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Portable Air Conditioner: Noise Levels, Cleaning and Storage

What to know about noise

If noise is important to you, then you should examine the decibel (Db) level listed for the portable air conditioning unit you want to buy. In general, the quieter units are listed at about 50 Db, although we have found units with 45 Db (the Soleus PE2-09R-32 Portable Air Conditioner, for example).

Some units advertise a ‘sound or noise damper’ feature. They are designed to reduce fan noise.

How loud is loud? Here are some typical sounds and their decibel levels.

  • 20 dB: Rustling leaves
  • 30 dB: Library, soft whisper
  • 40 dB: Living room noise, quiet office
  • 50 dB: Light car traffic from 120 feet away
  • 60 dB: Conversational speech
  • 70 dB: Noisy restaurant, business office
  • 80 dB: Alarm clock from 3 feet away, hair dryer
  • 90 dB: Large truck from 40 feet away, city traffic

How to Clean and Store Your Unit

Outside of Unit (as needed)

Wipe with a soft, damp cloth and don’t use strong chemicals, detergents or chemically treated cloths.

Clean the Filter Once a Week

Remove the filter frame from the unit, and tap to remove loose dust and dirt. Remove the activated carbon filter (if applicable) from the filter frame. Rinse the white filter under running water that is no hotter than 104°F. Dry carefully before replacing. Be careful not to wet the active carbon filter.

Clean Air Intake Vents Every Week

Vacuum the air intake vents by sing a handheld vacuum or floor vacuum attachments for small areas.

Clean Thoroughly Each Month (once a month or when odor/mold is present)

Each month, or when mold or odors are present, remove and clean the filter frame. Spray acidic solution (a mixture of water and lemon juice, lime juice or vinegar) directly onto the cooling coils, when possible. Let the solution set for 15 minutes, then replace the filter frame.

Turn the unit On and run it the AC mode for six to eight hours, then turn the unit off and drain any water. Turn unit ON and run in AC mode for 6 ~ 8 hours. Then, turn unit OFF and drain water.

How to Store Your Portable AC Unit

You can prevent mold and mildew from growing when the unit is goes unused for long periods. Unplug the unit and empty the water tank. Clean both the filter and intake vent. Turn the unit on and run the fan for about two to three house so the interior will completely dry. Then store the unit in a cool, dry place, away from the sun or other heat.


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