Portable Air Conditioner Issues and How to Fix Them
There are a few easy fixes for portable air conditioner problems. Check if it’s plugged in and turned on, make sure the exhaust hose isn’t blocked, and clean or replace the filters as needed.
If you notice puddles around the unit, there may be a water leak or clogged drain line. This is easily fixed with a home DIY solution.
Not Cooling Enough
A portable air conditioner’s main function is cooling the installed space. If it doesn’t, there might be a number of problems with your device, and you would need to get replacement parts for portable air conditioner units from a provider.
The most common problem is that it needs to be cooled more. Often, this is caused by the space being too large for the AC’s capacity. Portable ACs can only properly cool spaces that are their size or smaller in moderate outdoor temperatures. If you have a room that is larger than this, it will overwork itself to reach your set temperature and shut off.
Other reasons an air conditioner might not be cooling include a clogged or dirty filter, obstructed air intake, or a full water tank. You should also check the exhaust hose for any obstructions or kinks and ensure it’s not too long, as this will prevent the venting of hot air.
Not Turning On
Portable AC units are useful and convenient but can be frustrating if they refuse to turn on. In many cases, this happens because of a simple power problem.
If your air conditioner doesn’t turn on, ensure it is plugged in, and the power cord is not damaged or unplugged. It’s also good to check that the outlet it is plugged into is working properly.
A dirty or clogged filter is another common reason for an air conditioner not turning on. Dirty filters restrict air flow, which forces the system to work harder to reach the set temperature and ultimately shuts off in self-preservation mode. To fix this, clean the filter or replace it.
If you’ve checked all of these things and your AC still refuses to turn on, then it is likely that the evaporator coil system has frosted over and needs to be defrosted. This process will take 10 to 45 minutes and requires turning the unit off while defrosting.
Not Cooling at All
Cooling is the primary function of a portable air conditioner, so it can be a real problem when this doesn’t occur. A few simple DIY troubleshooting steps should get your AC back up and running.
First, remove the grill and filters to check for clogs and clean them. A dirty filter can restrict airflow and slow down the cooling process. You can also find obstructions in the exhaust hose, which is best kept short of venting hot air efficiently out of your window.
You can also ensure your portable air conditioner is correctly sized for the room you’re trying to cool. Finally, ensure there’s no ice buildup on the cooling coils (evaporator coils). This is an easy fix: turn off your AC and unplug it to allow the ice to melt. Afterward, you can reattach the hose and restart it. If the problem persists, a faulty compressor or refrigerant may be the culprit and require professional assistance.
Not Turning Off
The primary function of portable air conditioners is to extract and expel heat from the room through a venting system, either a single or dual hose. If this hose becomes blocked, the unit will overheat and shut down. This is easy to fix by examining the hose for blockages, straightening it out, and positioning it away from the window to avoid restricting airflow.
Another reason your portable AC might keep cycling off is that it’s not cooling properly due to an incorrect BTU rating for the room. The best way to check this is to use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the exhaust. If it’s significantly higher than the set point, you need to lower the temperature setting on your PAC.
Another possible issue is ice buildup on the cooling coils, called the evaporator coils. This can hinder airflow, so you’ll want to remove the ice by removing the back cover and the filters.