Portable Air Conditioner FAQs

What is the purpose of the exhaust hose for a Portable Air Conditioner?

The included exhaust hose attaches to the back of the portable air conditioner, allowing the condensed hot air in cooling mode (or cool air in heating* mode) from inside the air conditioner to be vented outside. It is important to ensure that any gaps or holes between the hose and the unit or the hose and the window are covered securely to ensure no warm air (in cooling mode, or cool air in heating* mode) leaks into the room.

*Only applicable to Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner models with Heating mode.

What is a Portable Air Conditioner (PAC)?

A Portable Air Conditioner (PAC) is an Air Conditioner (AC) that is designed to cool a dedicated area, as opposed to an entire building (such as central air conditioners do). They are ideal for cooling a single room such as a bedroom, living room, office or even a studio apartment. PACs sit nicely on wheels for ease of movement and portability. Honeywell PAC’s come with an easy-to-install window kit and exhaust hose that can be quickly installed in your window or door (door may need extra door extension kit).

What about ventilation?

Portable ACs use either a single hose or dual hose design. In cooling mode, single hose PACs remove hot air from the room, and then expel the hot air out the one hose. In cooling mode, dual hose PACs bring in air from outside through one hose, and expels warm air outside through the second hose. In both cases cold air in cooling mode flows through the unit’s vents into the room.

Are there certain types of windows that aren’t suitable for PACs?

Casement windows are quite unique in design and functionality so PACs do not have window kits that can completely cover the gap for these types of specialty windows.

Can I leave the window screen in during installation?

The screen may not interfere with installation, but for better releasing of hot air out the window, it is better to remove the screen.

What is required to setup a PAC?

Honeywell Portable ACs come with a window kit that allows you to easily install the window parts, including the exhaust hose that funnels warm air outside in cooling mode and cool air outside in heating* mode. To install the PAC in a wall it is important to purchase models with the special wall kit that is included in some models**

*Only applicable to Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner models with Heating mode. **Available in select countries only.

How do I know how many BTUs are required to cool my space?

A BTU (British Thermal Unit) is a standard unit of energy that measures the amount of heat per hour an air conditioner removes from a room. The larger the room, the higher the BTU requirement. 
Below, are some general guidelines. However other factors – such as the number of open doorways, a south-facing window with continuous sunlight, or a room with high occupancy – can require a unit with a higher BTU rating than the average guidelines.

Room Size in sq. ft. BTU
350      8,000
450      10,000
550      12,000
700      14,000
1,000   18,000

What electrical requirements should I be aware of ahead of time?

Before plugging in the PAC, it is important to check that the electrical specifications of your PAC unit matches the electrical specifications of your country. You can find these in the Technical Specification sheet that comes with the User Manual and on the rating label located on the unit. Never use an extension cord or power adapter to power the portable air conditioner.

What do I need to know about PAC energy consumption?

AC units demand a lot of energy, so should not be paired on the same electrical outlet with other similar high-consumption devices. Always plug the unit into an available electrical outlet. Never use an extension cord to power your portable air conditioner.

What added benefits does my portable air conditioner offer?

Portable Air Conditioners are easy-to-use handy devices that can be moved around from one place to the other with ease. A portable air conditioner will naturally reduce humidity indoors, which is perfect for hot, humid summer weather. An additional fan mode can help circulate air throughout the room even when you have turned off air conditioning cooling.

Will my air conditioner work in all seasons? Is there an option of a heating mode?

Yes, some models of Honeywell PACs are equipped with a heat pump allowing you to use your air conditioner all year round – even during the winter. The heat pump reverses the cycle of air so that cold air is expelled outside through the window exhaust hose while warm air is pumped into your room. The adjustable temperature range for the heating mode is between 61°F and 77°F (16°C and 25°C).

It is important to note that a heat pump is different from an electric heater. Heat pumps become less effective as the ambient temperature becomes colder. Portable ACs that have heat pump function are recommended for use as a heater only when ambient room temperatures are 50°F (10°C) or warmer. Therefore, they are not recommended as the main heating unit in rooms located in colder, more northern cities. However, in rooms with less extreme cold temperatures, they make a great heating companion and consume less electricity than conventional electric heaters.

