How Often Should I Drain My Portable Air Conditioner? Here’s The Right Answer

In order to work correctly from time to time, you need to perform regular maintenance on a portable air conditioner. Draining its condensate tank is among the essential task to make sure it running well continuously, especially if you own a party evaporative unit.

How can and how often should I drain my portable air conditioner, you may wonder. Find out the answers below.

how often should i drain my portable air conditioner

How to Drain Water from Portable AC

Here are a few different methods on how do portable air conditioners drain that you can use:

  • Drain in a pan

Manual draining is typically used if there is no drain portable air conditioner using a hose. Start by unplugging the unit and disconnect it from the electric source. Locate a pan right under the AC drain port, typically at the unit’s back. Get the plug off and allow it to drain, as water will pour out. Simply attach the drain plug back and connect it to the power again after the draining process is done.

This method also works if you want to drain the unit in a sink or bathtub. Just make sure that the AC’s surface sits on an even surface.

  • Use drain hoses

Drain hoses are attached components to the unit, and not all models have this option. It depends on gravity to trickle down the water, and it should be used in a location with a floor drain, like the basement.

Make sure the hose securely fits on the drain port before you start. It is possible to use a regular garden hose as long as it fits properly. Alternatively, you can buy a hose with a suitable size from your local hardware store. Just attach the hose to the portable AC unit and wait until the process is complete.

  • Use the built-in condensate pump

Unlike the prior methods, you don’t need to rely on gravity to drain portable AC’s water using condensate pumps. There are two hoses on the pump, one connects the unit to the pump, and another one connects the pump to the draining end. The latter can be located outside a window.

Once the collected water inside the unit reaches a certain level, the condensate pump will work automatically. Similarly, it also stops working automatically once the water has been drained.

Do I Have to Drain My Portable Air Conditioner?

Portable AC units work by gathering excess moisture to dehumidify and cool down the room. Most of the collected water evaporates, but there might be some remaining in the unit. The more humid it is, the more water may remain within as the unit isn’t able to exhaust water as fast. This situation results in collected water inside the unit’s internal reservoir, which must be drained.

Most units will shut off automatically to avoid overflowing if their reservoir is filled. They will indicate by lighting indicator light, displaying an error message, or turning up an alarm.

How Often to Drain Portable AC?

So, how often exactly should you drain water from the portable AC? It is recommended to take this action after 8 hours of operation, but this may depend on the current humidity in your location. Units located in spaces with lower humidity won’t need to be drained as frequently as this.

If you reside in a drier area and wonder how often should I drain my portable air conditioner, the answer is probably rarely. Your portable AC unit gathers water by extracting it from warm, humid air and in case of space with dry air, there won’t be much moisture to draw from the air.

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AirconMag is an experienced author and Air Conditioner expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of AC unit, including installation, maintenance, and repair