Can You Lay a Portable Air Conditioner on Its Side Without Damaging It?

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The size of your house can make you want to change the position of the air conditioner to have it fit in. positioning the air conditioners well makes the space look organized and enable you to conserve space. But Can You Lay a Portable Air Conditioner on Its Side?

You shouldn’t lay a portable AC on its side when it’s running. If you lay it on the side, it can affect the compressor leading to a permanent failure. The compressor, in this case, won’t be able to retain the condensate, and the water will spill on the floor. Additionally, the compressor won’t get enough oil supply affecting how it works. Read on and get more explanation on if you can lay the AC on its sides or not.

Can You Lay a Portable Air Conditioner on Its Side?How do Portable Air Conditioners Work

A portable air conditioner is supposed to work while in an upright position. If you lay it on its sides or back, it will not perform as it should. The AC on the sides will destroy the compressor or other internal fixtures. The compressor, for example, will have difficulties moving its components which will lead to mechanical fatigue

Also, if you lay the AC on its sides, the compressor will get spoilt. This will be because it won’t work normally by gathering humidity and then removing it through the condensation pan. The compressor will also not get an adequate oil supply to run well as they will spill while the unit is on its side. Additionally, the condensate will also not run to the pan but to the floor. So, you need to put the AC in the correct posture it was built to enable the machine to work without challenges. 

However, there are instances when you can lay the air conditioner on its sides when transporting it. When transporting the AC, first allow it to stand upright for some time before laying it on the sides. You got to ensure the time it lays on the sides is equal to the duration it takes while upright. 

What Are the Effects of Laying a Portable Ac on Its Sides?How to use portable air conditioner

You can relocate your portable AC from one room to the other without affecting how it works. But it’s not good to lay it on its side. If you move it to another room, you’ve got to vent it and have it work normally. However, you shouldn’t lay it on the sides even if there’s limited space. If you do so, it will lead to;

Damaged Compressor What causes A/C compressor clutch failure?

The compressor is a crucial part of the AC, which enables it to function properly. It puts pressure on the refrigerant, which helps do away with humidity in the air cooling your house in the process. Your AC can have a rotary or scroll compressor. When you lay the portable AC on the side, the compressor that moves and vibrates as it runs won’t do this easily. This movable part will struggle to spin and, in the end, have mechanical fatigue. 

Oil Spills 

Another thing that will happen if you lay the portable air conditioner on the sides is that the oil will spill. Remember, the oil should lubricate your ACs compressor to eliminate friction, resulting in heat production. Heat on the compressor can interfere with the shaft or bearings of the AC. 

Oil spills will reduce the amount of oil reaching the compressor and make it not run smoothly. If this continues for a long, the compressor will be badly damaged. 

Condensate LeakageCleaning/maintaining portable AC

When the AC is on as it tries to cool down the temperature, condensation occurs. This happens when the warm air gets into contact with the evaporator coils. The temperature will reduce, and liquid will be produced in the process. This liquid (condensate) will then go to the AC’s pan, where it will be removed from the unit as the temperature in the house reduces. 

The condensate will flow as usual if you lay the AC, but it will not reach the pan. Instead, the water will fall on the floor. When water drops on the floor, you’ll have an extra job to do as you’ve got to drain it off. If you’ve got other electric components, water on the floor is also a danger and can result in a fire outbreak. 

Note that there are the fully evaporative portable AC and partially evaporative AC. Any of these units allows moisture to get out through the exhaust hose automatically. If you lay the AC on the side, this self-evaporative technology will interfere with how the water evaporates.  

If you’re looking for an easy way to cool down your space on a hot day, consider using a portable air conditioner. While these units can be placed on their side, there are a few things to keep in mind before doing so. First, make sure the power cord is long enough to reach all of the unit’s ports. Second, be aware of any obstacles that may get in the way of airflow. Finally, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using the air conditioner on its side.

Is It Possible to Store a Portable AC While Laying on Side?Is It Possible to Store a Portable AC While Laying on Side?

You may not need to use the portable AC, especially during the winter. If you opt to store away your portable AC, it’s best to keep it in an upright position. Doing this will prevent the compressor from getting spoilt. 

