Ambient Air

The Different Ways in Which Portable ACs Need Hoses

The Different Ways in Which Portable ACs Need Hoses - Smooth Tube PVC

Portable air conditioners have a multitude of uses. Need to cool your apartment during the summer? Have a home office that is overheating? Or maybe your toddler is feeling fussy from all the hot air in his or her room? A portable AC unit is the solution for all these problems, and more. The portable unit is compact and can be transferred from place to place to help cool down your home. If you are looking for a portable room AC, these units are more efficient at cooling than fans and use less energy than central AC. They also act as a portable dehumidifier or portable humidifier—as well as a portable air purifier, which helps to clear the air from allergens that may be plaguing your household. With 3-in-1 capabilities, the portable air conditioner has a variety of functions that can benefit your home. However, portable AC units come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Powers range from the 10000 BTU portable air conditioner, to the 14000 BTU portable air conditioner, making the search for the perfect air conditioner less than ideal. Narrowing down the selection can take a lot of research, but sometimes it is hard to know what exactly to search for. There are a couple different types of portable ACs: those being the single hose AC, the dual hose portable AC, and the evaporative, or “ventless,” portable air conditioner. You may know these units, as well as how each one works. But are you aware of the specifications and requirements, along with the maintenance and upkeep that are necessary? How about how venting the exhaust works, or how often they need to be drained? In this article, we will cover each type of unit and the different ways that each unit uses hosing to bring cool air to you. We will also answer these questions:

• Do all portable air conditioners have to be vented out a window?
• Can you use a portable air conditioner without the exhaust hose?
• Do portable air conditioners need to be drained?
• Can you vent a portable AC into a bucket of water?

“Air Ventilator Black”

Some Sizes Out of Stock Temperature Range: -20°F to +180°F Sizes I.D. (in.): 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, & 24

“HVAC Insulated-Flex”

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

“PVC Flexduct General Purpose Clear”

Lead Time 4-6 Weeks Some Sizes Out of Stock Temperature Range: +20°F to +160°F Sizes I.D. (in.): 1, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, & 12

“Wind Handler”

Lead Time 4-6 Weeks Temperature Range: -65°F to +250°F Sizes I.D. (in.): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, & 24

Do All Portable Air-Conditioners Have to Be Vented Out a Window?

No, not all portable ACs have to be vented out of a window. You can also duct your AC through walls, doors, or ceilings as well. Portable air conditioners cool air by first sucking in the heat from the room. The air passes over coils that are filled with refrigerant, which work to draw moisture from the hot air. The process of pulling water vapor from the air cools it down. The cold air is pumped into the room, while the heat and moisture are expelled out the back via portable air conditioner hose. Portable air conditioners usually come with a portable hose as well as a window vent kit, as this is the most common way to vent AC. The window venting kit can be used on most single or double-hung windows, which are windows that slide up. The kit seals up the opening in the window, except for a hole where the portable AC exhaust hose can exit. This allows for an airtight seal that will not permit hot air back into the house. Even though this is the most common way portable ACs ventilate their exhaust, it is not the only method. Another option can be ducting through walls, doors, or drop ceilings. Just like the window venting kit, there is a door venting kit as well, available for sliding glass doors. This is the second most ideal option for venting, as it also allows for an airtight seal. The sliding door vent kit can be fitted into gaps up to 150 feet tall, but can be cut down to fit shorter doors as well.

Portable air conditioners can be vented out of normal doors too, despite the process being less effective. There is no seal to prevent hot air from seeping in from other areas of your home because of the necessity to maintain door function. This is why running a flexible hose for air conditioner units through doors is not typically recommended. Running a flexible air conditioning hose through a wall can be somewhat of a hassle, as this requires time, effort, and power tools. This method of transporting portable air conditioner exhaust is not recommended for beginners, renters, or anybody else that may not want to damage their home.

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Drilling through your wall will allow your portable air conditioner exhaust hose to disperse the hot air into another room. The last method of portable AC venting is through drop ceilings. Drop ceilings are not very common in modern homes, however, and may be limited to places such as offices or work places. Drop ceilings are a second, false ceiling that exists below the true ceiling of a building, and are distinguishable by their patterned panel system. You can vent a portable AC tube through these ceilings by cutting a hole in one of the panels so that the exhaust hose can fit through it.

