Portable Air Conditioners

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What is Portable Air Conditioner (PAC)?
Portable air conditioners are air conditioning units that can be transferred from one room to another. They’re self-contained systems that do not require any permanent installation. However, portable ac do require venting via a window or wall. Once you’ve positioned the portable air conditioner where you’d like it, you must set the exhaust hose through an opening to the outside so that it can vent hot air out of the room.

How are they installed?
It’s necessary to vent portable ac because they extract hot air. If you want your air conditioning system to cool the room effectively, you need to let the hot air vent to the outside. When you purchase a portable ac, the venting kit will almost always be included. Portable air conditioners can also be vented through a window, wall, ceiling or even a door.  Plexiglas is generally used for venting portable air conditioning systems
 through casement windows. First, you need to cut the Plexiglas to the size of the window. Then cut a 5″ hole and set this over the open window. With this, the portable air conditioning unit will vent the hot air to the outside. Also, an option of Plexiglas installation will allow the same amount of light to pass through the window as regular glass.

What size air conditioner (BTU level) do I need?
Similar to other types of room ac, portable AC measures their power in BTUs. The more BTUs of cooling power a PAC has, the more room it can cool. Use the following guidelines to determine the portable air conditioner capacity that your space requires. These calculations assume that you have standard 8-foot ceilings:

  • 7,500 BTUs will cover 150 sq. ft. x 8-ft. ceiling = 1,200 cubic feet
  • 9,000 BTUs will cover 200 sq. ft. x 8-ft. ceiling = 1,600 cubic feet
  • 10,000 BTUs will cover 300 sq. ft. x 8-ft. ceiling = 2,400 cubic feet
  • 12,000 BTUs will cover 400 sq. ft. x 8-ft. ceiling = 3,200 cubic feet
  • 13,000 BTUs will cover 450 sq. ft. x 8-ft. ceiling = 3,600 cubic feet
  • 14,000 BTUs will cover 500 sq. ft. x 8-ft. ceiling = 4,000 cubic feet

I have a casement/crank-out window. Can I configure my PAC to exhaust air out of this type of window?
Unfortunately, there are no portable air conditioner units with a window kit that will fit a casement window. Some customers have creatively fashioned a solution using Plexiglas to cover their entire window area. Then, they cut a small hole into the Plexiglas for the hot air exhaust hose.

Can I discharge the hot air out of a sliding glass door or sliding glass window?

Danby DPAC12099 Vertical InstallationMost portable air conditioners can be easily vented through traditional double-hung windows, also known as vertical sash windows, using window kit accessories. These same accessories can typically be used for venting a portable air conditioner through a sliding glass window as well. Some User Manual provides detailed instructions for installing this portable AC into a sliding glass window. The configuration should look similar to the diagram on the left.Venting portable air conditioners through sliding glass doors is much more complex than simple window installations. The window installation kits used for traditional windows typically don’t extend far enough to cover the height of the door. For sliding glass door installations, we recommend using at least two window installation kits that are designed to work with your particular portable AC to completely cover the door opening. The two window installation kits can then be secured together using screws. Plywood and Styrofoam can also be used as covering and insulation material when installing a portable air conditioner into your door frame.

Regardless of the installation that you intend to perform, always consult the owner’s manual for instructions, guidelines, and cautionary information.

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