Best Air Conditioners For Windowless Rooms (11 Cooling Solutions)

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

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As an HVAC professional with over two decades of experience, I've had my fair share of challenging installations. One situation that often proves particularly troublesome is windowless rooms.

Over the years, I've developed solutions catering to these unique spaces.

I'll share my top recommendations for efficient and practical air conditioning options for rooms without direct access to windows.

11 Smart Ways To Cool Down Windowless Rooms

Whether you're dealing with residential spaces, office environments, or any area lacking windows, these solutions will help you maintain a cool and pleasant atmosphere, regardless of the architectural constraints.

Here are my best AC solutions for windowless rooms.

1. Use A Portable AC That Does Not Have Venting (Yes, It’s Possible!)

When you read reviews online from 'windowless portable AC units' you will usually get suggestions of regular AC units that still require venting and a window (thanks google).

Or, you may get suggested evaporative or swamp coolers as an 'air conditioner'. These is a solution that combines AC technology (refrigerant) with personal cooling so you can stay cooler inside a windowless room. Meet the Coolzy Pro...

I’ve tried various portable air conditioners, and Coolzy is the best windowless air conditioner I've used, as it's the only one of its kind. 

It was developed in Australia for harsh outback conditions and is designed for high efficiency with low power consumption and 2 different operating modes.

It can be set up as a typical small BTU portable AC with a vent attached. BUT…it can also work as a personal cooler, with cold, refrigerated air being pumped towards you.

How can this work I heard you say? Let me explain...

It works in a similar way to an evaporative cooler in that it blows cold air directly at a person. When the flexible venting hose is not attached, the hot air is blown out the back and away from the person. 

This means you get a stream of cold air consistently, staying cool, while the room stays the same temperature due to the hot and cold air being both pushed in opposite directions. 

I love the versatility of the Coolzy Pro as it can also be used with the hose for regular veting through windows, bathrooms, doors or other small holes.

The unit doesn't require any complicated setup—no hoses, no water tanks, just plug-and-play. It's compact and lightweight (only 35 pounds), making it highly maneuverable and great for cooling a small or unconventional space. 

In my opinion, this direct cooling method is perfect for personal spaces or specific areas within a larger room.

Key Features
  • Portability: Weighs only 35 lbs, easy to move
  • No Exhaust Needed: Operates without water or exhaust hoses
  • Energy Efficiency: Uses only 340W of electricity
  • Quiet Operation: Noise levels only 45 dB
Pros
  • Cost-effective
  • Portable
  • Low sound output
  • No installation needed
CONS
  • Only good for personal cooling in windowless space
  • Not suitable for whole-room cooling unless the included venting pipe is installed

Coolzy is my recommendation for clients who need targeted cooling solutions, especially in spaces where traditional air conditioning setups are impractical. I recommend it for individuals or small spaces, as it provides significant power savings while providing immediate relief from heat.


2. Use a Portable Air Conditioner but Find a Venting Solution

A portable air conditioner pulls in warm room air, cools it by passing it over a refrigerant-cooled coil, and then blows the cooled air back into the room.

portable AC venting
The process also removes moisture from the air, which helps reduce humidity and improve comfort.

However, portable AC units also produce heat that must be expelled from the room to prevent it from counteracting the cooling effect. This is typically done through an exhaust hose that vents the hot air outside.

My favorite portable air conditioner with a venting solution is SereneLife SLPAC8.

This portable air conditioner is unique because it combines cooling, dehumidifying, and fan settings in a compact unit that can be moved across different rooms.  

The SereneLife SLPAC8 Portable Air Conditioner has a mobile design, which makes it perfect for use in bedrooms, living rooms, or even garages. 

I’ve had success using this portable air conditioner with alternative venting methods in windowless rooms, such as venting through a drop ceiling or a dryer vent.

These methods involve directing the exhaust hose to these outlets to expel warm air out of the enclosed space.

Key Features
  • Three-in-one functionality: Air conditioner, dehumidifier, and fan
  • Mobility: Equipped with rolling wheels for easy transport
  • Built-in dehumidifier: Helps reduce humidity
Pros
  • Versatile settings
  • Portable
  • Easy to install
  • Includes remote controls
CONS
  • Needs creative venting solutions in windowless rooms
  • Can be noisy on high settings

I recommend SereneLife portable air conditioner to people who need a flexible, movable cooling solution that can adapt to various indoor environments without permanent installation hassles.


