Perhaps you live in an area without central air. Maybe you are in a smaller apartment, and the management company won’t allow window units. Whatever the case, there is a need for a windowless portable air conditioner.
We will cover the air conditioner options for rooms without windows, discuss how they work and what situations are best for them. We will also showcase the 5 best windowless portable air conditioners, review and compare them for your benefit.
5 Best Windowless Portable Air Conditioners Reviewed
We have compiled our top list of portable air conditioners for rooms without windows. Wondering what is a windowless portable air conditioner? If so, keep reading to help gain a better idea of what you should be purchasing and what these units are.
1. BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT – Best Small Windowless Portable AC
|Room Size (Cooling Area)||250 Sq. ft.|
|Venting Options||Window kit with hose|
|Noise Level||65 dBa|
|Warranty||1-year parts and labor, 5-years compressor|
The Black and Decker 5,000 BTU portable AC unit (8000 by the old standard) is the best small windowless portable AC on the market right now. This portable AC can easily cool a room up to 250 square feet in a matter of minutes. You won’t need to wait long to feel the cooling performance and effects of this windowless system.
Similar to the Whynter ARC-14S dual hose air conditioner, this affordable portable air conditioner from Black and Decker also has three cooling speeds and functionalities. The portable unit has various fanning, dehumidifying and cooling modes, so you can save adequate money on your monthly electricity bills by getting these different functions into a portable air conditioner.
Also, to ensure your power costs don’t shoot up as you utilize the best portable air conditioner available today, you can use its 24-hour programmable timer. By doing this, you can decide when you want your best portable AC unit to function and stop. Just like Serene-Life portable ACs, Black+Decker portable air conditioners, especially this 5000 BTU rating portable unit, also offer a sleep mode feature that helps the air conditioner remain quiet while operating so you get a deep sleep.
Arguably the best small portable AC, it comes with a windowless air conditioner window kit for the exhaust fan and runs on 9 amps. While it can get noisy (65 dB), the benefits outweigh the issues. You may need to turn the TV up or have a harder time falling asleep because of the noise levels, but they aren’t so loud as to disrupt normal daily life.
The bucketless drain system is designed not to need emptying. It will dehumidify (certain regions) and still not overflow the drain pan. When being stored away, the reservoir will need to be emptied, though. If you live in a humid area, it will need to be emptied daily.
It is also not advised to run this 5000 btu windowless air conditioner constantly. A few hours at a time or when you are occupying the room. This air conditioner for windowless basement isn’t made to turn on and leave for days or weeks on end.
Also, if your house is somewhat bigger and you’ve got the money to invest in air conditioners, then this quiet operation air conditioner might not be a good fit; instead, you should go for the best central air conditioners.
- Easy 5-minute setup
- Cools up to 250 feet efficiently
- Bucketless drain system
- Can get noisy during standard operation
2. hOmeLabs – Best Large Portable AC for Rooms Without Windows
|Room Size (Cooling Area)||600 Sq. ft.|
|Venting Options||Window or wall|
|Noise Level||58 dBa|
The best large portable AC unit is from hOmeLabs. This 14,000 BTU cooling power beast is still small enough to move around on its caster wheels and far better than other portable units such as SereneLife 12000-BTU rating portable air conditioner. Don’t expect to lift and carry it around, though.
The portable AC unit will effectively cool a room up to 600 square feet; however, it will drain your energy when used on high for long periods.
One of the best portable AC unit systems on the market, it has automatic vertical swing operations that are employed to circulate air distribution evenly in a room. Not to mention, this hOmelabs portable air conditioner is increasingly easy to set up.
This air conditioner unit can be utilized to dehumidify big rooms as well because it can remove 100-pints of humidity per day if set to the maximum setting. However, if you wish to keep a certain moisture level in your home, you can easily with this best portable air conditioner as it allows you to set the unit between 35%- 85% (relative humidity).
Unlike most window units and portable AC units that use activated carbon air filter to trap airborne particles, the hOmelabs portable air conditioner uses washable filters. Also, it has a single hose design, unlike a dual hose design in most portable air conditioners, where warm air is emitted through an eight-inch outlet.
Even with an EER of 10.1, it isn’t the most energy-efficient air conditioner out there. When it is running, you can switch to eco-mode, but the fan speeds may be too low. In this case, or if you need to get the room cool faster, turn off eco-mode and let it run for a while in standard operating modes.
Doing this will cause you to spend more on energy, but the cooling effects will be quickly noticed. Once the room is cool, you can save energy by turning on eco-mode, or leaving it in fan-mode operation to move the cooler air around until it begins to heat up again.
The good news is that you don’t need to get up every time. Unlike many other portable air conditioners, the hOmeLabs portable unit comes with a remote control that allows you to select mode, fan speeds, and set the temperature. For larger spaces, this portable air conditioner will keep you cold.
