If you have an enclosed porch, you can install an air conditioner to cool the area just like any other part of the home, so long as a few requirements are met. Window, wall and portable unit air conditioners are good models for the job. Installing the unit in a window or through the wall or by adding an exhaust port allows the unit to vent into the open air, which removes hot air and contaminants from the porch.
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A window, wall or portable air conditioner can be added to an enclosed porch, as long as it vents outside.
Electrical Outlets and Air Conditioners
Before a window unit or portable air conditioner can be installed in an enclosed porch, you must confirm that the unit's electrical needs can be met. A power outlet with the proper voltage must be installed near the intended placement of the unit to meet its electrical needs, preferably on a dedicated circuit. Connecting other appliances to the outlet should be avoided, as the added power demand might overload the circuit breaker, causing it to trip. In addition, avoid using an extension cord as it might not be able to carry the proper power load to the unit, making it a fire hazard.
Window or Wall Opening Installation
Whether the selected air conditioner unit is a portable, wall or a window unit, the unit must be able to exhaust into outside air. Yes, it's technically possible to run an air conditioner unit without ventilation, but air exhaust is dirty as well as hot, which counteracts the cooling effect of the unit.
A window unit can be installed in a window. There are also units that combine air conditioning and heating, which are made specifically for wall openings created in the structure of the enclosed porch. The back part of the unit is exposed to the outside air, while the front sits inside of the porch. The exhaust hose of a portable unit can also fit in a window, or you can add an opening in the porch wall, similar to a dryer vent, to accommodate the ventilation hose and vent the exhaust outside.
Air Leakage Around the Unit
It's almost pointless to install an air conditioner in an enclosed porch if the enclosed porch isn't suitably sealed for drafts and air leakage. After the enclosed porch is properly sealed and inspected, the window or wall opening around the air conditioner unit must be properly sealed. You can use weather seal strips around the air conditioner inside the window or seal around a wall unit with the sealant of your choice.
Air Conditioners and Security
Like air conditioner units installed inside the home, an enclosed porch air conditioner needs to be secured to the walls of the porch to prevent theft and prevent the unit from falling. L brackets come with most units and can be fastened to the top of the open window to keep it from opening. For both home security and to hold the air conditioner in position, add window locks to ensure the window cannot be opened by sliding or lifting the sash. This applies to both window and portable units.
To secure the unit to the building, L brackets can also be used to support a unit that is inserted into the porch wall. Air conditioner supports are readily available at home improvement stores and online.
Whitney Houston began writing in 2006. Her work has been published in "BUST" and PaperDolls magazines. Houston attended St. Edward's University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in photocommunications (photography and digital imaging).