3. Install a Mini Split Air Conditioner System

One of the most effective and sustainable options to cool a windowless room is to install a mini split air conditioner system.

I like the Pioneer Air Conditioner WYS012A-20 Mini Split Heat Pump for its versatility in cooling and heating.

I believe that mini splits are a top choice for windowless areas due to their efficiency and minimal space requirements. They do come at a high cost though.

The Pioneer model doesn’t just make a room comfortable, but my clients report it does so efficiently and reliably.

I've installed this unit several times in the last few years.

I prefer this setup because a mini-split system is a permanent installation that separates into two main components: the indoor and outdoor units, connected by small conduits. This setup eliminates the need for large ductwork. 

In my opinion, this makes it suitable for windowless rooms where conventional ducted systems aren’t an option.

While professional installation is required, I think that the benefits are substantial, as it provides both cooling and heating with good energy efficiency.

Key Features
  • Ductless System: Requires minimal invasive installation.
  • Energy Efficiency: High SEER rating for lower energy consumption.
  • Quiet Operation: Operates at low noise levels and is suitable for residential use.
  • Heating and Cooling: Provides year-round climate control.
Pros
  • Energy-efficient
  • No major ductwork needed
  • Effective in both hot and cold weather.
CONS
  • Higher upfront cost
  • Requires professional installation.

The Pioneer mini split is my recommendation for anyone with a bigger budget looking to outfit a windowless room with a permanent air conditioning system.


4. Use a Cooling Fan That Blows Cold Air

A cooling fan that blows cold air operates differently from a standard fan.

Instead of merely circulating existing air in the room, these fans often incorporate a cooling element, such as a water tank or ice tray, to lower the temperature of the air before blowing it out.

My recommendation for a cooling fan that blows cold air is the Dreo Evaporative Air Cooler. It operates by pulling warm air through a wet cooling pad.

As the air passes through, it cools down by evaporating the water in the pad. It blows cooler, humidified air into the room.

In my opinion, this is a simple but effective method that doesn’t just circulate air but actually cools it.

I believe that the Dreo cooler is best for smaller spaces or as a personal cooler. My clients report that its efficiency drops in larger or very hot rooms.

Still, it can make a noticeable difference for a single room like a study or a bedroom.

What stands out about the Dreo Evaporative Air Cooler is its dual functionality. It cools the air but also adds a bit of moisture, which can be a godsend in dry climates.

Key Features
  • Portability: Easy to move with a freestanding design
  • Oscillation: Offers an 80° oscillating feature for broad coverage
  • Remote Control: Includes a remote for convenience
  • Ice Packs: Comes with ice packs for a better cooling effect
Pros
  • Adds humidity
  • Includes remote control
  • Effective at short range
CONS
  • Limited cooling compared to traditional AC
  • Needs frequent refilling
  • Best for small rooms

I recommended the Dreo Evaporative Air Cooler to people living in a dry, hot climate and struggling with a windowless room. Just be prepared for more maintenance in terms of water and ice packs than a standard fan.


5. Use an Evaporative or Swamp Cooler

An evaporative cooler has a basic mechanism that involves pulling hot, dry air through moistened pads.

As the air passes through these pads, water in the pads evaporates, which cools and adds moisture to the air inside the room.

The fan within the cooler then blows this cooled, humidified air out into the environment.

The Honeywell 525 CFM Indoor/Outdoor Evaporative Air Cooler is a versatile solution for both indoor and outdoor spaces that need cooling without extensive installation.

In my opinion, this cooler is only suitable for regions with low humidity. It's equipped with a large water tank and can be used indoors or on covered patios.

CLIMATE CONDITION

You can use additional venting solutions like air ducts to expel excess humidity in windowless rooms or pair it with a dehumidifier to manage moisture levels effectively. 

ACLAB Note:

I don't recommend it if you're in a more humid climate due to the additional moisture it introduces into the air. In such cases, I believe it's better to pair it with a dehumidifier to balance the indoor climate effectively. Otherwise, you could end up introducing mold to the area.

Key Features
  • Powerful Airflow: Can cover up to 320 square feet with a 525 CFM airflow
  • Energy Efficiency: Uses only 288 watts of power
  • Portable: Freestanding and easy to move with built-in wheels
  • Dual Function: Acts as a fan and a humidifier, with an ice compartment for enhanced cooling
Pros
  • Cost-effective
  • Adds humidity
  • Low energy use
CONS
  • Not effective in high humidity
  • Requires frequent water refills
  • Can be noisy

The Honeywell 525 CFM model is especially useful in arid areas where traditional AC might dry out the air excessively. The added humidity can make the environment more comfortable, especially in regions prone to dryness.


