What is a Self-Evaporating Portable Air Conditioner?

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Updated September 16, 2022

If you are new to the world of indoor cooling, you may want to learn what is a self-evaporating portable air conditioner. Some of the best air conditioners, after all, embrace this design feature. So what is a self-evaporating AC unit, what are the benefits of using one, and should you purchase one for your home? Keep reading to find out.


  • Self-evaporating portable air conditioners, also called no-drip units, don’t require users to empty a drip tray during use.
  • Despite being portable units, these AC models still eliminate excess moisture and use these particles to cool interior components such as coils.
  • Choosing a self-evaporating unit over a window air conditioner leads to decreased energy bills, a decreased humidity level, better efficiency, and more convenience.

What is a Self-Evaporating Portable AC Unit?

As the name suggests, these air conditioners are portable, so you can move them from room to room and not have to worry about what is an AC condenser. These AC units are typically effective if you are learning what is SEER on an air conditioner. Most of the design resembles other portable ACs if you are wondering about air conditioner voltage. There is, however, the evaporation component and other unique add-ons if you are learning what does filter reset mean on an air conditioner.

Insider Tip

These no-drip AC units still include air filters, so clean or replace them as indicated by the instructions.

When you say an air conditioner is self-evaporative, it means the AC evaporates affiliated moisture associated with air cooling. In traditional AC units, there is typically a drip tray or pan which has to be emptied.

Benefits of a Self-Evaporative AC

There are some serious advantages to choosing one of these models over a traditional portable AC unit.

More Convenient

As previously mentioned, there is nothing to empty here, as the water evaporates as part of the system’s design. With regular portable air conditioners, you have to regularly empty the drip tray, or it will overflow. Window units simply let this excess water drip out onto the ground outside, and outdoor units do the same thing. Emptying the drip tray is a big negative about portable air conditioners, but this type solves that problem.

Increased Efficiency

Even cooler? These air conditioners recycle this water as part of the evaporation process. Depending on the model, around half of the water is used to cool off the inner coils and other necessary components. This leads to a fairly substantial increase in efficiency, translating to more comfortable temperatures and lower energy bills each month.

Still Portable

You still have access to all features accessible to portable AC units when using a no-drip model. In other words, move it from room to room at will and continue using your windows normally.


Why does water collect in traditional portable AC units?

Water collects in all AC units, but portable models are not tilted toward the outside, such as window units, or completely sitting outside, such as outdoor units.

Want to buy a self-evaporating portable air conditioner?

Evaporative coolers include plenty of bells and whistles, such as remote control and other tools to assist with the cooling process. They are considered to be more effective than a standard swamp cooler when cooling a large number of square feet at once.

Are portable AC units a good choice?

In many cases, yes, they are a fine choice, as they include regular components such as remote control, an exhaust hose, and more. A portable unit is more convenient to some than a window unit.

STAT: EER stands for energy efficiency ratio. A higher EER indicates a more efficient air conditioner. (source)

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