Portable window conditioners need a vent to work. These units work like your traditional air conditioner in the sense that both pick up hot air from inside, pass it over their inner refrigerant which cools the air, and then exhaust the cold air into your room.
They need a mechanism using which they can vent the warm air – one that the refrigerant hasn’t been able to cool – into the outdoors. That is the reason why you must learn how to vent a portable window conditioner without a window.
How to Vent a Portable Air Conditioner without a Window
Follow these steps to vent your indoor unit:
1. Vent through the Door
One of the easiest ways to vent your portable air conditioner is through a window. The easiest way to do that, in turn, is through a sliding door. You can purchase kits for sliding doors that allow you to vent your portable air conditioners outdoors. But there’s a catch.
The length of the portable air conditioner’s hose isn’t limitless. You’d be extremely lucky if the length of your unit exceeds the 10 feet mark. That makes it necessary from the venting perspective that you place the air conditioner close to the door. Or else, its hose won’t go outside.
However, if you cannot leave your door open for whatever reason – and have a pet door located in your home to let your little furry friend enter and exit your home without disturbing you, you can use their entry point to vent the unit. Just make sure that you create a tight seal around the hose’s entrance.
2. Vent through the Wall
Those of you who have hands-on knowledge of power tools will prefer this method. It requires you to bore a hole through a cement wall via a power drill. The diameter of the hole can be increased/decreased based on that of the hose.
Once you have created the hole, the next thing you should do is seal the opening after you have passed the hose through it. That would make sure that insects, dirt particles and other environmental irritants won’t make their way inside your room through that opening.
To seal the opening, you might have to caulk it. Purchase a silicone caulk from your nearby hardware store and cut the tube’s tip at a 45-degree angle. Place the tube inside a caulk gun with its nozzle-shaped mouth facing the wall, and start applying caulk. Give it enough time to dry once you’re done caulking.
3. Vent through the ceiling
This option will come handy only for those of you who have homes with a drop ceiling. Most modern homes do not have this facility, but if you live in an older home with a high ceiling, you can exploit it to vent your portable window air conditioner.
You have two ways using which you can vent through the ceiling. The first is to rig the exhaust went with your home’s ceiling tile. This method might get very confusing to follow for those of you who don’t have any technical knowledge. That’s why we prefer the second option.
The second option entails the installation of a ceiling vent kit. It’s by far the best and certainly the most convenient option of running the hose through the ceiling as long as you don’t have little children or pets running around as they might collide with the AC and derail the vent kit.
4. Vent through the dryer vent
One thing which you should know before acting on this method is that most manufacturers recommend against it. Their opposition is based on the fact that the diameter of dryer vents is extremely small vis-à-vis your portable air conditioner’s exhaust hose.
Consequently, while you can insert the exhaust hose through the vent by applying all the force that you have in your body, the low diameter of the hole will impede effective venting. That means that your unit might not be able to function at its best.
However, if you can’t use any of the abovementioned methods for whatever reason, you can still tap your dryer vent to vent your AC’s exhaust hose. Just make sure that the diameter of the hole is big enough to let hot air pass through it effortlessly.
Q: Why do you need to vent a portable air conditioner?
A: Portable air conditioning units work on the same four-step process as your traditional air conditioners. They take in hot air from inside, pass it over their chilled refrigerant, pass the cold air back into the room and exhaust the warm air outdoors.
The last step requires you to vent the air conditioner. Otherwise, if you let the exhaust hose remain inside the room, your space will receive both warm air and cold air. You can guess that this scenario will not allow your room to achieve a comfortable temperature.
Q: How to maintain a portable air conditioner?
A: Act on these tips to enhance the shelf-life of your unit:
- Regularly clean its interior with a damp cloth
- Make sure that you clean and replace its filter on time
- Don’t let the exhaust hose curl up
- Place the air conditioner at a place that isn’t receiving direct sunlight
Q: How long do portable air conditioners last?
A: People who have been using these units tell us that they can last as much as 15 years with proper care. Though you’d hardly get a warranty of the same duration from their manufacturer.
You have four methods with which you can vent your portable air conditioner – through the door, through the wall via a drilled-hole, through the ceiling via ceiling vent kit and through the dryer vent.
The first three are those whose utility we can vouch for whereas the dryer vent method is the last resort and should only be referred to if none of the first three methods aren’t feasible for you.