6. Get a Large Personal Cooler Like The IcyBreeze Platinum

The IcyBreeze Platinum acts as both a personal cooler and a portable air conditioner.

In my opinion, what makes this product uniquely suited for windowless environments is its ability to function without external venting.

It uses ice as a cooling agent to deliver air up to 35 degrees below the ambient temperature.

This unit harnesses the cooling power of ice water, chilling air before a fan disperses it into the surroundings.

To me, it feels like having a breeze blow across a block of ice toward me, creating a refreshingly cool environment.

The system is freon-free and exhaust-free, making it safe and suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

I've used similar devices, but the IcyBreeze Platinum stands out for its dual utility. It doesn't just store drinks; it improves my comfort, especially in compact, windowless areas like workshops or garages.

Plus, the ability to direct the airflow precisely where I need it via the flexible hose is an excellent feature. 

Key Features
  • Versatility: Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Portable: Easy to transport with large wheels and handles
  • Energy Efficient: Uses ice and a low-energy fan compared to traditional AC units
  • Large Capacity: Holds up to 38 quarts and 30 pounds of ice
Pros
  • No need for venting
  • Highly portable
  • Adds a cooling breeze wherever it's needed
CONS
  • Ice replenishment may be frequent depending on usage
  • Limited to cooling immediate vicinity

I recommend the IcyBreeze Platinum to people who need spot cooling without the complications of a full HVAC system. Yes, it's perfect for outdoor activities, but its indoor applications are just as valuable, particularly in spaces where installing a traditional air conditioner is impractical. While the necessity to keep refilling it with ice can be a drawback, I believe it's a good trade-off considering its cooling efficacy.


7. Get a Small Personal Cooler Like The Evapolar EvaSMART

The Evapolar EvaSMART operates using evaporative technology, which is energy-efficient and eco-friendly.

The EvaSMART pulls in warm air and passes it through a water-soaked cartridge, cooling the air through evaporation. This cool air is then pushed out to create a comfortable microclimate around the user, ideally within a few feet of the device.
1-Evapolar EvaSMART

I have used this unit in various climates and learned that it's most effective in hot, dry climates where additional humidity is beneficial.

To me, what stands out about this smart portable air conditioner is its compact design and ease of use. It's particularly handy for small, personal spaces like a desktop or bedside area.

The device connects to USB for power, making it portable enough to move around the house or even take on trips.

Its operational cost is low compared to traditional air conditioners, and from my experience, it also humidifies the air, which is a plus in drier environments.

Key Features
  • Portability: Compact and lightweight, can be powered via USB
  • Energy Efficiency: Consumes only 12 watts of power
  • Smart Features: Can be controlled via a mobile app and is compatible with smart home systems
Pros
  • Eco-friendly
  • Low power consumption
  • Adds humidity
CONS
  • Cooling effect is limited to a small area
  • Effectiveness reduces in humid climates

I recommend the Evapolar EvaSMART to anyone needing a personal cooling solution that’s portable, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly. While it won’t replace a full-sized air conditioner in terms of power, I think it offers a personalized cooling experience that can make hot days more bearable without the overhead of higher electricity bills.


8. Use a Fan That Blows Misty Water

The Shark FlexBreeze Fan is an innovative solution I have used for cooling that combines the benefits of a powerful fan with the refreshing effect of mist.

From my experience, this combination is especially suitable for windowless rooms or outdoor areas where traditional cooling methods might be ineffective.

The fan includes an InstaCool Misting Attachment, which emits a fine mist along with the airflow when connected to a water source. This mist helps lower the air temperature around the fan by up to 10 degrees, providing immediate relief from heat.

I believe this misting feature is particularly effective in dry climates where the added moisture can also improve comfort levels.

I’ve used similar misting fans in various settings, and I find the Shark FlexBreeze to be exceptionally good for both indoor and outdoor use. Its ability to function as both a corded and battery-powered unit is of great value.

You can move it wherever cooling is needed without worrying about plug points. I also think that the mist feature adds a refreshing touch without making the surroundings uncomfortably damp.

