A Handy Guide to Delonghi Portable AC Issues and Their Fixes

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

Last Updated On

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Delonghi Portable air conditioners are the ones I rarely see broken, but on occasion, some problems could arise with your unit.

So, before you panic and call your local HVAC guy, let me talk you through some of the most common issues with the Delonghi Portable air conditioner (and their potential fixes).

Key Takeaways

  • Delonghi Portable ACs can suffer from minor issues stemming from clogged or dirty filters, a full drip tray, or frozen condenser coils. This can be easily fixed by yourself.
  • Delonghi Portable AC has a list of error codes which relate to a specific fault which you can look into.
  • If the issue lies with the circuitry or with a damaged components, then it is best to ask for professional help.

6 Most Common Delonghi Portable AC Problems (With Their Fixes)

Here are some of the most common problems I've seen happen with the Delonghi portable AC.

1. It Is Making Loud Noises

If your Delonghi AC unit is making a sustained beeping noise, then it could mean that the interior drip tray is full or blocked in some way.

On the other hand, a grinding or rattling noise above 60 dB can be alarming, as it often points to a fan or compressor issue.
How Can You Fix This Issue?

Emptying the drip tray should be easy.

You can drain it from the bottom by removing the drain plug, or by opening up the side panel and removing the drip tray.

For grinding, rattling, vibrating, or buzzing noises - inspecting the fan, tubing, and compressor is key.

I’ve seen fans or blowers come undone or become warped or bent, which can be the cause of rattling or just general loud noise.

It usually isn’t too hard to straighten the bent fins, but replacing the whole fan is probably better if your unit’s under warranty.

Also, if you notice that the tubing has come undone and is vibrating, you can clamp it back into place.

The bigger issue would be if the noise is coming from the compressor internally, in which case, you will need to contact Delonghi for a replacement unit, as their compressors are commonly under a 3-5-year warranty.

TL;DR: Loud noises are often a result of a full drip tray on Delonghi Portable AC. 

2. It Keeps Shutting Off

If the machine keeps automatically turning off, then it could signal a problem with the compressor capacitor wires being loose.

This drops the voltage, so the machine keeps shutting off automatically.

It could also be a problem with the switch control, which you can fix by removing the front panel.

Useful Tip:

There is a difference between AC always shutting off and it cycling on and off. If it is cycling on and off, it could be a sign for dirty air filters.

But also, you could be looking at:

  • Clogged Vents
  • Low/Leaking Refrigerant
  • Clogged Condenser Coils
  • Frozen Evaporator Coils
  • Electrical Problems
  • Faulty Thermostat
  • Faulty Compressor
How Can You Fix This Issue?

Cleaning the filters and clogged vents is easy. You just have to remove the panel, wash the filters with warm water, leave them out to dry for 60-90 minutes, and put them back in.

The same goes for vents. Remove the intake (and/or exhaust) hose, check for debris, and if there’s any, remove it and install the hose back on.

Now, if you can access the condenser coils (on some models, you can’t), use a soft brush to clean them. 

Go up and down the coils until you remove the dirt, or use a vacuum to either speed up the process or take an alternative route if you don't have direct access.

If you spot frozen evaporator coils, the best thing you can do is shut off your machine and let it melt. 

Then, check to see if you have a refrigerant leak, which is often the main cause of frozen coils. 

Finally, I wouldn’t suggest you mess around with the wiring too much, but you can trace the wires to see if any have come undone. 

Also, check the connectors to see if they’re loose, and if they are, reattach them.

In the event of your compressor or capacitor being damaged (which you’ll notice if it’s bulging on top), you’ll have to call an HVAC professional or claim your warranty.

TL;DR: If it keeps shutting off, this could be a sign of something as simple as dirty air filters or as complicated as a bad capacitor.

3. The Warning Lights Are Showing

The most common cause of flashing warning lights is that the air filter is obstructed or dirty and needs to be cleaned or replaced. 

It could also mean that water is leaking in the unit or that your drip tray is full, tipped, or overflowing.

Then again, there are tons of error codes you could be getting alongside the warning lights, in which case, I suggest you check below to identify the issue at hand.

How Can You Fix This Issue?

The solution here is straightforward – clean or replace the air filter as instructed above and check for water leakage. 

If there’s a leak or if the drip tray is overflowing, drain any accumulated water and make sure no internal components are wet.

After you do this, leave the AC to dry for 60-90 minutes, and keep up with regular checks to prevent this from happening again.

TL;DR: An obstructed air filter is the most common cause of warning lights, but they could relate to something more critical.

4. It Continues To Leak Water

If your AC is leaking water, it’s very likely that the internal condensation tray is getting tipped over and leaking inside the machine.

If the leakage is isolated near the drip plug, the solution is even easier.

How Can You Fix This Issue?

Simply take off the side panel of the AC, and check to see if the drip tray is overflowing or positioned incorrectly.

If it is, drain it, and you should be good.

If the puddle is right below the drain plug, remove the plug, drain the water, and plug it back correctly.

