Before making any decision about a portable air conditioner, it is better to have a basic understanding of it.
They seem appealing at first, but they aren’t as efficient as window air conditioner units. For that reason, you can face some difficulties if you are planning to use them as an expensive AC unit for larger rooms and offices.
You can call it a better and advanced version of a fan, but not an air conditioner.
Lots of companies claim that their portable AC units are designed for homes. On the contrary, they are the last resort. These units are often used in very small spaces or in homes in which building regulations prevent installation of window AC units.
Now, it doesn’t mean they don’t have any advantages at all.
They are versatile, provide temporary cooling for people and objects (machinery), and can be used in small spaces like garages, computer room, and dens.
But the main question is, are they safe to use? Well, let’s find out…
Are Portable Air Conditioners Safe To Use?
The answer is, ‘Yes, it is SAFE.’
However, it is not safer than a professional window AC unit. And, there are lots of reasons behind it which companies don’t reveal in order to sell their units.
First, you must understand how a portable unit works.
When it comes to air conditioners, the heat has to go somewhere. That’s why, window AC units are installed in the window in the first place, so that the heat can go out in the atmosphere rather than circulating in your room, over and over again.
But this isn’t the case with portable units. They usually sit on the floor and come with an installation kit. But, like the AC unit, the warm air has to be exhausted to another location to keep the room temperature cooler.
Therefore, there is an exhaust hose which exhausts warm air outside. So, while buying a portable unit, pondering about its length matters.
It is often around 5-feet.
This can be a bit of pain if you are planning to install it in a difficult location, which requires an extra length of exhaust hose.
Furthermore, it is a portable unit. It is highly possible you will move it from one room to another room over and over again. In that case, you have to readjust the hose to remove the heat to the outside world.
If you won’t install it correctly, it won’t work resourcefully, as the heat will be circulating in the room and won’t let it work competently.
The hot air will prevent the room from cooling and indeed make it hotter.
Is There Any Health Issue?
No, not exactly.
Though you must keep in mind that it is a closed system. Most people think that a portable unit not only removes the heat through the hose but also brings the fresh air into the home.
This isn’t true at all.
The main purpose of portable units is to expel the heat only from the room. They don’t bring the fresh air in like window AC units that produce fresh air as well.
In a way, with portable AC devices, you re-breathe the same air again and again. And, it is not healthy at all, if you have some breathing related issues like asthma.
Can I Lengthen The Exhaust Hose?
This is one of the most significant questions also that revolves around the mind of many people, especially families with small children, as they want to protect their children and prevent the room from overheating in case of exhaust hose issues.
Yes, it is possible to lengthen the exhaust hose to stay safe but it is not recommended at all. This can void your warranty.
It is imperative to ask from the manufacturer before lengthening the hose on your own. Besides, if you are a novice and planning to do that on your own, it can damage its purpose and cause the air conditioner to overheat.
Don’t opt for this option without the assistance of a professional technician.
How To Make Portable AC Unit More Effective?
If a portable unit is your only choice, you can take a few steps to make it more safe and effective for cooling purposes.
The first thing you must do is to install it right.
Most units come with an instruction manual. All the instructions are well-defined and often don’t require technical assistance. All you need is to ensure that all the connection of the portable air conditioner are tight and there aren’t any gaps in the locking either.
Second, according to experts, it is better to use a portable AC with a ceiling fan. The combination of both cools the room quickly.
Other than that, you can take a few more steps as well like blocking the sun through curtain and shades. Anything that overheats your room, particularly during the day, will affect the performance of a portable air conditioner.
How Noisy Are Portable AC Units?
This is hard to answer.
It utterly depends on the brand you are choosing. In most cases, you can deal with some noise and it can be disturbing for some people because a portable unit contains both a compressor and fan.
And, both of them can cause some trouble or at least produce a sound similar to a window air conditioning unit.
In order to stay relaxed in the presence of this kind of unit, don’t forget to check the decibel rating (dB level). If it falls between 48dB and 60dB, it won’t create much trouble.
All in all, portable AC units are as safe as any other appliance.
They have their pros and cons, but on the whole, you can’t call them dangerous. You only need to make sure you are installing it in the right place and correctly.
Fortunately, some professional companies are also producing them with higher BTUs to make them more powerful. They can be a tad more expensive in general, however, they can proficiently cool the room, despite the room size.