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SAM105
Venting a Portable Air Conditioner

I recently purchased a portable (stand alone) air conditioner. My problem is, because of the type of windows in my unit I can't vent it out a window as most people do, and because of my HOA rules I can't vent through a wall either. However, I've read that these portable units "can" be vented into a crawl space, drop ceiling or attic. I've decided to vent it to my attic which is well ventilated using affordable PVC pipe and do the work myself; unfortunately the diameter size required by the manufacturer is 5 inches for proper venting of the portable unit. I've looked locally (HomeDepot, Lowes, etc.) and that diameter PVC can't be found? Can anyone direct me to a local supplier (San Diego area) that would sell 10' lengths and fittings for 5 inch diameter PVC? Also, has anyone ever heard of "oval" shaped PVC so that I can put the vent in a 3-1/2 inch stud bay instead of building a chase like I'm planning to do now? Or is there some other type of material that might be better suited for a project of this type? I'm open to suggestions from anyone who's tried to do this, or has knowledge of this type of venting for a portable A/C unit?

Fencepost
Re: Venting a Portable Air Conditioner

You should be able to go a size up -- 6" PVC may be available. You could also use galvanized or aluminum vent pipe like that used for air ducts or dryer vents. If you used s 6" metal vent pipe, it could be squashed to fit in a 3-1/2" cavity with not too much loss of cross-sectional area.

My only concern with venting to the attic is moisture. Adding moisture to the attic is a recipe for mold and rot.

Having a restriction on venting out a wall seems ridiculous. How in the world are your bath fans and clothes dryer vented? It is quite typical for those to be vented out the wall. How would the HOA know the difference between an A/C vent and a dryer vent?

I could understand prohibiting a window-mount style A/C unit being vented out a wall; those look butt-ugly. But the type you have should be OK. I think that is probably the intent of the rules; I think if you clearly explained what you wanted to do to the HOA they probably would allow it.

ordjen
Re: Venting a Portable Air Conditioner

Air-conditioner exhaust has been de-humidified. It is merely heated air which is being exhausted. These portable units usually deposit their condensate water into a resevoir which must be manually emptied. It should not be a problem dumping into the attic. In any event, I would extend the duct up to one of the roof vents and have it exhaust close to it.

I am curious why it requires a 5 inch exhaust? Those portable units I have seen only have a 4 inch flex tube coming out of the back.

tshell
Re: Venting a Portable Air Conditioner

I'd go with galvenized, and don't vent to the attic...portable ac units, old ones...have the same type vents used to move cold condenstation away from the heating mechanism in Portable Sinks.

alliejd
Re: Venting a Portable Air Conditioner

I'm quite curious how this turned out. I am also considering venting into the attic (there's an auto attic fan out the top).

My condo's master bedroom has a vaulted ceiling in half the room. The other half of the ceiling is lower and has an attic above it which is where the furnace is. The central air is horrible, even with a new ac unit outside, so I want to put in a portable ac unit on a shelf about 4' from the ceiling and punch a hole through the top of the wall wall which leads to the attic.

I was going to buy a 13,000 btu evaporator type unit, which does not require emptying water out (since it will be about 10' off the floor). But that means the air into the attic would be more moist, right?

I saw that Delonghi makes (made) a two-piece ac that requires only a small 2" hole. But I can't seem to find one that is currently made.

Re: Venting a Portable Air Conditioner

I am curious why it requires a 5 inch exhaust? Those portable units I have seen only have a 4 inch flex tube coming out of the back.

micheal
Re: Venting a Portable Air Conditioner

On the off chance that you are searching for convenient A/C simply Have a look Whynter ARC-12S The Whynter ARC-12S is the most proficient versatile aeration and cooling system we tried. It likewise costs considerably less than the Frigidaire Gallery, however, its cooling execution is nearly as great.

Clarence
Re: Venting a Portable Air Conditioner
micheal wrote:

On the off chance that you are searching for convenient A/C simply Have a look Whynter ARC-12S The Whynter ARC-12S is the most proficient versatile aeration and cooling system we tried. It likewise costs considerably less than the Frigidaire Gallery, however, its cooling execution is nearly as great.

I don't like the Whynter ARC-12S it does not cool or heat just runs.

Tiang
Re: Venting a Portable Air Conditioner

I set up Air Cooler 2 years ago (Hitachi). Still serving me well. Don't need to panic anymore. I'm happy with this one. 

John
Re: Venting a Portable Air Conditioner

(Tips on venting portable air conditioners thru a window are at end of comments on venting in attic) I installed a 30 pint portable dehumidifier in my 1500 sqft finished basement which was damp and musty. I connected a garden hose from the dehumidifier to the condensation pump on my whole house HVAC system in the basement to remove water which collects in the dehumidifier. My web research said too much humidity in the attic will cause the insulation to settle and reduce the R value. I've bought another dehumidifier for the attic and will do the same installation using my attic HVAC. I have a "bonus" room over my garage which my attic HVAC does not cool very well, thus I should be able to place a portable air conditioner in my bonus room, vent the hot air exhaust into the attic and let the dehumidifier remove the moisture. A gable vent fan currently installed in my attic removes heat build up from the sun and that fan is large enough to handle the extra heat build up from the portable air conditioner's exhaust. My energy star dehumidifier in the basement removes substantially more condensate than the basement HVAC, so less strain is placed on the HVAC system and that permits the HVAC to have a longer pyhsical life. I have also raise the temperature on the thermostat because of less humidity, i.e. Scottsdale, AZ. FYI, some portable air conditioners also have a dehumidifier function with garden hose adapter to drain condensate. If you're using a portable air conditioner be sure to wrap the exhaust vent in flex duct insulation using nylon straps on each end, use styrofoam to insulate the rectangular window adapter and hang thick curtains as this will keep the interior air substantially colder. If moving the portable air conditioner from room to room is difficult, buying an extra exhaust vent window kit wiil make the process easier. Also, sliding glass door exhaust vent kits are available.

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