TL;DR: Water leaks often means that the drip tray is overflowing. It is possible that the tray inside has tipped over.

5. It Is Not Cooling The Room

The most common issue I see is the dirty and clogged filters, which are decreasing the circulation of air and limiting the cooling ability of the Delonghi AC. 

On the other hand, you could also be dealing with:

  • High Heat Load
  • Faulty Compressor
  • Broken Thermostat
  • Broken Temperature Sensor
  • Leaking Refrigerant
  • Dirty Condenser Coils
How Can You Fix This Issue?

Check to see where your AC is located. If it’s being kept in direct sunlight or close to a heat source such as a high-powered PC, find another position for it, as it could just be that your AC is overloaded.

As I said previously, cleaning the filters is easy, and if the condenser coils are accessible on your model - clean them with a brush.

Unfortunately, if the problem stems from a compressor, thermostat, or temperature sensor, the only thing you can do is invoke your warranty or call an HVAC professional to fix it.

TL;DR: From dirty filters to a bad compressor and leaking refrigerant. This issue generally requires a more thorough check.

6. It Is Producing Foul Smells

The most common cause of a foul smell from your Delonghi unit could be mold and mildew that have started growing inside the machine (and dirty air filters, of course).

If it’s a burning smell, unplug your AC right away, as there’s likely an electrical issue at hand.

How Can You Fix This Issue?

Burning smell aside, all you need to do here is clean your AC thoroughly, and you can do this by following our AC cleaning guide.

Important Tip:

If you are in doubt regarding any of the fixes, it is important that you seek professional help instead of DIY.

Delonghi Portable AC Error Codes Explained

The Delonghi air conditioner series have several error codes that designate specific problems. Here are some of the most common ones.

  • LE – Low Temperature. Low temperature means that the condenser coil is covered in too much frost. When the machine defrosts, it should kick on automatically again.
  • HL – High Level. This code means that the internal safety tray is full. You need to take it out and empty the tray to get rid of the code.
  • CF – Replace Filter. The filter keeps pollutants and traps dust as it cycles air through the room. This code means the filter is obstructed and needs to be either cleaned or replaced.
  • PF – Probe Failure. This code means that the air sensor probe is broken or malfunctioning. If you see this code, then contact your authorized dealer for service. 
  • F1 – Failure. This code indicates a failure in one or several mechanical components. The most common cause of this code is a damaged filter or room temperature is too low.
  • H1 – High Temperature. This code means that the temperature of the surrounding room is very high.
  • E1 – Probe Failure. This code indicates a failure in the onboard sensor that detects room temperature. If you see this code, then you need your machine serviced.

TL;DR: The error codes are an excellent way to figure out what exactly is wrong with your Delonghi Portable AC.

How To Easily Drain Your Delonghi Portable Air Conditioner?

portable AC Venting options

Unless you own an evaporative Delonghi unit or you've connected yours to an outlet, you will need to drain your portable AC unit.

There are two ways to do this:

  • Drain the water using the dedicated drain plug located on the backside of your unit, at the bottom.
  • Remove the tank from the back of the unit by removing the back panel. Pour the water out of the condensation tray, then return the tray back to the unit and turn your AC unit back on.

Now, if you live in a highly humid area, you will have to drain your AC multiple times a day, in which case, I suggest you invest in a condensate pump, which will automatically drain your Delonghi portable air conditioner.

TL;DR: Bad drainage is often the cause of issues on Delonghi Portable AC. 

Delonghi Portable AC (grey)

When Should You Reset A Delonghi Portable AC Unit

You should reset your Delonghi AC if it is having trouble functioning.

As the Delonghi units don't have a dedicated reset switch, you can hard reset your unit by simply unplugging it from the power outlet and letting it sit for about 5 minutes.

This will give enough time for the control board to completely reset. Then, plug the unit back in and turn it on.

Check the thermostatic conditions and see if it cools.

Notes / Tips:

Don't be alarmed if your Delonghi AC doesn't start cooling for a few minutes. Some Delonghi models have a built-in safety gadget that prevents the compressor from restarting right away. Your AC should start cooling in approximately 3 minutes.


Do All Delonghi Portable ACs Require Installation?

No, most Delonghi portable AC units don't need installation. All the necessary equipment comes in the box, and the setup rarely takes more than five minutes.

During the Air Conditioning Function, Does Dehumidification Take Place Too?

The dehumidification process takes place separately from cooling. Most Delonghi portable air conditioners have a dedicated "Dry" or "Dehumidify" function that removes the moisture from the air, while slightly lowering the ambient temperature.

How Does the Dehumidifying Function Work?

The dehumidifying function works by condensing water in the surrounding air by passing it by cold condenser coils. This condensation collects in the built-in drain tray.

Is It Possible To Add Extensions To The Tube?

Yes, Delonghi offers hose extension tubes for their portable AC units. You can get an extension hose if you need a longer exhaust hose for the unit.

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Josh Mitchell


Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

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Midea U Shaped Window Air Conditioner

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