HVAC systems are integral to the comfort of your home, and they can make or break the value of your home. Everyone wants to stay in comfort. That explains why portable air conditioners exist on the market. They make it easy and convenient to have cool air wherever you go. However, like all machines, they require maintenance to function adequately.
Unlike central air conditioners, portable ones have no fixed installation location. That allows you to place the unit wherever you need it most. You can even move it from one room to another or your office or vacation home. But that flexibility comes with a cost. You have to clean and maintain the unit more often than a central air conditioner because it is susceptible to collecting more dust and dirt.
Here are five tips to keep your portable air conditioner in top shape.
- Keep the AC in a Good Place
Sometimes, the cause of AC problems is the accumulation of dirt and dust. Also, if the unit is not in a good place, it will have to work harder and use more energy. It explains why you should keep your AC in a clean and dry place.
If you have a window air conditioner, ensure that the area around the unit is clear. The same goes for a portable air conditioner. Keeping the area around the unit clean will help it work more efficiently and last longer.
Avoid anything that could block airflow and obstruct heat distribution. A blocked AC will not work efficiently, and it can have performance problems in the long run. For instance, accumulated heat around the system will make it overwork to keep cool, translating to faster deterioration.
- Clean the Filters Regularly
Your AC can last long and perform optimally when clean and free of debris, dust, or foreign material. It is essential to clean or replace the filters regularly, depending on their type. Also, drain the water from your system often. Only use clean water to refill the unit.
Clean washable filters every month using mild soap and water. Rinse them thoroughly and let them air-dry before reinstalling. Non-washable ones will require replacement according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Do not attempt to take shortcuts. Your AC can only work as expected when you maintain it well.
You should also check the coils and fins and clean them when necessary. The coils play a critical role in heat exchange, so keeping them clean is essential for optimal performance. The fins are delicate, though, so be careful when cleaning them. Avoid using a pressure washer as it can damage the fins.
- Maintain a Clean Exterior
The exterior part requires regular cleaning, like the interior of your air conditioner. Also, clean the place where the unit rests, like the table, window sill, or floor. Use water sparingly when cleaning the exterior to avoid damaging the unit.
A clean cloth or brush is sufficient to remove dirt and debris from the exterior of your portable air conditioner. Avoid harsh chemicals as they can damage sensitive parts like the fins, coils, and other areas.
Be sure to unplug the unit first before cleaning it. Do not use a damp cloth on the electrical parts of your AC, as that could lead to an electric shock. Also, do not use water directly on any part of the system. Use a clean, dry cloth instead.
- Keep the Exhaust Short
Your AC comes with a duct or hose that helps expel hot air outside. The duct length should not exceed five feet as that could affect the performance of your unit. Also, ensure no bends or kinks in the hose as that could block airflow and reduce efficiency.
A longer duct will cause moisture to condense and flow back to the unit. Also, ensure no blockage on the exhaust, like furniture or other objects in the room. The ideal setup is to have the AC unit near a window so you can open it and let the hot air out.
- Dry the Unit Before Storage
Once you have finished using your AC, you can pack it and move it to another location. But before doing so, ensure it is clean and dry. Residual moisture and dirt can cause the unit to malfunction or break down when you start using it again.
To dry your AC, run it in fan mode for at least three hours, but do not exceed four hours. Do this after draining the water from the unit. Once it dries, you can package it in a box and store it in a dry, cool place.
A portable AC is a life-saver for people who cannot install a window unit or do not have central air conditioning. These units are compact to move from one room to another with ease. You can use them in the living room when enjoying your show and move them to the bedroom when going to sleep. But you must take adequate steps to keep your system in top condition to serve you better and longer.