How To Vent A Portable Air Conditioner

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Updated September 16, 2022

With their versatility and energy efficiency, portable air conditioners have quickly risen to the top of the market as some of the best air conditioners you can buy for cooling your house. One important aspect of their versatility lies in their ventilation options. As such, let’s discuss how to vent a portable air conditioner model. For those configuring ventilation set up for a camping trip, we also have a resource that outlines how you can put an air conditioner in a tent. This is a great example of using a portable air conditioner without a window.


  • One of the attractive qualities of a portable air conditioning unit is that the vent hose can work with various exhaust options.
  • To ready an exhaust hose for a wall or ceiling panel, you must create a hole the same size as the unit’s exhaust hose and then seal it with silicone caulk.
  • Window and sliding door vents are easy to install, and installation kits are available for purchase at most hardware stores.

Insider Tip

Utilize the adjustable settings, fan mode, and programmable timer on your portable AC unit to reduce energy costs.

How You Can Vent a Portable AC

The window and the wall are two of the main avenues to constructing portable air conditioner vents. Below, we’ll briefly discuss how the various ventilation options for portable AC units work, which will also require some setup tools like a power drill. And for anyone reading who may be considering taking down their AC unit for the cold months, there’s another article explaining how to winterize an air conditioner. Alternatively, to figure out how to save money, you might want to reconsider leaving your air conditioner on when you’re not home. If you’re new to AC units, you may be curious to know more about the components of AC units, like the air exchanger on an air conditioner.

Through a Window

Going through the window is the most convenient option to vent a portable air conditioner unit. It’s so popular that most portable AC units come with a window vent kit and installation instructions. To install, you simply have to measure the window frame, measure the window bracket, size the vent properly, create a tight seal, and install the exhaust hose. It’s a bad idea to not properly secure the window seal during the permanent installation of window ACs in your space, which can result in ineffective portable air conditioner venting and potentially a higher energy bill.

Through a Sliding Door

The sliding door is very similar in principle to venting through the window. While you’ll have to purchase a separate sliding door venting kit from a hardware store, the process is nearly identical to a window’s. All you’ll have to do is measure, size, and install.

Through a Wall or Drop Ceiling

The wall or ceiling are options that require more work and tools than the methods listed above. A ceiling vent kit is a viable option to help you work the product through ceiling tile or other materials to properly set up the portable AC vent. You first have to measure the diameter of the AC exhaust hose. Then, you have to find a way to cut a hole in the wall/ceiling. Once you do this, run the exhaust hose through the hole and then use caulk to seal the hole.


While portable AC units can be used without an exhaust hose, this dramatically reduces the efficiency of the unit and leads to higher energy costs and less comfortable temperatures.


Can you vent a portable air conditioner through a screen?

While this is not recommended because the filter will impede the airflow, it is possible to do this if you have to.

How long do portable air conditioners last?

If appropriately maintained (regular filter cleanings, internal wipe downs, no hose twists), portable AC units can last 15 years.

Can you vent a portable air conditioner through a dryer vent?

It’s possible, but many dryer vents are not the same size as the AC’s exhaust hose. There is also a danger of lint being sucked into the portable AC unit and causing a fire.

STAT: Experts say that, if your lights only lose about 5% of their brightness, this isn’t a sign that someone is wrong with your AC unit. (source)

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