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?
- Why does a portable AC need to be vented?
- Different ways to vent the portable AC
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Does The Portable AC Work?
Portable air conditioners are fascinating machines that cool your living space in a way that’s both efficient and convenient. Like their larger counterparts, portable AC units have three main components: the compressor, condenser, and evaporator.
In essence, these units operate similarly to refrigerators, but on a larger scale, cooling entire rooms or spaces instead of just a small, enclosed area. To break it down, portable air conditioners use a refrigerant—a chemical that constantly changes between liquid and gas states without losing mass. This continuous transformation allows the unit to absorb heat from the room and release it outside.
A traditional AC system consists of two parts: an indoor unit that absorbs heat and releases cool air, and an outdoor unit that expels the absorbed heat. However, portable air conditioners represent a significant advancement in technology, offering a more compact and low-maintenance alternative.
I love the ingenuity behind portable AC units; they operate on the same principles as traditional systems but come in a single, self-contained package.
This means no need for a separate outdoor unit or complex installation. The catch? Well, you still need to vent the hot air, and that’s where an exhaust hose comes in. This hose allows the heat to escape, so it’s important to place your portable AC near a suitable venting option like a wall outlet, window, or door.
Trust me, proper venting makes all the difference!
Why does a portable AC need to be vented?
The basic mechanism of every type of air conditioner includes drawing in the hot air from the surroundings and delivering cool air to the room. In the thick of the process, the warm air is humidified, cooled down, and released.
Without a proper venting system, the hot air will not be able to make its way out of the cooling system. Instead, it would circulate back to the room your air conditioner is trying to drop the temperature of.
If the hot air does not find a passage to be vented and dissipated outside, it would nullify the purpose of having an ac in the room. The temperature of the room will remain warm, no matter how many hours the portable ac has been turned on. Making it imperative for every portable air conditioner to be vented using any of the available methods.
For houses where the venting system cannot be created on the wall, a sliding window is a perfect outlet to be used. In such circumstances, a window kit will be available with the portable air conditioner.
Different ways to vent the portable AC
In just a moment, I’ll be introducing several methods for venting your portable AC unit, each with its own unique benefits and challenges.
But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! I’ve written separate articles that dive into the details of each venting solution, providing you with the guidance you need to make an informed decision.
As an HVAC expert, I’m excited to share my knowledge and experience to help you find the perfect venting method for your specific situation.
So, let’s explore these options together and get your portable AC working at its best!
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 the 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.
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 that makes installing AC exhaust in the casement windows possible. 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.
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 way to vent your portable AC thru awning window, 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.
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 construction procedure. That is making a hole in the wall where you plan to connect the air conditioner exhaust.
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 Your Portable AC Through 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 no ACs without an exhaust. ACs without exhaust and unicorns – these are two things that I am sure do 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.