Portable Refrigerative Air Conditioners

How do these portables air conditioners work?

The portable units in this section are all refrigerant devices and work on the same principle as professionally installed split systems that you see in offices and homes (a split system is one where you have an internal wall mounted unit connected by refrigerant pipe work to an outside condensing unit that is usually bolted to a wall or on a roof). By using refrigerant the machine can produce chilled air very efficiently. The air coming out of these machines is usually between 5°C and 10°C (40°F and 50°F).

What is the difference between a refrigerant air conditioner device and an evaporative air cooler?

An evaporative cooler (see elsewhere on our site) has a tank inside that the user fills with water. This soaks a rotating membrane. A fan pulls air through this membrane and as it does so the water evaporates off and it is this action that causes cooling of the air. Evaporative coolers require a constant supply of fresh, low humidity air in order to operate. This means keeping windows and doors open to allow constant fresh air change. Whatever the conditions a refrigerant air conditioner will always produce cooler dryer air.

What are BTU’s and KW’s?

BTU’s and KW’s are different units of measure of heat (or cooling) energy. Here in the UK we always used to use British Thermal Units (BTU’s) and often you will find heating and cooling equipment performance measured this way. On the continent they use the internationally recognised unit of Kilowatts (KW). There is a direct relationship between the two - 1KW is the equivalent of about 3400BTU. So a 9000BTU machine is a 2.6KW machine.

How do I set up my portable air conditioner?

To set up a portable air conditioner is simple. Having unboxed the unit you attach the flexible hot air hose outlet to the back of the unit and place the other end out of the room you are cooling. This is typically through a window or door. Then simply plug the machine into a normal 13A socket, switch on and that’s it!

Do I have to have a hose?

All refrigerant portables have to have a hose in order that the heat can escape. Do not confuse heat with humidity - with tumble driers you can place their hose into a condensing box but this is to remove moisture not heat. For an air conditioner you have to get the heat out of the room or it cannot cool it! The hose is typically 100-130mm in diameter (4-5"!) and is extendible from about 0.5 metre to 1.5-2.5 metre depending on the machine.

Where can I put the open end of the hose?

The flexible hose has to be routed so the open end exits the room you are cooling. The obvious solution is to open a window and put the hose out through the window. The machines are supplied complete with an adaptor kit that reduces the amount the window has to be opened to only about 60mm. Alternatively the hose can be routed out through an open door, through a wall or even up into the ceiling providing the ceiling space is well ventilated.

What maintenance is required?

Generally very little. The machines have a coarse air filter on the back which periodically needs a clean but other than that no regular maintenance is needed.

How long do they last?

Difficult one! Expect about 5-10 years life from these machines. Failures are eventually from either a leak of refrigerant or from failure of a fan motor.

What is the warranty?

All our machines are supplied with a 12 months ’return to base’ warranty. This means that if you have a problem within the first 12 months we will uplift the machine from you on courier, repair or replace it and return it to you all at our expense. For this reason we recommend you try to keep the original packing materials wherever possible to minimise the risk of damage by the couriers should the machine need to be returned.

Do you offer an extended warranty?

These days all the machines we sell are generally very reliable. We at Household Innovations do not believe in taking money from people for extended warranties where it is unlikely they will benefit. So, we don’t offer an extended warranty but we DO offer a complete post warranty service facility and we will NOT charge a customer a penny until they have agreed costs.
Click here to view our full range of refrigerative air conditioners.
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