Laying the air conditioner on the sides while storing it will also make oil not reach the compressor. If you want to operate the ac immediately after getting it out of the store, it will have difficulties working. This is because the compressor won’t be well lubricated, making it struggle to run. 

But the ac will not spoil while storing it on its sides. Instead, it will get damaged when you turn it on immediately. To avoid this, you need to put back the unit upright for some time before turning it on. This will help redistribute oil to the compressor. 

Note that the time you should leave the AC in an upright posture after storing it lying on the sides depends on how long it was not used. For example, if you didn’t use it for two days, allow it to stay upright for around 24 hours without turning it on. 

Read Also: 10 Reasons Portable Air Conditioner Compressor Keeps Shutting Off

Steps On How to Store a Portable Ac

Here are the steps to follow if you want to store your portable AC during the winter safely. Keeping this unit during this season will make it last longer and reduce your maintenance expenses. 

  • First, disconnect the power cord wrap and store it at the back of the AC. 
  • After that, remove the vent hose and the window kit. If your AC has somewhere special to store it, keep it there. 
  • Then drain off the water on the condensate pan. Also, remove the drain knob to prevent rust.
  • Detach the filter and clean them before returning them for storage.
  • Finally, keep away the unit in a cupboard or closet. This should be away from direct sunlight but without low temperatures. 

Can You Lay Portable AC on Its Side When Transporting It?

Yes, you can. However, you need to keep it in that position for some time then change it upright. Let the time it stays laying on the vehicle equal the duration it will stay erect. When you leave the unit laying, the compressor won’t get adequate oil, affecting its performance when you start running the unit afterward. To prevent this, avoid using the AC immediately after getting it from the vehicle. Instead, allow it to stay for some time before use. 

Tips On How to Prevent the Portable AC’s Compressor from Failures

If you want to have your portable ac serve you for long use the following tips;

Look For Any Leakages. 

If the refrigerant leaks, it can be a hazard, so you need to fix it before getting out of control. Look out for temperature changes and if the AC is not producing cold air. If the refrigerant leaks, the AC will struggle to keep working, and it can destroy the compressor in the process. 

Lubricate the AC 

You should also lubricate the portable AC to prevent friction and heat, from affecting the unit’s performance. Regularly do this to avoid spending much money repairing worn-out parts. 

Keep The Unit Clean

If you keep the portable AC clean, it won’t experience challenges as it works. Avoid dusty places and prevent dirt from reaching them to enable them to last longer. A dirty and dusty area will destroy the machine and make it ineffective. 

FAQ About Laying a Portable Air Conditioner on Its Side

What is the difference between a portable air conditioner and a window air conditioner?

Window air conditioners are designed to fit into a window opening, while portable air conditioners are not. Window air conditioners must be vented to the outside, while portable air conditioners can be vented either to the outside or to a room adjacent to the one in which they are cooling. Portable air conditioners are also less expensive than window air conditioners.

How many BTUs does a portable air conditioner have?

A portable air conditioner typically has a heat output of between 5,000 and 10,000 BTUs. This means that the appliance can cool a room that is between 150 and 300 square feet in size.

How do I lay a portable air conditioner on its side?

The process of laying a portable air conditioner on its side generally includes lifting the unit onto a surface that is slightly elevated, such as a table, and tilting it so that the front of the machine is facing downward. This will help to ensure that the condensation created by the cooling process can properly escape from the machine.

What size of a portable air conditioner can I lay on its side?

The size of a portable air conditioner that can be laid on its side is typically around 10 inches in height. This allows the unit to be easily placed in tight spaces or moved from room to room as needed. While all portable air conditioners are designed to be movable, some are taller and may not be able to be laid on their sides. It is important to check the dimensions of the specific model you are interested in before making a purchase.

Bottom Line 

Laying a portable AC on its side is not advisable as it will destroy the compressor. Oil will also leak in the process and make different components like the compressor heat up. The condensation pan will also be incapable of collecting the water, and your floor will be wet after some time. 

It’s advisable to use the portable air conditioner upright to avoid all these. But if you’ve got to lay the unit on its side, don’t run it immediately you put it in an upright position. This can destroy the compressor and make you incur additional expenses.

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