How to Install a Portable Air Conditioner in a Sliding Door

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Updated May 15, 2023

If you are new to the world of indoor cooling, you may wonder how to install a portable air conditioner in a sliding door. Some of the best air conditioners, after all, can fit in sliding doors in a pinch, though it does require some work. To install a portable air conditioner in a sliding door, you need to measure the opening. Make sure it will fit. Get the right vent kit for your AC model. Put it on the door frame and attach the exhaust hose. Place the AC unit on a flat surface close by with space around it for air to flow. Plug it in and set it up according to instructions for safety.


  • If you have no useable windows, a sliding door makes a great repository for AC exhaust vents and a portable AC unit.
  • Purchase a Plexiglass insert or a dedicated sliding door AC hardware kit (similar to a window kit) online or at a hardware store.
  • Cut the insert down to size, affix it to the sliding glass door, and attach the portable air conditioner vent hose.

Why Put a Portable AC in a Sliding Door?

Most air conditioners require access to the outdoors to pull air in, and, if a sliding door is your only access well, then, you have to make it work. Some homeowners have to find someplace for their portable AC to go, so they learn how to install a portable air conditioner in a crank window, for instance.

One solution is to buy a window bracket, which helps secure the unit in place. For added security, some people use duct tape around the frame of the window and AC unit, ensuring it won’t move.

How to Install Portable Air Conditioner in a Sliding Door

Though not terribly difficult, the process here is harder than, say, learning how to install window air conditioning brackets, or installing an air conditioner in a mobile home. However, when done by a professional, the installation process will ensure all moisture is directed away from the house and air conditioning units. This process can prevent future problems that may arise due to excess moisture buildup in your home.

Moving an A/C unit is simple, but making an air conditioner out of a bucket? Not so much. Here are the steps.

Insider Tip

Some sliding door portable AC kits are easily removable when not in use, so you can still use the door.

STEP 1 Measure Your Door

  1. Measure your sliding door, particularly the height, as you’ll need a large Plexiglass insert to make up the rest of the room once the vents are connected.
  2. Purchase a useable insert or a dedicated sliding door venting kit, which are available online.

STEP 2 Cut the Insert or Kit Components

  1. The insert or related kit components need cutting down to size to fit the overall dimensions of your sliding glass door, from the bottom to the top. The same goes for if you have a window and are trying to install the best sliding window air conditioner.
  2. This requires serious tools, so bring the insert to your local hardware store and have them cut it down to the correct size.
  3. Make sure they also cut a hole for the exhaust hose.

STEP 3 Setting Up

  • Now that you’ve got the insert or kit ready to go, start the installation by opening the sliding door to allow the insert to fit, and attaching a latch to secure it in place.
  • Use retainer clips or twist clamps to secure the insert to the sliding door.
  • Secure weatherproofing strips or caulk to seal the insert and keep it waterproof.

STEP 4 Attach and Test

  1. Next, affix the hose to the vent.
  2. Plug the portable air conditioner into a power outlet and turn it on.
  3. You should experience cool air flowing from the air conditioner.

STAT: One of the essential parts of installing a portable AC is venting. You must install it the right way if you want it to cool the whole room and remove hot air. (source)


Why vent portable ACs?

Use the exhaust hose to vent portable ACs to send hot air outside, instead of letting it hang around your home.

Do all portable air conditioners need to be vented outside?

Yes, all portable ACs need a vent hose or exhaust hose to send hot air outside during use.

Do portable air conditioners need a water supply?

No, though they create water during use via the exhaust hose, vent hose, or dryer vents. Portable air conditioner venting creates water which must be disposed of.

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