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How to Install a Portable AC Window Kit

AC window kit

Portable air conditioners provide a flexible way to cool a room. These compact little AC units take up little room, and more importantly, they can be moved where they are needed!

If you happen to have a portable air conditioner, you may be wondering just how to install it. This is where the portable AC window kit comes in. 

In this article, we teach you how to choose the right kit for your window, and how to properly install your portable AC window kit.

What is a Portable AC Window Kit?

A portable AC window kit is an essential accessory for a portable air conditioner. Portable ACs generate warm exhaust and excess water during the cooling process, which need to be vented outside.

This is the job of the portable AC window kit. The kit contains an exhaust tube as well as various components like slides and fillers. Once assembled, the kit allows the portable AC to connect to a window and expel the hot air and excess moisture outdoors. 

Window kits are designed to work with most kinds of residential windows, including those that slide to the side, and those that slide up and down.

The Different Types of Portable AC Window Kits

Sliding Window Kit

These are the most common type and are designed for vertical or horizontal sliding windows. They typically consist of a plastic or metal panel that can be adjusted to fit the width or height of the window. The panel has a hole where the AC’s exhaust hose can be attached. This type of kit is usually included with the unit. 

Casement Window Kit

Specifically designed for crank-out or casement windows, these kits often require more customization than sliding window kits. They may involve more complex setups with panels or seals to accommodate the swing-out style of the window.

Drop Ceiling Kit

In office settings or rooms with drop ceilings, these kits can vent the AC through a ceiling tile. They are less common in residential settings but can be ideal for certain office spaces.

Door Kit

Some kits allow the air conditioner to vent through a door, particularly sliding or French doors. These are similar to window kits but are longer to fit door heights.

Universal or Adjustable Kits

These kits are designed to work with various types of windows and doors. They include adjustable panels that can be cut or extended to fit the opening precisely.

Where to Install Your Portable Air Conditioner

Determine what type of window you have

  • Portable AC window kits come in different models and are designed for use with specific types of windows (see above).
  • There are also universal kits that can be adjusted for various kinds of windows. Before purchasing such a kit, check to make sure that your intended window is among the models covered by the universal kit.

Choose a proper location

  • In order to function properly, your portable AC requires several feet of unobstructed floor space for sufficient airflow.
  • You should also make sure it allows for convenient access to the water reservoir.

Drainage consideration

  • If the portable AC uses a drain hose, it may need to be placed near a sink, drain hole, or dedicated bucket.
  • When choosing the location, make sure the drain hose does not have any kinks or bends that could cause the water to backflow or to pool up within the tube,

Window placement

  • For portable ACs, the closer it is to the window, the better. This reduces the length of tube needed, while allowing the hot air to be vented more efficiently outside.
  • Fit the adapter kit. If the window is too small, then you simply need to trim the window adapter. This can be done with a utility knife, but window adapters made of a tougher material may need to be trimmed with a circular saw.
  • If the window is too large for the kit, you either need to fill the gap with plywood, cardboard, or plexiglass, or you’ll have to choose a different window.

How to Install Your Portable AC Window Kit

Tools you’ll need:

☑ Portable AC window kit (usually includes adjustable plates, exhaust hose, and connectors)

☑ Measuring tape

☑ Screwdriver

☑ Scissors or knife (if you need to cut any foam or insulation)

☑ Optional: Weather stripping or insulation foam (for better sealing)

  1. Measure the window

Measure the width and height of the window where you will install the AC kit. This is important to ensure that the kit panels fit properly for your chosen window.

  1. Window installation

If you have a traditional window that slides up and down, place the kit at the bottom. Then extend it, until it covers the width of the window opening.

If you have windows that slide to the side, place the kit on one side. Then extend it vertically until it covers the height of the opening.

To fix the width or height in place, tighten the self-tapping screws. Some window kits also use a press-in bolt to secure the panels together.

If the kit comes with a security bracket, make sure they are securely fastened to the window frame. The security bracket prevents the window sash from being opened when properly installed.

  1. Hose installation

Different AC models and brands use various types of adapters and connections. However, they all follow these general steps:

  • Attach the vent hose to the back of the portable air conditioner. 
  • At the other end of the hose, connect the window adaptor that came with the kit.
  • Plug the hose into the slider kit and make sure it locks securely in place.

For efficient operation, the hose should be no more than 9 feet. It’s also recommended to keep the hose as straight as possible, to avoid restricting airflow and causing backdrafts, which can damage the portable AC over time.

  1. Seal the window
  • Use the provided accessories to seal the gaps around the kit.
  • Before installing, make sure the foam, rubber stripping, or other insulating materials are free from cracks or damage.
  • Check for any gaps between the window frame and the window kit. Use foam, rubber stripping, or other provided insulating materials to seal these gaps. This prevents warm air from entering and cool air from escaping, enhancing the efficiency of your portable AC.
  • If the gaps are too large, consider cutting additional weather stripping or insulation foam to fit.

Post-Installation Checklist

Air leak test

  • Plug in the portable AC. If this is a new AC unit or new location, use the “Test” button to test the power flow first.
  • Crank the cooling or heating to the maximum.
  • With the portable AC blasting away, run your fingers or a piece of paper or string around the window to check for air gaps or drafts.
  • On a sunny day, check if any sunlight comes in along the edges. A properly installed and secured window kit should have no light leaks.

Drainage test

  • If the portable AC uses a water reservoir, check for leakage.
  • If the unit is a self-evaporative model, the water should be expelled along the exhaust hose and outside with no leaks.

Security test

  • If the window kit comes with a security lock, check that the window cannot be opened from the outside.
  • If there is no lock, make sure the gap fillers are fastened securely so that they cannot be pushed in from the outside.

Final adjustments

  • After the portable AC has been running for a few hours, observe the setup for a few minutes to ensure that there is no vibration which can loosen the kit or hose.
  • Tighten any loose parts or reroute the hose as needed to ensure everything is secure and operating efficiently.

Your Trusted Source for Portable AC Accessories

At Total Home Supply, we carry a wide range of portable AC accessories, such hoses, connector kits, and filters. If your portable AC window kit falls short of the mark, check out our selection today to ensure a tight and perfect fit for your portable AC!

Mickey Luongo

Mickey is the resident heating and air conditioning expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry.

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