Ambient Air

Portable Air-Conditioners: Do You Need Insulated Ducting?

Portable Air-Conditioners: Do You Need Insulated Ducting? - Air Ventilator Insulated

When it comes to portable AC-units, many users have questions about the ductwork that goes into a properly-functioning unit. Different factors affect the type of portable-air-conditioner venting you need. For example, the layout of the room in which you have installed your unit affects the length of portable-AC ductwork you need. The degree of impacts and abrasions to which you intend to subject your ductwork affects the material out of which you would want your portable-air duct to be made. And the intensity of the temperature that your unit exhausts can determine what type of ductwork will be most efficient. In many cases, an insulated portable-AC-hose may be your best option. An insulated portable-air-conditioner-hose solves many of the issues that portable-AC owners often encounter. It can significantly increase the efficiency of your unit, saving you many costs in wasted energy. But, do you need insulated ducting? Let us take a look at all of the factors that influence the answer to this question. After balancing these considerations, we hope that you will have a more-complete understanding of your situation and whether it calls for using an insulated portable-AC-hose.

Air Ventilator Insulated Ventilation Ducts

Some Sizes Out of Stock Temperature Range: -20°F to +180°F Sizes I.D. (in.): 8, 12, 14, & 16
Some Sizes Out of Stock Temperature Range: -20°F to +180°F Sizes I.D. (in.): 8, 12, 14, & 16

HVAC Insulated-Flex Ducting

Temperature Range: -20°F to +160°F Sizes I.D. (in.): 4, 6, 8, 10, & 12
Temperature Range: -20°F to +160°F Sizes I.D. (in.): 4, 6, 8, 10, & 12

Tornado Flex Insulated AD Insulated Hose

Lead Time 4-6 Weeks Temperature Range: -20°F to +180°F Sizes I.D. (in.): 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, & 24
Lead Time 4-6 Weeks Temperature Range: -20°F to +180°F Sizes I.D. (in.): 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, & 24

Wind Handler Insulated TU Insulated Ducting

Lead Time 4-6 Weeks Temperature Range: -40°F to +250°F Sizes I.D. (in.): 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, & 24
Lead Time 4-6 Weeks Temperature Range: -40°F to +250°F Sizes I.D. (in.): 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, & 24

Do I Need an Insulated Flexible Duct for My Portable AC?

Yes, it is beneficial to an insulated flexible duct for your portable AC. Insulated portable-AC-ducting is necessary for maximizing your unit’s efficiency. Otherwise, your unit wastes energy, doing much less work for the amount of energy you invest into its operation. An insulated portable-AC-hose keeps hot or cold exhaust from affecting the temperature of your room, thereby decreasing the rate at which your portable-AC counteracts your intentions. Think about it this way. If you are trying to cool your room using a portable AC, your unit will exhaust hot air. This hot air travels through the portable-AC exhaust-hose, ultimately exiting the room. While this hot air travels through the hose, it heats the hose’s walls. If this heat is allowed to travel from the interior side of the hose’s wall to its exterior side, the hose’s exterior will become hot (obviously). Why is this an issue for your portable air-conditioner? Hot ductwork will naturally cause the area around the hose to become hotter, too. Since most portable-AC hoses are situated within the very rooms they intend to cool, a hose with a hot exterior will heat the room, counteracting the reason for why you use a portable AC in the first place! Thus, if you find your portable-AC-hose hot, you need an insulated portable-AC-hose. But, how do you insulate a portable-air-conditioner hose?

How Do You Insulate a Portable-Air-Conditioner Hose?

