Self Evaporating Portable Air Conditioner: No More Mess!

A labor-saving self evaporating portable air conditioner does away with the chore of emptying a the water tray for anyone that has had enough of doing it and here's how it works!

You can probably identify with the pain of having to lift up a heavy portable cooling unit onto a coffee table to drain the water tank through a hose into a bucket below.

It's a job I hated doing every summer and because my apartment was always so humid, it seemed like I was emptying that thing every week!

Then I bought a self evaporating AC model that changed all that once and for all!self evaporating portable air conditioner

Let's look at why AC units collect water inside them and why they need to be periodically drained or emptied and how self evaporating units do away with this problem.

Why Do You Have to Empty Water from a Portable Air Conditioner?

It's a fact of life that as part of the cooling process, portable air conditioners create condensate inside the unit.

This is because they constantly remove moisture from the air when cooling the room. That moisture condenses inside the unit and drips down into a catchment tray below.

Over time, the tray fills with water and it is this which must be emptied periodically.

Do Portable Air Conditioners Need to be Drained?

Yes they do, but only when the drip tray has filled with water. This happens faster when the air is more humid.

Most AC units have an audible alarm that sounds when you try to run it when the tray is full and an auto shut-off prevents the machine from running.

What Happens if You Don't Drain Your Portable Air Conditioner?

The drip tray located at the bottom of a free standing air conditioner has only a limited capacity.

Significant accumulation of condensate would only happen when there is very high humidity in the air. In any case, over time the tray will fill with water as it is condensed inside the unit until it reaches its capacity.

If the capacity is exceeded, some of the water could overflow onto the floor, leaving a wet patch on tiles or soaking a carpet or rug.

Some AC units have an automatic cut-off that prevents the unit running if the drip tray has filled to its capacity, to avoid this happening. So you will not be able to run the unit unless you empty or drain the drip tray.

What is a Self Evaporating Portable Air Conditioner?

Some portable cooling units are able to evaporate the moisture that is condensed inside, or at least most of it.

These self-evaporating coolers re-use the evaporated condensate to assist in the cooling process before finally expelling the excess water vapor out through the exhaust vent hose or duct.

Different manufacturers of these AC units have slightly different patented systems for achieving self-evaporation, but in essence the end result is that most and often all of the condensate is re-evaporated and expelled from the unit without the need for a drip tray.

What About Portable AC Units that Do Not Self Evaporate?

Here are some more commonly asked questions about non-evaporating air conditioners.

How Often Should I Drain a Portable AC?

How often you'll need to drain a portable air conditioning unit depends on the humidity indoors and how long you keep your AC running each day.

A typical time period can be anywhere from every six hours to once every few weeks.

A lower maintenance option available with certain manufacturer's units is to use a drain hose. To do this, you simply attach a drain hose to the connector at the base of the AC and run it to a drain in a lower location.

Can a Portable AC Be Placed on its Side?

It is not advisable to place an AC unit on its side or upside down.

This mode of placement could cause internal damage such as to the mounting of the compressor. If you place an AC on its side or its back for a long time, for example a day or more, you should put it upright and leave in the upright position unplugged and not run for 24 hours.

This will help to normalize the refrigerant in the coils and allow the unit to settle.

Do Portable Air Conditioners Work as Well as Window AC Units?

In most situations, a window AC will out-perform a portable unit of the same power output rating.

A window air conditioner will actually use energy more efficiently than a comparably powered portable unit. That means a window unit will give you more cooling power per BTU than a free standing AC.


If you want to do away with the chore of having to drain or empty a portable AC unit regularly, upgrade yours to the latest self evaporating air conditioner and get the best model you can afford.

It is false economy to buy a cheap appliance of any kind. For that reason, air conditioning equipment should always be of the best quality that you can afford because it will last longer and give better, more reliable service throughout its life!