Best Air Conditioner for an Enclosed Porch

If you want to know what the best air conditioner for an enclosed porch is by type and how to install one, you might be surprised at what you'll discover here!

Anyone with an enclosed porch will know how hot it can get in there during the summer months when the warmest weather comes along, especially when there are a lot of windows that face south and west.

air conditioning an enclosed porchMost porches are designed to bring the outdoors inside so you can enjoy the feeling of being out in the garden in comfort if its particularly cold out there. So is it possible to cool them down in hot weather?

Can an Air Conditioner be Put in an Enclosed Porch?

The great news is you can install an air conditioner to cool things down in your porch just like any other space in the home. There are a few requirements to meet, so I'll go over what you'll need to know.

It is possible to install a wall mounted, window or portable air conditioner in a porch to create a comfortable temperature however hot it gets outside.

Installing the unit through the wall or in a window can create a more permanent cooling solution. Adding a window exhaust port for a portable AC will provide a means to vent the hot air and contaminants into the open air from the porch.

A self evaporating portable air conditioner can also be a good choice for an enclosed porch to reduce the need to empty a water container along with better efficiency and economy.

For the added convenience of being able to control your AC unit remotely via your phone or using a voice activated device such as Alexa, a smart air conditioner with WiFi could be a very good choice.

Electrical Outlet for an Air Conditioner

Before installing a window or portable air conditioner in an enclosed porch, it is first important to meet the unit's electrical needs.

A power outlet rated at the correct voltage must be installed close to the intended position of the AC unit to meet its power needs. This should preferably be on a dedicated circuit.

Other appliances should not be connected to this outlet, as the circuit breaker may become overloaded by the added power demand, causing it to trip. Also, avoid using extension cords as these may represent a fire hazard if they cannot cope with the high power load to the AC unit.

Installing a Window or Wall Opening

Whichever self contained air conditioner type is selected, be it a portable, window or wall unit, there must be a means to exhaust to the outside air.

A wall opening will need to created to accommodate a wall AC unit's exhaust needs and this can be done by anyone with basic construction skills. Ensure the opening is the correct dimensions for the AC unit to fit snugly.

Unvented Coolers

While it is technically possible to run an unvented air conditioner unit, the air exhaust is hot and moist, counteracting the AC unit's cooling effect.

Conversely, it is also possible to run a ventless portable air conditioner (evaporative cooler) in an enclosed porch in areas with low relative humidity. However, there will need to be some means to create some air crossflow with outside air to prevent moisture build-up inside.

Window AC

The simplest fixed unit is a window AC, since it can be installed directly in a window. This provides built-in venting and condensate draining to the outside.

Be sure to buy a model with the right power output specifications to match the internal size of the porch for best efficiency and economy of running. A small to medium sized unit will generally suffice for most porch sizes, while there would be no need for something larger or even an industrial size air conditioner, which would represent overkill!

Air Cooling Plus Heat

Some AC units combine air conditioning and heating to provide year-round comfort in your porch. These are best installed in a wall opening in the enclosed porch structure.

This also satisfies the venting needs as the air exit in the back of the AC unit is exposed to outside air, with the front part (where the cold air comes out) inside of the porch.

Portable AC Unit

A portable air conditioner's exhaust hose can be mounted in a window fixing kit that comes with the appliance for the quickest and simplest way to install one.

This allows for the venting of hot air to the outside to maintain a cool interior economically.

Watch Out for Air Leaks

Installing an air conditioning unit in an enclosed porch may suffer from ineffectiveness if the porch is not suitably sealed against drafts and air leakage.

If hot air can get in from outside, the AC will have to work a lot harder to keep it cool in there.

Sealing Gaps

It's a good idea to check your enclosed porch is properly sealed.

Also ensure the opening around a window or wall air conditioner unit is fully sealed, using weather seal strips or silicon sealant around the air conditioner mounting.

Security

An enclosed porch window mounted air conditioner should be secured to prevent its theft and also to ensure the unit cannot fall out of its mount.

Most units come with L brackets that can be fastened to the window opening to keep it closed. For added security as well as to hold the air conditioning unit in position, fit window locks to prevent the window being opened by sliding or lifting.

Air conditioner supports and fixing brackets are readily available at most good home improvement stores.

Conclusion

Installing an air conditioner in an enclosed porch is an excellent way to maintain a comfortable temperature inside during hot weather.

Whether you decide to choose a simple portable AC unit, or a window or wall unit, installing one is relatively easy for a person with handyman skills. However, if in doubt about your ability to install an AC by yourself, the best option is to contact a local skilled HVAC technician to come and install it for you.


Posted: June 30, 2021

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