How To Install A Portable Air Conditioner Correctly

Install portable air conditioner correctly

Acquiring a portable air conditioner in and of itself is not enough. You have to set it up for use using the most ingenious operational and installation rules. It is only then that you will be able to enjoy the best possible outcomes from them and also guarantee long-lasting outcomes.

Our guide here below endeavors to take you through the steps you need to undergo to be able to enjoy the most fruitful outcomes. In a nutshell, there are three main steps that a typical air conditioning installation has to go through. These are venting, adaptation, and drainage. We take you through each of them below.

How To Install A Portable Air Conditioner Correctly (With No Leaks)

The typical installation exercise comes in two main facets. That is placing the unit firmly in place, venting and the drainage. We dedicate the portions of the article below to looking into all that they pertain to.

A. Place the unit in place

Your first and foremost step should be to place the unit in place. To do this, you will have to identify a sweet spot somewhere to do so. The area you choose has to be secure and as strategically located as can be. Make sure the floor is level to prevent fidgeting and the possibility of falling off.

After placing the unit there, use a screwdriver to tighten the appliance firmly. This will go a long way in ensuring that the item does not at all fall out of place or trip. The procedure also guards against necessary injuries whenever some passersby come in.

To be sure of your outcomes, we recommend that you rely extensively on trained experts to do the job. These are persons who have the skill and experience of a good job. They also have the necessary tools-of-trade that you might need to use but lack.

B. Venting the Portable Air Conditioner

Venting refers to the provision of an outlet where exhausts and hot gases may be released smoothly in the atmosphere around the campsite or building. This procedure is necessary as it prevents the system from blowing apart typically by way of an explosion. At the same time, it also prevents any possibilities of suffocation.

a.) Vent through the window

You have two main options to vent the unit. The first, and the most recommended is to do so via a window. It is the most convenient as it does not require any specialized tools to undertake. Also, this approach takes the shortest duration of time to implement.

Step-by-step Procedures

Step I: Put in place the adjustable window kit

Kick off the exercise by putting in place the adjustable window kit. These kits are designed to work with most kinds of windows. Nonetheless, how you may install them varies significantly from window to window.

  • For the traditional up-down window, place this kit at the bottom and stretch it out until it seals off the width of the opening of the window.
  • In the event of the side-to-side windows, place it at the size and stretch it out until it fills the height of the window.
  • Just in case yours is smaller than the minimum length of your slider kit, consider trimming down the kit. Use the plywood, cardboard or Plexiglas to fill any gaps for those that are larger than the maximum length of your slider kit.
Step II: Close the window

Upon finishing the fitting of the window, you should now close the window to hold the slider kit firmly in place. This is to prevent any air from leaking out or allowing the sunlight to seep in.

In case yours comes along with some foam or weather strips, do not hesitate to slot them in between the window and the slider. The object of this is to stop the warm air and the insects from creeping in.

The same applies when the kit contains some screws whose role is to hold the various parts and components firmly and securely in place. At this stage also, consider purchasing a separate and distinct security lock to see to it that the window opens from the outside.

Step III: Attach the hose

Move on now to attach the hose to the air conditioning unit. Start with the back of the unit. As you do this, countercheck whether the connector is already in place or not. If none is available, you have to first and foremost install the connector before proceeding to attach the hose.

Shift to the other end of the hose and attach the window exhaust connector. This is normally a small part of the vent. Stretch out the hose until you attach the connector to the slider kit. Be sure it locks securely in place.

Step IV: Plug in the air conditioning unit

At this stage, you plug the air conditioning unit into the socket. Insist only on a properly-grounded outlet to do this. Never connect the unit to a power strip or an extension cord. Many units have indicator lights that attach to the plug. These plugs have two buttons designated ‘TEST’ and ‘RESET’ respectively.

