During air cooling process, a portable air conditioner creates hot humid air that is usually directed outside or somewhere through an exhaust hose. As this happens, it is normal for the hose to get warm. However, when a portable air conditioner exhaust gets hot beyond normal, it can be worrying.
There are various reasons why a portable AC exhaust hose may get too hot. This include improper venting, incorrect BTUs, mold and dirt in the unit, frost build up and uncovered exhaust hose. Let us look the causes in details and how to fix to the problem.
1. Improper venting
All portable air conditioners require venting where the created hot air can escape from. Traditionally, venting is done through a window, but there are also more venting options for a portable air conditioner even in a room without a window. However, the venting has to be done properly for effective working of your AC unit.
Proper venting means using a recommended venting kit for your AC unit. A perfect installation without flaws will also ensure all the heat is directed away from the room without stressing up your cooling system. Things like vent diameter, hose length and closeness to the power output should be highly considered.
Any modification on the hose including lengthening, changing the wideness or using a longer hose can affect how a portable air conditioner works. Doing so can cause the unit to operate inefficiently, heating up and sometimes a damage to other internal parts.
2. Incorrect Size of AC unit
Choosing the right size of a portable air conditioner for your space is the most important decision to make. Selecting a unit too small or too large not only affect the air cooling pattern in your room but also the performance of your AC unit itself.
Room air conditioners comes with a range of BTU ratings, from least to the most powerful. A higher number of BTUs isn’t always the solution. Using a portable air conditioner with a BTU level higher than needed causes many fitful on-and-off cycles that makes the air compressor to overwork.
On the other hand, using a portable air conditioner with less BTUs than recommended for your room size will prevent you from attaining your desired comfort level. Additionally, the heat load will be too much for your portable air conditioner unit to handle. This will cause your AC unit to overheat due to a continuous running.
Figuring out the size of your room is the first important step before you invest in an air conditioner be it a portable air conditioner, window air conditioner or a central air conditioner system. Measure and record every square footage of your room.
This information together with other details such as number of room occupants, presence of a kitchen, ceiling height, sunlight and shade conditions of the room can help you get the appropriate size of an AC unit. A cooling capacity calculator by Compact Appliance can help you get a true value of BTUs required for your room.
3. Frost Build-up
As the air conditioner extracts heat from indoor air, the surrounding moisture can condense and freeze on the coils. Heavy frost and ice buildup can cause blockage that will affect how your air conditioner performs. You will notice abnormal heating of the hose vent and undesired temperatures in your home.
Frost build up in your AC will also affect the rate of energy consumption by your machine. As it struggles to cool the air, more electricity units are used up. Other problems you will face with a frost build up include refrigerant leaks, unexpected frequent shutdowns and total system failure.
Refrigerant is an essential part of an air conditioner, it helps in filtering out heat from the air to provide the required cooling. Any damage to the coils and tubes can lead to refrigerant leaks. A portable air conditioner running without a refrigerant does not cool the air as required.
Ensuring adequate air flow around your air conditioner is very critical in preventing frost build up. Evaporator and condenser coils heavily rely on a steady flow of airflow to function properly. Frequent checkups, repair of any damaged parts and thorough cleaning will also prevent your air conditioner from suffocating.
4. Mold and Dirt in the Unit
Dust, mold and mildew build-up in the unit can clog parts including condenser coils, motors and air filters. This will make your AC unit to become ineffective and you can notice this through increased noise level, exhaust hose getting hot, odor and sometimes the air conditioner not cooling at all.
Regular cleaning is an important maintenance step for a working air conditioner and after a long storage time. The carbon or HEPA filters should be cleaned and replaced as directed by the manufacturer. Condenser coils, air vent grills should be wiped clean. Ensure you have disconnected your AC unit from the power before you do the cleaning.
During the cooling process, the a portable air conditioner collects water from the air in the room, which sometimes collects in a tank or pan fitted on the unit. This condensate needs to be remove regularly as it can lead to growth of mold and mildew. It is also not good when portable air conditioner fills with water quickly.
A musty smell in your air conditioner is a typical sign of mold. Inspect the drain pan and its drain line, evaporator coils and filter. If you discover discoloration, wear a mask and clean all reachable areas with vinegar or a cleaner that is made specifically for mold and mildew. Detachable parts including hoses and outer part of the unit should also be cleaned with soapy water.
5. Unwrapped Exhaust Hose
Uncovered portable air conditioner exhaust hose can also transmit conductive heat back into the room. It is also one of the reason that you are not enjoying your desired comfort. Covering an exhaust hose with a suitable duct wrap will stop that radiant heat. Most AC exhaust hose covers are easy to install and they can also be removed for washing.
We have seen that, too much heat from your portable air conditioner exhaust hose is something that can be fixed. If you have tried any of the above methods and none is working, call a professional technician or request technical support from the product manufactures.