Is your portable AC unit on the fritz? You could call a contractor, but maybe you’re the adventurous type that prefers a do-it-yourself model. If you have the right tools, time, and energy to put into the job, why not give it a shot? You’ll likely save money that you would have spent paying for a professional. Plus, some family handiwork chores might bring everyone together!
Some people don’t trust anyone but themselves to get the work done right. If that’s you, we have the perfect DIY guide to portable AC unit repairs.
Common Portable AC Unit Problems and Their Solutions:
Issue #1: The Unit Does Not Turn On
If your unit does not turn on at all, it’s possible it has faulty wiring resulting in the power failure. If that’s the case, you will need to restore the power supply. If you have a power supply operating and there is no power failure in your home or your area, inspect the plug. Ensure to insert it correctly into the socket. Wiggle the cap a little bit. If it’s loose, secure it into the socket.
There might also be a problem with a breaker. Make sure you didn’t accidentally trip the line fuse, automatic switch, or breaker.
Sometimes your portable AC doesn’t turn on due to having too many appliances on one circuit. If many devices draw power on one connection, you might need to move some of them to another outlet.
Let’s say that your breaker was on, all the switches are in the right position, and you changed outlets. If your portable AC still doesn’t turn on, it’s possible the voltage of the power supply may be too low. Hence, you will need to move the AC unit onto another circuit that has the correct energy.
Finally, examine the LCDI plug for the AC unit and make sure you didn’t trip or unplug it. If it is, you will need to press the reset button on the portable AC plug. Also, make sure your power cord isn’t damaged. If it is, call the manufacturer and order a replacement.
Issue #2: The Fan Runs, But Does Not Cool
If the room temperature is outside of the functional tolerance of the portable AC unit, it will turn on, but the compressor won’t start. Most manufacturers design their units to operate in ambient temperature between 65°F to 90°F.
If you are sure that the temperature of the environment is within that range, you might want to check the cooling mode switch on your unit. If the cooling mode is not on, you’ll have to go ahead and press the mode button until it appears on the control panel.
It is also possible there’s a delay between when the compressor actually starts running and when the system itself receives power. Be patient and give the unit time to power every component of the system after you’ve activated the cooling phase.
It also may be that you set the temperature too high. In such case, all you need to do is to reset the climate to a lower degree.
Portable AC units tend to use internal water reservoirs. Thus, inspect your inner tank via the water level indicator on your panel. Depending on your unit, allow it to exhaust the water, or drain it yourself manually. After these steps, the cooling process should resume.
Issue #3: The Airflow Is Weak or Not Very Cold
Before you try anything more extensive, you should clean or replace the air filter. Dirt particles likely are blocking the airflow and prevent fresh air from forming in the compressor.
Then, check if any debris is blocking the air intake. There should be at least 20-inch clearance around the air intake which is usually on the front of the unit.
If the airflow still doesn’t increase, you should make the exhaust duct as short as possible. Something may be obstructing the air duct if it’s too far from the unit base.
In the end, be sure you didn’t set the unit on dehumidifying mode or the fan on a low setting (in which case, it obviously won’t produce cool air).
Issue #4 The Unit has been Running Forever, and I Don’t feel a Difference!
It may seem like “duh” moment, but check your doors and windows. Keep them close to make sure cold air stays in your home. You should also close your curtains. Direct sunshine into the room will warm it up and make your AC unit less efficient.
Portable AC units have a limit and cannot cool a room too large. And, if there are too many people in the room, all the warm bodies will negate the effects of the device. If your party or office is very large, you should consider adding a second unit that’s reasonably spread out from the first.
If you place your portable AC unit in the kitchen, you’ll likely need to set the fan on a higher setting because of the other appliances heating up the room (stove, microwave, toaster, etc…).
In a similar vein, a room with a lot computer hardware will have a higher temperature when all the devices are running. Thus, you should consider what setting and location to place your portable AC unit in your office or game room.
Finally, check if your room is insulated sufficiently.
Portable AC Unit General Maintenance Tips
To take better care of your portable AC unit and to avoid unnecessary repairs, pay attention to where you position the system. Keep in mind to always keep some clearance space in front of the AC. Take good care of the filters and change them on a regular basis. Keep the exhaust hose as straight as possible, and always store your portable AC unit in a right way.
Before putting it away for a more extended period, make sure to drain it and then turn on the fan only for at least one hour to dry the interior correctly. Keep the exterior clean by draping a plastic cover over the unit before storing it away.
At Sig Cox Augusta, we understand the complexities of every major portable AC unit brand on the market. If none of the above solutions work for you, call us for a professional opinion and air conditioning service needs. Contact our 24/7 emergency support on 706-722-5304 and schedule an appointment.