Which Portable Air Conditioners Don't Need to be Drained

Summer is coming and it's time to renew old cooling equipment, but which portable air conditioners don't need to be drained and what are the benefits of such appliances?

The majority of portable units are required to have a water catchment tank that is drained on a regular basis due to the condensation that forms inside.

There are however, other options that can be used to handle the condensate.

portable ac no drainingSelect brands feature models with advanced technology which automatically removes moisture from the inside before it condenses.

This means that there is no need for water to be drained or a hose set up for continuous drainage.

These units are sometimes called self-evaporating portable air conditioners.

Portable Air Conditioner Draining

It is essential to drain most AC units on a regular basis. The humidity level in the air determines the frequency.

The AC unit extracts more moisture from air if the humidity is higher. This moisture then condenses inside the unit on the cooling coils, and drips into a tank nearby the base.

Some portable air conditioner brands, such as Whynter, Avallon and Emerson include models that make use of a condensation exhaust system to expel the water vapor that is collected during the dehumidifying/cooling process.

The vent line is where you can get rid of the humid, hot exhaust that the unit produces during normal operation.

Do Portable Air Conditioners Need a Vent Hose?

Yes, all portable air conditioners must have an exhaust vent tube that connects to a convenient window or wall vent.

This is done to allow the unit's hot moist air to exhaust to the outside.

If you don't connect the AC portable to a window or other suitable outlet with a hose, the unit will just pump the warm, humid air back into the space, creating a net warming effect.

It is possible to buy what is sometimes called a ventless air conditioner to make your living space more comfortable. But these units are actually evaporative cooling units that don't work the same way air conditioners do.

How Does a Portable AC that Self-Evaporates Work?

Let's take a look at how auto evaporation AC works.

This type of portable conditioner extracts moisture in the air much like other types, but instead than allowing condensate build up to drip inside the unit, there is a mechanism in place to evaporate it again.

The evaporated moisture is then expelled to the outdoors via its ventilation hose.

An air conditioner that self evaporates can still have water collect in a container if the unit has been placed in dehumidifier mode. This is where more moisture is removed from the air than is reasonably reabsorbed and exhausted outside.

Do Window AC Units Have a Drain?

Modern window AC units produce condensation like any AC. The condensation forms large droplets, which then drip to bottom of unit.

The outward-facing side of this unit houses a small hose which allows water to drain.

Older window AC units use a fan to distribute water. It throws some of the water against the condenser and re-evaporates the rest.

Are Portable AC Units Economical?

These portable AC units are typically less efficient and, therefore, less economical than other forms like window units, self contained units like package terminal (PTAC), or ductless mini-split AC.

The energy efficiency of portable air conditioners (SEER) is generally lower than the other types.

If your home doesn't have central heating, or you are unable to afford window units, a portable unit in a single room might be your best option for keeping cool during the hottest months of the year.

Are There Any Portable Air Conditioners that Don't Need Ventilation?

The vent is required for a portable air conditioner to work. It can be turned off and it will still run as normal. However it will not lower room temperature.

Even if your AC unit is not in direct sunlight, there are several ways to ventilate it.

It may not be possible to vent portable conditioners without a window, but you can do it through an external wall vent or through a drop-ceiling duct.

Summing Up

A self-evaporating portable cooling unit is the perfect solution for keeping you cool in summer if you have been manually emptying the tank with your old portable air conditioning unit all summer.

These units will cost slightly more than regular AC. The additional cost can be worth it if you consider the time saved by not having the labor-intensive chore to complete every week or so.