I have a portable indoor airconditioner (LG LP1311BXR 13,000 BTU).

I bought it refurbished from Walmart 2 years ago. It worked beautifully until recently.


  • The fan, compressor seem to be working.

  • It cools ever so slightly, but not strongly (i.e. the air coming out is slightly cooler than room temperature.

  • It is vented fine, no blockage in the exhaust system.

What are the potential causes?

  • I'm thinking it's low on refrigerant / freon. Can you think of anything else?

What are the possible solutions?

  • Call a repair-person, obviously. But I bought it for only $250. Is it worth it to call someone who's likely to charge me a lot of money to fix it?

  • Would it be possible to add refrigerant myself? Is this something I should take on? (I'm reasonably handy.)

  • 1
    It may be worth checking the space where the unconditioned air enters the unit. Depending on the particulate in the air, these cooling fins can become dirty and clogged. I have a portable unit that I have to clean somewhat regularly to keep them cooling effectively. Dust Bunnies > Cooling Fins Jul 22 '16 at 12:00
  • My room is indeed quite dusty. However, this is indoors! Are you saying that despite it being indoors, the fins can get so dirty that the cooling can stop? That's insane! Also, the air coming out the front is a little cool (though not enough). Is that a clue that it might be the fins? Jul 22 '16 at 17:29
  • 1
    I don't know that it could be blocked by dirt and detritus to completely STOP cooling, but I know that I drop my output temp by 5-10F when I clean my unit (after I've let it get FAR too dirty). If nothing else, it's an easy, no cost way to go, and one more thing you'd rule out. Jul 22 '16 at 17:31

If it's not an obvious mechanical failure, it could be (a) a problem with the controls or (b) a refrigerant leak.

Symptoms of control problems would be the compressor not turning on or not staying on. You should be able to hear it turn on/off distinct from the fan; if you aren't hearing that, then it may be repairable by replacement of a thermostat or the unit's control board.

A refrigerant leak would be likely if the compressor and fans are running fine, but it's not cooling. One sign of this would be constant running of the compressor. In a partial leak, you may find that a section of the coil is freezing over. Maybe you saw that last year?

If it's a refrigerant problem, the system could potentially be recharged. This is not a DIY job as the refrigerant chemicals are environmentally and personally dangerous, and require special equipment to recharge. You could try calling some appliance repair shops to see if they would do this repair.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.