What’s the difference between a portable air conditioner and other types of air conditioners?

The basic difference between a portable air conditioner and other types of air conditioners is that PACs do not require permanent installation and they can be moved from one room to the other. PAC’s can be a less costly investment compared with window ACs when you can purchase one instead of multiple units for each room. Window ACs are also fixed and cannot be moved so there is no flexibility in using them to cool different rooms.

When comparing with central air conditioning, PAC’s help save energy as you can cool only the rooms you need, whereas central air conditioning is set up to cool an entire home or building. Central AC is also a much more costly investment to purchase and install compared to PACs.

How long is the exhaust hose? Can I extend the exhaust hose?

The exhaust hose can stretch to a maximum of about 4 feet (120cm) in length. You need to make the necessary arrangements by freeing up at least 20 inches (50 cm) near the window in order to install the air conditioner properly. The length of the exhaust hose is determined by the product specifications. Extending the hose can cause the unit to overheat and malfunction.

Any warranties included with the PAC may be voided if an extra extension hose or other connection part is added to the originally provided installation kit or if the installation is performed differently than the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you experience any difficulties with the exhaust hose or have any questions, please contact our Customer Support team at 1-800-474-2147.

What is the best place in my house for a PAC?

The best part about choosing a portable air conditioner is that they can be used nearly anywhere in your home. All you need is a power outlet and a nearby window to expel warm air in cooling mode (or cool air in heating mode) outside the house. Just follow the instructions to install the window kit and you will be set in no time. Keep in mind that the adjustable temperature range for the cooling mode is between 61°F and 89°F (16°C and 32°C).

What happens to the water that builds up in the unit?

There are three ways that water is removed from the unit:

1. Water evaporates automatically if the PAC is a self-evaporative model. In this advanced unit water evaporates as it passes through the exhaust hose.
2. If you can attach a special drain hose you can redirect the water out through the hose to a special container.
3. The last way to remove water is to remove it manually. When the internal bucket fills with water (can happen after a few hours in high humidity environments) it must be emptied. The unit will alert you when it is full and then shut off until the water is removed.

Can a PAC cool more than one room?

A portable AC is designed to cool one room efficiently and the room size depends on the BTU cooling capacity. If you need cooling in another room you can try adding a fan to help circulate the air into other rooms. However, this may reduce the cooling effect of the original room as the cooled air must be spread across a larger area that may be bigger than it was designed for.

What is the difference between a Single Hose and Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner?

The main difference is the way the exhaust hoses operate on a single versus dual hose configuration. In a single-hose portable AC, warm air is pulled from the room, runs through the AC compressor and refrigerant system to cool down and the heated air and moisture is exhausted through the hose, outside.

Dual-hose portable air conditioners have two separate exhaust hoses. One draws air in from the outside while the second hose expels the heated air and moisture outside. This dual hose system prevents cool air produced by the AC from being exhausted out of the room, a situation that can occur with single-hose portable ACs, making single hose ACs less efficient at cooling a room.

Single Hose Portable Air Conditioners are lower cost to purchase and still an effective option for smaller rooms with good insulation and less warm appliances like computers. For larger rooms and more demanding cooling situations, a Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner may be the preferred choice as they generally cool faster and more efficiently than their single-hose counterparts. Please note that when you buy a dual hose portable AC, they can easily be modified to be single hose units (by removing one of the hoses) for less demanding room environments.

How can I install a Portable Air Conditioner if I have a casement window?

Easy DIY Solution when you don’t have a sliding window:

1. Measure your window

2. Cut clear colored plexiglass the same size as your window

3. Cut hole with a diameter the size of the exhaust hose. Bring exhaust hose to your local hardware store for accurate measurement.

The window bracket does not fit my window – what can I do?

If the window adaptor is too long for the length of your window, you could bring the adaptor to your local hardware shop to be cut to the length you need. If the height of the window adapter and/or hose diameter is too large for your window, you won’t be able to adjust the height or hose diameter but you could do some handy work and cut a Plexi-glas piece to fit the exhaust hose and then secure the plexi-Glas over your window instead. If you are not hoping to do any extra handy work, then  check out this page to see if the exhaust hose or window kit of another model may fit your window better.

