Portable Air Conditioner Common Complaints and Troubleshooting

Portable Air Conditioner Common Complaints and Troubleshooting

Like any other piece of electronic appliance, the portable air conditioner, too, suffers damages and malfunctions from time to time. Knowing more about these issues is certainly a good thing to do. It helps to anticipate the dangers and putting in place appropriate measures to mitigate them.

Portable Air Conditioner Common Complaints and Troubleshooting

a) My AC Isn’t Providing Enough Cooling

Several reasons can account for this. Below are the top reasons why this problem is naturally bound to arise:

Clogged air filters

It could be that the air filters are clogged. If and when this happens, the flow of air through the fans is impeded. This, in turn, diminishes the capacity of the appliance to cool the air. The buildup of heat also arises thereafter.

Dirty coils

The coils play the role of condensing the hot air that passes through them. It hence goes that its ability to render this job is severely limited if dirt accumulates on them. The dirt will prevent the same from getting into contact with the dry air.

Insufficient Coolant

These appliances rely on coolant to absorb excess heat from the air. In case the coolant is insufficient, this may play out in a way as to impede its ability to cool the hot air as reliably as is naturally expected.

Faulty Compressor

Compressors form the heart of the air conditioning units. They are the ones that squeeze the coolant and re-circulates it through the evaporator and the condenser. Any fault in the compressor also has a bearing on the efficacy of the appliance.

Faulty thermostat

Thermostats sense the ambient room temperatures and relay the same information to the compressor. Upon receiving the signal, the compressor triggers the start/stop cooling cycle. A defective thermostat thus has a role to play in this issue.

Defective Parts

For any system to do its job thoroughly, every part and component has to be in their best shapes and forms. It could be that the system in place has some parts that are defective. The motors, thermistors, and capillaries are worse affected.

High Atmospheric Temperature

A typical portable air conditioner operates within a predefined atmospheric temperature range. In case it is taken outside this range, it might not operate as effectively as it ought to. Those circumstances that are too hot particularly have a bearing on its efficacy.

Undersized AC

Many people make mistakes while sourcing for their air conditioning units. Quite a number, in fact, settle for an appliance that is too small for their rooms. It is hence advisable that you insist on that one which closely mirrors your room size as possible.

Faulty AC Remote

Lastly, it could also be that the remote control unit that you employ for the job is faulty. Yet again, this one has a role to play insofar as the proper functioning of the appliance is concerned. That is mostly evidenced by the inability to regulate the various parameters appropriately.

b) My Portable AC Won’t Start

Many times, the system won’t just start at all. Three main reasons account for this. Below are the three identified and explained:

Lack of Power

Sometimes it could be that there is simply no power in the system. Obviously, these appliances require the power to be able to operate well. A lack of power can only be solved by allowing the power to flow in the system a second time.

Faulty Connections

Chances are also that the connections that channel the flow of power to the system from the source may also be faulty. If and when this happens, it may yet again hamper the smooth functioning of the gadget altogether.

Impaired Power Supply Unit

Finally, it could also be that the power supply unit is impaired in some shape or form. It is this unit that regulates the flow of power within the appliance itself. Rectifying this may often require that you re-check the system and repair it appropriately.

c) My Portable Air Conditioner Stops Operating On Its Own

In some instances, the air conditioner unexpectedly stops operating on its own. There are two main reasons that underlie this.

Active Timer

First, it could be that the timer is active. An active timer causes the unit to stop operating on its own when the set time is finally reached. This may require that you reset the timer to a later time or deactivate it on the whole.

Lower Ambient Room Temperature

These gadgets are intended to lower the temperatures of rooms below some predefined thresholds. If and when the ambient room temperature is lower than the one that is set, it will naturally cease to operate, and for the obvious reason.

d) No Air Comes Out of the Air Conditioner

Under some rare occasions, the air does not come out of the air conditioner. Many reasons can account for this menace. We identify and explain the main reasons here below for you to understand them further:

Clogged Filters

Filters are the ones that eliminate wastes from the air before passing the same into the system. Clogging in the filters will definitely impede the flow of the air. Remove the clogs by use of a dust blower to remedy the situation.

Frosty Cooling Coils

Frost is another chief source of clogs after dust and debris. These arise mainly when the weather is too chilly to allow for the air molecules to flow smoothly. The frost is for a large part caused by the tiny water droplets that settle on the various components.

Overheated Compressor

It is the compressor that raises and lowers the temperature of the refrigerant to allow it to further regulate the temperature of the environment in which it is fixed. If it overheats, the air conditioning unit may similarly malfunction.

e) Why does my portable air conditioner keep shutting off?

Other than stopping to work completely, the air conditioning units may also always shirt off periodically without any external triggers. Three main reasons explain this. They are:

Clogged or Dirty Filters

Any clogs or dirt on the filters normally have a bearing on the proper functioning of the appliance altogether. You may have to eliminate this dirt and dust using the dust blowers. This is something you should do regularly.

Bad Compressor

A bad compressor is also a chief cause of this problem. A compressor that is compromised is definitely incapable of regulating the flow of the refrigerant well. This may often overwhelm the system to make it shut off completely.

Frozen or Dirty Coils

Other than the filters, the coils also do have the tendency to freeze or sustain dirt. The existence of such issues does impede the capability of the soils in transmitting the heat energy as need be. This may yet again cause the system to shut off automatically.