The portable AC exhaust hose will blow the hot air into the space between ceilings. These are all possible methods by which portable ACs may be ventilated, however, there are many ways in which fact-checked sources do not recommend ducting. There are many customers and reviewers that will give misinformed advice, so proceed with caution when doing your research. Some people suggest venting through dryer vents, as these are handy vents already made to expel the exhaust from your washing and drying machine. This may seem like a good idea since dryer vents could feasibly act as an exhaust pipe portable air conditioner units. However, this is not recommended, as the dryer vent typically has a diameter of 4 inches, and the portable air conditioner hose has a diameter of around 5 or more inches (the diameter of the hose can range up to an inch). This size difference does not create a complete seal, and air can leak out through the gap. This will cause your unit to decrease in efficiency, as air will be leaking from parts of the unit.

Can You Use a Portable Air Conditioner without the Exhaust Hose?

Yes, a portable AC unit can technically perform its operating functions without an exhaust hose, but you probably should not. A portable air conditioner takes in hot air from a room by portable exhaust fan and cools it through the use of condenser coils and refrigerants. The hot air and moisture are then exhausted out the back by the portable hose. However, if the exhaust hose is not there to vent the heat outside of the room, the hot air will just blow out the vent in the back. This will warm up the room, causing a loop of hot and cold air, and will inevitably mean nothing in terms of cooling. Your room will remain the same temperature, if not warmer, and your electricity bill will reflect all this unnecessary work. Your unit will also suffer needless labor, further aging your air conditioner. If you have a single or dual hose unit, there is no use in running the air conditioner without the exhaust hose. In these cases, the exhaust vent for portable air conditioner applications is imperative. On the other hand, if you want a unit without an AC vent/hose, there is the portable ventless air conditioner. Ventless portable air conditioners—also known as evaporative coolers, portable air coolers, or swamp coolers—work by using evaporation to cool down the air in a room. A unit like this does not need an exhaust pipe, for portable air conditioner units that utilize evaporation have a special way of cooling their surroundings. Hot air is brought into the unit and passes over cooling pads that are flooded with cold water. Once the hot air hits the cooling pads, the water evaporates, creating cool air full of moisture. This cold and humid air is pumped back into the room, effectively lowering the temperature without the use of hoses or vents. Because heat is virtually eliminated through the process of evaporation, and because water vapor is expelled along with the cool air, a portable air conditioner without exhaust ducting does not need a hose to exhaust hot air and moisture.

However, users oftentimes still need to use a hose for their evaporative cooler. While these units do not need exhaust ducts, they may nonetheless need a duct to direct the cool air that they generate. Without a hose to direct this cool air, evaporative coolers are generally limited to cooling only the rooms within which they are placed. With a hose, you can better control where the cool air goes. For example, it is quite common to connect your evaporative cooler to your home’s system of vents. This way, the cool air that your unit generates spreads throughout your home!

Do Portable Air Conditioners Need to be Drained?

Yes, all portable air conditioners need to be drained. Whether it uses a single or double hose system or whether your unit ventless or not, draining is something that is required of all portable air conditioners. Ventless and vented systems, however, do have different ways of draining. Be sure to identify what type of unit you have before researching the correct way to siphon it. Despite all units having distinct methods of getting rid of liquid, they all utilize a condensation tank. There are three different ways to drain: through exhaust hose, condensation tank, or drain hose. With the portable AC, we know that air is cooled by condenser coils and refrigerant. When the air interacts with the gas refrigerant, condensation is drawn from the hot air, lowering the temperature. The moisture and heat are blown out the back of the unit with the exhaust hose, effectively draining the unit. This is called automatic evaporation. With the water and heat being ushered out together, this ensures that you do not need to regularly drain the water from your unit. There is still a condensation tank located on your portable air conditioner, either on the side or underneath the unit. This will need to be checked periodically, as it will still produce and store some amounts of liquid. But, for the most part, the unit empties itself of water. Portable air conditioners are known as no-drain ACs for this reason. They necessitate little maintenance in this aspect.

