Is a Single-Hose or Dual-Hose AC Better?

Many people are confused about which type of portable air conditioner to buy. If you are also questioning whether to buy a single-hose or dual-hose AC, here’s your answer:

Dual-hose portable air conditioners are more efficient than single-hose as they don’t suck any outdoor air into the room due to negative pressure. A dual-hose unit is perfect for larger spaces because it can cool an area more quickly and efficiently than a single-hose AC.

However, numerous other factors differentiate single-hose and dual-hose ACs, including price, features, portability, compatibility with other appliances, and ease of use.

In this article, I’ll explain what single-hose and dual-hose portable air conditioners are. I will also compare the two types of ACs and give you my verdict on which is better.

Read on to find out!

Comparison: Single vs Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioners

FactorSingle-Hose Portable UnitDual-Hose Portable Unit
PriceAffordable Slightly more expensive
Cooling EfficiencyBadGood
Recommended ProductBLACK+DECKER single-hose AC (click to view it on amazon)Whynter dual-hose AC (click to view it on amazon)

This table shows the differences between single-hose and dual-hose portable air conditioners.

The two main types of portable air conditioners are single-hose and dual-hose units. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

If you’re looking for an efficient way to cool your room, garage, or office, then a dual hose unit may be just what you need. They offer superior performance as compared to single-hose air conditioners.

Single-hose portable air conditioners are less expensive, but they are less effective. Dual hose units cost more, but they cool more effectively and can also help to reduce humidity levels in a room.

Single-Hose Portable Air Conditioners

Single-hose portable air conditioners have one exhaust hose to expel warm air out of the room. They are the most common type of portable air conditioner because of their easy installation and affordability.

How Do Single-Hose Portable Air Conditioners Work?

Single-hose portable air conditioners use a single vent to remove the hot and humid air from the room. The hose runs from the AC unit to the window, door, or wall hole.

Single-hose portable air conditioners absorb the heat from your room, exhaust the absorbed heat and blow out cooled air.

However, nothing prevents your single-hose portable AC from sucking in the just-cooled air again and blowing it out of the window.

 This is a major efficiency problem in single-hose portable air conditioner functionality.

Also, since the AC unit continuously removes the hot air from the room, the air pressure inside the room drops lower than the atmospheric pressure outside, which results in a negative pressure gradient.

As a result, the hot outside air has to move inside the room to balance that negative pressure gradient. However, it’s not pulled directly through the unit. Instead, it sneaks in through the cracks and crevices.

Even if all the windows, vents, and doors are closed, hot air will find its way to come in through very small crevices, floor clearance, and window gaps.

This hot air will again increase the room’s temperature, which causes a decrease in efficiency and causes the AC to have a higher average power consumption.

Overall, this single-hose working cycle keeps the unit constantly under pressure. It decreases the unit’s efficiency and will add up more energy costs.


Here are some advantages to using a single-hose portable AC:

#1 Less Expensive

Single-hose portable air conditioners are less expensive than their dual-hose counterparts. This is because they do not require an extra hose to vent the hot air outside.

In general, single-hose air conditioners cost anywhere between $100 – $400 depending on the cooling capacity and build quality.

#2 Requires Fewer Holes Inside the Walls

Considering you don’t have any windows and doors in your room, the only way to vent out the hot air through a portable AC unit would be through the wall. In such a case, a single-hose unit is better – you don’t want to make multiple holes in your wall.

Compared to dual-hose portable air conditioners, single-hose units require only one hole inside your wall to fit in the hose. This reduces installation time and costs.

#3 Maintenance

The maintenance process for a portable AC unit is relatively easy compared to a double-hose. Single-hose systems usually have air filters that can be accessed from the unit’s exterior if you need to clean or replace it.


#1 Cooling Efficiency

Single-hose portable air conditioners are weaker than dual-hose units in terms of cooling efficiency. Their average BTU rating is much lower.

#2 Not Good for Big Rooms

Single-hose portable AC units are not good for rooms that require a lot of cooling. They can only cool down small areas where the temperature isn’t too hot.

#3 Creates Negative Pressure

If you have a single-hose portable AC unit, it will create negative pressure in the room. This may cause moisture and mold build-up.

#4 Sucks polluted outdoor air into your room

If it’s smoky outside, you can’t use a single-hose portable AC unit. The negative pressure gradient will cause the smoke to enter the room.

To stop the smoke, an air filter won’t work as the sucked air will not come directly through the unit. Instead, it will be coming from the gaps and crevices in your room.

Best Single-Hose Portable Air Conditioner

Ideally, your single-hose portable air conditioner should have the following features:

Remote control: Allows you to easily switch between cooling and conditioning modes without walking across the room.

Energy Saving Mode: lowers your AC’s power consumption when it is not being used so that it uses less energy overall. This can help you save money on your electricity bill.

