Self Evaporating Portable ACs

Self Evaporating Portable ACs

Most portable air conditioners need to be drained periodically of the water that condenses.

Self evaporating A/C's are different because they don't need draining at all!

Why is this seemingly insignificant point of any consequence? Why would you want to buy one of these more expensive cooling devices anyway?

Let's look at what they are and how they work to see what their advantages are over their cheaper counterparts.

Why Do Portable A/C's Need Draining?

portable air conditioner drain hoseAs I mentioned in the introduction to this article, most portable AC units need to be drained every now and then. That happens because moisture is condensed out of the hot, humid air in a room during the process that chills it and returns it nice and cold.

That condensation forms ever larger droplets that drip down into a catchment area that when full will either sound an alarm of simply shut off the machine.

Naturally, a turned off cooler isn't much use when it's hot.

To keep it running when you need it most, that collected water must be drained off. Fortunately, portable air conditioners are fitted with a drain hose at the bottom, usually round the back that you simply pull out, place the end in a tray or bucket and open the plug.

A small amount of water will drain out, after which you can replace the plug, push back the hose and restart the unit. Cold air again!

Oh, and don't forget to empty the bucket!

What is a Self Evaporating Air Conditioner?

Instead of having all that hassle, self evaporating models have been created to do away with the need to drain water along with some clever tricks to get more from the cooling process than regular AC units.

First of all, new technology is incorporated into the refrigeration process that reuses the condensed moisture to assist in cooling the air. After it has been used and naturally heated up, it is re-evaporated and expelled through the exhaust vent hose out the back, through the window vent to the outside.

That, in a nutshell is what this type of cooler is and what it does. What about the advantages over the regular models?

Benefits of Fully Self Evaporating Air Conditioners

There are two main benefits that come directly from the way they reuse the condensed moisture:

  1. No more hassle with draining any collected water
  2. Better efficiency means better energy economy, means it costs less to run

self evaporating portable air conditionersYou may not think that not having to empty a full drain collector is a big deal. At least not until you've had your cooler shut off on the hottest day and you're trying to figure out how to get it to work again.

Next, after searching around to find the user manual and reading about it, you have to fiddle around with a drain hose and a bucket or tray to empty it.

All of a sudden, it's a big deal!

Getting better energy economy from a cooler is a real big deal, since they use a lot of electricity anyway. Anything that'll help them use a little less is a good thing.

The energy saving is not massive, but even a little will make a difference when your next electricity bill arrives.

No More Negative Pressure

There is another advantage to these models. They generally come with two vent hoses (often referred to as "dual hose air conditioners") and I'll explain why that is.

AC units that have a single vent hose use it only for exhausting hot, moist air out of the unit and out of the room through the window vent.

They suck in warm air from the room, process it and pump out cold air out the front, while the hot air they produce as a by product of the refrigeration process goes out the back.

As the air flow is kind of one way, it creates negative air pressure inside the room, which is often closed up to prevent more warm air from getting in and making the cooler work harder to keep it cool.

Unfortunately, that negative pressure needs to find its own balance. Nature hates a vacuum, after all. So warm air from outside will find a way in through masonry cracks and gaps in door frames and windows even when you can't see them.

Dual hose coolers stop that all happening by using the second vent hose to bring in air from outside to assist with the cooling process. So it actually has two inlet points, one taking air from outside, the other taking air from the room.

No negative pressure means no hot air will get sucked into the room from outside. That means the unit runs more efficiently without having to cool the extra warm air.

All Good in the End

So you see, there are three main advantages to buying a dual hose, fully self evaporating portable air conditioner instead of trying to save a few dollars to get a cheaper, single hose alternative.

That's if you're in need of a portable AC anyway. Oh, and also if your local climate is pretty humid in summer as most the country tends to be.

Of course, if you're lucky enough to live in a really dry climate such as is common in the south-western states and dessert areas, you can save a lot of money on running costs by opting for a swamp cooler. But that's a topic for another article!

External resources: If this is a subject that really interests you, there is a lot more information available to be researched on ventless evaporative coolers here: http://ventlessportableairconditioner.intervalinc.com and also here: https://www.energy.gov