HomeBLOGAir ConditionersHow Often Do You Have To Drain a Portable Air Conditioner?

How Often Do You Have To Drain a Portable Air Conditioner?

Portable air conditioners are such popular items, especially with the increasing heat. However, as portable and beneficial as these air conditioners are, they can be done and need some maintenance. That includes draining them.

How long you drain your portable AC depends on how humid your place is. If your room is very humid, you may have to drain your portable AC as often as every 8 hours. But this is only if it’s very humid. You may rarely need to drain your AC if you are in a dry area.

I will discuss this topic more below, so read on to find out more.

How Often Do You Have to Drain a Portable Air Conditioner?

Depending on where you are and the humidity of your area, the time you need to drain your portable air conditioner will vary. For example, if your area is very humid, your drain time might be as long as 8 hours. But if your place is very dry, you will rarely need to drain your AC.

What Happens If You Do Not Drain Your Portable Air Conditioner?

Many people think it is okay not to drain their portable air conditioner. However, that is a big mistake. It would be best if you emptied your portable AC because not draining it can lead to issues like the ones below.

The portable AC will shut off and may not turn back on.

Most portable air conditioners have built-in float switches. These switches automatically trigger when water fills up the condensate tank of the AC. When this happens, many portable ACs have alarms telling you it is time to drain. If you do not drain the tank, then the AC will not turn back on.

The tank may overflow.

Many people ignore the full condensate tank of their portable ACs, thinking that they can delay draining the water out. However, this may affect the built-in float switch, causing it to malfunction. It may result in an overflow of the water inside.

The portable AC may develop molds.

Moist environments are breeding grounds for molds. Unfortunately, many people neglect to think that their portable ACs will get moldy. Well, that is not true. If the water inside the AC tank is not drained, it will cause the inside to be moist. It is the perfect petri dish for a mold colony.

If you do not drain your AC, many more things can happen, so make time on your schedule to drain the water out.

Why Is Portable Air Conditioner Producing So Much Water?

Why Is Portable Air Conditioner Producing So Much Water?

Whether portable or not, air conditioners cool down your room or home. As the air inside the area cools, water condenses in the air conditioner. This water is then collected into a tank.

However, if you notice that your air conditioner is unusually producing more water, there might be another reason. But most probably, it is because of humidity from the inside and outside of your home.

Remember that outside of your home can increase in temperature and humidity. It can cause your portable AC to produce more water than usual as the temperature and humidity increase.

Another reason can be the increase in your home’s internal humidity. For example, cooking, having a warm shower and having many people inside the house can increase the home’s moisture. It is especially true if these often happen, leading to more water produced in your air conditioner.

Do Portable Air Conditioners Need To Be Drained?

Yes, you do need to drain your portable air conditioner. Draining it will help you avoid unwanted incidents that may cause your air conditioner to malfunction, such as:

People Also Ask

How long can your portable air conditioner stay running continuously?

Your portable air conditioner can stay running continuously for as long as possible. However, it is only possible if you regularly do the following:

If these things are done regularly, then you are good to go. However, even if your portable AC can run continuously, it is still better to give it some break. After some running time, give your AC time to cool down. It will also prolong the life of the parts inside.

How do you drain a portable air conditioner?

There are a couple of ways you can use to drain your portable AC. You can use a hose, a pan, or a pump. These three are discussed below.

  • Draining using a hose

Most portable air conditioners do not come with a pump, but they have a drainage hub. So, you can use a hose to drain the water out. Be sure that the hose is on the ground and short enough to drain the water. Remember that the hose has to be flat on the ground, and the only elevated part is the one attached to the hub.

  • Draining into a pan

If you do not want to use a hose, you can use a pan or a basin to drain the water. Put the pan or basin under the draining hub and remove the plug. You may want to wear an apron since water can gush out.

  • Draining using a pump

Little Giant VCMA-20ULST Condensate Removal

You can also use a condensate pump on your portable AC. When the pump is on, it pushes the water out. It is faster and more convenient as you do not have to position the AC properly, unlike the hose and the pan.


Draining your portable air conditioner is essential, primarily if you continuously use it. The length of draining will vary, but it may take up to 8 hours if it is very humid. But, if the area is dry, you may rarely need to drain your portable AC.

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