioners have a drainage tank to collect the water removed from the air. This water needs to be emptied periodically, though the frequency will depend up on the current humidity level and the specifics of your particular model.
Types of drainage:
- Buckets: Units have an internal container that needs regular drainage. Depending on your use and the conditions, drainage frequency can range from 8 hours to once a month.
- Self-Evaporating: More elite units have the ability to evaporate moisture through their drain exhaust. Some manufacturers even offer fully evaporative models.
- Gravity Drain - All portable air conditioners have the option of a permanent connecting water drain hose that collects water continuously to drain to a nearby floor drain.
- Condensate Pumps - Condensate pumps help pump collected water through a drain hose that is usually connected to a window.
Don't forget to drain the unit completely before storing it away!
5. Defrosting - Portable ACs can become "frozen" when the filter is dirty, the vents are blocked, or if refrigerant is low. They will also freeze up if the outside temperature drops below 60F. If ice builds up on the coils, run the unit on fan-only mode until it is defrosted. Many units now include auto-defrost mode so you shouldn't have to worry about this problem.
One of the great things about portable air conditioners, especially in comparison to other cooling units, is that they provide the atmosphere of central air conditioning but don't require the heavy cleaning or high cleaning cost. They're simple effective appliances that only need mild maintenance for functional use. Click here to see our full line of portable air conditioners now!
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