Low Refrigerant

Low refrigerant refers to a refrigerant whose pressure is lower than the one that is required for the job. With low pressure comes the issue of poor cooling and more compromised circulation. You have to repair the system chiefly by topping up the refrigerant.

f) Portable air conditioner not blowing cold

There are some circumstances when all the parts and components are up and running well. However, the system could still not be blowing the cold air out as need be. We look into some of the reasons that may inform that here below:

Inadequate Air Flow

A certain threshold of air has to pass through the filters for them to be able to yield some meaningful impacts. It could be that the flow of air is simply not sufficient enough to bring about this impact altogether. That definitely yields warmer outputs.

Poor Fan and Motor

Poor fans and motors also contribute to this problem. When these portions of the appliance are inadequate, the impacts they yield along are similarly compromised. One of these is the output of warmer air.

Compromised temperature controls

To be able to function appropriately, the appliance has to be heavily regulated. This calls for the use of some temperature controls. Any compromise in these issues will definitely impact on the outcome of the air temperature that ensues.

Faulty Electronic Control Board

The heart of the air conditioning unit is the Electronic Control Board. It hence goes that any fault or malfunction in this system definitely has a bearing on the overall performance of the gadget altogether.

Failed Capacitor

Capacitors regulate the proper functioning of the compressor that in turn impacts the flow of the refrigerant and its impacts on the air output. A failed capacity will definitely impact the outcomes as well.

Defective Thermistor

Located on the electronic control models, this apparatus monitors the incoming air temperatures. It thereafter signals the main control board to subsequently turn the compressor on or off as need be. Any defect in the part definitely impacts the output considerably.

Broken Return Duct

The duct that channels the air into and out of the room also has a role to play. If it leaks or is perforated, it may not insulate the air from the ambient hot temperatures. That definitely compromises the temperature of the resultant air.

g) Why does my portable AC keeps tripping the breaker?

The circuit breaker maintains the flow of the electrical power at the desirable levels. It provides overheating or any other shocks that may arise in the process. Below are some of the reasons that inform the emergence of this problem:

Dirty air filter

A dirty air filter is by far the most significant cause of this issue. When a lot of dirt accumulates on the breaker, it will often demand the inflow of excess current. This causes it to trip off prematurely. You may need to change the air filter to reverse it.

Dirty outside unit

The quality of the outside air also matters. Too dirty air will usually demand that the system draws in too much current inflow. This definitely causes the circuit breaker to trip as not many of them can handle the excess current. You may have to clean the outside of the unit.

Faulty Circuit Breaker

Its quality itself also has a bearing on its proper functioning. A faulty circuit breaker will itself cause the system to trip without necessarily bearing excess currents. You may have to inspect and remedy the issue in advance to prevent this from happening.

Shorted Motor

When motors run for too long, they tend to overheat. If this issue arises, the motor tends to ‘short.’ This is caused by the breakdown of the insulation wire that adorns the system. Consider moderate use as a way of mitigating the problem.

Aging Compressor

As the compressor ages, it loses the vitality it once had in its ‘youthful’ years. With the loss of vigor comes the inability to discharge the duties and responsibilities as robust as is naturally expected. Yet again, the circuit breaker does tend to trip.

h) Why is my air conditioner running but not cooling the house?

Some bizarre circumstances may witness the air conditioning units running yet the house still remain hot. We investigate those common causes of this peculiar behavior or outcome:

Activated Thermostat

A thermostat that is actuated will usually hinder the proper functioning of the units. You have to switch the thermostat to ‘AUTO.’ This way, the air will only blow from your vents when the air conditioning unit is actually cooling.

Dirty Air Filter

Any dirt on the air filter also has a role to play in the emergence of this issue. The existence of dirt makes your system to struggle to deliver the required outcomes. Blow the system constantly using the dust blower to rid it of any dirt.

Dirty Outdoor Unit

The quality of the air outside also contributes to this menace. Too dirty outside air will definitely impact the rotations of the fans and the efficiency of the system altogether. Like is the case with the filters, you should also cleanse the outside environment too!

Tripped Circuit Breaker

A circuit breaker that is tripped also gives rise to this issue. In the tripped position, the breaker impedes the flow of current in the system and renders the same wholly incapable of discharging its roles. Leave it to cool first before switching it on again.

i) Musty Smell in Air Conditioner

From time to time, some musty smells will usually emanate from the air conditioner system. The musty smell is characterized by some stale, moldy, or damp smell. Some causes of this issue are:

Moldy or Dirty Air Filter

The existence of mold or dirt on the air filter is the primary cause of the issue. This smell will definitely trickle in the home and spread around. You have to cleanse the filters from time to time to tackle the menace.

Mold or Mildew on the Evaporator Coil

Apart from the air conditioner itself, the evaporator coil is also often affected by the issue. The same consequences arise in this case too! They spread to the interior of the room and generate the musty smell.

Bad Odor on the Evaporator Coil

Aside from the mold and mildew, the bad odor also may impact the evaporator coil. When the fan rotates, it scatters the odor to the room to make it acquire the selfsame bad odor. Yet again, you may have to cleanse the coils every now and then.

Clogged Condensate Drain Line

The drain line may also often sustain some clogging. Clogs in the system lead to a buildup of a foul smell that may disparage the comforts of those inside the room. Remove the debris and clogs in a timely manner to eliminate them.

Mold or Mildew on the Air Ducts

Lastly, the air ducts, too, are often on the receiving end. They too suffer the risks of the accumulation of mildew and the mold. If and when these arise, they spread to the room when fanned. This calls for some cleaning from time to time.


You now know how to prevent these issues from arising. With this knowledge at your fingertips, we now trust that you can do a good job. Proceed to do just that. It also pays to share the information far and wide to allow others to enjoy similar benefits.

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