How to Vent a Portable AC Without a Window?

Using a window to vent your portable air conditioner is the simplest method, but not every room in your home has access to a window. Although it could be demanding and difficult, employing an alternative to vent your air conditioner is not impossible.

Quick answer: You can vent a portable air conditioner without a window by using different alternatives such as; through the door, wall, drop ceiling, chimney, or even the dryer vent. It is possible that not every alternative may apply to you since they have different requirements, but you can always check which one would work well for you.

Now that you have a quick answer and already know about the few alternatives for venting a portable AC. Let’s hop onto a detailed answer and check out each alternative clearly.

In this article, I’ll explain how to vent a portable air conditioner without necessarily using a window. Read on to find out more!

How Does a Portable Air Conditioner Work? 

A portable air conditioner works in a way that captures the heat and moisture out of the air in your room, leaving the cool air behind. It moves the captured heat outside through the hose wherever you vent your portable air conditioner. 

The portable air conditioner has an evaporator coil. The air in your room flows through the evaporator coil, which absorbs large amounts of heat. The heat is then transferred to the condenser coil when it is transferred into liquid. 

Normally, the other side of the air conditioner has to go outside, consisting of a condenser and compressor. The condenser condenses the humidity into water droplets, and there is a fan that helps transfer the heat to the outside surroundings. 

The fan and the compressor inside the air conditioner make the most noise.

For regular ACs, that’s not an issue because the noisy compressor is located outdoors. But with portable ACs, all the components are bundled up in one device, which makes them comparably loud.

The hot air in the portable air conditioner is vented out through the vent hose. And it is important to use a hose or else the hot air will stay in your room. 

Why Is It Important to Vent the Portable AC?

It is important to vent the portable ac since, without venting, it will be of no use. No doubt, it will run normally but since it won’t have any place to exhaust the warm air, it will exhaust it back into the room instead of the cool air, and the room’s temperature won’t decrease. 

Keep in mind that while the portable air conditioners deliver cool air, they also let out warm air. Hence, it is important that you let the heat out in the right place. Otherwise, the hot air will remain trapped in the room and no matter how long you let the air conditioner run, it will not cool the room. 

Since a portable AC also eliminates the moisture from the air through venting, if you don’t vent it, the moisture continues to build up and it will neutralize the cooling effect of your air conditioner. 

The moisture will increase the humidity in the room, and it will not be able to become cool. 

I have written a detailed guide on this topic: Do Portable Air Conditioners need to be Vented?

Alternatives of Venting the Portable AC

Venting MethodProsCons
Venting through the doorEasient venting method, Easy to remove and installOnly works well with sliding doors
Venting through the wallPermanent solution for ventingDrilling a hole isn’t easy, risk of damaging wires, and other objects
Venting through the drop ceilingDIY installationExcess heat could encourage mold
Venting through chimneyEasy and convenient installationInvolves a risky operation
Venting through dryer ventNo installation neededCan’t do laundry while AC is in use

Let’s discuss each method in detail.

Vent Through the Door

Your room may not have windows, but it definitely has a door.

If you don’t have access to a window in your room, the easiest and simplest option that would occur in a person’s mind is to use a door to vent the portable air conditioner. A door would definitely serve the same purpose as a window, but you must be aware of where the door you’re using to vent your air conditioner leads.

If your door leads to a hallway or any other room in your house, your AC won’t be as effective since you will not get the desired temperature. 

On the other hand, if your door leads to a balcony, it is perfect for venting out the warm air. This way it will vent the air outside just as it would through a window. 

A sliding door is what you should prefer to go with if you’re opting to vent your portable AC unit through a door. In a sliding door, you can install a sliding door seal, this way, only the air exhausted by the AC will go out, and no air from outside will come inside, and your room will stay cool.

You might also use a pet door to vent the portable air conditioning unit. Make sure the area around the hose pipe’s entrance is tightly sealed to prevent warm air from leaking back into your room.

Vent Through the Wall

No one can argue that they don’t have a wall in their room, so if you don’t have a window or a balcony in your room, you can use your wall to vent your portable air conditioner.

Venting your portable AC through a wall isn’t as easy as venting it through a door, but it surely works effectively. 

To start off, you will need to drill a hole in your wall to let the AC vent the warm air outside through the hole. If you’re comfortable with drilling a hole into your wall and own a power drill, this alternative can be a good fit. 

When drilling a hole, you must keep a few factors in your mind:

  • Make sure the hole isn’t big enough 
  • It should only be the size of your portable AC’s hose to let that fit in perfectly. 
  • Be very careful — drilling a 6″ diameter hole isn’t easy. If you’re not comfortable, hire a professional to do it for you. 
  • Choose a thin wall and one that faces outside and not into any other room.
  • If your walls are steel-reinforced, it’s good to call a professional to drill the hole.

Although there is no problem if you choose a wall that is opposite any other room, if you’re considerate enough, you wouldn’t want to make the other rooms of your house warm with the vented air while your room stays cool. 

