How To Vent A Portable Air Conditioner – A Quick Overview Of Venting Options

In this article, I will review several portable air conditioner venting options.

Science has progressed and granted us many inventions that defy our common sense and make our lives easier.

We could never have thought about soaring the skies or traversing the sea. We couldn’t dream of tall towers and how we could climb them in seconds. But we are living life beyond the dreams of our predecessors. And things are progressing even now.

One such tool that makes our life easier is the Portable Air Conditioner.

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How Does The Portable AC Work?

The machine that cools the room – the air conditioner—is a complex device that has been simplified into 3 sections: compressor, condenser, and evaporator.

Essentially the AC works in the same way as a fridge. The only difference is that it cools a larger area, i.e., the entire enclosed room or space.

In layman’s terms, the AC uses a cooling agent, a chemical that continuously converts from liquid to gas and vice versa, without any mass being lost in the process. This interchanging of the agents’ state is responsible for the heat being absorbed from the inside of the room and then being released to the outside.

The AC has two sections, the primary part is used to suck in heat from the room and release cool air, while the part that stays outside, is responsible for releasing the heat to the environment.

As technology would have it, progress is mandatory. The portable air conditioner is one product of such development. Because the AC consumes too much space and fitting requirements are quite high maintenance, the portable air conditioner was invented.

The portable AC is run on the same principle as a traditional AC, but it’s a single unit mechanism, where there’s no secondary unit serving as an exhaust on the other side of the wall. Consequently, there, however, exists a need for the exhaust so, an exhaust hose is used to enable the heat to escape. Thus, the portable conditioner requires positioning near a wall outlet, a window, or a door.

Why does a portable AC need to be vented?

When the best portable air conditioner cools a room, it takes in the heat from the room and extracts moisture too, both of which need to be removed and outside of the room to boot.

If the exhaust is placed inside the room, the escaped heat will be released into the room as well as the absorbed moisture.

Even without knowing about the laws of thermodynamics, it can be concluded that the temperature won’t change and the AC will just be running without any proper result to achieve.

More importantly, the moisture might damage the walls too, as a result.

Through sliding patio door or sliding window

Regarding ventilation or exhaust on the other side of the door, a kit should be installed if wall outlets are not preferred.

There’s a window outlet kit, provided with the AC which can be attached to any window and the hose can be connected to the kit, and the room stays airtight.

In case of doors, a kit can be bought, Sylvian kits would be recommended, and attached to the door which consequently can be connected to the hose of the AC.

Once attached, it can be removed easily too, when one leaves the house or doesn’t require the use of the AC.

Though the door cannot be fully closed, the room still stays airtight because of the kit which can be fitted to the size of the door.

Read more: How To Install Portable Air Conditioner In Sliding Window

Through a casement window

The air conditioner requires an exhaust, and the casement window poses a viable hindrance to that option.

But, there’s an easy solution to that problem. The answer is polycarbonate.

Aluminum framing on the polycarbonate similar to the size of a window which is roughly 40 inches, can be used for the window.

And, a small round cut to the size of the kit given, enables us to fit the kit and can be used to attach the exhaustion hose to the kit. This allows casement windows to enable the fitting of kits for the portable air conditioner.

Read more: How To Vent A Portable Air Conditioner Through A Casement Window

Through an awning and con-awning window

The problem with awning windows is that they are what they are, and cannot be modified very much. You can either keep it as it is or get rid of it and get a newer model, this time maybe something that slides, for the ease of a portable air-conditioner.

If you are looking for a portable way to vent with your portable AC, it is best to get a new sliding window installed in the same frame. Any window store will have various options and can customize it for you as well if required.

Another possible solution is that you do not make any changes to the windows, but instead make permanent changes to the walls. Insert holes that would fit the hose like a glove.

These portable window sliders are not the most rigid and would need fixing, whereas a permanent hole would ensure it stays where it is supposed to be.

This also saves your window space, and you can freely make use of it like you are supposed to.

Read more: How to Install Portable Air Conditioner in Awning Window?

Without a window

In case of a situation where there persists an absence of windows to vent the Portable Air conditioner multiple options are available.

For example, the hose can be vented directly through the wall to the outside, or it can also be opened to the garage or storage room where visitors are limited and not frequent.

Though, that would require minute insulation to ensure airtightness. Other options include dropping the hose through a panel ceiling, e.g., to the server room in case of floors or through dryer vents in case of the presence of ventilation.

Through The Wall

With all options lost the last resort would involve a minor reconstruction procedure. That is a hole that should be made next to the wall where one has placed the air conditioner exhaust, to vent it.

This option comes with its fair share of problems like the landowner might not allow it, or the concrete and brick walls are too thick to cut into. But, other than that, it’s pretty simple.

All we need to do is break in a specific part of the wall to the other side, roughly a bit bigger than the size of the hose. Put the hose through, and seal it. It can be sealed permanently or temporarily, depending on your future plans.

Read more: How To Vent A Portable Air Conditioner Through A Wall

Through The Dryer Vent

In the US, dryer vents are mostly 4 inches in diameter, but that isn’t the case for all the dryer vents.

Though not recommended the hose can be fit into the dryer vent, and it allows exhaustion of the heat and moisture to the environment.

But, most hoses that come with portable air conditioners are of larger diameters so it might not apply to all forms of rooms.

Through The Ceiling

In case of office space with no windows to spare and the best option is to avail to a drop ceiling vent kit, recommended providers are a compact appliance.

The first step involves removing a tile from the drop ceiling and replacing it with the insulated metal tile that comes in the kit.

The second step will be to connect the insulated vent hose, which also comes with the kit and allows the no heat to escape.

The final step would be connecting the product provided hose in the kit and enjoying the cool temperatures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do portable air conditioners need to be vented outside?

Yes, they do. The portable ACs are not exceptions to the rule that says that the AC should be vented outside.

If the air conditioner is vented back in the same room, the extracted heat and moisture is released back into the room. The result? The temperature and humidity level in the room stays the same, end you have an electricity bill to pay.

Are there portable air conditioners without exhaust?

No, there are not. ACs without exhaust and unicorns – these are two things that I am sure does not exist.

But then there are devices called evaporative coolers that can provide some cool air without the need to vent it outside. Please check out my Honeywell CL201AE review to learn more!


With that said, the portable air conditioning is an excellent replacement for two-part air conditioners that require you to go out of your way. And, the only issue with portable air conditioners was their need for venting.

However, now we know of every possible way to vent, from windows and doors to ceilings and floors. And, it doesn’t require experienced help.

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