9 frequently asked questions about portable air conditioners

how much does it cost to rent a portable air conditioner

Written by Craig Boyle on 05 Oct 2021

Staying cool is a breeze when you choose to hire a portable air conditioner. These versatile, self-contained units are ideal cooling solutions if your current system has broken down or is struggling to cope with sizzling temperatures. So, what can you expect when hiring an air conditioner for your home, office or factory?

Based on our experience, here are nine crucial questions (and their answers) you should consider before choosing a portable aircon for rent.

1. Do portable air conditioners need to be vented? And if so, where?

Yes, like any air conditioning system, portable air conditioners have to be vented to cool a room effectively. Portable ACs pull in warm air from a room and cool it with an evaporator coil, condenser coil and refrigerant. This cool air is then transferred back into the room via the front of the unit while the remaining warm air and moisture are expelled from the back. If this warm air isn’t vented outside internal spaces will not cool down. 

Portable air conditioners come with an exhaust hose and can be vented through a window, door, ceiling and walls.

2. What happens to the water that is collected?

Portable air conditioners extract moisture out of the air as well as heat. Some units have self-evaporative technology, so the water is vented through the exhaust hose along with the hot exhaust air. Other units have internal water reservoirs that collect water and must be emptied manually when full.

The easiest way to get rid of water is to connect your portable AC to a latent condensate pump, which will drain the unit’s condensation tank directly into your building’s wastewater. This saves you from the trouble of having to constantly empty it.

Portable air conditioner hire
Latent condensate pump

3. How noisy are portable aircons?

Nearly all domestic appliances make some kind of noise. The same is true of portable air conditioners. Silent types do not exist so you will always hear something. However, advances in technology mean that modern units operate reasonably quietly.

At Precision Air Rental, our air conditioners have a maximum decibel level of 56dB, which is about the same as having a normal conversation according to Safe Work Australia.

4. What kind of power outlet is needed?

This depends on the type of portable AC you hire, but typically you will want one that connects to a standard power outlet so you don’t have to make any additional electrical arrangements.

Precision Air Rental’s portable air conditioners operate on a standard Australian 10amp power outlet so there are no additional requirements. This makes it easier to plug the unit into different areas of your home or office if needed.

portable air conditioner hire guide

5. What is the right size portable air conditioner for my room?

Finding the right portable air conditioner to give you the cooling you need depends on numerous factors such as the size of the room, insulation, ceiling height and the size of the windows.

As a standard guide, a typical 4.5kW unit can cool a room up to 30m2 so that should give you a good indicator of how many units you may need. In most instances, it is always best to consult with a professional who can help you determine the best size air conditioner for your specific cooling needs.

In larger areas or dry climates, evaporative coolers can also prove to be effective solutions. Knowing the difference between evaporative coolers and air conditioners can help you make the best choice for your needs.

6. What kind of maintenance is needed?

Every appliance needs to be properly looked after to maintain optimum performance. Treated well, portable air conditioners can last for years to come.  Key maintenance requirements include:

  • Clean and replace the filters on a fortnightly or monthly basis, depending on usage.
  • Regularly wipe down the exterior casing with a damp cloth. Avoid using chemicals or detergents.
  • Routinely inspect the condenser coils, which can become dirty with a build-up of grease and grime.
  • Always keep the exhaust hose as straight as possible.

At Precision Air Rental, we regularly clean and service all our residential, commercial and industrial aircon units so they are always in tiptop condition when you hire them.

7. Are portable air conditioners energy efficient?

Some portable units are more energy-efficient than others. According to regulations introduced by the government in April 2020, single duct portable air conditioners (units with a single hose) must meet Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and be labelled with the new Zoned Energy Rating Label (ZERL).

Portable units ideally located near a window for proper venting

8. What are the best places for portable air conditioners?

  • A portable air conditioner should ideally be placed on a hard level floor at least 30 to 40 centimetres away from obstructions such as furniture.
  • An ideal position is close to a window and a power socket, so the hose and power cable don’t overstretch. The hose should be as short and straight as possible.
  • Install portable units in rooms with low humidity. High humidity can increase the frequency of water draining if you don’t have an automated condensate pump.
  • Never position a portable AC unit on a desk, chair or shelf. That’s an accident waiting to happen.
  • Keep your portable unit away from sunny spots as it will have to work harder to keep the room cool and may not provide the cooling comfort you desire.

9. What happens if the unit stops functioning?

If your portable AC stops functioning, the most likely explanation is lack of power. Therefore, check that it is correctly plugged in and the cord isn’t damaged. You can also check your fuse box to ensure nothing has tripped. If the unit is still not working after following these steps, call a portable air conditioning specialist.

Contact the portable air conditioning experts

Whether you need a portable AC unit for domestic, industrial or commercial use, Precision Air Rental has the most suitable device for your needs. For more information, check out our guide on how to choose the portable air conditioner for you. Then call us on 02 9119 5975 for a free, no-obligation quote.

Precision Air Rental’s range of air conditioners for hire
Craig Boyle

Craig Boyle

Craig is the owner of Precision Air Rental and has been in the air conditioning industry for nearly 10 years. When your building is stifling hot in the middle of summer and you need help cooling it down, Craig and his team will come to the rescue!


Precision Air Rental

Precision Air Rental

Precision Air Rental offers temporary air conditioning products that cater to residential, commercial and industrial properties, and events.
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