When a portable air conditioner is not doing what it is supposed to do, you may be tempted to call an aircon servicing company, but why pay a lot of money for something you just might be able to fix yourself? Explore this guide on finding and fixing problems with your portable air conditioner and just see if you can do the repairs without dishing out cash you need. First, we outline and describe the typical issues associated with portable conditioners so you can get some idea of what is wrong. Then we tell you how to identify and fix the problem. For your safety, those problems that are not included in our list and anything that has to do with the wiring should be left to professionals.
Problem #1: The Portable Air Conditioner Will Not Turn On
First, make sure there isn’t too much water in the reservoir. Air conditioners take water out of the air and will not run properly or even begin to work when the reservoir is not emptied out on a consistent basis. When water gets too high, the float switch stops the power and the only way to fix that is to empty the reservoir and continue to check it regularly.
If the reservoir is not the problem, it could be that the machine is not plugged in or it is loose. The integrated circuit interrupter may be interrupting the power. If the interrupter has been tripped, reset it by giving the reset button a push. If this will not stay reset, the issue could be wiring and you need to call an expert for that. Examine the cord for any damage as well.
The problem may not be in your portable aircon at all. Check out your breaker to see if the AC unit is receiving power. Those conditioners that are on an AC-exclusive circuit need professional attention because if the breaker has been tripped or you have a blown fuse, it is likely a wiring issue.
Problem #2: The Portable Air Conditioner Will Not Cool the Area
The air filters may need to be cleaned. You can clean the filter by taking it out of the frame and tapping it to shake out dirt and dust it has collected. If your portable AC has a carbon filter, clean that in the same way. Rinse filters with water and a gentle soap and then leave them to dry before reinstalling them. This should be done every couple of weeks.
Sometimes the problem is much more mundane. Is there an object against the air intake vents or is their furniture or other things sitting too close? Make sure the vents have enough space. You can clean vents with a vacuum cleaner hose. Ice can build up on the AC coils. If this is the problem, check out the section on Ice Buildup further down.
Problem #3: The Portable Air Conditioner Keeps Running
Is your air conditioner the right size for the room it is in? When and AC is too small for the area, it cannot cool it properly, but it will continue to try to do so. Look at the BTU rating. The British Thermal Unit rating will tell you if you if the unit has enough capacity. The higher the rating, the stronger the conditioner will be. Multiply the square footage of the area you are trying to cool by 35 and you will have an idea of how high the BTU should be. To make it even easier, refer to our BTU chart. Take other conditions into account. If the room is filled with sunlight or there are areas that are particularly shady, the requirements can change. The number of people in the area can also make a difference.
Keep the area contained. When doors and windows are open, more heat comes in. A portable air conditioner needs to be in a contained area so it can circulate the way it supposed to do.
Problem #4: The Portable Air Conditioner Is Not Blowing Air
The problem is probably with the fan motor and, if this is the problem, call a professional for help.
Problem #5: The Portable Air Conditioner Leaks
This can be caused by a full and overflowing reservoir. If humidity is high, it collects water at a faster rate. Your schedule for draining should be based on the environment and how often the AC unit runs.
Drain hoses may be used in the majority of air conditioners. If this gets clogged, the water does not drain as it should and this could be the cause of the leak. Make sure the drain hose is clean and installed correctly.
Problem #6: There Is Ice Building Up in the Portable Air Conditioner
Turn off your unit and turn up the fan. This dries it out on the inside and removes ice from the coils. Your AC should be dry in a couple of hours. Once the ice is gone and your AC unit is dry, make sure you have a clean filter. Dirty filters can be a cause for ice build-up.
Problem #7: The Portable Air Conditioner is Rattling
More likely than not, the fan is hitting or brushing up against coils or unit housing. Take the cabinet off and move the fan into its proper place. Make sure the center screw is tight before putting the unit back together. If your portable air conditioner is still giving you trouble after you have gone through the guide, call an air conditioning professional. All problems that call for more than the basic issues presented above and all that has to do with the wiring should be left alone and brought to the attention of an air conditioning specialist. Air conditioning repair can be an expensive service, so if your AC has been around for a while, you may want to consider buying a new unit rather than contacting a repairman.
By the way just in case you’ve yet to buy or going to buy another portable aircon, then be sure to check another of our article on the 5 mistakes consumers make when buying portable aircon. This is to make sure do not make the same mistakes. We hope this helps!
Information from Ben & Nick from the Guide to Portable Aircon Repair.