Mobile air conditioners are convenient to use when it comes to small rooms or when spot cooling is required for a certain part of the room. Most often they are bought for attics, small rooms, country houses, and summer cottages. Mobile air conditioners are easy to transport, move and install. In addition, they are the only household air conditioning systems that can be used all year round.
In this article, we will tell you how mobile air conditioners work, and also consider units with one and two air ducts. We will answer frequently asked questions, for example, can mobile air conditioners work without a window and whether it is necessary to drain the water.
What is a mobile air conditioner?
A mobile air conditioner is fully autonomous climatic equipment that can be installed almost anywhere. They have wheels to move in space. To install a mobile air conditioner, you do not need to have special skills or tools. Even a child can cope with it.
How does a mobile air conditioner work?
A portable air conditioner works on the same principle as split systems or any other climatic equipment. Its main task is to draw in air from the room, bring it to a predetermined temperature, remove the heat outside and return it cooled down to the room.
The main components of a mobile air conditioner:
- refrigerant evaporator – responsible for air cooling;
- condenser – cools the hot refrigerant;
- compressor – increases the temperature of freon for the condensation process;
- fan – supplies air to the evaporator and condenser.
During the operation of the mobile air conditioner, the fan draws in hot air from the room and directs it to the evaporator. The latter absorbs thermal energy from the air, thereby cooling it. In addition, part of the moisture is removed, which settles on the surface of the evaporator in the form of condensate.
The refrigerant acts as a heat carrier. It contracts and then expands rapidly, thereby cooling and absorbing heat from the air. As the refrigerant contracts, it releases heat energy that must be disposed of. Therefore, in mobile air conditioners, there is an exhaust corrugation used as an air duct to remove heat outside the room.
Depending on the type of air conditioner, moisture can be removed from the air in the following ways:
- Self-evaporation. Excess moisture is removed through the exhaust corrugation together with warm air. However, this function is only available in newer models of mobile air conditioners.
- Gravity drain. The liquid is discharged through a drain hose, which should be discharged outside of a container must be placed for receiving.
- Internal capacity. All moisture accumulates in a container inside the air conditioner, which must be emptied periodically.
In fact, mobile units differ from other split systems in that the outdoor and indoor units are not separated, but are installed in one housing.
Pros and cons of mobile air conditioners
Now that you know how portable AC units work, let’s focus on their pros and cons to help you decide if they are right for you or not.
First, let’s take a look at all the advantages of this HVAC equipment:
- Ease of installation. You don’t even have to call an air conditioning installation specialist. You just need to find an outlet for the air duct and make all connections according to the instructions.
- Portability. Wheels are provided to move the air conditioner. This option will be especially useful for those who move frequently.
- Saving money. Despite the fact that the cost of split systems and mobile air conditioners in stores does not differ much, the latter will cost less, since you significantly save on installation.
The disadvantages of using mobile air conditioners include:
- Noise. Due to the fact that a condenser, an evaporator, and a compressor are combined in one housing, the devices work quite noisy. Portable air conditioners are not suitable for bedroom or nursery installations.
- Less effective. If we compare a split system and a portable air conditioner, even with the same power, the first will definitely win. The reason is that the mobile unit constantly emits heat, so the process of reaching the air temperature to a given parameter is stretched over time.
- Condensate. There are still few units on the market that remove moisture along with heat through an air duct, and in order not to get a small flood at home, you will have to manually remove water.
Whether you choose a mobile air conditioner as your primary air conditioning unit is up to you. We just showed all the pros and cons of these units, which you will have to face after the purchase.
Which mobile air conditioner is better: one or two air ducts?
During the operation of a portable air conditioner with one duct, part of the air is constantly removed from the room. As a result, negative pressure is created in the room. Uncooled air begins to seep through a door slot, windows, ventilation system, or pull it from other rooms. The air conditioner has to constantly work to reduce the temperature to the set parameter.
Models with two ducts have no negative pressure problem. They have a constant supply of fresh air from the outside, which, after cooling, is directed into the room. As a result, the air conditioner needs to work less to reach the set temperature. In addition, the indoor air is constantly renewed.
Frequently asked questions about mobile air conditioners
Do portable air conditioners work without a window?
The removal of hot air is mandatory for these air conditioners, and it does not matter where the corrugation is connected. It can be not only a window but also a door or a wall.
Does the portable air conditioner need to be filled with water?
A standard mobile air conditioner does not require filling. However, if you have a Portable Air Washer, you will need to refill the tank with ice and water.
Since it does not have an exhaust vent, instead of condensate, it cools the air by evaporating the water. It works differently than an air conditioner.
What happens if you don t drain your portable air conditioner?
If not drained, the water can leak from the reservoir and ruin your furniture.
If you rarely use your air conditioner and leave water in the container, there is a risk of mold growth.
The portable air conditioner does not turn back on.