This article isn’t really about the ins and outs of air-conditioner mechanics, but it is important to understand that one of the key functions of an air conditioner is to provide ventilation. Ventilation refers to moving air between the room that is being cooled and relocating it outside of that room.
By doing this, you’ll notice a considerably cooler temperature inside the room as compared to the temperature of the air outside.
In recent years portable or “windowless” air conditioners have become increasingly popular primarily because they do not require an AC unit to be placed inside a window. Rather, these types of units perform the ventilation process through an exhaust pipe attached to the back of the machine and fed through an opening in the window.
The other types of air conditioners – including central air conditioners, split ac units, and window air conditioners – all require part of the AC unit to be located outside. This is the primary difference that you see in a windowless unit.
How to Vent Windowless Air Conditioners
To adequately vent a windowless air conditioner, the units come with a 5 foot long venting tube. In order to feed the tube outside, these portable air conditioners generally come with a piece of plastic or cardboard to place in the open window above where the hose is being fed out.
The other side of the hose is attached to the adapter section of the portable air conditioner. These types of air conditioners are pretty easy to set up and they work fairly well.
Can I Use this AC in a Room with No Window?
Consumers sometimes wonder if there is a way to use these windowless air conditioners in rooms where there is no window or where the homeowner would prefer not to vent to the window.
The answer is that there are ways that you can read up one of these windowless air-conditioners to work in just about any space.
Because of the need for ventilation, you need to just figure out a way that you can then the hose somewhere.
Some people have rigged up there portable air conditioners to vent through the ceiling, for example. To do this, you need to get a longer venting hose (9 feet would be good) sends windowless air conditioners come with the standard 5 foot hose.
If you did decide to vent it to the ceiling, you also have to rig up a way to seal the hose in one of the ceiling panels. This is a very popular way of using a portable air conditioner in places like server rooms which often have no windows but also get very hot.
If you have sheet rock in your ceiling, your best bet would probably be to cut a hole the size of the venting to and feed the tube through it.
Warnings if You Plan to Vent through the Ceiling
There are two things to keep in mind, however, if you plan to vent your windowless air conditioner through the ceiling.
First, the air conditioner is going to be pulling in humidity and this will lead to condensation. With the unit set up through a window, the condensation would be pumped outside. But if you are venting it to the ceiling, the humidity is going to go into the space above. This can lead to water dripping on the ceiling tiles.
The second potential issue is that you want to make sure that the hot air is being vented into an area that is big enough to allow it to dissipate. If you are venting into your attic, for example, you may get an overheated space in there that is also wet from the humidity.
There are other alternatives for venting a windowless air conditioner. Some folks have had good luck installing a dryer vent and then feeding the tube through. The beauty of this is that it can be easily hidden from view and it is a permanent solution. It will, however, require you to put a hole in your wall.
Tips for Folks with Casement Windows
Finally, some homeowners choose windowless air-conditioners as an alternative for cooling the room where they have casement windows. All of the installation kits that come with windowless air conditioners will only work with horizontal windows.
If you have a vertical or casement window, you can go to a local plastics shop and order piece of plexiglass to fit into the window frame. Make sure that you get a hole cut in the plastic for the venting hose to fit through. You might also consider using weatherstripping or caulking to seal it up.