The exhaust hose is too short. What can I do?

The length of the exhaust hose is adjustable and you can find the maximum length for your model inside the user manual (or download the manual from here). Unfortunately it is not recommended to extend the hose length. The hose length is scientifically pre-determined based on the specifications of the portable AC. Extending the hose may cause heat to travel slower and collect within the hose instead of being expelled out the window. This can cause the hose and air conditioner to overheat and malfunction. Extending the hose in any way also voids the warranty that comes with the unit. Most Portable Air Conditioners on the market will have similar hose lengths as they run on the same mechanical calculations. If the hose is too short for your window location then it is recommended to install a Window Air Conditioner instead.

Does the Air Vent Swing?

The MN, MM and HL series Portable Air Conditioners have air vents that can be manually adjusted to your desired angle but does not automatically swing. If you prefer a unit that has automatic swing, we suggest you choose the HF series Portable Air Conditioners (HF08CESWK/ HF10CESWK/HF08CESVWK/HF10CESVWK).

My Portable AC remote control comes with an LCD display but the display does not light up

The LCD display included on select models of Honeywell Portable Air Conditioners allows you to view and change settings from across the room. The LCD display does not light up on current models with this feature but we are reviewing feedback from customers and looking into adding a back light to newer models under development.

My unit was delivered with a broken package and/or missing parts. What do I do?

We are sorry that this has happened. Honeywell Air Comfort products are packaged with ISTA-6 or ISTA-3 certified packaging made to support typical delivery. Often units will get damaged during the delivery process which is out of the manufacturer’s control. Please first contact the retailer where you purchased the unit from and they should be able to help you with an exchange. If further issues persist, please contact our Customer Support center.

What is Proposition 65 and Should You be Concerned About It?

Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other
reproductive harm.  These chemicals can be in the products that Californians purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. By requiring that this information be provided, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about their exposures to these chemicals.

Placed upon appliances to disclose the presence of any of nearly 800 chemicals used in manufacturing, this label is mandated by a law passed in the state of California (California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986), more generally referred to as “Proposition 65.”

Simply put, the warning means that the product may contain any of the 800-plus chemicals that the state of California considers harmful. It does not mean that products thus labeled are necessarily harmful, or built in violation of any safety standard, but it is an added warning required by law for manufactures to disclose if any trace amount exists in their product. You can be assured that all Honeywell Air Comfort products are manufactured to all required regulatory approvals for safe consumer use in the United States. You can find more information at this website: https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/

How does a portable air conditioner vent to the outdoors?

Your Honeywell PAC arrives with an exhaust hose and a window kit. The exhaust hose is approximately 4 ft. long and extends from the back of your unit to a window or sliding door. The window kit contains a sliding panel that can be extended or trimmed to fit your window opening. Our standard window kit is sized to fit window frames up a 49.6” and can be used in horizontal slider windows or single- and double-hung windows. A sliding door accessory can be purchased separately, enabling your PAC to be connected to a sliding doorway.

How do portable air conditioners differ from other forms of air conditioning?

The core difference between portable air conditioning and other forms of air conditioning – such as central air or window AC – is its ability to locomote from room to room. When summer arrives, you can choose the specific rooms in your home to cool down, and this can lead to cost savings. Rather than cooling down the entire home as you would with central air, or purchasing multiple units as you would with window AC, you can switch between the rooms you most occupy. Additionally, the installation process is easier than window units since it does not require the same heavy lifting.

How portable is it – can I carry it around my home?

Although these units are referred to as portable air conditioners, they can be quite heavy to lift. Honeywell PACs are constructed with smooth-gliding caster wheels that roll evenly across the floor and from room to room. However, you may need assistance getting the heavier models up and down the stairs.

Are there any restrictions in placing a portable air conditioner?

Your PAC must be connected by the 4 ft. exhaust hose to a window or door. The exhaust hose can neither be too tightly extended nor too tightly coiled, so you’d need to place the unit within a 20” to 40” distance from your venting outlet. As with any air circulation unit, avoid tightly enclosed spaces to ensure effective airflow.

