How to Make a Portable AC Work Better & Run Colder

A portable air conditioner, also referred to as a stand-up air conditioner, is a type of AC that can be moved around conveniently.

Unlike fixed air conditioners, portable ACs are pretty versatile and can be fixed anywhere besides a window and a socket.

Therefore, if you are a homeowner who does not require cooling the whole apartment concurrently, a portable air conditioner is the perfect solution for you.

However, it is vital to understand how to make a portable air conditioner more efficient. To that end, we have prepared this guide with all the information you need.

Can You Make a Portable AC Colder?

Today, there is a drastic increase in portable air conditioners’ popularity due to their size, cost of installation, and the fact that they do not require permanent installation. These units are ideal for small homes, apartments, or storage areas. A portable AC can conveniently cool these spaces with zero struggles while permitting you to shift from one room to another.

Can I get a solution for how to make my portable AC cooler? The simple answer is Yes. Your air conditioning system uses about 12 percent of your total yearly home expenditures. Fortunately, there are ways to enhance your cooling power while cutting down your utility bills by ensuring your unit’s structural integrity is not compromised.

Make Portable AC Colder

How To Make a Portable Air Conditioner Work Better & Run Colder

Below are some of the tips on how to make a portable air conditioner colder:

1. Correct Installation

To ensure the structural integrity of your AC is not compromised, it is imperative to consider how and where you intend to install it. Although some areas are unavoidable, there are specific areas of your home that you should avoid at all costs while fixing your portable unit. Such areas include:

Sunny Spots

Always ensure your portable AC is not in direct contact with a lot of the afternoon sun. If your AC is highly exposed to the sun, it will tend to overwork to maintain the desired temperature in the rooms. Forcing your AC to work harder reduces its efficiency and ultimately leads to a shorter lifespan.

High Humidity

Avoid fixing your portable AC in spaces that have high humidity levels. This is because the humidity level is directly proportional to the condensation levels. Therefore, installing your AC in rooms with high humidity levels will surge the frequency that the AC needs to be drained and cleaned. Failing to get rid of the excess water will, eventually, lead to the unit malfunctioning.

2. Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is one of the portable air conditioner tips as it significantly affects the efficiency of your AC. It also affects the longevity of the appliance. Although it is not AC’s main component, it is crucial for portable air conditioners.

Having suitable ventilation will help direct hot air from the compressor and keep the indoor air cool. This will curb overheating of the AC and prevent the rising of the inside temperature, eventually making portable AC more efficient.

Always ensure the hose or hoses are sufficiently connected to the back of the window kit. For optimal cooling, ensure the hose is as straight as possible and the hose length is kept short.

3. Right Location

Location is a major factor when deciding how to make a portable AC cooler. Avoid keeping your AC close to direct heat sources, including different living room and kitchen appliances. Some electrical devices such as big screens, stereo systems, and computers emit a lot of heat which can be detrimental to the unit.

The best place to keep your portable unit is somewhere between a minimum of approximately 10 feet from these kinds of appliances.

4. Adequate Space Between The Walls And Portable AC Unit

One major perk about portable AC is its versatility. This makes it easy to shift this unit from one place to another. However, it is essential to pay close attention to where you place it. Regardless of where you decide to put the unit, leaving sufficient space between the walls and the unit itself is crucial.

Giving your portable AC adequate space promotes airflow, thus enhancing its efficiency. However, limiting its airflow reduces its capacity to draw in enough air, thus making it overwork in order to cool the room and maintain the desired temperature.

Portable AC Positioning

5. Exhaust Hose Should Be Straight

To enhance your unit’s efficiency, always ensure the exhaust hose moving from the unit to the window is free from twists, kinks, or coils. Such contortions tend to limit the airflow or minimize ventilation.

So how exactly does the shape of the exhaust hose affect air circulation? Well, having a longer and twisted hose fixed to your portable AC makes the unit have a tough time with the ventilation.

Eventually, the moisture in the air being released will begin to build up inside the hose and ultimately start to trickle back down into the appliance. For a better outcome, use a shorter exhaust hose or pay close attention to where and how it is installed.

6. Regular Cleaning & Replacing Of Filter

Always ensure your filter is free from dirt, grease, and debris to enhance proper operation and cooling. Also, plan to have your filter changed regularly as this helps maintain your indoor air quality.

Failure to clean your filter may minimize the unit’s intake, contributing to a myriad of problems.

7. Regular Cleaning & Maintenance

Maintaining the cleanliness of your portable AC is one of the easiest ways of promoting the unit’s efficiency. You can plan to clean it monthly or yearly. However, regular cleaning of the portable AC unit is paramount.

While cleaning the unit after a month, ensure you do not use excessively hot water and avoid using cleaning chemicals since they may interfere with the interiors.

8. Proper Storage

When your portable air conditioner is not in use, always ensure to keep it in a safe place where the temperature is moderate.

Before storing your portable AC, always ensure it is completely dry; deep clean all other parts and permit them to dry, particularly the exhaust hoses and the drain pipes, and cover the unit with a sheet to avoid the accumulation of dirt, dust, and debris.

9. Pre-cooling & Better Circulation

It takes a lot of energy to get a warm room back to the desired cool temperature. That’s why it is vital to maintain a proportionately cool space. To make your portable AC unit cool more efficiently, always ensure to switch it on a few minutes before the room gets too hot or uncomfortable.

Alternatively, you can put a small oscillating fan closer to the AC unit. This improves air circulation and makes you feel more comfortable.

How Cold Can A Portable Air Conditioner Get?

Air conditioners are not made to function in or produce temperatures that can make a room ice cold. Although the AC is designed to operate within 68 degrees, a typical portable AC has the lowest and the coldest setting at around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is important to know the size of the room to identify how much circulating power you need to buy. This is because portable ACs come in various sizes. For instance, 7,500 British Thermal Units (BTUs) will cover 150 square feet, while 15,000 BTUs is enough to cool down big rooms of up to 775 square feet.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Common questions about making portable ac units colder.

Why is my portable AC not cooling my room?

As time progresses, you may face a myriad of challenges with your portable AC. Fortunately, most of these problems can be rectified relatively quickly and easily. Your portable AC may stop cooling your room due to various issues such as failure of the portable AC compressor to turn on, insufficient airflow due to dirty or clogged filter, sudden shutting down of the portable AC, among others.

Which is cooler – window or portable air conditioners?

When purchasing an air conditioner, pay close attention to the BTU rating. An air conditioner’s efficacy is determined by its ability to use energy. Compared to the portable AC, you attain more cooling power per BTU with a window air conditioner.


There are numerous benefits associated with a portable air conditioner. However, having a profound knowledge of how to use it can make portable AC more efficient and increase its longevity. By paying close attention to the portable air conditioner tips discussed above, you will reap maximum benefit from your AC unit, all while staying cool and cutting down costs.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with DIY and improving my family home. HVAC topics can be tricky for homeowners so I decided to share my knowledge on the subject. When I am not working on DIY projects, you can find me at the beach or my local coffee shop.