are portable air conditioners safe

Are Portable Air Conditioners Safe?

Portable air conditioners can be a great way to keep your home cool and comfortable during the hot summer months. But before you buy one, it’s important to ensure it is safe.

Quick Answer: Yes, portable air conditioners are safe. As long as you maintain them properly and run them on moderate settings, there are no health hazards. They are also safe for children and pets since there are no exposed hot parts and no sharp edges.

You can place the portable air conditioner unit anywhere as long as it removes warm air and blows cool air into your home.

You will find answers to your questions and tips on how to run your portable air conditioner safely in this article.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the details.

Do Portable Air Conditioners Make You Sick?

Although portable AC units cannot directly cause you to become sick, they can undoubtedly be a source of sickness. The toxins are readily spread when the air in your room is circulated by air conditioning, leading to health issues.

Portable ACs have these components:

  • Evaporator coil
  • Refrigerant
  • Condenser coil
  • Compressor
  • Fan

These components can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria, which they then release into the air and cause you to become ill.

Among the illnesses you could experience; nausea, dizziness, headache, earache, cough, allergies, asthma, etc.

However, if you properly care for your portable AC unit, it should not cause you any illnesses. I’ll discuss how you can safely use portable air conditioners later in this blog post.

Do Portable Air Conditioners Emit Gasses?

Portable air conditioners do not release gasses until they tip over and break. Even then, you won’t suffer any harm from the gasses released. The carbon chemicals in portable ACs are hydrofluorocarbons, which pose no health hazards.

Many people falsely assume that portable air conditioners release dangerous carbon monoxide. I’ll set the record straight: the air conditioners do not release carbon monoxide.

You shouldn’t be concerned about having an electricity-powered portable unit because carbon monoxide is formed when fuel is consumed.

However, there is no guarantee of safety if you have a gas-powered air conditioner because the unit could malfunction and release carbon monoxide under certain conditions.

If there is a source of carbon monoxide nearby, an air conditioner may also be able to absorb it through its cooling effect.

Are Portable Air Conditioners Safe for Kids?

Yes, a portable air conditioner is quite safe for kids. It does not have any sharp edges or exposed hot parts. Even though some components may heat up when the compressor runs, such components are well-protected.

One possible risk for safety is if it tips over, but since it is so heavy, it is nearly impossible for a kid to do so. When children are physically strong enough to tip it over, they are also clever enough to refrain from doing so.

Are Portable Air Conditioners Safe for Pets?

Since portable air conditioners don’t feature any harmful components, they are generally safe for use around pets. The air conditioner is actually beneficial for your pets, but if you don’t set the temperature just right, it may make them sick.

You might even worry that if your cat perched on top of the portable air conditioner, it might get hurt. However, you shouldn’t worry because, in this situation, a portable air conditioner is perfectly safe.

Since high humidity can make your pets sick, an air conditioning system is helpful for pet owners. However, be careful not to set the air conditioner’s temperature too low. You need to get the temperature just right to be set to go. 

Is It Safe to Use a Portable Air Conditioner in a Room Without Windows?

Yes! Using a portable air conditioner without a window is safe, but the hot air it emits will stay in the space and cause a cycle of cool and hot air, defeating the air conditioner’s intended purpose of cooling the space.

A portable air conditioner must vent hot air somewhere outside, which would be difficult without a window, but not impossible. You could come up with other alternatives to let the heat out.

You may vent the heat out through a door, a hole in the wall, or even through the ceiling.

Also read: Can You Use a Window Air Conditioner without a Window?

Can a Portable Air Conditioner Be Left on All Night?

You can safely leave a portable air conditioner running all night as long as you run it on moderate settings. On too high cooling settings, it might draw too much power for your wall outlet and overheat.

The air conditioner typically turns off by itself when the water tray inside is close to overflowing.

If the portable air conditioner overheats throughout the night or if it is not connected to a particular plug, sparks and shorts can occur. Wires that are old and broken may also be to blame.

Also, keep in mind that leaving it open all night will result in very high energy consumption and, consequently, high bills.

4 Tips to Use Portable Air Conditioners Safely

Avoid Heat 

If you set your portable air conditioner in direct sunlight, the heat it radiates will cause it to heat up, making it ineffective at cooling the room and shortening its lifespan due to the extra efforts it will have to make.

Have Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation will assist channel hot air away from the compressor, preventing it from overheating and effectively cooling the space.

Clean the Air Conditioner

Regularly cleaning the portable air conditioner may prevent the ventilation hose from twisting, which could lead to more problems with the unit.

Simply dampen a towel with only warm water and wipe the conditioner’s exterior and vents to clean them. But watch out that the towel isn’t dripping.

Replace the Air Filter

It is important to replace the air filters on a regular basis to keep dirt and debris from accumulating inside. 

The lifespan and effectiveness of the cooling system are both shortened by the dirty air filter, which also reduces air quality by circulating more dust.

Read more: How to Make a Portable Air Conditioner More Efficient?

Conclusion

When it comes to portable air conditioners, they are the safest and most beneficial to have. Moreover, their flexibility will make you want to get your hands on them without a second thought.

It is absolutely safe not only for you but also for your children and pets. It only requires a little cleaning and maintenance, which you can do by following the tips outlined above in the article.

About the Author

Daniel Hirsch

Daniel is an electrical engineer, blogger, and author. He studied electrical engineering and information technology and decided to blog about heaters after working in the temperature sensing industry.