- Washable air filter
- Dehumidifies without draining
- Remote control operation
- Fan speeds may be too low
3. Pioneer WYS012-19 – Best Ductless Mini Split AC For Windowless Rooms
|Room Size (Cooling Area)||450 Sq. ft.|
|Noise Level||55 dBa|
The Pioneer WYS012-19 mini split ventless portable air conditioner is the best small mini split system for windowless rooms. It requires professional installation to maintain the warranty. That warranty, 5-years, covers everything in the system. Once installed, you won’t have to worry about a thing.
The small ventless air conditioner uses 12,000 BTUs to cool 450 square feet effectively. For most installations, a single room will be sufficient. You won’t need to worry about condensation, draining, or exhaust, either.
This best ventless air conditioner has four built-in functions. Besides air conditioning, the AC unit also offers ventilation, dehumidification, and heating. These four functions are similar to what you’ll have with the SENL-09CD ventless air conditioner; however, with a 9000-BTU cooling capacity, the cooling performance won’t be as effective as Pioneer ventless air conditioner.
The heat pump unit outside will handle everything for you while you sit back, relax, and enjoy the fresh, cool air. The one downside is that it isn’t the most efficient mini split system on the market.
However, this windowless air conditioner and heater isn’t the worst, either. With an EER rating of 10.5, you shouldn’t notice any major spikes in your electric bill.
Some ventless air conditioners require you to adjust the vent louvers to specific angles to prevent condensation build-up. This Pioneer ventless air conditioner for windowless room has automatic louvers, so you don’t have to worry about your floor or furniture under the unit getting dripped on.
Like most modern ventless air conditioners, this ventless portable air conditioner features both removable and washable filters, making it easier to maintain. They keep out polluted airborne particles and ensure the AC unit lasts for a longer period. If required, you can choose various other improved filters.
Pioneer ventless air conditioners are built with quality material, from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit, remote control to installation kit and exhaust hoses (exhaust tube), everything is made from top-quality items. Also, the manufacturer offers five years of warranty coverage on parts.
Although this Pioneer windowless air conditioner without exhaust hose doesn’t boast higher SEER ratings, it’s still one of the best air conditioning units available in the market with the superior build quality. Not to mention, it’s a cheap windowless air conditioner that you can easily buy.
- Heating and cooling in one unit
- Remote operation
- Permanent filters (washable)
- Requires professional installation
- Not the most economical mini-split system
4. FRIGIDAIRE FGPC1244T1 – Best Smart Portable AC For Windowless Rooms
|Room Size (Cooling Area)||550 Sq. ft.|
|Noise Level||58 dBa|
|Warranty||1-year parts and labor, 5-year compressor|
When you want the best portable air conditioner for windowless room, look no further than the Frigidaire Cool Connect. This 12,000 BTU portable AC unit has everything you need and nothing you don’t. It even comes with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor and a 5-year warranty on the compressor.
One of the best portable air conditioners designed for spaces up to 550 sq. ft., this AC unit comes with three fan speeds and an embedded 3-pint per-day dehumidifier. Measuring 12.6-inches wide and 3 ft tall, the cylindrical appearance seems nothing like conventional portable ACs. This best portable air conditioner sports an attractive white-mesh finish and garners attention wherever you place it in the room.
At 78lbs, the unit is bulkier than the Hisense 10000-BTU portable AC unit and its window air conditioner sibling Frigidaire Cool Connect 8000-BTU air conditioner. The device has four small casters that operate well on tough flooring but fail to move easily on carpet. On the contrary, the Hisense portable device utilizes large wheels and can easily be moved across any kind of flooring.
Portable ACs might be more comfortable and convenient than window AC units; however, they need a large exhaust hose to discharge warm air. This portable air conditioner has an exhaust hose of about 6.5-inch (in diameter) and could be enlarged from 15-inches to 59-inches easily.
It doesn’t dehumidify as well as some other portable air conditioner models, but the drain system is easy and doesn’t overflow as long as you pay attention to the warnings. The wireless connectivity is novel and works well. The mobile app is intuitive and will allow you full control, even going so far as to set schedules for use.
You can effectively cool up to 550 square feet with this best air conditioner for windowless room, which also looks sleek and stylish (except for the bulky exhaust hose).
When in use, this portable air conditioner is whisper-quiet, ranging in noise levels between 54 and 58 dB. In most operation modes, you won’t even notice it is on, except for the cold air moving around your room.
With an EER of 12.5, Frigidaire Cool Connect portable air conditioner is one of the most economical portable ACs on the market. While all electronic devices will raise your electric bill, this air conditioner will operate in standard mode for a full year costing an average of $120 to do so.
- Highly efficient AC
- 12,000 BTU for cooling up to 550 sq. ft.
