Portable Air Conditioner Exhaust Hose Gets Hot – Common Causes

Updated: | Author: Elissa Huebert | Affiliate links may be present.

When we think of air conditioners, we think of cool temperatures! If your portable air conditioner hose is excessively hot, your air conditioner may not be working to its full potential! Stay cool in hot weather with these air conditioner exhaust hose troubleshooting tips.

A portable air conditioner unit replaces warm air with cool air. The warm air travels out of the area via an exhaust hose. The exhaust hose can get hot for a number of reasons. The air conditioner may be improperly vented, the unit may be the wrong size for the area to be cooled, the exhaust hose may need to be replaced or insulated, it may be low on refrigerant, or it could just need a good cleaning.

Why Does the Air Conditioner Exhaust Hose Get Hot?

Problem: Improper Venting

A portable air conditioner has to allow the hot air to escape somewhere! For window units, the air is usually vented out the window. Air conditioners in rooms without windows also need to be vented properly in order to cool the room and keep the unit running smoothly.

Solution: Use a Venting Kit

Follow the instructions for installation on your air conditioner and venting kit. Proper venting will not only keep you cool, but it will also keep the air conditioner exhaust hose cool as well.

Resist the urge to modify the exhaust hose in any way. Modifications can compromise the unit’s ability to vent properly.

Problem: Wrong Sized Air Conditioner Unit

It is important to pick an air conditioner unit with the proper number of BTUs for your space. BTU is the abbreviation for British Thermal Energy. A BTU is a measurement of heat energy. So, for an air conditioner, the BTUs are the measurement of how much heat can be taken away to produce cool air.

Solution: Measure the Area

Measure your room before you purchase an air conditioner unit. Ceiling height, sunlight, and the number of people in the room make a difference in how many BTUs are required. This handy BTU calculator may be helpful!

Problem: Frost Buildup

The air conditioner will create moisture as it cools the area. This moisture can freeze on the coils. The build-up of ice will cause the air conditioner to struggle, leak, or shut down completely.

Solution: Proper Air Flow

Make sure there is airflow around the coils of the air conditioner unit to prevent frost and ice build-up! If you do notice frost on the coils, clean it off immediately.

Problem: Dirty Air Conditioner Unit

Air conditioners need to be cleaned, too! Dirty filters, dirt build-up, and mold will hinder the production of cool air.

Solution: Clean the Unit

Clean or replace the carbon and HEPA filters regularly! The instructions for your unit should have guidelines for filter cleaning and replacement.

Use a vacuum with a hose attachment to clean any dust or build-up in the vents. During spring and summer, there may be pollen blocking the vents. Regular cleaning will allow air to flow freely in and out of the unit.

If the air coming from the air conditioner smells musty, check for mold. Clean out the drain pan, the line, and the filter with vinegar or soapy water. Allow the pieces to dry thoroughly before reassembling and using the air conditioner.

Problem: Uncovered Exhaust Hose

The radiant heat from an uncovered exhaust hose may make the hose hot and could also affect the temperature of the room you are trying to cool.

Solution: Install a Hose Cover

Place an insulated exhaust hose cover on the exhaust hose. The cover will help decrease the hose temperature and help your unit to cool more efficiently.

Problem: Damaged Exhaust Hose

Before you install an exhaust hose cover, carefully check the hose. For ideal cooling, the exhaust hose should not be any longer than 5-7 feet. It should also be as straight as possible, without any twists or bends. Check the hose for damage.

Solution: Repair or Replace the Exhaust Hose

If the hose is too long or damaged, replace the hose. Check the specifications on your air conditioner unit to make sure that you purchase the correct size and make.

Problem: Low Refrigerant Levels

Refrigerant is the charge in the air conditioner unit that cools the air. If there is a leak, the refrigerant levels will become too low to cool the air efficiently. As a result, the air conditioner unit will have to work extra hard to create cool air with less refrigerant.

Solution: Refill the Refrigerant

First of all, check for a leak. If the unit is leaking refrigerant, repair the air conditioner before you replace the refrigerant. Check your manual. It should indicate how much refrigerant the unit needs to run properly. Replace the refrigerant in the prescribed amount.

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About Elissa Huebert

Elissa has been a homeowner for two decades. As a home school mom, she has to spend the majority of her days at home, so it was quite natural for her to become enthusiastic about things like home improvement, DIY and space management. In her free time, she loves reading and writing. She's also an avid runner and recently ran her first ultramarathon.

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