Portable Air Conditioners Frequently Asked Questions

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1. How to pick a portable air conditioner using proper BTU rating?
> 2. Can I run the portable air conditioner without a vent?
> 3. Is exhaust required?
> 4. What is Self-Evaporating Technology?
> 5. What are the differences between single hose and dual hose?
> 6. How to install window kit for portable air conditioner?
> 7. How to pick an energy efficient portable air conditioner?
> 8. What are the differences between air cooler and air conditioner?
> 9. What is LCDI (Leakage-Current Detection and Interruption) plug?
> 10. A few suggestions for your unit to run more efficiently
> 11. How to clean and maintain your unit?
 

BTU is an energy unit and represents the unit's cooling capacity. Pick the proper BTU rating to select the right air conditioner. Portable air conditioners are rated in BTU. The greater the BTU of a unit, the more cooling power it has. Please note that there is no direct comparison of the cooling capacity of the portable unit with that of window air conditioning units. Here are the general guidelines for room sizing selecting portable air conditioners:

7500 BTU: 150 square feet
9000 BTU: 200 square feet
10000 BTU: 250 square feet
12000 BTU: 350 square feet
13000 BTU: 400 square feet

Note: When selecting a Portable Air Conditioner, there are other factors to take into consideration other than the BTU and the suggested square footage. If the space you're looking to cool has one or more of the following factors, it is strongly recommended to go one or two size up:

1) Heat source such as computer servers, major appliance, skylight, direct sunlight, etc.
2) Higher floors.
3) Lots of windows, especially those facing the West.
4) Poor insulation, such as garage, sunroom, mobile home, etc.
 
Note: For Garage or Sunroom application, please call us for more information. The considered area that can be cooled should be 30% smaller because of the direct sun light and poor insulation.

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No, portable air conditioners are designed to operate with a vent. If you do not vent the hot air to somewhere, the portable air conditioner will not be able to cool very effectively. The only area getting cold would probably be right in front of the where the cooling air outlet if no venting for hot air. Window venting kits are always included with our portable air conditioners at no extra cost. You may also vent the portable AC through a wall vent, into the attic or drop ceiling. For the casement windows, you can cut a panel with Plexiglas to cover the window and open a hole to vent the hose.

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All portable AC units require exhaust hose installation. This is for removal of hot air which has been used to cool off the compressor. Standard installation includes venting through a sliding window or through the wall, by cutting a hole. Sunpentown AC units are supplied with the necessary accessories for either installation: flexible hose (extends up to 5'), window kit and wall adapter.

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Portable AC units are equipped with an advanced condensation removal system: Self-Evaporating Technology. When running AC mode, this technology recycles the water condensation to cool off the cooling coils, then evaporates the water out with the exhaust air. This results in increased energy efficiency, cooling performance and reduces the need to empty the water tank. Under extreme humid conditions, the water condensation may collect faster than the unit can recycle. Should the built-in water tank becomes full, the compressor will automatically shut-off and water full indicator will blink. At this time, water should be emptied, which is a simple process.

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Single Hose - draws indoor air for both front cold air output as well as exhaust air (used to cool compressor).

 
PROS:
1) Fresh air is exchanged within the room.
2) Higher energy efficiency.
 
CONS:
1) Percentage of the air taken in is used to cool the condenser. As this air is exhaust out, it creates a negative air pressure. Air is continuously seeping in from adjacent rooms to replace the exhausted air.
2) Slower initial cool down.
 
Dual Hose - draws indoor air for front cold air output and draws outdoor air for exhaust air (used to cool compressor).
 
PROS:
1) If outside temperature is lower than indoor temperature, compressor can be cooled down faster and produce colder front air output.
2) No negative pressure created within the room
3) Initial cool down of room is quicker than single hose.
 
CONS:
1) Same air circulating within the room, which will decrease in oxygen and increase in carbon dioxide.
2) If outside temperature is high (>90??F) or when humidity is high (>80%), compressor cannot be cooled and results is increased temperature of front air output. In such cases, the second hose should not used to prevent the compressor from overheating.
3) Uses two internal fans and consumes more energy due to added hose.

