Do you need a drain hose for a portable air conditioner?

Do portable air conditioners have to have a drainage hose, what could happen without drainage, how you connect a drainage hose, and what is the recommended hose size?

If you are looking to purchase a portable air conditioner and are wondering if you would need a drain hose for your portable unit, the answer is yes. Your portable air conditioner will need a drain hose in order for it to function at its best and to satisfy your cooling needs.

Before deciding to use your portable air conditioner without a drain hose, you will need to consider what may happen if you choose to do so and you will need to know how often your unit will need to be drained.

What is likely to happen if you do not drain your unit with a drain hose?

Choosing to not drain your air conditioner will result in some things going wrong with your unit. Not having the proper drainage for your portable unit will mean that it can potentially turn off and not turn on again. This is said to be one of the most common results of no drainage.

Some portable air conditioning units will come with a built-in float switch, which is intended to switch the air conditioner off if the condensate tank ends up filling up with water and needs to be emptied. When the tank fills up, an alarm will notify you of the status of the tank. This way, you will be aware that the tank needs to be drained.

In the case where the float switch might not be working, you will have no way of knowing that your condensate tank is full, which will definitely lead to it overflowing with water. This may not be a huge issue but may lead to water damage in your home.

A more serious issue that can arise from your unit not being drained, is the development of mould in the unit. The accumulation of moisture from water not being drained can lead to the growth of mould, which can cause health hazards as bacteria continues to develop. Moist environments are known to be the breeding ground for such.

So, ensuring to drain your portable air conditioner can help to avoid complications for your home and your air conditioning unit.

Does a portable air conditioner really need a drain hose and how can you connect one?

Having a continuous drain hose attached to your portable air conditioner is a great alternative to having to manually remove water that accumulates in the unit. All it requires is for a drain hose to be attached and to have it run where it will be able to expel all the accumulated water.

In order to properly attach a drain hose, you would need to note that because drain hoses will depend on gravity to be able to drain properly, you will not be able to drain it vertically or even through a window unless you will be using a condensate pump too.

Since the condensate pump is the most resourceful way of draining, water will be able to be drained out without having to depend on gravity. Only portable units with a condensate pump will be able to be drained through a window.

The condensate pump will normally turn itself on once the collected water has reached a certain level, and then turn itself off once most of the water has drained.

What is the recommended size for a portable air conditioner hose?

Typically, drain hoses should be between four to seven feet long, but there are no set rules. In terms of the diameter of the hose, you would need to measure the outlet size of your portable unit before you purchase it and determine the dimensions of your drain outlet from your unit. Manufacturer information will also have recommendations for your unit included in the user manual on the exact dimensions you would need for the unit.

When it comes to certain air conditioner models, Haier will recommend inside diameter of 11/16 (0.70) inches and an outside diameter of 15/16 (0.963) inches for single drain units. For dual drain units, it will recommend the same inside and outside diameters for the unit in dehumidifying mode, while for cooling mode, the inside diameter will need to be 5/15 (0.3358) inches.

Additionally, it will need to be an outside diameter of 9/16 (0.565) inches. Hisense will recommend an inner diameter of 14mm to match the size of the drain port.

So, portable air conditioners may need a drainage hose, depending on the type of model the unit is and whether it has an evaporative way of getting rid of the water that accumulates.

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