Key Features
  • Dual Mode: Operates both as a pedestal and a tabletop fan
  • Portable: Battery-powered option for easy mobility
  • Misting Capability: Lowers temperatures effectively with a mist output
  • Remote Control: Enhances convenience with easy adjustments
Pros
  • Versatile usage
  • Effective cooling with mist
  • Quiet operation
CONS
  • Requires access to water for misting
  • Higher initial cost
  • Maintenance of mist nozzles

In my opinion, the Shark FlexBreeze is an excellent choice if you want to cool a space where air conditioning isn’t practical or sufficient. Its misting function makes it a standout, particularly for use in dry heat, where it can cool while slightly increasing humidity for comfort. I recommend it for backyard gatherings or even in larger spaces where traditional AC doesn't reach effectively.


9. Use a High-Quality Fan For Air Circulation

The Vornado Air Circulator Fan is a high-quality solution for improving air movement in any space, but I feel that it's especially effective in windowless rooms where air can feel stagnant.

This fan has a powerful vortex action that ensures air circulates throughout the entire room, not just in the immediate area around the fan.

The fan efficiently moves air up to 75 feet using Vornado's signature Vortex air circulation technology.

In my opinion, this helps to keep the air in the room cool and fresh by continuously circulating it, which prevents hot spots and inconsistent temperatures.

I talked to clients who have used Vornado fans in both their homes and offices, and they are satisfied with its effectiveness.

The adjustable height and tilt features allow for targeted airflow, making it perfect for direct or indirect cooling. Its ability to circulate air across a large area makes it ideal for larger rooms that might otherwise require multiple fans.

Key Features
  • Adjustable Height and Tilt: Allows for customized airflow direction.
  • Powerful Airflow: Moves air effectively up to 75 feet.
  • Simple Controls: Three speed settings are easily adjusted via a front-facing dial.
  • Tool-free Assembly: Quick and easy to set up or move.
Pros
  • Effective room-wide air circulation
  • Adjustable settings
  • Easy assembly
  • Stable base
CONS
  • Can be louder on high settings
  • Occupies more space than some may prefer

I recommend the Vornado air circulator for spaces where air does not naturally flow well, such as windowless rooms. The build quality and warranty support are excellent, making it a reliable and long-lasting option for enhancing indoor comfort.


10. Use a Fan That Cleans The Air

Using a fan that also cleans the air (aka air purifier) is a unique approach to managing indoor environments because it combines the benefits of air circulation with air purification. 

dyson air purifier and fan
Fans that clean the air typically integrate a filtration system, such as HEPA filters, which can capture a high percentage of airborne pollutants like dust, pollen, mold spores, and even some viruses and bacteria.

The fan moves the air throughout the room, which on its own can help cool the environment by improving airflow and evaporating sweat on the skin, making the room feel cooler.

 As the fan circulates the air, it simultaneously pulls it through the built-in filters, trapping particles.

Some advanced models may also include activated carbon filters to remove odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The best fan that cleans the air I have used is the The Dyson Purifier Cool™, which is a tower fan.

It doesn't just circulate air but integrates advanced HEPA H13 filtration to capture 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, including viruses like Influenza A.

From personal use and client feedback, the Dyson Purifier Cool™ has proven to be a powerhouse in both air purification and circulation.

It’s particularly beneficial for those in urban areas or places prone to pollution. It has the dual benefit of removing harmful particles while also cooling the space.

Key Features
  • Fully-Sealed HEPA H13 Filtration: Pollutants are captured and not released back into the room
  • Air Multiplier™ Technology: Projects purified air across large spaces effectively
  • Low noise output: 20% quieter than previous models
  • Smart Connectivity: Offers real-time air quality reports through the MyDyson app
Pros
  • Advanced HEPA filtration
  • Efficient air circulation
  • Quiet operation
  • Smart features
CONS
  • High cost
  • Bulky size
  • Complex features

This fan is perfect for business settings like meeting rooms or hotel rooms, as well as for residential use in living rooms or bedrooms. I especially recommend it for allergy sufferers or anyone sensitive to air quality.


11. Cool Your Bed For a Better Sleep

The BedJet is different from other options on my list because it’s an innovative air-based cooling and warming sleep system.

Its main purpose is to improve your bed's climate for a better sleep experience.
I have sleep issues, so I've tried most portable air conditioners and various sleep-enhancing technologies.
I like the BedJet because it's especially effective for night sweats and maintaining a comfortable sleep temperature.