There are two main ways to ensure that you have an insulated AC-exhaust-hose. The first and best way to make sure that you have an insulated AC-vent/hose is by using a hose whose walls have a built-in insulation-barrier. In other words, use an air-conditioner exhaust-hose that comes equipped with insulative capabilities. When it comes to portable ACs, these hoses are often—but not always—made of fabric. Generally, an insulated duct for portable-air-conditioner applications features either a cotton- or PET-film-layer integrated into the hose’s walls. Across many industries, cotton and PET-film are both regarded as highly-effective materials for containing temperature. While there are, of course, other materials that effectively insulate heat, too—cotton and PET-film are what you will typically see when looking for an insulated portable-air-conditioner-vent/hose. Hoses such as our HVAC Insulated-Flex Ducting feature a thick layer of PET-film built into the ductwork’s walls. While fabric walls are more common, this hose actually features two plies of aluminum foil.

The way this hose is constructed minimizes the amount of heat transfer between the hose’s interior and its external environment. When it comes to portable ACs, this is a highly desirable trait. Again, minimizing the amount of heat transfer between your AC’s hose and its surrounding environment will greatly enhance your unit’s efficiency. Along these lines, a properly-insulated portable-AC-hose is a worthwhile investment—one that pays dividends in heightened energy-efficiency. Furthermore, because every hose in our catalog is of industrial quality, it is likely that one of our hoses will outlast your portable AC-unit itself!

HVAC Ventilation_Flex Shot

A second way for you to ensure that you have an insulated portable-AC-hose is by employing an insulated portable-AC-hose-cover. While some companies offer this accessory as a way of insulating your portable-AC exhaust, it is a solution that is generally not recommended. For, these covers are often cut imprecisely, leaving gaps and loose-ends that drape haphazardly over your ductwork. In addition, because these covers only cover your hose, they can never match the level of insulation offered by a hose whose insulative materials are embedded within its walls. The main benefit that an insulated cover for portable air conditioners offers is that it is sometimes cheaper to purchase than an air-conditioner exhaust-hose replacement. But, you get what you pay for. From a long-term point of view, you will be better off using an air-conditioner replacement-hose with pre-built insulative capabilities. Eventually, the costs you save by opting for a high-quality, insulated portable-AC-hose will outweigh the costs you save by choosing the solution that is cheaper upfront. It is clear, then, that an insulating cover is a short-term solution that largely pales in comparison to getting a hose with built-in insulating-capabilities.

Is Flexible Insulated Ductwork Good for Your Portable AC?

Flexible insulated ductwork is great for your portable AC. Insulated ductwork heightens the efficiency of your portable AC-unit, saving you money in the long run. A flexible, insulated hose can be manipulated according to the layout of your room. And its insulative properties will contain the heat of the exhausted air that it transports, minimizing the amount of heat that is transferred between the interior of your portable-AC exhaust-hose and its surrounding environment.

The degree of flexibility of your insulated portable-AC-hose is important because a room may be structured in such a way that the positioning of its portable AC-unit requires the unit’s ductwork to take a circuitous route to reach a window. Rigid ductwork—while sometimes functional—will hardly give you the maneuverability you want. After all, rigid ducting for your portable AC is can be unsightly, tainting the visual atmosphere of your room. A flexible duct can hug your room’s walls, twisting and turning however you would prefer. Manipulated properly, you could even hide the hose, bending it to fit behind your room’s furnishings.

However, some hoses compromise on durability and insulation in favor of flexibility. Indeed, thinner materials tend to be more flexible, so many manufacturers opt for thinner walls and insulation-barriers to make highly-flexible hoses. This is certainly not the case for hoses such as our HVAC Ventilation-Flex Ducting. This insulated portable-AC-hose is mainly made of three materials: PET-film, aluminum, and PVC—each of which play a crucial role in the hose’s total set of capabilities. First, the PET film embedded into the hose’s walls is an insulation barrier that maintains the temperature within the hose. Now, this insulation barrier does not need to be made of PET film. It can be made of cotton or other insulative materials. In this case, the HVAC Ventilation-Flex Ducting features PET film. Second, the aluminum that lines the interior of this hose further helps to maintain the temperature within the hose. As a material, aluminum reflects heat. This is why it makes so much sense to line the interior of an insulated portable-AC-hose with aluminum. And third, the hose’s polyvinyl-chloride, or PVC, exterior keeps the hose highly durable—all while ensuring that the hose remains flexible. PVC is an extremely resilient type of plastic that is particularly resistant to tears and abrasions. For a hose that you may drag around or constantly rearrange, this high level of abrasion and tear resistance maximizes the lifespan of your ductwork. Notably, this duct also features a metal-wire helix that spirals throughout the hose’s body. This feature—common to many of our products—further enhances the hose’s durability. We should add that many people use portable ACs because of their mobility. Perhaps they are staying in an apartment for less than a year and only need air-conditioning for that small window of time. Hoses like our HVAC Ventilation-Flex Ducting have the added benefit of being highly compressible. In fact, this hose features a 5-to-1 compression ratio, making it easy to store—perfect for a temporary application.

