How To Install A Portable AC?

Do you own an air conditioner at your home? If you do, then you belong to the vast majority of the people that own an AC in the United States. According to a research study conducted in 2015, nearly 90% of American households use some type of air conditioning system.

I use a portable AC at my home. People similar to me who also use a portable AC in their homes often suffer from a common problem, and that is not knowing how to install the AC system.

Therefore, I have written an informative guide for you. It answers the question of how to install a portable AC that hopefully, will help you with the entire installation process.

How to install a Portable AC: steps to follow

How To Install A Portable AC: 6 Steps To Follow

Typically, installing a portable AC unit is not a complex task and is quite simple. People often install these AC units in their homes without taking any professional help. It usually takes about 20-40 minutes for an average person to install a portable AC system. Here is our guide on the 5 Best Quietest Portable Air Conditioners.

Proper venting and draining are arguably the two most important aspects of the entire installation process. Suitable venting is essential so that the hot air dissipating from your portable AC exits the system outside your home. Rather than leaving or even returning inside. And a sound drainage system prevents the water from the portable AC from leaking onto the floor.

Step 1: Preparing For Installation

You must read the instruction manual carefully before beginning to install the AC system. It is vital that you also take all the necessary safety precautions before starting the installation. A portable AC unit can be pretty heavy to lift on your own. It is ideal to ask for help to prevent you from dropping the unit while carrying it.

It is important to connect the portable AC only once you are done with the installation. Do not plug in the AC to a power cord or an extension wire, as the power required to start the compressor on a portable AC is much higher. It is always better to plug a high-power-demanding outlet into a grounded electric plug. This will prevent your mobile AC system from having a short circuit or from catching fire.

Do not let children near the AC system while you are installing it as a portable AC unit can easily tip, due to which they could end up damaging a unit or hurting themselves. Remember to install the air filter inside the AC as flying debris can damage the unit’s interior.

Step 2: Placing The Portable AC Unit

Ideally, you should keep a portable AC unit in a safe place inside your home. This place should be clear of any obstructions such as furniture, walls, curtains, etc. A distance of eight to twelve inches surrounding the AC unit should be clear from all kinds of objects. You can also check the ground clearance level or length for your portable AC system by reading the instructions manual.

You should always place a portable AC system on hard-level flooring or on the ground. Keeping this AC unit on shelves, tables, or countertops is not a safe idea. The design of these air-conditioning systems is ideal for operating on the ground. You should place the AC system unit near an electric ground pulse and a window that can be opened for the best results.

The power cable attached to the AC unit should not be overly stretched. Similarly, the hose wire should also remain straight for the best results. Once you are done selecting an ideal position for keeping your portable AC, you can now begin the installation process.

Example of a portable ac

Step 3 Venting: Fitting The Window Kit

You can use a window to vent the air escaping from the AC system. If your room does not have an exterior window, you can purchase a window venting kit to make your task easier. A window venting kit has all the necessary components and parts and will make the installation process more straightforward.

Window venting kits are designed as such that they are capable of working on all types of windows, whether you have an up-down opening window or a side-to-side opening window. If your window is similar to common windows and opens from the bottom, then you can place the kit at the bottom of the window and start extending it until it covers the entire width of the window.

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For windows that open or slide from the side, you will have to place the kit at one side and extend it until it covers the window’s entire height. If your window’s dimensions are smaller than the minimum sizes of the window kit, you will have to trim the kit down so that it perfectly fits your window.

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If your window size is larger than the size of the window kit, you can purchase all the filler material from hardware stores, to fill the remaining gap. You can even use cardboard or Plexiglas to fill the remaining void.

Once you have perfectly installed the window kit in a way that no sunlight can enter through the slider and there is no visible air leak, you can proceed to the next step. This step involves connecting the hose.

Step 4 Venting: Connecting The Hose

In this step, you will attach the hose to the window kit you installed in the previous step. First, connect the hose wire at the back of your portable AC. You will find a connector present at the back. You have to attach a window exhaust on the other end of the hosepipe, and you will find this window exhaust in your window venting kit.

Connect the hose pipe with the window exhaust to the slider kit you have on your window. You should keep the length of the hose pipe as direct and short as possible for effective cooling. The size of this hose pipe will impact the cooling effect of your portable AC. The distance between the portable AC and the window kit should not be more than nine feet.

Step by Step Guide to Install Portable AC

Step 5: Power Supply

In this phase, you will connect your portable AC to a power outlet to start the AC. Most portable AC units have a plug with two options: a TEST button, and a RESET button.

You must initially start by pressing the TEST button so that the plug automatically cuts the power if it detects something wrong. Once you have secured a good and stable connection, you can press the RESET button to establish the connection.

Step 6: Draining

There are two types of portable AC units available in the market: one with a self-draining system and another where you have to drain the unit manually. If you have a manual draining portable AC, you can attach a drainage pipe at the AC’s bottom and then attach the other end to a container or bucket.


If you follow the steps given in this article on how to install a portable AC, you will not face any difficulties or problems when installing a portable unit at your home. All these steps are simple to understand and follow. I wish you a pleasant summer!

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