Is It Safe To Use A Portable Air Conditioner?

If your home isn't equipped with a central AC unit, you may be looking into other effective ways to cool yourself and your family off during the hot weather. If so, your search must have led you to a portable air conditioner. Portable air conditioners are small and convenient but can provide a chill environment to cool off your home whenever the weather starts to warm up. These types of AC units have different mechanics that allow them to make your room nice and cool. According to Cielo, portable ACs have an evaporator coil, refrigerant, condenser coil, compressor, and fan that work together to pull the hot air from your room. In many cases, that hot air and moisture are pushed out through a hose that leads to the outside. With all these moving parts actively working to keep your space cool, you may be wondering whether they're actually safe.

Fortunately, portable air conditioners are safe to use. However, there are some safety precautions you need to keep in mind if you're planning on purchasing one. We'll go over a few ways you can stay safe while using a portable air conditioner.

Prevent overheating

If you're planning on replacing your AC unit with a portable one, it's important to prevent the portable AC from overheating. According to Home Air Guides, a portable AC that overheats is most likely due to a compressor issue. This may be due to a blockage that's preventing the hose from exhausting the hot air or a lack of proper ventilation. Another reason the compressor can become too hot is that the hose is not positioned correctly.

To prevent these issues from occurring, it's best to position your hose correctly and according to the manufacturer's instructions. For example, if the manual makes it clear that the portable AC unit should have a couple of inches of space on every side, follow the recommendations. It's also a good idea to ensure there aren't any blockages of foreign objects, including pet or human hair, stuck in different areas of the unit.

Minimize allergens

Portable AC units typically collect debris from the air in your room. This includes hair, dust, dead skin cells, and other small particles. Bacteria and even mold can also enter your AC unit and spread through the air. As you continue to breathe in this air, it may trigger something known as 'Air Conditioner Allergy.' According to Cielo, this type of allergy makes you feel congested and sick immediately after being in a room where the AC is blasting. Other symptoms can include sneezing, a runny nose, watery eyes, an irritated throat, and coughing. So, how can you prevent allergy attacks from happening in the first place?

Fortunately, many portable AC units have a filter that traps those allergens and prevents them from circulating back into the air you breathe. While the filter may not eliminate all of the allergens in the air, it can significantly reduce your symptoms. Make sure that you're regularly cleaning the air filter to prevent it from becoming clogged. In many cases, the manufacturing instructions will provide recommendations on how often to clean the filter and how.