Do portable air conditioners need to be drained? We answer

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Maintaining your portable air con is vital to ensuring its longevity. Today we answer the question that some of you have been asking: do portable air conditioners need to be drained?

Well, the short answer (and this is very good news) is NO, it’s not a must.

Unlike some traditional air portable conditioning installations which require that you include a drain pump to help empty the water reservoir, it’s not necessary to manually drain the tank in most portable air cons these days.

And for this, we have to thank the latest innovations around portable air conditioners technology.

That certainly arouses your curiosity so let’s now dig in and explain this further by looking at our detailed answer.


Do portable air conditioners need to be drained? Long answer

As I have written above, in the majority of models, you have one less maintenance task to worry about since you won’t need to evacuate the water in the storage tank manually.

In fact, a portable air conditioner drain plug may not be essential at all as the machine just evaporates the liquid it gathers without your aid.

That’s because many of the newer machines come with powerful self-evaporative technology to facilitate the evacuation of the water vapor out the exhaust hose.

As a result, you rarely have much water as to demand physical draining.

As a matter of fact, those super-advanced portable air conditioners expel the collected moisture fully thanks to their cutting edge technology and you’ll never need to empty the bucket.

The elephant in the room with these top-quality units is that they’re pretty expensive.

With that said, you may want to drain your PAC in certain circumstances.

Sounds strange, huh?

Keep reading to discover when your portable air con will require you to drain it.


When to consider draining portable air conditioners

Overall, you will need to lend a hand to your PAC when there is excessive water.

But why is this and how often do you have to drain a portable air conditioner if applicable?


Some models are known to accumulate more water in the water collection area when switched to dehumidification mode.

You could experience unusual amounts of water too when you’ve just plugged in the PAC for the first time (not always but we have instances that this happens) or after staying for a while without using it.

As a result, manufacturers recommend that you either manually drain the reservoir from time to time or hook up a standard garden hose to the unit’s drain ports (customarily on the back) for continuous draining of the excess water.

As hinted earlier, condensate pumps are also useful accessories and can help you pump the massed water out again via a drain hose.

Another time that you have to be concerned about removing the condensate is if you, by chance, own one of the older partially self-evaporating models that are unable to completely evaporate the vapor on their own.

You see, though they are priced way below the premium brands, the condensate is constantly being accumulated faster than it is being removed and that you have to remember to empty the bucket/pan after some time (check your owner’s manual for recommended emptying intervals).

That will be somewhat inconvenient because you can’t cool with confidence while knowing you’re your air con is going to require continuous attention from you to work.

Of course, leaving the water to sit for long will attract nasty mold growth.

Besides, it might spill into your device spoiling it especially if it doesn’t come with a built-in auto shut off feature to make sure water won’t leak unintentionally.


How often do you have to drain a portable air conditioner if it applies?

The most accurate response is it depends on the model.

But in general, the concerned PACs need to be drained quite often- some from as frequently as every 8 hours, sometimes less because they fill with water quite quickly.

The determinant is how humid your place is- water will gather inside the unit rather fast from tons of humidity because the unit is working harder to cool the environment.

Plus, this may vary upon what time of the day (it may be overwhelmed over a short time during the hottest hours).

Luckily, portable air conditioner brands such as Delonghi are designed to be emptied at the end of the summer cooling season (for storage) unless when used under extreme humid conditions.


Self-evaporating portable air conditioners maintenance

The key thing you should keep in mind even if you have invested in a portable air conditioner with fully automatic self-evaporation is that the unit produces too much condensate than its capacity to clear more so if you’re using it to cool rooms with high humidity.

This is something you can relate to if you have owned it for some time.

If you’re keen, you may have noticed that the water tank tends to catch excess fluid for the obvious reason that it’s overworking under such conditions.

Taking the above into consideration, you can clearly see that your most important chore will be to manually empty the liquid before the appliance gets overloaded with the compressed water.

On a positive note, there are actions you can take for more peace of mind.

For instance, you can purchase a hygrometer and use it to regularly measure humidity.

That way, you’ll know when the humidity has gone too high.

You may as well use vent fans to rein in on excessive humidity.

Such measures mean a personal cooling zone with lighter work for you.


So, do portable air conditioners need to be drained?

As explained in this guide, no. …rarely will you have to hassle to empty the reservoir as water is expelled as vapor via the exhaust pipe.

However, you have to evacuate water from the container if your model experiences extreme condensation, for instance, when used in dehumidifier mode (for some brands).

Also, get ready for regular draining if you own an inexpensive model without the ability to auto-evaporate.

With regards to the draining methodology, each specific product comes with own guidelines to help you efficiently drain the internal tank where necessary.


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