Do portable air conditioners require manual drainage?

All portable air conditioners convert hot air into liquid condensation. Some portable units collect the condensation into an internal tank or funnel it out through a drainage tube. These systems require frequent attendance. More advanced units convert the condensation into water vapor and evaporate it through the exhaust hose and into the outdoors, eliminating the need for manual drainage. These units are described as having an auto- evaporative or self-evaporating hose. In climates with acute humidity, these self-evaporating units may still accumulate a small amount of condensation inside the unit and need manual drainage.

Do PACs need specific electrical requirements?

PACs use regular household 115/120 V power. However, because they are large-draw appliances, you may need a dedicated circuit so you don’t overload your electrical system. Never use an extension cord or power adapter to power a portable air conditioner.

Do portable air conditioners consume a lot of energy?

Air conditioners, including portable air conditioners, are complex machines and heavy power users. However, energy savings can lie in your usage of the technology. Choosing to cool down a single room with a portable air conditioner rather than switching on whole-house central air could result in significant cost savings.

How loud are portable air conditioners?

Most Honeywell portable air conditioners measure around the 50 dBA range. That’s the sounds of a dishwasher or a quiet, urban street.

Are PACs only beneficial during the summer season?

Depending on the model, portable air conditioners can also convert into dehumidifiers, extracting humidity without the cooling feature. This can be useful in the colder, wetter seasons if your space is prone to mold or mildew. Some Honeywell models are also equipped with a heating element, transforming the unit into a secondary heating source for winter.

What is the typical operation routine for a portable air conditioner?

Once your portable air conditioner is connected to your window, you can simply plug and play. Different models will have control options, like multiple fan speeds, timers, fan-only mode or dehumidifier mode. Drainage will depend on your model too: some require manual drainage while others have an auto evaporative hose.

Can I vent the portable air conditioner through a sliding door?

Yes, you could vent your portable air conditioner out of a sliding door. You’ll need to purchase a window kit accessory designed for this greater width.

Should I remove the insect screen after installing the window kit?

The air flow will work better without the obstruction of the insect screen. We suggest removing the screen.

Can I use a portable air conditioner in a room without a window?

No, the heat needs a way to exit the room. If the unit does not release the heat, it becomes equivalent to a fan, recirculating the same hot air around. That’s why venting is necessary: the exhaust hose is removing heat so that your space becomes cool.

Can I vent the portable air conditioner into another room?

The exhaust hose extracts the heat from your current room to the outdoors. Technically you could exhaust the hose into an adjoining room—however, that room will accumulate all the heat that is being extracted.

How can I improve the performance of my portable air conditioner?

Several factors can affect the performance of your portable air conditioner. Foremost is whether your unit’s BTU is suitable for your space. An inadequate BTU will not result in cooling. Other factors can affect performance, too: rooms with large open doorways or within open-plan spaces; rooms with poor insulation or high ceilings; south-facing rooms with copious direct sunlight. If any of these are the case, see if you can tighten up the insulation and overall boundaries, and add light-colored window coverings. Another factor is room occupancy. Crowded rooms will be hotter and require a more powerful unit to cool down.

My portable air conditioner is not cooling down my space. Why?

Run through this troubleshooting checklist:

  • Check your unit’s BTU with your square footage and ceiling height.
  • Determine if your room has many openings – doorways or windows.
  • Determine if your walls and flooring are poorly insulated.
  • Does your room receive a lot of strong, direct sunlight?
  • Is your room often crowded?
What is the typical maintenance routine for a portable air conditioner?

Routine cleaning is an excellent way to prolong the life of your portable air conditioner. Periodically, wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth so it doesn’t accumulate dirt or grime. Weekly, remove and empty out the internal condensation collection tank, rinse and wipe down to prevent any buildup of bacteria. Portable air conditioners usually are equipped with dust filters or active carbon filters. Depending on the model, these may be washable in warm water or may need to be replaced seasonally.

Why does the HF series not show the current/ ambient room temperature?

The HF series of our Portable Air Conditioners are designed to show the setting/desired room temperature as their default setting.