Timer Function: Allows you to set a predetermined time for the AC to turn off automatically. This is useful if you want the room to be cool before bedtime or in case of some unexpected event that causes extended use beyond your normal limit.

My Recommendation: This BLACK+DECKER Air Conditioner (14,000 BTU) (click here to view it on amazon)

Black & Decker is known for its durable yet sleek products that are efficient in every way possible.

With such a high number of reviews on Amazon, we can’t help but say that this AC is great.

With a weight of 62.4 pounds, this portable air conditioner has a 14000 BTU cooling capacity, ensuring that you get a comfortable temperature quickly. Its freeze-proof compressor ensures that it works even in the most extreme conditions.

The unit comes with an easy-to-use remote control so that you don’t have to fumble around with buttons or try to figure out where they are while keeping your hands free.

This air conditioner comes with a 24 hours timer feature which helps regulate the temperature according to your requirement, ensuring maximum comfort and convenience every time you use it! So what are you waiting for?

Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioners

Dual-hose portable air conditioners have two separate hoses: one for intake and one for exhaust. This design helps the unit to cool more effectively than a single-hose unit because it allows the air conditioner to take in cooler air from outside while expelling the warm air from the room.

These units are ideal for larger spaces because they can cool an area faster than a regular air conditioning unit. Dual hose units also have better airflow control, which means they can distribute the cooling evenly throughout the room.

How Do Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioners Work?

Compared to single-hose, dual-hose portable air conditioners have an extra hose that allows them to suck in outside air and cool it instead of cooling indoor air and blowing it outdoors.

The intake hose will pull the air from the outside through the window or the door. The pulled air will run through the condenser, where heat is absorbed. 

The cooled air is blown into the room, while the extracted heat is blown outside again.

Once it passes through, the second hose will expel it back into the environment.

This process doesn’t create a negative pressure gradient like single-hose air conditioners. This way, the unit won’t bring warm outside air into the room.


#1 Faster Cooling Time

Dual hose units can cool an area faster than regular air conditioning units because they have better airflow control. This means that more of the cooled air can quickly reach the room’s surface.

#2 Can Be Used In Tight Spaces

There isn’t much difference in space requirement for both single-hose and dual-hose portable air conditioners. The space requirement for both types changes for each unit.

#3 No Negative Air Pressure

Dual-hose air conditioners don’t create a negative pressure gradient, which means they won’t bring warm outside air into the room. This can help avoid mildew and other problems caused by high humidity levels in the air.

#4 Maintenance

Most units have accessible filters and coils that can be washed with water. This simple maintenance will help you fix and keep your system functioning properly and protect your home from harmful air pollutants and smells.


Let’s discuss some drawbacks of dual-hose portable systems.

#1 Slightly more Expensive

Dual-hose portable air conditioners usually cost more than regular units. This is because they require more parts and materials to function properly.

Also, air conditioners generally get more expensive with increasing cooling capacity.

Dual-hose portable air conditioners usually provide a (much) higher cooling capacity than single-hose portable air conditioners.

This explains the price increase.

#2 Needs a bit more space

Dual-hose air conditioners need a bit more space since you will have to attach two hoses to your window.

However, that space would be blocked by at least one hose anyways, so adding the second hose is not that bad.

#2 Need Two Holes in the Wall

If you don’t have any vents or windows in the room, you’ll need to make two holes inside the wall for the hoses to function.

Best Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner

This one is the single-best portable air conditioner. I always recommend dual-hose air conditioners. And the Whynter ARC-14S is the most efficient and most powerful of them all.

My Recommendation: This Whynter ARC-14S (14,000 BTU) portable air conditioner (click here to view it on amazon)

The Whynter ARC-14S is the best portable air conditioner for your large space requirement (up to 500 square feet). Then there are 3 fan speeds (high, medium, and low) that ensure cooling over a large area quickly and efficiently.

This award-winning device features an extendable exhaust hose that allows you to easily adjust the airflow, giving you total control over your environment. And because Whynter’s industry-leading 1-year warranty backs it, you can feel confident that your investment is safe and protected.

Moreover, its multi-functional design makes it perfect for a variety of needs – from small spaces to large rooms.

It is portable and lightweight, making it perfect for those who need extra cooling in their space fast. The dehumidifying capacity of 71 pints per day means no moisture will harm your floor or furniture.

And thanks to its energy-efficient design, it’ll save you money while contributing to global clean energy solutions. So don’t miss out on this chance to relax in the comfort and style that Whynter is known for.


You should always prefer dual-hose portable air conditioners over single-hose portable air conditioners. Dual-hose air conditioners are a lot more efficient. Even though they cost more initially, their reduced running cost will pay for itself.

As far as I am concerned, when it comes to quality and durability, there is no doubt that dual-hose air conditioners are better than single-hose units.