To be clear, rooms like the laundry room and garage are fine to receive the hot air that is vented out.

Once you’re done drilling the hole, consider sealing the openings around the hose, you may use a silicone sealer. Doing this will keep the hot air from re-entering your room and will keep portable AC running costs in control.

I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t like two holes in your wall. Hence this method will be convenient for you if you own a single-hose portable air conditioner unit. 

Vent Through Drop Ceiling

Using a drop ceiling is another way to vent your portable air conditioner. However, you won’t find drop ceilings everywhere, especially in modern houses. 

The high-ceiling older houses and offices have it, so if you’re planning to install an air conditioner in either of these spaces, you should definitely opt for this alternative. 

Since the venting hose will go all the way up from the portable AC to the ceiling, it is crucial to have an extended vent hose. To have it extended, you can use a specialized drop ceiling venting kit. It works for extending the hose’s length. 

Once you’ve extended the hose and created a hole in the ceiling, and put everything in place, make sure to seal around the connection joints and not impede the wires and pipes to avoid any dangerous circumstances. 

And let’s face it, it won’t offer your room the nicest appearance, so make your decision wisely.

Vent Through the Chimney

Venting your portable AC through a chimney is the least-used method and requires a lot of effort. You’ll need to use a cut-off saw, or a hack saw to make the appropriate cuts.

First of all, you will obviously need a chimney in your house, but an unused one. Because if you’re going to install your AC’s hose through a used chimney, then your safety may be at risk, as the plastic hose could potentially catch fire.

So, you have to ensure that the chimney setup is safe in your case.

Installing a hose all the way up to the chimney can be pretty challenging, so it is best to hire a professional for this.

A professional will also help you check whether installing a portable AC in a chimney is legally allowed where you live.

To install a hose through a chimney, you will certainly need a hose of a length as long as a chimney, so it can reach there and make your portable AC work effectively. 

If you own a fireplace that is not in your use, you can use it to place your air conditioner and attach its hose to the chimney.

This alternative is mostly used for small houses where the length of the chimney is small.

You can then use duct tape to seal the holes and ensure that your space is well secured. This method is usually only used if no other method is available, so if it’s not an option for you, don’t worry! There are other ways to vent your portable AC unit.

Vent Through Dryer Vent

Although a dryer vent is not the preferred method for venting your portable AC, you can consider it if you have no other choice. If you are successful in making it work, it will be a fairly effective method for venting your AC.

Most of the dryer vents have smaller-sized holes, which makes it difficult for the hose of your portable AC to pass and fit through it, and it is the main reason for it being not the best alternative. 

However, this in no way means that it’s not possible for you to make this alternative practical. If you exert some force and succeed in fitting the hose through the dryer vent, then you’re good to go, and your portable air conditioner will run 24/7 smoothly, making your room chilled.

However, make sure that while you try hard to fit the hose into the dryer vent, you do not damage any part of the objects.

Factors to Note When Using a Portable AC

Here are a few factors you may want to consider when getting your hands on a portable air conditioner:

It Produces Noise

Noise is one of the factors that may be a drawback for many people. It may be annoying for you, and you also may not be able to get a good night’s sleep due to the disturbance from the air conditioner’s noise. 

However, the noise level of the AC varies from brand to brand, so you can do comprehensive research and get the one that may produce less noise compared to others. 

It Needs a Good Space

Portable air conditioners need enough breathing space. Hence, you need to make sure where you place your AC. You can not place it in areas like a garage since the structure of such areas makes it difficult for the air conditioner to cool them, and running it will be of no use. 

Even if you place your portable air conditioner in an appropriate place, like your room, make sure that it has enough breathing space.

It Is Energy Efficient

All single portable air conditioners come with an energy efficiency rating. The higher the rating is, the more efficiently the portable air conditioner will run

However, the energy efficiency rating differs amongst portable air conditioners of different companies. You may compare the ones and choose the best one which may meet your requirements.

Its Unit Compressor Can Be Affected

If the hose of your portable air conditioner exerts too much pressure, the compressor will likely shut down entirely or develop a fault. It is not even possible to add or remove hoses from your portable air conditioner, so you can not replace it. Instead, you will have to hire a professional to fix the problem for you or, most likely, get a new air conditioner. 

Make sure not to remove or add hoses, as they could cause serious damage to their functions.

Is There Any Ventless Alternative to Portable Air Conditioner?

There isn’t a ventless alternative to a window, but there surely is to a portable air conditioner. A portable swamp cooler is what you can get your hands on. Although it will not cool the room as a portable AC, the advantage is that it does not require air hoses.

A swamp cooler traps the heat from your room in the process of changing water from liquid to vapor. The water vapor will keep the heat trapped until it condenses into liquid again.


If you’ve been debating on “I don’t have a window, how do I vent a portable AC unit?”, I’ve given you a lot of alternatives that will assist you in properly venting your air conditioner and chilling your space without a window!