How To Air Condition A Tent In The Right Way?

If you are an avid camper, you might already know that spring and winter are considered to be the best camping seasons. Ever wondered what makes summer an outcast? The blazing hot weather is the reason why!

Let’s face it; you definitely do not want to sleep while still sweating after a long day of hiking and having a fun outdoor experience. Well, did you know that you can enjoy summer camping regardless of the heat it brings into the equation?

Yes! You just need to know how to air condition a tent! But doesn’t the process require too many modifications to the tent? Not really! You just need to select a suitable method and go through a few simple steps. Continue reading to find all the details.

How To Air Condition A Tent

air condition a tent

There are mainly two methods through which you can air condition your tent and have a nice, comfortable sleep after a long, tiring day of hiking. Have a close look-

Method 1: Install A Window AC Unit

There are many camping tents with true AC ports. They will usually have a mesh sheet or elastic band around the opening. And these true AC ports are meant to accommodate a proper window air conditioner. Nonetheless, here are the steps that you need to follow to install a window AC unit on the tent port.

Step 1: Elevate The AC Unit

Before anything else, you will need to work with the placement of the AC unit. It is surely possible to put the AC unit directly on the ground. However, that will not be ideal as the cold air will blow directly to your face while you sleep.

Instead, put something underneath the AC to elevate it slightly from the ground. Any box or object sturdy enough to hold the unit’s weight will be okay.

Step 2: Get The AC Unit Through The Port

If you are working with a port that does not have an elastic band, you can just slide the AC through the port. On the other hand, if the port has an elastic band, you need to ensure that the AC sits flush with the opening. So, adjust it accordingly.

Step 3: Check The Sealing

Regardless of whether the port has an elastic band or not, you might end up with a little gap around the AC unit after putting it through the port. This gap will make the cold air escape from the inside. And eventually, it will take longer for the AC unit to cool down the inside of the tent.

Therefore, you should take some proper measures to ensure the right sealing. One of the easiest ways to seal the port with an AC unit would be to use a towel. Wrap it around the edges.

Method 2: Set A Portable Or Freestanding AC Unit

If you do not have a tent with a true AC port, you can opt for a portable air conditioning unit. Basically, the tents without the true AC ports will come with an E-port. But if your one does not have a true AC or E port, you must make a hole in the tent.

While making this hole, you should be careful with the dimensions and the cut. Any large hole in the tent will make it vulnerable to water and dust seepage. Most importantly, the hole can make the cold air escape from inside.

Nonetheless, with the portable AC unit, you will have the flexibility to direct the cool air to a specific spot. And that would enable you to get an area to cool down faster.

And when it comes to setting the portable air conditioning unit inside the tent, first, you just need to place it inside. Then, run the power cord through the E-port or the hole you just made. Connect the line to a power source, and you should be all good for enjoying a cool breeze of air inside the tent.

How To Insulate The Tent After Installing The Air Conditioning Unit?

Setting the air conditioning unit is the first half of the story. The second half starts with you insulating the tent. As mentioned earlier, the cool air will escape quickly if there is any hole or open section in the tent. That will eventually make the AC consume too much to keep the inside cool.

But the thing is, even without any holes present, the tents are not insulated. The fabrics that they are made of tend to trap heat inside. And they can easily transfer the heat from the outside to the inside. That eventually makes the tent act like a greenhouse.

However, by following one of these methods, you can make sure that the insulation of your tent is on the right level for air conditioning:

Method 1: Emergency Blanket

Using the emergency blanket is the easiest and most effective way to insulate the tent. Basically, these blankets are of thin plastic sheeting. And the sheeting is of heat reflective material. You will be amazed to learn that NASA utilized these plastic sheets to keep a space station from overheating.

Now, if the sheets can keep a space station safe from the sun’s heat, they can surely keep your tent safe too! However, you need to use it in the right way.

For summer, you should tape the blanket on the outer side of the tent. Doing so will ensure that the surface is safe from sunlight, which will eventually hinder the inside from heating up. And the air conditioner inside will not consume too much power to keep the interior cool.

You can even use the sheets for the winter. However, you need to tape it on the inside of the tent. Through that, you can hinder the heat from the inside from escaping.

Method 2: Reflective Tarps

You might not have access to emergency blankets. In such cases, the reflective tarps should be your go-to pick. However, you need to note that the reflective tarps will be a little more costly than the emergency blankets. But they work like a charm in terms of reflecting the UV rays from the tent’s surface.

In addition to that, reflective tarps are waterproof and windproof. That means you can stay safe inside the tent during harsh weather conditions. And as most reflective tarps are heavy-duty, you will easily get extended use.

Nonetheless, when you are using reflective tarps to block the UV rays, you hinder the sunlight from heating the inside of your tent. And as you can tell, that will make sure that the air conditioner inside does not have to do too much work to keep the temperature low.

Method 3: Insulating Sheets

Both the first and second methods are from the roof of the tents. What about the floor? Well, insulation on the floor is as important as insulation on the other surfaces. For that reason, you should combine one of the two methods with this one.

That said, for insulating the floor, insulating sheets work the best. They can ensure that the floor of the tent does not collect heat from the ground during the summer. And that can go a long way when it comes to making the interior stay cool for a prolonged amount of time.

Aside from that, the insulating sheets will ensure the inside has the right amount of warmth during the winter. So, it will be cozier inside the tent.

So, which type of insulating sheet should you get? The polyester cloth will work the best. Aside from adding a layer of insulation to the floor, this cloth will even make it resistant to water and molds.

What Should You Do To Fix Minor Leaks Inside The Tent?

Found a random hole inside the tent? Well, it could be why the AC is failing to lower the temperature quickly. But the good news is that you can easily fix the hole and make the tent good as new again!

Method 1: With Duct Tapes

Duct tapes are a versatile thing that you can have in your camping gear. Whether for fixing any camping equipment or attaching stuff to the tent, it works like magic. Along with that, this tape is well capable of fixing holes!

All you need to do is keep the affected area stretched and run the tape over the hole. For better sealing, apply the tape on both sides.

Method 2: Using Pool Noddles

Pool noodles are an excellent insulator. And not to mention that they are made of foam, making it easier for you to maneuver them around. But how do you fix a hole up with a pool noddle? Simple! Just insert the noodle through the hole! And to make sure that the noodle stays in place, you can secure it with some duct tape.

Final Words

You can not have a fun-filled summer camping experience without knowing how to air condition a tent. Instead, the camping trip will make you not want to go for another one in summer again.

But as you can see, setting an air conditioning unit inside the tent is not as hard as you might have thought! You just need to select the right method and follow the process accordingly.

Photo of author

Fred Hoffman

Hey, I'm Fred Hoffman, founder of The True Wilderness. I've been exploring nature since I could walk, and my passion for it never ends. My mission is to show people that there's more to life than just the city. There's a whole world of beauty waiting for them out there, and I hope to inspire as many people as possible to get out and explore. I love to share the experience I've gathered throughout my life to make everyone's outdoor adventure smooth and enjoyable.

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