Press the ‘TEST’ button to activate the safety feature that is built into the system. In doing this, you will empower the system to cut off the current if it detects something unusual with the flow of power. Follow this by pressing the ‘RESET’ button to re-establish the connections with the unit.

b.) Venting without a Window

The second approach is to vent without a window. This simply means venting out the air conditioning unit if the area you are in does not have any window at all. You several other openings for your consideration and trial. The following are the alternatives you may attempt:

  • Sliding door – Entails the use of a sliding door as the avenue of venting. The exact procedures are pretty much the same as that of a window. You may also make use of the same window slider kits. Test the vent to be certain that you can open and close the door to prevent obstructions that can jeopardize your free movements.
  • Ceiling – You may choose to make use of a drop ceiling to do the job. For this case, you will require a special venting kit and the support of an expert heating ventilation air conditioning unit technician. You must consult the building owner before proceeding with the task.
  • Chimney – Just in case your unit has a chimney, do not throw out the idea of ever using it as a means of venting out any exhausts. Eliminate all soot from the chimney before slotting the duct to spare yourself from all clogs and ensure smooth churning out of stale air.
  • Exterior walls – Lastly, you may also do so via an exterior wall. This requires a professional to cut the wall for the right size of a hole. Use this hole as the avenue through which you may secure the vent hose. Seal the spaces in between the hole and the duct for maximum protection from air loss.

C. Preventing Water Leakage (Proper Drainage)

In the course of operating, the unit produces some water droplets. This is mainly brought about by the condensation of the hot and humid air around the room. The failure to install a foolproof system will usually mean the droplets spilling over to the floor.

In the course of installing your unit, you want to see to it that you seal any loophole that can channel out the droplets to drainage safely. Many units that endure these leaks usually do so due to poor sealing of the hose pipe.

There are two main kinds of drains in vogue at the moment. These are the self-evaporative and the manual drains respectively. As the name implies, the self-evaporative operates independently of your control or direct attention. The manual one nonetheless requires your input and attention all the while.

Though there are safeguards in place to forestall any leaks or channel the same to drainage, there is still the likelihood of things going south. Thankfully, the systems have indicators that alert you of the ongoing progress of the accumulation of water droplets.

It is hence incumbent upon you to keep a keen eye on these levels and make any appropriate adjustments as need be before things blow out of proportion. Needless to say, you have to empty the drain pans in which the water drips from time to time.

Leaving it undrained for too long will usually give rise to stale air and the possibility of the growth of the mold. Installing a separate drain hose will also achieve the same purpose albeit at a cost that s too great. Then again you have to wash the pans from time to time to eliminate any likelihood of molds and mildew sprouting.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Do all portable air conditioners have to be vented out a window?

NOT really! Several other avenues may yield more or less similar outcomes. The ceilings, doors, and walls are core examples of these. Do not feel constrained at all with regards to the kind of vent that may be needful or relevant for your course.

Q2. Can you use a portable air conditioner in a room with no windows?

YES, you can! Like we have already stated, you can vent out the exhaust through several avenues than the windows themselves. All you have to do is to employ the latest techniques and procedures to carry out the chore. As always you have to care for the state of the structure altogether.

Q3. Do you have to put water in a portable air conditioner?

NOT really! The humidifying or evaporative portable air conditioners do not require the use of water. Instead, they come along with hose attachments that interconnect the unit to the window for the sake of exhausting the impure air from the room to the air outside. Try your hand on any of these.

Q4. What happens if you don’t vent a portable air conditioner?

Several issues may arise. The machine may wear out too fast, there is the likelihood of an explosion, the interior of the room may become stuffy, while the growth of mold and bacteria may be heightened. It is hence important that you vent out the dirty air regularly and frequently for that matter.

Q5. Do portable air conditioners use a lot of electricity?

NOT really! They are generally smaller in size. Owing to their small size, they take up minimal power and are thus cheaper to run. Prolonged use, poorer venting mechanism, and lack of cleaning may nonetheless up the intake of electrical power. It is hence incumbent upon you to carry out these procedures from time to time.


In all, many portable air conditioners are easier to set up. In case you have every component right, the task may take roughly 10-30 minutes to conclude. It is however governed and subject to the prevailing building codes in your area. As a way forward, you should familiarize yourself with those codes.

Take a trip to the public works department to apply for any licensure or receive any approvals. If in doubt, we suggest that you seek the intervention of a trained expert in the field. Let him offer you appropriate guidance that you need to do an awesome job.

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