Informational Guide

Portable Air Conditioner Venting Options

Portable ACs need to be vented properly to keep them efficient. We are going to cover some of the best portable air conditioner venting options.

by Josh M

If you have a portable air conditioner, then you need to consider your venting options. Portable ACs are very useful but need to be vented properly to keep them efficient.

So today, we are going to cover some of the best portable air conditioner venting options.

The point of a portable AC unit is to extract heat from the air to cool things down. If that hot air is extracted and does not have anywhere to go, then it just stays stuck in the same room.

Venting your portable AC ensures that the AC can expel the heat from the room and actually do its job. If you do not vent your portable AC, then the room will actually get hotter.

5 Portable Air Conditioning Venting Options Explained

Venting Through Windows
Through casement windows

The simplest method is to funnel the exhaust line of your portable AC unit through casement windows. Casement windows use a hand crank to open, and you can buy portable AC unit vent kits to attach to casement window units. This method requires a hose to attach to the exhaust port.

Another option is getting a window AC unit that fits this type and style of casement window.

Through sliding doors and windows

Another simple method for venting is to just vent through your windows or a sliding door. You can funnel a hose through the seam of the window or door, so it can be mostly closed while still allowing excess heat to be expelled.

Portable air conditioner window vent kits are designed to attach to AC units and have a hose that you can install in the closest window.

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Venting Without a Window
Through a wall

One potential option is to vent your portable AC unit through the wall. You can do this to remove hot air outside or to another room like the garage or a storage area with ventilation outside. You will need to cut a hole in the wall and seal it with caulk or silicone to seal the opening.

Alternatively, through the wall window style, AC units can also be used.

Through a drop ceiling

Another option is to vent your AC unit through a drop ceiling. This is a common method used in rooms that do not have windows or thick walls and need an alternative source of ventilation. You can cut a hole in the drop ceiling and attach the hose. Add some sealant around the hose opening, and you are good to go.

Through a dryer vent

This alternative method can be used as a last resort if other methods do not work. You can attach the exhaust hose of your portable AC unit to your dryer vent and use that to expel heat. In some cases, this may not be a viable option if the dryer vent diameter is too small to accommodate the hose.

changing an AC filter

What Happens If You Don’t Vent Your Portable AC?

If you do not vent your portable AC, it will not be as effective. The entire point of venting your AC is so that the heat that it pulls out of the air can be removed. If you do not have a ventilation port for the exhaust, the heat will just flow back into the same room, which can actually make things hotter.

Also, warm air tends to be more humid than cold air, and so an unvented air conditioner can increase the humidity of the room. This is not particularly dangerous, but it is annoying and can decrease the lifespan of your AC unit.

How to Vent a Portable Air Conditioner Through a Window: DIY Steps

Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to vent an air conditioner through a window:

  1. .Start by placing the unit relatively close to the window that will serve as the exhaust port.
  2. .Attach the exhaust hose from the portable AC vent kit and fix it to the window kit.
  3. .Take the window kit and slide it into the window in the desired position.
  4. .Close the window on the kit, making sure that they form an airtight seal.
  5. .Then, turn your AC on, and you are good to go.

These steps are general and might differ slightly depending on your AC window vent kit.

Keep You Portable Air Conditioner Working Efficiently

  • Proper installation.
    Keeping the window kit and exhaust vent attached correctly will make the cooling action of your AC unit much more effective. Without it, it will not be able to cool nearly as effectively.
  • Location.
    The closer your AC unit is to the window vent, the more efficient it will be at expelling heat. If the hot air has to travel a long distance to the exhaust location, more of it might leak out of the hose and heat the room. Generally speaking, having AC units closer to windows also make the noise levels emitted lower too.
  • Avoid humidity.
    Humid air can get inside the air conditioner and cause moisture accumulation on the inside. Too much moisture can damage the air conditioner components over time.
  • Clean the air filter.
    Every air conditioner has a filter that should be cleaned once every 1-2 months. A dirty filter will not only make your machine less efficient but can also produce a foul odor or expel contaminants into the air.
  • Change the air filter.
    Air filters also need to be periodically changed. The typical air conditioner requires a new filter every 6 months to 1 year, depending on how much you use the air conditioner and in what conditions.
  • Store properly when not in use.
    When not using your AC unit, make sure that the vents are covered, and it is stored in a cool place. Keeping the vents covered prevents blockages, and the cool air prevents moisture accumulation from humidity.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Are there any portable air conditioners that don’t require venting?

Yes, though technically, they are not air conditioners but evaporation coolers. These units cool by pulling heat from the air with moisture. These units work great in dry places but not so well in humid climates.

Can you vent a portable air conditioner through a fireplace?

Yes, you can effectively vent a portable AC unit through a fireplace. It is best if you have a custom plexiglass kit to fill the gaps between the hose and the opening.

Do portable AC units work as well as window AC units?

Window AC units are generally more powerful than portable units, even the smallest ones, but that does not mean they are always the better choice. There are several instances where a portable unit is the better decision.

Do all portable ACs need to drain?

If your AC unit uses a condensation exhaust system, then yes, you may have to drain the unit every now and then. However, most portable AC units do not need to be drained.

Conclusion

Portable AC units are very efficient and useful but need to be handled properly. When it comes to venting your unit, there are several options to ensure it continues to work efficiently.

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.

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