Portable air conditioners are excellent choices for temporary buildings, in windowless rooms and in buildings where air conditioners need to be mobile. The basic process of a portable air conditioner is taking in hot air from a room and releasing it back after cooling it. Warm air is vented outside using an installed exhaust hose. The unit is embedded with control knobs that facilitate the adjustment of speed and temperature. Portable air conditioners are the perfect alternatives to the window units and central conditioners especially in homes where the window configurations or building regulations prevent windows installation. It has been designed to cool small rooms, and it is very easy to install. The portable air conditioner can also be an additional option to a larger air conditioning system as well as being an ideal choice for apartments lacking permanent conditioning units.


For you to comprehend the process of portable air conditioners in cooling air, you must consider the overall process of air conditioning since it works on the same principle. Air conditioning is the process of eliminating heat from a confined area and hence cooling air by removing humidity. All conditioners use the refrigeration process to cool indoor air.

The process uses the physical law that states heat is absorbed when liquids are changed into air in a phase conversion process. Special chemical compounds are involved in recurrent evaporation and condensation in the closed system of coils in the portable air conditioner. These chemical compounds contain properties enabling them to change from air to liquid at low temperatures. The air conditioner also has fans that facilitate the movement of the warm interior over the cold refrigerating coils.

An Air Conditioning Breakdown

Air conditioning is conducted using the principle of exchange facilitated by a air (refrigerant) within the system. The refrigerant has the following properties; quick transformation ability from air to liquid and vice versa and also the ability for rapid movement in the low and high-pressure environment in the portable air conditioner. Air in low pressure goes through the compressor to be pressurized so that it can be converted into a high pressure heated air. The heat and high-pressure air is then sent to the condenser to lower its temperature.

Reduction in temperature leads to dissipation due to an expansion of volume, which turns it into liquid form. The cool high-pressure liquid is sent to the evaporator’s coil for rapid pressure reduction. This process achieves liquid to air conversion facilitating, even more, cooling. The two commonly used refrigerants in most portable air conditioners are R-22 and R-410. They are chemically known as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These chemicals go back and forth from a aireous state to a liquid state easily, and this phase transition is what makes the HCFCs useful as refrigerants.

The cooled air flows back to the compressor, and the process begins again. The hot air in the room is sucked in to the portable air conditioner where it is passed on the evaporator coil for cooling. The blower and the fans then drive back the cooled air in to the room. There is a constant exchange of hot and cool air in the air conditioner until the room has been cooled at the desired temperature which had been set on the unit.

The air conditioning machine has three main parts, the compressor, the condenser and the evaporator. The compressor and the evaporator of the portable air conditioner are usually located on the outside part of the machine. On the other hand, the evaporator is located in the inner parts of the machine. The working fluid arrives at the compressor as a cool and low-pressure air. The compressor then compresses the fluid as a result packing its molecules more closely. High pressure and compression on the refrigerant generates high energy and temperatures. The working fluid leaves the compressor as a very hot and high-pressure air that flows into the condenser.

It is worth noting that portable air conditioners do not just remove heat from a room. Humidity is also a significant factor in room temperature increase since it reduces the effectiveness of sweating, which through evaporation causes cooling on the skin. Therefore to render the environment inside a room to be more cool and comfortable, the air conditioner also dehumidifies. As air moves through the evaporator coil, heat is absorbed by the coil and also wrings out moisture. The air becomes drier and cooler as it comes out of the vents. It mixes with the room air, making it more comfortable. Water leached out from the humid air by the air conditioner can pool in or be drained out of the unit

How Is The Air Conditioner Most Effective?

The portable air conditioners have an excellent design that allows their use without the need for installation. An air conditioner needs an intake of fresh air to expel hot air outdoors. Portable air conditioners have hose tubes which facilitate outdoor air exposure and eliminate installation problems of window air conditioning units. The hose tube attached on the portable unit dissipates heated air and condensates it outside. One end of the hose tube is connected on the portable air conditioner while the other end is run through an opening or window. A plastic seal covers the endings of the tube to ensure the maintenance of the cooling area. This process is known as venting whereby the average vent hose tube is 4 to 5 feet long.

How to Operate Portable Air Conditioners?

The operation of the unit is simple. Once the portable air conditioner is connected, a vent tube is connected to it and the other end run through a window kit opening. Portable air conditioners require minimum maintenance. The only regular maintenance needed is the emptying of the reservoir manually or through an integrated drain when full. In humid environments, the reservoir collects moisture and what concerns most people is where the water goes to.

The portable air conditions are retained indoors prompting the condensation has to be held in the reservoir. The reservoir requires regular emptying, and most models automatically go off when the reservoir is full to prevent leakage. In normal conditions however, portable air conditioners operate with ease since they contain a self-evaporative technology. This technology facilitates an effective collection of moisture, where it is exhausted through the vents. With this in mind, the current portable air conditioner technology has eliminated the need for regular manual drainage.

Energy Required

The energy (electricity units) consumed by every portable air conditioner is usually determined by its model type, capacity and size. Small portable air conditioners for instance only draw 7.5A. Relatively larger portable ACs use 115 to 120 Volts of power and do not require any special wiring to accommodate them. On the box, the manufacturer’s manual and on the unit, the volume that the unit has been designed to cool is specified.

The specifications are usually concerning square footage that the unit can most effectively cool. With the relative limited power consumed portable air conditioners can only be effective in cooling the immediate area in which they operate. It is therefore sometimes difficult for the portable ACs to cool multiple rooms since the low pressure cooled air will not travel through hallways and doorways. However, the presence of fans in the unit ensures the circulation of cool air with an additional coverage.