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All the portable air conditioners come with window kit. The window kit is designed for easy to use and takes less than few minutes to install. The window kit is to provide hot exhaust vent and to seal the sliding window opening. It includes a window panel and a hose. Usually, the window panel is 7" (width) and 60" (height). The hose usually is 5 feet and 5" in diameter. If you need an extended hose, you can buy it from hardware stores.

The energy efficiency of the air conditioner is measured by energy efficiency rating (EER). The higher the rating, the more efficiency of the units is. When the EER rating is higher than 10, the unit's energy efficiency is above average. Here is a formula to calculate the monthly electricity cost per EER:
{Capacity (BTU)/EER x Cooling Hours per month/1000} x Electric Rate= Monthly Operating Cost

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They are very different. The portable air coolers are designed to cool your personal space and are not true air conditioners. Air cooler uses the evaporation of water to cool the air. The heat in the air was absorbed by moisture evaporation. It can bring down about 10F from the direct air stream. It is a good way to cool the dry area. Air cooler does not require vent like air conditioner.
 
Air conditioner uses compressor to cool air, and it is a lot more efficient and can bring down temperature based on the thermostat. It removes hot air to outside, and therefore cools the inside air with the refrigerant in the system. However, air conditioner requires the venting kits. Also, air conditioners remove the moisture from the air and keep the humidity level low.

Overall, air cooler is a low cost alternative to air conditioner.

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440.65 LCDIs and AFCIs


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1) Keep the exhaust hose as short and straight as possible.
2) Heat is emitted back into the room as hot air travels through the hose, try insulating the hose.
3) If unit is to be operated throughout the day, turn on the unit early, before the noon heat hits.
4) If unit is to be operated at night and outdoor temperature is lower than room temperature, first open windows to allow air exchange. After 15/20 minutes, close windows.
5) When unit is turned on, set fan on High to allow air circulation. After 30 minutes, set fan to Low. In low fan, air is allowed to pass through the cooling coils over a longer period of time, thus the air output will be colder than High fan.
6) For units with Self-Evaporating Technology, it is always suggested to not use continuous drainage in cooling mode. Allowing the water to collect and recycle helps cool down the cooling coils, which in turn produce colder air output.

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HOUSING (as needed)
1. Wipe with soft, damp cloth.
2. Do not use strong chemicals, detergents or chemically treated cloths.
 
FILTER (once a week)
1. Remove filter frame from unit, tap lightly to remove loose dust and dirt particles.
2. Remove activated carbon filter (if applicable) from filter frame.
3. Rinse the white filter under running water (no hotter than 104??F). Dry thoroughly before replacing.
** Do not wet the active carbon filter

AIR INTAKE VENTS (once a week)
Using a handheld vacuum or with slender attachments for large vacuum cleaners, vacuum the air intake vents thoroughly.
 
THOROUGH CLEANING (once a month or when odor/mold is present)
1. Remove and clean filter frame.
2. Spray acidic solution directly onto the cooling coils. (For 13K & 14K units, coils are located behind the top filter frame).
3. Allow solution to settle for approximately 15 minutes.
4. Replace filter frame.
5. Turn unit ON and run in AC mode for 6 ~ 8 hours.
6. Turn unit OFF and drain water.
 
** For acidic solution, we recommend using Citric Acid Cleaner mixed with water. Citric Acid Cleaner, which is natural and harmless, can be purchased from any local grocery market. You can also use lemon/lime juice or vinegar mixed with water.
 
END OF SEASON STORAGE
** If you plan not to use your portable AC unit for a period of time, it is absolutely necessary to follow the instructions below to prevent mold and mildew growth.
1. Unplug unit and drain the water tank.
2. Clean the filter and intake vent.
3. Turn unit ON and run in FAN mode for 2 ~ 3 hours. This will allow the interior to dry completely.
4. Store unit in a dry, cool place C away from direct sunlight or major heat source.

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