Four Seasons' Guide to Staying Cool This AC Season

Posted by Lindsey Slinger, Brittany McCann, & Cherese Monte on 5/28/2019
Four Seasons' Guide to Staying Cool This AC Season
We have all been there, the spring heat all of a sudden becomes unbearable, and you are running to the computer to order an AC. Before you shop, it is crucial to be well versed on the common questions or concerns that come up when looking to purchase an ac unit. There are many different styles and functions in an air conditioner that it is important to keep in mind to make sure you choose the unit that is best for your home. From venting options to heating capabilities, you will see a wide variety of options online that will leave you questioning which purchase is best for you! Along with style and function, there are many things that most people don’t know about their AC units that we are here to answer!

Why Do Portable Air Conditioners Need To Be Vented?


Portable air conditioners need to be appropriately vented to work correctly. When using a portable air conditioner, the air that is not being vented back into the cold room needs to be vented back outdoors.  If the unit was not properly vented, then the room would be unable to get cold as it would have cold and hot air being vented into it. Most portable air conditioners have a window venting kit that makes it easy to install the vent into the window. 

The most important part of venting a portable air conditioner is to have the venting system properly sealed off. Below are some simple instructions from newair.com when looking to install the venting kit.

  • Decide where you want to vent your AC. The most common location is out of a sliding window, but some customers choose to vent a portable air conditioner out of a drop ceiling or wall.
  • Connect your AC to the exhaust connector
  • Connect exhaust connector to exhaust hose
  • Connect venting window kit adapter to window kit.
  • Install sliding window kit in a window by sliding it to the right height and shutting the window on the kit. (If required, mark the kit and cut it down to fit the opening properly.)Your portable air conditioner is now ready to use!


Do Air Conditioners Bring In Fresh Air From Outside?


Air conditioners do not bring in hot air from outside and cool it. Air conditioners cool the air from within the room by removing the heat with a pump. The hot air then is cooled by the coils in the unit and sent back out to the room you are cooling. The thermostat control on the unit regulates the air temperature of the room. There is a sensing bulb located in front of the coils to regulate the temperature of the air leaving and allows the unit to know when it needs to stop cooling.


Can An Air Conditioner Be Used As A Heater?


There are many different forms of air conditioning units. Some include portable units, built-in wall units, and window ACs. Specifically, some of these are designed to be able to be used as a source of heat when they are not being used to cool. Units that have the heat and cool ability are a convenience for users who live in an area that experience colder fall and winter months and contrastingly warmer spring and summer months. When an air conditioner is used as a source of heat for the winter months, the built-in heat pump will be utilized. 

When the unit is being used for cooling, the warm air is cooled off by the evaporator, which functions as the cooling coils, and then the hot air is expelled outside. So how does the heat pump work? The condenser will become the evaporator in this case. The air enters the unit and flows through the condenser, and then the cold air is expelled outside. Keep in mind that not all units are designed like this and you would need to make sure it is capable of both heat and cool which is typically specified on spec sheets or in the description.


Can I Use A Window AC Without A Window Temporarily?


This is a common question asked by users. The short and simple answer is no. Unfortunately, window air conditioners are designed to expel hot air outside, or else it would enter right back into the room you are trying to cool which will be very unproductive. They also require water to be ejected directly outside of the unit so that it does not get caught inside and cause the unit to malfunction. Most units have a drain seam on the back bottom of the unit, and water will drip outside. You wouldn’t want this water to drip inside your home. There, unfortunately, is no way to redirect the water or expelled air somewhere else than outside when the unit is installed correctly in your window.  


What Air Conditioners Can Be Used In A Sliding Window?


This is a common question asked by users. The short and simple answer is no. Unfortunately, window air conditioners are designed to expel hot air outside, or else it would enter right back into the room you are trying to cool which will be very unproductive. They also require water to be ejected directly outside of the unit so that it does not get caught inside and cause the unit to malfunction. Most units have a drain seam on the back bottom of the unit, and water will drip outside. You wouldn’t want this water to drip inside your home. There, unfortunately, is no way to redirect the water or expelled air somewhere else than outside when the unit is installed correctly in your window.