A portable air conditioning unit is perfect for cooling a single bedroom, but sometimes it blows out water.

Why Is Your Portable Air Conditioner Blowing Out Water?

Portable air conditioners are perfect for cooling small rooms or rooms where a window-mounted/wall-mounted system cannot be installed. They’re often used in apartments, schools, hospitals, and offices. These durable units are easily moved from space to space, as needed. However, portable AC units have their unique problems. A common question asked by users of these versatile units is “Why is my portable air conditioner blowing out water?” The following are some possible answers. 

What is a Portable AC?

A portable air conditioning unit is a self-contained system, perfect for cooling single rooms (bedrooms, computer rooms, home offices, dens, garages, etc.). They’re easy to install and are usually placed on the floor. Most models have wheels for ease of movement, making them a great alternative to window-mounted units.

Why a Portable Air Conditioner is Blowing Out Water

There are many possible reasons that your portable air conditioner is blowing out water. 

  • Overflowing drip pan: Beneath a portable air conditioner is a drip tray/drip pan intended to catch condensation that collects around the unit. When the system is being heavily used, this pan may overflow. To solve the problem, unplug the unit, drain the pan, and return the tray to its proper location. It’s a good idea to clean the pan each time you drain it to avoid the growth of bacteria or mold. 
  • Clogged filter: The filter of a portable air conditioner may clog over time, restricting airflow and causing difficulty with circulation around the unit. This can result in moisture build-up around the AC and leaking from the unit. Use a vacuum to remove loose dirt/dust from the filter. Run it underwater. Brush off debris/grime, using soap. Then, replace the filter.  
  • Clogged drain hose: Portable air conditioners have a drain hose that is easily clogged with debris, dirt, or mold. This causes condensation to back up into the AC unit and water leakage through the vents. Unplug the unit. Check the drain hose. Use a long tool/stick to remove any clogs. Run clean water through the hose. Then, place the hose back on the AC unit. 
  • Damaged/worn condensate pump: An AC pump moves accumulating moisture out of the unit, keeping it dry and operating efficiently. A damaged or worn pump can result in water accumulating and dripping out of the unit. Take your portable AC to an HVAC expert for repair. These technicians can diagnose/fix most any troubles encountered with a portable air conditioner. 
  • Loose drain plug/cap: A drain cap/plug that is not firmly fastened will allow water to leak from the unit. Check the plug/cap for drips. Tighten it.  

How to Prevent a Portable Air Conditioner From Blowing Out Water

To avoid problems with your portable AC unit, comply with the following recommendations. 

  • Clean it regularly: Have an HVAC specialist clean and repair your unit regularly (every 4 to 6 months) to ensure it’s in good working order.
  • Undertake routine maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance for your unit. An HVAC technician can determine weaknesses before they become major problems, extending the life of your unit. 
  • Address issues quickly: Small problems can quickly become big issues. Have a technician look at problems as soon as they occur. 

Is your portable air conditioner blowing out water? Not getting optimal results from your AC system? Contact McMillin Air. Our experts can help with the diagnosis and repair of most portable AC units. We’ll provide you with quick, quality service. 


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