On the other hand, some older units’ only form of drainage is through the condensation tank. The condensation tank collects all the water that drips down from the condenser coils. Instead of the moisture being exhausted out the back during the cooling process, condensation travels down the unit and gathers in a pan that you must empty yourself. Once the tank has reached maximum capacity, the unit itself will not run until the pan is drained. If you are lucky, your tank is removable. Simply slide the container out from under the unit—or from the side—and dump into a sink, tub, or toilet. Try not to wait until the receptacle is at max capacity, as this will make it more challenging to lift and will most likely make more of a mess. If you are out of luck, the condensation tank will not be removable from the unit.

Air Ventilator Orange_Other Shot

You will have to haul the entire portable air conditioner into the bathroom or onto any floor drain, and empty it there. As units can weigh anywhere from 40 pounds and above, this might be a difficult feat to accomplish. Hopefully then, your portable AC unit will have some sort of ducting system. You can attach a drain hose directly to your condensation tank so that the water pumps out of the unit. If you have a condensation tank, this is a great way to ensure that you do not have to manually dump the bin periodically. Drain hoses take away some of the hassle of draining your portable AC.

Can You Vent a Portable AC into a Bucket of Water?

Yes, venting portable air conditioners into buckets is a common practice when draining units. Before we get into the logistics of it, we should inform you know that the term “venting” is better suited for ambient materials such as air and gas and not so much for liquid. From here on out, we will employ the use of “draining” and its various synonyms as more appropriate definitions of the movement of liquid. Drain hoses are used to siphon water from the condensation tank and direct them into other receptacles. It is possible to use containers, bins, buckets, or even trash cans to store the liquid from your unit until you are ready to dump it. Or, even better, if your drain hose has access, you can pump them directly into sinks or tubs for instantaneous drainage. Portable hoses draw out water by either gravity or the use of condensation pump units. Using gravity is the easiest; all you have to do is make sure your portable air conditioner is higher than the end of the hose and water will flow out continuously, just like a slide. Condensation pump units are useful when the duct is level with or even higher than the unit. The pump sucks up the water from the condensation tank and expels it outside, working against gravity. The only downside is that pumps require energy and will also reduce the efficiency of the portable air conditioner as well.

Is it really a good idea, then, to drain your portable AC into a bucket? This is still a useful option for places with high levels of humidity. In dry areas, your unit will not be drawing a lot of moisture out of the air. This may decrease the need for drain hoses altogether, as you can just utilize the condensation tank and dump it whenever it fills up. How fast the tank will fill, however, will range depending on environment, as well as the make and model of your air conditioner. You may have to drain the tank as often as every couple weeks, or it could be as little as every month. In arid climates, it may take some trial and error to figure out how long you can go without emptying your unit. In humid environments, however, draining is another story. When dumping the portable AC is required as often as every 8 hours, it may be a good idea to utilize a larger receptacle in order to sleep through the night.

If your AC is running while you are asleep, you do not want to have to deal with the hassle of the unit turning off because the condensation tank is too full. If you use a large container—or even better—a sink, you will be able to use the air conditioning throughout the night and dump the contents in the morning. It will take some time to gauge how much moisture your unit produces, as it depends upon your environment. Despite the levels of moisture in your area, there are still ways to work around your draining problems.

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When learning the basics of portable air conditioning, it is easy to get lost in all the different types and requirements of each specific unit. Simply looking up the best portable air conditioner can lead you in a spiral of conflicting information from unreliable sources. However, by reading this article, you are now hopefully well-informed on the divisions between units and how each can be ventilated and drained properly. Between vented and ventless portable air conditioners, we know that there are multiple ways to accurately vent your exhaust—whether it be through doors, windows, or ceilings. Ducting the hot air from a unit, however, is a different story from draining. Both processes expel unnecessary byproducts from your AC. Portable air conditioners require the correct care and maintenance so that they can last for a long time. By figuring out what works best for you and your unit, you can extend the lifespan of your portable AC while still maintaining customer satisfaction.