Using a portable AC unit in the hot summer months is a handy solution many homeowners choose — and we can’t blame them! Portable AC units are a much more cost-effective solution compared to wall-mounted air conditioners. Plus, they are easy to install and move around. It’s important, however, to ensure they are properly maintained to avoid any health issues (or even a fire breakout), such as the aggravation of asthma symptoms for patients with asthma, respiratory diseases, and pulmonary conditions.
Improperly maintained AC units could also cause infections as they create a polluted air conditioning environment that can make even healthy people sick. For that reason, it’s critical to have the portable air conditioner filters cleaned often. But where is the filter in a portable air conditioner? This guide will help you figure that out.
Types of Filters For Portable Air Conditioners
Portable AC units come with different types of filers. Some of the most common ones are:
These are the standard filters found in nearly all portable AC units. They help reduce pet hair, dust, and large-sized microbes. You usually don’t need to change them – just wash and reuse. Not the best option for allergy and asthma sufferers as they do not remove allergens from the atmosphere. Plus, you can’t expect pre-filters to remove odors.
Silver Ion Filters
They help purify and clean the air to create an asthma- and allergy-friendly environment. In doing so, silver ion filters impede the growth of microbes (i.e., fungi and viruses) while eliminating bacteria by destroying the inner configuration of the bacteria cells and then absorbing their elements. On top of this, they create comfortable, breathable, pure air by removing pollen, dust, and dander from the air. Silver ion filters have a 3-6-month life expectancy, so you need to replace them after no more than six months of use.
Activated Carbon Filters
These filters absorb light odors, impurities, and contaminants from the air chemically. A portable air conditioner bearing activated carbon filters can help get rid of chemical smells and is also a great option for individuals with pets or who smoke. Activated carbon filters usually come in packs of five and need to be replaced as they cannot be reused.
Antimicrobial Air Filters
Thanks to their unique electrostatic and microstructure charge, they inhibit the growth of some microorganisms and capture pollen, mildew, mold, smoke, lint, and dust from the air. Once the airborne particles are removed from the air, they are trapped in the filter’s complex matrix of fibers. Although you can reuse antimicrobial air filters (a simple wash will do), their purifying attributes lessen each time you wash them as it wears off a portion of their electrostatic charge. It’s best to replace them every three months or so.
3M Air Filters
These filters also have a complex microstructure and an electrostatic charge that captures pollen, mildew, mold, smoke, lint, and dust from the air. Compared to antimicrobial air filters, they are a more cost-effective solution, yet less effective at capturing smaller-sized microbes.
Where to Find the Filter in Your Portable AC Unit?
Although there is no straightforward answer to this question, most models have their filters in a rear compartment. See, for example, this image from a Carrier portable air conditioner model shows where the manufacturer has placed the unit’s filters. As you’ll notice, there are two places for filters – one on the upper side of the portable AC unit and one on the lower side.
Check the manufacturer’s manual/instructions/installation guide for the specifics of your portable air conditioner, including the location of its filters. However, take note that once you have seen how each type of filter looks, you’ll be able to spot them with a naked eye straight up without having to look them up in the manufacturer’s manual.