- Wireless connectivity for use with mobile app
- Can be difficult to move on carpet
- Window kit is challenging to adjust and install
5. Honeywell 525-729CFM – Best Evaporative Cooler For Windowless Rooms
|Room Size (Cooling Area)||320 Sq. ft.|
|Noise Level||58 dBa|
Swamp or evaporative coolers are an integral part of hot weather life. The Honeywell 525-729CFM evaporative cooler is one of the best swamp coolers for windowless rooms. It can throw cold air throughout rooms up to 320 square feet, and with the addition of the ice bucket, that air can be frigid.
The unit has three built-in functions: a cooler, dehumidifier, and a fan. It’s quite the same as what you’ll have with the Whynter ARC-14S 140000-BTU dual house system. It’s also crucial to note that this Honeywell evaporative cooler comes with a decent-sized 7.9-gallon tank. Plus, it offers a low water-level alert so you know when the portable air conditioner requires refilling.
This evaporative cooler is ideal for smaller rooms or targeted cooling in larger rooms. You won’t be able to cool an ample space that effectively, but the small area it does cover is highly noticeable. This evaporative cooler is a high-powered fan blowing air over ice to keep things cool. When the ice melts, the cold water will continue to cool the air for a few more hours.
There isn’t any draining since the fan doesn’t produce condensate. You will need to refill the ice bucket often on hot days, though. For the most part, an ice tray will last for 4 hours, but in temperatures over 95 degrees (F), this can be as low as 1 hour.
To ensure your power bills don’t spike as you buy a Honeywell evaporative cooler, you have to employ the programmable timer. This way, you can schedule and program it to operate at certain times or utilize less power when functioning.
Many air conditioners and evaporative coolers have this feature, so it’s a common function. However, what’s unique about this Honeywell portable air conditioner is that it offers a 7.5-hour programmable timer to ensure low-power consumption.
It won’t replace your air conditioner, and it isn’t as effective in large spaces as a portable AC, but if you want cold air on you, or need additional cool air while you sleep, the Honeywell portable air conditioner is the best swamp cooler for windowless rooms.
- Easy to use
- Ice tray can cool air for several hours
- Ideal for targeted cooling
- Not effective in high humidity areas
- Water can slosh out if moved while full.
Are Windowless ACs Any Good?
So, are windowless air conditioners good? Windowless portable air conditioners aren’t designed to cool a whole house.
With some exceptions, they are only capable of cooling the air a few degrees in a smaller area.
Ventless portable air conditioner (or windowless air conditioner with no vent) units are an exception as they can heat or cool a room of larger size.
Some portable units use internal evaporator coils and can run over 12,000 BTUs.
These portable AC units for rooms without windows can effectively cool up to 550 square feet.
All in all, a portable air conditioner for windowless room is a good investment if you need additional cooling or have a small room without windows that open (or windows at all). If you do have windows then there are plenty of air conditioner options on the market.
Windowless ACs Compared
Considerations When Buying Windowless AC
When you head out to buy the best portable air conditioners, be sure you have thought of everything. Below is a list of things to consider before making your final purchase.
Dehumidifier Feature Vs. Venting Options
One byproduct of cooling the air is condensation. There are two primary methods of dealing with this accumulation of water, evaporation or venting.
Dehumidifier portable air conditioner units have a collection tray that gathers the water, and what they cannot evaporate out will need to be emptied.
On the other hand, venting portable air conditioners need a window or space to vent the exhaust air out to be effective. They, too, mostly require draining regularly. Vented air conditioners don’t add humidity to the air and don’t have a separate area dedicated to removing the added humidity, so they are easier to take care of.
Cooling Capacity (British Thermal Units)
For portable air conditioner units that use evaporators, they rely on BTUs to power the cooling. Most portable ACs will range between 5,000 and 12,000 BTUs.
On the contrary, mini split or ventless portable air conditioner systems generally hover between 10,00 and 16,000 BTUs for single units and can be doubled or tripled depending on house size.
The higher the BTU, the more effective the unit is and will cool a more substantial space more efficiently. However, proper measurement of the space and power requirements are needed before you head out and buy the largest unit you can afford.
To accurately measure your space, you need to take the length of the room and multiply it by the width. This will give you the approximate square footage of the room. From there, you should also calculate the amount of furniture, windows or doors, and occupancy.
The more items you have in the room, the longer it will take to cool and requires a bigger BTU rating. If you are unsure how to account for furniture and the number of people, the square foot measurement will be enough. Smaller-sized units are usually powerful enough for most rooms.
Energy Efficiency Rating
The Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is a measurement of the ratio between BTUs and kilowatt-hours to determine how efficient the air conditioner is. The higher the EER value, the less it costs to operate, and the more efficient the machine is.
For windowless units, the average EER rating falls between 9.0 and 14.1 EER. If you do have a window opening then you can view our most energy efficient models here.
