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How long does my aircon unit need to be upright before use?
December 30, 2012 12:22 AM   Subscribe

Do I really need to let my portable aircon stand upright for 24 hours?? :(

So, it's over 105 degrees here, and my new rental apartment has no aircon. After a horrible sleep last night, I just went out and bought a De'Longhi 2.85kW Pinguino. (Please don't tell me if it's crap, it was the only thing left in my price range ;). As the dude loaded it into my car (hatchback, so it had to lie sideways), he said 'Make sure you stand it upright for 24 hours before turning it on'. !! GRRR.

Googling has yielded conflicting answers. Can someone please tell me that this is overkill, and I can turn the thing on at bedtime tonight? (in 6-8 hours)? Or do I risk breaking it?
posted by Salamander to Grab Bag (10 answers total)
 
Oops, forgot to say: it was only on its side for 10 minutes from the store to my house.
posted by Salamander at 12:26 AM on December 30, 2012


Is it too late to call and ask why? Is that even mentioned in the manual?

To be honest, I'd simply turn it on, and return it if it broke.
posted by oceanjesse at 12:32 AM on December 30, 2012


Check the manual-- if it doesn't warn you leave it for 24 hours, then don't do it.

It is bad to run the compressor of a refrigerator (which is like enough to an AC) when it's not in the upright angle-- I'm not sure exactly why, but I gather that internal parts don't sit correctly, and rely on gravity. Perhaps someone else knows.

P.S. the other side of the pillow is cooler.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:55 AM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, you have to leave it upright for some period of time, so that the lubrication oil can return and pool in the bottom of the (presumably sealed) compressor.
The manual ought to mention it. Small things like ice cream makers and portable air conditioners are more likely to end up on their sides during shipping than refrigerators and freezers.
If it matters, they ought to mention it.
posted by the Real Dan at 12:58 AM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also have a DeLonghi Pinguino, though I can't verify the model number. Ours is stored on its side for the winter, and I've never waited more than a couple hours before turning it on after righting it--anecdotal, obviously, but you should be fine.

OceanJesse, I've asked why before, and apparently it's the same deal for any cooling apparatus--fridges, freezers, upright air cons. Apparently when they're on their sides, the coolant will settle in places that it shouldn't be settling, and when they're righted, they need to sit a while so that it'll go run back into the compressor.

It was only on its side for ten minutes--give it a couple hours and boot it up.
posted by MeghanC at 1:01 AM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a DeLonghi Pinguino PAC CT90 (9000 BTUs) unit out in the garage. There is a sticker on the top of mine saying it must be left to stand upright a MINIMUM of 6 hours and RECOMMENDED time of 24 hours before use. Hope that helps!
posted by 99percentfake at 5:17 AM on December 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks so much for all the answers! In the end, I cranked it up at about 10pm last night (after about 6 hours of standing upright). It is working great and I finally had a decent sleep!

Now, if anyone has any ideas how to block the rest of the window opening that the window attachment is too short for, I'm all ears...
posted by Salamander at 6:24 PM on December 30, 2012


Now, if anyone has any ideas how to block the rest of the window opening that the window attachment is too short for, I'm all ears...

Does your window have a screen? It's not particularly attractive, but what we did was mount the attachment to a piece of foamcore (thick cardboard would work too) that was tall enough to fit the window, and with enough width to slide it in between the window and the screen. Then we shut the window to the attachment as usual. It's not a complete seal, but it helped a lot.
posted by dogmom at 6:24 PM on December 31, 2012


I am a Journeyman Refrigeration Mechanic.

5 minutes is lots. By the time you get it out of the box it is ready.

Yes it needs to be upright while it is running for proper lubrication.

Laying a domestic appliance with a small hermetic compressor it on it's side for transit does not matter. Enough oil will remain in the crankcase to start it, and any that did drain out will come flying back instantly. Velocities in refrigeration circuits are hundreds of feet per minute, and there are maybe 50 feet of pipe in your portable. And because the piston is spring suspended in the center of the can, as opposed to being at the top of the crankcase on a semi-hermetic, oil slugging from storing it inverted is not really an issue.... who am I kidding, no one has any idea what I'm talking about.

Far more important is ensuring the compressor has warmed up to room temperature if it was transported in a cold vehicle (45f or less). Not likely with an AC, but it happens with fridges in cold climates. The refrigerant migrates to the oil and causes poor lubrication when it boils off, although unless you do it repeatedly it never seems to hurt anything on the small systems.
posted by vonliebig at 1:01 AM on January 1, 2013


Thanks so much for all the answers.

In the end, I ripped a piece of thick cardboard off the box the aircon came in, and used it to block the window screen. Doesn't look beautiful, but does the trick. Aircon has showed no ill effects from being used more quickly, so I'm glad I didn't wait til the following night!
posted by Salamander at 11:21 PM on January 31, 2013


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