Question Sessions #2: Answering the Top Questions About Portable AC’s

Whynter ARC-12SDH 12,000 BTU Dual Hose w/ Heater

Whynter ARC-12SDH 12,000 BTU


We’re about 2 weeks into summer and people are already looking for the best portable air conditioner for their homes. In this question sessions we are going to try and answer questions that many new owners have as well as answer a question that keeps coming up in my searches.


Question #1: Why is my Portable Air Conditioner’s Drainage Bucket Leaking Water?


First, you may be wondering why you would need a drainage bucket if your unit is self-evaporative. The hotter it is outside, the harder your AC is going to work to maintain your desired temperature. As its working more, condensation is also produced more causing your self-evaporative system to work harder as a result. The drainage bucket is there as a “safety” for those times where your AC just can’t keep up with the demands of the room.

Now there are many reasons why your machine may be leaking. We’ve listed a few potential reasons below.

Clogged drain:

Many first time owners like myself have purchased their unit, set it up and in just a few hours realized a small puddle of water under their unit. In this case it’s a simple setup error which can be fixed easily. Although, if you’ve owned your unit for a while. You may actually have something stuck by your drainage hole.  I would try opening up your unit and taking a look. If that is the case then refer to your manual’s troubleshooting for ways to clear it out.

Other Possible Reasons:

1.)   Unit is not level to the ground. Try to make sure the unit and bucket stay level and don’t lean over in any way.

2.)   Drainage bucket level is too high. Your drainage bucket must be below the level of your drainage outlet in order to drain properly.

3.)   Excess condensation on the coils while you’re unit is cooling the air. This could happen because of excess humidity or because your unit is working little bit harder than usual.

4.)   Sometimes your bucket doesn’t even fill up, but you notice water on your floor. With some machines, condensation will actually roll down the side and drip on the ground. This mostly happens if working through intense heat or for a long period of time.


Question #2: I bought the right BTU size, but why doesn’t my Portable AC cool my room enough?


We kind of touched on this in our last article on choosing the best for your apartment, although there are many other reasons this could be happening. First, you have to understand that your portable AC is going to produce heat as it cools your room. There is no escaping this. You can however make sure that your unit is tightly fastened by your window and at you AC so that no extra heat gets emitted into your room. Also, make sure you give your portable AC enough room away from your walls and other obstructions. Putting it too close to your TV or computer tower isn’t a good idea.

Another reason your unit may not be cooling enough is lack of maintenance. Cleaning the inside of your unit as well as your filters should be a regular thing to ensure top performance and efficient cooling.


Question #3: Do I need to vent my Portable Air Conditioner? Can I use it without attaching the hose(s)? 


I see these questions a lot and to be honest unless you can find a brand that is specially designed to air condition your room without being vented, then yes your machine must be vented somewhere. Now it doesn’t have to be a window. It could be a dry vent in your house, or even another room that’s blocked off. Although, in order for your portable AC to do an effective cooling job. You must attach the hose(s) and it must be vented somewhere other than the room you’re in.


Click here to see our article on Question Sessions #1: Answering the Most Asked Questions