woman with a portable aircon

7 Tips That Maximize Your Portable Aircon Use

As the latest lifestyle trend, portable air conditioners are being touted as game-changers for keeping homes cool and comfortable despite their compact size. Unlike traditional ACs that need to be installed and mounted in a fixed spot, a portable AC is a standalone unit that offers the same functions but can be moved to another room if needed. This level of convenience has made portable ACs a great option for renters, especially for those who don’t plan to stay in the same place for the long run.

That said, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your portable aircon and keep it working at optimal levels. If you’re curious about your AC’s full potential, here are some tips to help you boost its efficiency so that you can keep your cool—even on the hottest of days.

Opt for a Dual Hose

Portable ACs either have a single-hose or a dual-hose design. Most experts recommend dual-hose units rather than single-hose ones because the latter only uses one hose to suck air from within a room and expel heat, creating negative air pressure. Because of negative air pressure, the expelled air is replaced by warm air that seeps through cracks and openings around your doors and windows. Typically, single-hose units are more effective in cooling smaller areas than larger spaces, which are prone to drafts.

On the other hand, dual-hose ACs mimic the traditional “two loop” cooling process of most standard ACs. This means that dual-hose units pull air from the outside and expel heat through the second hose. Similar to regular ACs, dual-hose portable aircons keep air pressure balanced by keeping the loops separate. This boosts efficiency and keeps your AC from having to work harder to cool a room.

Place Your AC in an Optimal Location

Where you place your portable AC also plays a big role in how efficiently it can deliver cool temperatures. Generally, portable ACs are best placed near a window that leads to the house’s exterior for draining water and expelling air. Make sure that your AC is placed on level ground and is not obstructed by large objects, such as furniture, that might impede airflow. Avoid placing your AC on top of tables, which could cause safety hazards.

It would also be ideal to keep your portable AC away from sources of direct heat, such as sunlight, electronics, and kitchen appliances. Placing your unit near heat sources makes it more difficult to do the cooling process, which eventually overburdens your aircon. Experts recommend placing curtains or blinds on the windows near your portable AC to prevent direct exposure to sunlight and to quicken the cooling process.

Keep Doors and Windows Closed

Most people are already aware that doors and windows must be kept closed when the AC is running. This prevents warm air from entering the space and cool air from escaping it. Keeping the AC running while the doors and windows are open requires the unit to work harder to achieve a comfortable temperature. Ideally, you should keep your AC in the coolest corner of a room to minimize the effects of heat on its operations.

Switch Off Unnecessary Sources of Heat

Since internal and external heat sources can affect your aircon’s cooling power, it’s best to minimize other heat-emitting items inside the room as much as possible. These items may include light bulbs, kitchen appliances such as ovens, and high-performing desktop computers. Turning these heat sources off may help cool the room quicker, although it’s generally recommended to also turn on a fan to help the air circulate.

Keep the Exhaust Hose Straight and Near the Window

Straightening your AC’s exhaust hose streamlines the flow of air to be expelled outdoors. Apart from ensuring proper airflow, keeping your hose free of twists and kinks also prevents the buildup of moisture that could enter the AC unit and cause damage.

In addition, it would be ideal to minimize the stretch distance of the exhaust hose and keep it as close to the window as possible. Besides reducing the risk of someone tripping over the hose, it also allows the air to travel a shorter distance and thus cool your home more efficiently.

Regularly Clean Your AC

man cleaning the aircon

Proper maintenance of an AC unit also entails keeping it free from dirt, debris, and buildup. One of the first things you need to check is your AC’s air filter, which is meant to catch dust, dander, and other contaminants from getting into the coils. That said, how often you clean your air filter usually depends on how often you use your AC. Some filters must be cleaned weekly, while others can go without cleaning for months.

If your aircon has a washable filter, you can rinse it with mild detergent and warm water, then leave it out to dry. Antimicrobial or carbon filters, on the other hand, can be replaced with new ones once they become too dirty from the collection of contaminants from the air.

In addition to filters, you may want to clean your AC’s vents every month by vacuuming out dust and debris. Letting these particles accumulate in your unit hinders it from cooling the room effectively, which may even shorten the lifespan of your AC due to overwork. Make sure to clean the vents, especially during the summer season when there’s a high chance of the appliance being used constantly.

On a related note, some AC units are partially evaporative, meaning they need to be drained of excess water just like a humidifier. As such, it would do you well to monitor water buildup to improve your AC’s efficiency and lengthen its shelf life.

Start Your AC Early and Keep It Running

If you want to improve your portable AC’s energy efficiency, you may want to turn it on at least a few hours ahead of when you plan to use it. It would be ideal to turn it on early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when temperatures are a bit cooler. It’s also a good idea to keep your AC running rather than turning it on and off, which forces your AC to work harder to repeat the cooling cycle.

Make the Most of a Cool Investment

If you’re no stranger to unbearable heat and humidity, you understand the importance of having a working AC in your home. Aircons can even be considered as core home appliances because of how they help you improve air quality and cope with sweltering temperatures. While it’s a good practice to thoroughly assess your options for portable aircons on the market, you should also know the best ways to use and care for these nifty appliances. With this, don’t forget to follow the tips mentioned above to maintain the quality of your portable AC and maximize the returns on a very cool investment.

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