Its ability to rapidly adjust and maintain the desired temperature throughout the night can significantly improve sleep quality. 

Key Features
  • Dual Temperature Control: Individual temperature settings for each side of the bed
  • Fast and Powerful: Quickly alters the bed's temperature to the desired setting
  • Biorhythm Sleep Sequences: Allows programming of personalized temperature adjustments throughout the night
  • Quiet Operation: Designed to operate quietly for undisturbed sleep
Pros
  • Rapid temperature control
  • Dual-zone customization
  • Quiet operation
  • Programmable settings
CONS
  • High cost
  • Requires space under the bed
  • Limited to bed use only

I recommend the BedJet to people with specific temperature needs due to health conditions like menopause or thermoregulatory disorders. I also think it's an excellent choice for couples with different temperature preferences, as it allows for dual-zone temperature control, ensuring both partners can enjoy personalized comfort.


Why Do Regular Portable ACs Need To Be Vented?

Venting 101 Explained

A portable AC unit absorbs the warm air from your room, cools it inside its system, and then recirculates the chilled air back into the room.

However, during this process, the AC also extracts latent heat and moisture from the ambient air. 

This heat and humidity need an exit route, so venting to the outside is crucial.

Without venting, the warm air would simply recirculate back into the room, negating the cooling performance of the AC. 

From a professional standpoint, ensuring that your portable AC is properly vented is crucial for achieving optimal performance.

Whether using a window kit, venting through a wall, or even directing the exhaust into a drop ceiling, proper expulsion of the hot exhaust is essential.

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

Not venting your portable AC can lead to several issues:

  • Inefficiency:
    The unit will struggle to cool the space effectively, as it ends up re-cooling the same hot air it expels.
  • Increased humidity:
    The moisture being pulled from the air needs to go somewhere. Without venting, it stays in your room, making the air feel muggy.
  • Overworking the unit:
    The AC works harder to achieve cooling, potentially leading to quicker wear and tear and shortened lifespan. 

I’ve had a few customers who have tried to use a smaller portable AC without proper venting.

They end up frustrated with the lack of cooling efficiency and increased energy bills, which is why ensuring proper setup is critical.

Do Windowless Even Exist?

Yes, windowless air conditioners do exist. These units use alternative cooling technologies that don't rely on venting hot air outside. For example:

  • Coolzy:
    Uses compact refrigeration technology that doesn't require venting to the outside. It's more about cooling people directly rather than lowering the room temperature.
  • IcyBreeze:
    Functions more like a cooler, using ice water to chill the air around it, also without needing an exhaust.

However, while these alternatives provide solutions where traditional venting isn't possible, in my opinion, they don't offer the same cooling capacity as a traditional vented portable AC.

They are best suited for personal cooling or use in small spaces.


Other Creative Ways to Cool Yourself Down In A Room With No Windows?

Wearable Air Conditioners

One of the more futuristic solutions is wearable air conditioners like the Torras Coolify or Arctic Air Freedom.

These devices wrap around your neck and use semiconductor cooling technology to lower your body temperature.

It's essentially a personal cooling system that's perfect for use at home, office, or even on the go.

I gave it a try, and while it doesn’t cool the room per se, it directly cools the individual. It made me feel as if the surrounding environment was cooler.

Sticking Your Feet in Ice

This method might sound a bit primitive, but it's surprisingly effective.

Filling a bucket with ice water and dipping your feet in can help lower your body temperature through rapid heat exchange in the dense network of blood vessels in your feet. It's a quick fix that can provide instant relief from the heat.

Cooling Towels

Cooling towels work on the principle of evaporative cooling. Simply soak them in water, wring out the excess, and place them around your neck, forehead, or even over your shoulders.

As the water evaporates, it takes heat with it, cooling you down. These towels are reusable and come in handy during intense heat waves.

Eating Ice Cream

At the risk of sounding unprofessional, this might just be my favorite way of cooling down.

While not exactly a practical solution for reducing room temperature, eating ice cream or consuming any cold food can help reduce your internal body temperature. It’s a delicious way to keep cool, albeit temporarily.

Mini Desk Air Conditioner Fans

Products like the Mini Desktop Cooling Fan combine water mist with fan technology and are localized cooling solutions.

These are compact and can be placed on a desk or bedside table for a cool breeze and increased air moisture. In my opinion, these are best for dry climates.


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Josh Mitchell

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Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

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