Should You Buy a Windowless Air Conditioner?

In the past 10 to 15 years, the windowless air conditioner has become a major player in the residential air conditioner marketplace.

Windowless air conditioners have been around for quite a while and have generally been used in factories. Often referred to as “spot coolers,” they were originally designed to keep workers cool on assembly lines when the temperature soared.

In recent years, windowless air conditioner units have gained in popularity because they cannot be seen from outside the building. This is particularly useful for apartment dwellers with landlords who don’t allow residents to install a window air conditioner. They have also become the choice of people who don’t want to block a window with an air conditioner unit.

In reality, however, a windowless air conditioner isn’t exactly windowless. Rather, it has to have some way to get rid of the heat sucked in by the unit (as well as the heat created by the ac compressor). This means that a windowless air conditioner has to have a hose connected to the back of the unit that will blow the hot air out a small gap in the window.

Windowless Air Conditioner – How Does It Work?

A windowless air conditioner makes the room cold by collecting the hot air in the room. That means that the hot air has to be sent somewhere else. This is done through a compressor inside the unit, which sucks in the hot air. On a window air conditioner, the hot air is then driven out the back of the unit to the outside of the building.

With a windowless air conditioner, however, there are different – and less efficient – methods for getting rid of the hot air. In some cases, the hot air is directed through a hose out of a window. In other cases, residents have routed the hose into the space above the ceiling tiles or into another room. The typical venting hose is about four to five inches wide.

Windowless Air Conditioner Reviews

Perhaps the most well-known windowless air conditioner is the Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner (ARC-14S) (cost $450).

This windowless portable air conditioner can cool spaces up to 200 square feet. While you can install it in a window, it is also possible to run the Pinguino with just a small vent out the window or into another room. Users generally like this unit.

Another model that has sold relatively well is the Honeywell MN10CESWW 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control – White (cost $380). While this unit tends to do a decent job cooling down a room, many users complain how loud it is. But you really can’t go wrong with the quality for that price.

Bottom Line
So should you buy one?

A windowless air conditioner is certainly not your best bet for cooling your home. Consumer Reports argues that these types of units put out 20 percent less cooling power than comparable window air conditioners. At the same time, the windowless units often cost more than window units with comparable BTUs.

But if you live in a place that doesn’t allow window ac units and you prefer not to swelter in the summer months, a windowless air conditioner may be the choice for you.

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