Review: Do You Need Insulated Ducting for a Portable AC?

A portable AC needs insulated ducting. Otherwise, your unit will run inefficiently, spending a lot of energy that will not go toward cooling your room. An insulated portable-AC-hose ensures that the temperature within your unit’s exhaust-ducting is maintained. Without insulation, heat from the hose’s interior will reach the hose’s exterior, thereby causing much of the heat that your unit attempts to exhaust to re-enter the very room you are trying to cool! As we have mentioned, there are two main ways by which users typically obtain insulated portable-AC-hoses. The primary method is to purchase a portable-air-conditioner replacement-vent. And the second way is to purchase an insulative cover that is meant to wrap around the exterior of your current hose. However, there are clearly a number of advantages exclusive to using a portable-AC-unit replacement-hose. First, a hose made specifically with insulation in mind will outperform an insulative cover at—well—insulation! These covers are often poor fits for the hoses that they are meant to accessorize, and the degree of insulation they offer is only a fraction of that which hoses made with insulation barriers offer. Second, the hoses that come with most portable AC-units are of relatively-poor quality. These hoses tend to be vulnerable to all sorts of day-to-day variables, such as impacts, tears, and abrasions.

They lack the compositions and structures that make for long-lasting ductwork, and—to top it all off—they often do poor jobs at insulating heat! Buying a high-quality replacement-hose is a great way to circumvent many of the issues that accompany your unit’s default ducting. And third, a new, portable-AC insulated-duct can be purchased in a length that is longer than that of your old hose. Thus, if your old hose had issues reaching your room’s window, or if its length limited the places where you could position your portable AC, purchasing a longer, insulated hose can solve many—if not all—of those issues.

HVAC Insulated_Entry Shot

By now, you should be able to comfortably answer questions such as “Is flexible insulated ductwork good for portable ACs?” and “Do I need an insulated flexible duct?”. Considering the fact that portable ACs are made to deal with hot and cold air, it should come as no surprise that an insulated portable-AC-hose is a must. A high-quality, insulated hose for portable-air-conditioner applications offers a multitude of benefits beyond just heightened energy-efficiency. Because most portable ACs come with poorly-made hoses, it makes sense—from a long-term perspective—to purchase new ductwork whose lifespan will keep pace with that of your unit. And when it comes to aesthetics, a flexible insulated hose can better mold to the design of your room, flexing to adhere to your walls to hide behind your room’s furnishings. As for benefits to your lifestyle, you can purchase a replacement hose in a length that is longer than that of your old hose: this longer length increases the maximum distance your portable AC can be from your room’s window. While this consideration does not apply to every user, it is one that massively benefits those to whom it does apply. We have mentioned two products thus far: the HVAC Ventilation-Flex Ducting and the HVAC Insulated-Flex Ducting. Both of these hoses are great options when it comes to finding a new, insulated portable-AC-hose. But there are other options available to you—like our Air Ventilator Insulated Ventilation Duct. At the end of the day, our goal is to help you find ducting that best fits your situation. When it comes to portable ACs, there is no question about it: an insulated portable-AC-hose is a requirement. Without it, your portable AC-unit burns a lot of energy that—ultimately—goes to waste.