how does a portable air conditioner work

How does a portable air conditioner work?

A mobile air conditioner cools the air with a refrigerant and a heat pump. Coolant removes the heat from the air and the cool air that remains is then blown into the room. The warm air that is drawn from the air is discharged through a discharge hose.

Mobile air conditioners also work as a dehumidifier. Cold air contains less water vapor than warm air. The condensation water left over by extracting the warm air is collected in the water tank of the mobile air conditioner.

The more expensive mobile air conditioners often also have an option for heating. In that case, a mobile air conditioner is not only useful on hot summer days, but it is also a very nice solution in winter.

Advantages of a mobile air conditioner

Mobile air conditioners are easy to move and easy to install. All you have to do is plug it into the socket and set the right temperature. Then you hang the hose out of the window and you can enjoy cooling. You do not have to take installation costs for a professional into account.

In addition to all that ease of installation, you can also move a mobile air conditioner from one room to another. So do you sit in the kitchen during the day, in the living room at night, and in the bedroom at night? Pick up the portable air conditioner and take it with you or roll it further. That’s what it’s made for.

Also nice: Compared to fixed air conditioners, the costs for mobile air conditioners are much lower. So if you don’t plan to use your air conditioner very often, you can simply opt for an affordable, mobile air conditioner.

In brief:

  • easy to move
  • easy installation
  • cheap to buy
  • store where and when you want

Disadvantages of a mobile air conditioner

However, such a mobile copy makes a lot of noise and the cooling capacity is relatively low. A mobile air conditioner is usually not very sustainable either; In terms of efficiency, mobile air conditioners often miss a few points. With modern devices, this is usually better for each other than with older models.

A portable air conditioner is therefore not very suitable for a large room. Portable air conditioners are also usually quite heavy, which can make moving from one floor to another quite a chore. But absolutely very handy: Do you no longer need a mobile air conditioner? Then you just slide it into the storage room. So, it is no longer in the way.

In brief:

  • noise pollution can be high
  • low cooling capacity
  • heavy

Install mobile air conditioning

You can easily ‘install’ a mobile air conditioner yourself, but you have to place it close to a window or sliding window.

Make sure you attach the supplied exhaust hose to the air conditioner and then lead the hose outside through the window. Make sure you seal the crack in the window as well as possible. You can do this by cutting a wooden panel to size and making a hole with the diameter of the exhaust pipe in it. Then clamp the panel between the window and insert the exhaust hose through the provided opening. This limits the loss of heat and cold through the crack.

Before using it, leave your portable air conditioner in an upright position for 24 hours (just like with refrigerators or freezers)
Using your mobile air conditioner

Close the windows and doors of the room to be cooled/heated.

Protect the room as much as possible from direct sunlight and avoid heat sources in the room.
Do not place any objects on the air conditioner and check that the air inlet and outlet are not blocked.
Most portable air conditioning systems have a water reservoir that increases the cooling capacity. Fill this reservoir (as prescribed by the manufacturer) before turning on the air conditioning. When the reservoir is empty (on average after about 8 hours), you can of course refill it. If you don’t do this, the air conditioning will continue to blow around, but the device will only work with the air that is already in the room.

have you done all of the above? Then turn on the air conditioning according to the user manual. Some models are operated manually, others using the remote control. Most air conditioners are equipped with a timer and can therefore be programmed so that they switch on at set times (or from certain minimum or maximum temperatures).
Is your air conditioner making some noise? Then put something cushioning underneath, such as a mat or a piece of carpet.

Maintenance Tips

When you properly maintain your air conditioning, you will of course enjoy it longer. And with these tips, it should be all right!

Make sure to clean the outside of the device every now and then. Use a damp cloth for this and remove the plug from the socket before you start.
Clean the dust filter of your air conditioner every two weeks with a vacuum cleaner. This way it does not get clogged and can therefore cool at maximum capacity.
And, while you’re at it, take the cleaning filter with you right away.
Have your air conditioner topped up with coolant every 2 years. By the way, never do this yourself, but have it done by a party that specializes in this.
Are you going to store the air conditioner? When you store the portable air conditioner and therefore do not use it, it must be upright. If you put it on its side, there is a good chance that the cooling circuit will get confused.

The difference between a mobile air conditioner and an air cooler

An air cooler or air cooler resembles an air conditioner but is a completely different product. An air cooler does not work with coolant, but with cold water. As a result, the actual temperature in the room (almost) does not drop. Only the feeling temperature drops.

By the way, the water vapor also makes the room humid and therefore an air cooler usually also functions as a humidifier. Would you like to work with an air cooler, but would you rather not have the air in the room become more humid? Then open a window while using your cooler.

In the case of an air cooler, it is not possible to set the desired temperature. You can often turn it up or down.

Mobile air conditioning vs air cooler
Mobile air conditioning

  • large temperature differences (10 degrees Celsius) lower you with ease
  • determine the desired temperature yourself
  • regulate the moisture content
  • small temperature differences (3 degrees Celsius) are difficult to adjust

Air cooler

  • Small temperature differences (3 degrees Celsius) are so set
  • set large temperture difference (10 degrees centigrade) is not possible
  • not to set the desired temperature
  • does not regulate the moisture content
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