Noise Levels (dBA)
The decibel attenuation rating (dBA) is a measurement of the noise level after suppression. If a motor produces a high level of noise, the body of the unit should make it quieter. The dB rating for most windowless air conditioners should fall between 50 (real quiet) to 75 (noisy). Anything between these two values is acceptable for normal use.
Some units can use a thermostat to control them. These will mostly be the mini-split systems. Portable air conditioners will come with a built-in thermostat and control panel.
Some mini-split units will have wireless controls allowing you to use mobile apps as your thermostat.
For the most part, you need to treat a windowless unit like it is a window air conditioner or through the wall AC. The voltage requirements should be on a dedicated outlet, without the use of extension cords or power strips.
Ventless air conditioners are generally hard-wired into the circuit breaker panel, so there isn’t a need for a specialized outlet or monitoring. HVAC technicians are mostly required for ductless and central air conditioning systems.
Price & Warranty
The price and warranty will come into play as well. You don’t want to stray too far outside your budget for a new unit. Because these windowless air conditioners are designed for a specific job, you want to watch how much you spend on them.
Likewise, a warranty will cover you in the event something happens beyond your control. You need to ensure you read all the warranty details and follow all procedures for making a claim.
How Do Windowless Air Conditioners Work
They design windowless air conditioners to cool the surrounding air without the need for a window to drain or exhaust out of. There are several types of windowless ACs, such as portable air conditioners and mini-split AC systems.
For the most part, the unit will sit in the room you wish to cool. There will be a suction fan that draws in ambient air, a method to cool that air and a fan to push the cooler air into the room. The cooling method can be an evaporator coil or a bucket of ice.
Mini-split systems work much like a central AC, except there isn’t any ducting, and they can be installed in a single room instead of throughout the entire house.
Installing Windowless Air Conditioning Units
So, how to install a windowless air conditioner? Windowless portable air conditioner, depending on type and size, isn’t too difficult to get up and running. You will need a way to vent the exhaust, and most windowless air conditioner units will ship with a window hose that fits in a window opening to vent the hot air outside.
If you don’t have a window, you can put the vent in an unused room to help keep your occupied space cooler. For mini-split ventless air conditioners, you will need an HVAC technician for installation. These require special installation requirements, permits and must meet code. The professional installer will ensure you meet all the needed requirements.
You can find detailed owner’s manuals online through a simple Google search for your brand or model number. Also, most manufacturers will post how-to videos on YouTube for you. Check out this installation video from Honeywell.
Care, Safety & Maintenance
When using a windowless portable air conditioner, you will need to perform routine maintenance. This will include cleaning or replacing the filters, emptying the drain pan, and keeping the portable AC unit clean. The intake vents will need to be vacuumed out, and on certain portable air conditioner units, you should clean out the exhaust hose as well.
But how to drain water from a windowless air conditioner?
Draining the water pan will vary from model to model. Some will not need to be emptied as they will evaporate themselves. Others require you to remove the pan and empty it yourself or to connect a garden hose and drain it that way. Your portable air conditioner will have draining instructions in the owner’s manual.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What are some common problems that may arise with portable air conditioner units in windowless rooms?
The most common issue is overuse. If the portable air conditioner is not properly vented, they will end up recycling the same hot air they attempt to exhaust. This will make even the best portable air conditioner units work harder to cool the room, in turn, raising your electric bill or causing the machine to burn out. Learn about other common issues here.
What can be done to extend the life of a portable air conditioner?
Regular maintenance, cleaning, and care will be the best method of prolonging the life of your portable air conditioner. Replacing or cleaning the filters is the most significant maintenance procedure to follow. It also helps not to run the air conditioner for prolonged periods. Unplug and store in a cool, dry place when not in use and make sure that any issues presented are fixed immediately.
Which mini split or portable air conditioner on our list offer heating as well as cooling?
From our list, the Pioneer Air Conditioner WYS012A-19 is the only model to offer heat as well as air conditioning.
Where is the best place to buy a windowless portable air conditioner?
You can buy a windowless AC at any brick and mortar home improvement store such as Home Depot or Lowes. Most local hardware stores, like Ace Hardware, will carry them also but these places will usually only stock a couple of options.
The best online places to buy portable AC units are through Amazon or Sylvane. When purchasing online, you can get faster shipping, find the right replacement parts (filters, etc.), and get deals on models the brick and mortar shops no longer carry.
As you can see, when it comes to keeping a single room in your house or apartment cool, you have options. Depending on your specific needs or restrictions, it can be challenging to figure out which model is best for you.
If you are in doubt, we recommend you go with our top pick, the BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT. This air conditioner unit is lightweight, has enough features to make it viable and cools a small room efficiently.
Last Updated on July 8, 2022