How to Vent a Portable Air Conditioner without a Window? Top 5 Tips

Every air conditioner will need some venting, and many people connect their exhaust hose through a window. However, in some cases, the room you are trying to keep cool may lack a window.

How to Vent a Portable Air Conditioner without a Window

In that case, you may vent a portable air conditioning system through different means. This article will give you some tips on how to vent a portable air conditioner without a window if you are out of ideas.

The Importance of Venting Portable Air Conditioners

At this point of browsing for a good air conditioner, the following questions probably popped in your head: “why do I need a way to vent my portable air conditioning system? Can’t I prop it in the middle of the room where I’m looking to chill and call it a day?”

Well, things aren’t that easy, since portable air conditioners will need a way to vent. All the bad stuff building up inside your AC unit requires a way to get out. Otherwise, the result you’ll get maybe unsatisfactory.

Air conditioners work by taking air in, processing and cooling it through a cooling radiator which delivers the chilled air into the room. This is what makes the space nice and comfy during the hot summer days.

The problem is that while cool air goes in on one side, hot air comes out through the other.

After all, AC units take in the room air temperature, process it and deliver it – but during the processing, it will also supply some hot air fumes. This is the engine’s work, which is why every air conditioner has a hot air exhaust hose.

Which raises the question: why should you care? Well, look at it this way: on one side, you would be having cool air delivered into the room by your portable AC unit. On the other, you have hot air coming out of your air conditioner.

Think about it as when you mix warm and cool water. In the end, the result is a type of water that is neither hot nor cold.

The same thing goes for the air in your room: warm air will fuse with cool air, and the result will be the same temperature that you just tried to cool.

When you don’t vent a portable AC, you beat the purpose of buying that air conditioner in the first place. The warm air will need to be redirected somewhere, obviously outside the room.

This is why you need to make sure that you always have a way to vent the air conditioner.

It can be anything from a hole in the wall to an opening in your ceiling. When you install a portable air conditioner in a room without windows, you can afford to be creative.

The only condition here is installing it right and sealing it around with silicone caulk, so that the warm air doesn’t go back into the room.

Read: Cheap window air conditioners under $100

Portable Air Conditioner Venting Options Without a Window

Even if you do not have a window, there are still several ways for you to vent your portable AC.

All you need is an exhaust hose and access to the following entries and exits.

1. Venting through a Door

Venting Portable Air Conditioner through a Door

Due to how a portable air conditioning system works, the warm air needs to go somewhere. It will go outside through the vent hose in an ideal scenario, but this depends on the space where you are planning to use your air conditioning unit.

If you can’t vent your AC the standard way, then you may just as well go through the door. Here’s the good news: you can get a kit designed for sliding doors that can help you get rid of the hot air. You can easily use them to get your unit working.

The only issue you might want to remember here is that these devices don’t usually have a very long exhaust pipe. That being said, the AC unit must be placed close to your sliding door.

One more reasonable alternative to venting a portable air conditioner without a window is if you take the exhaust hose through the pet door.

The pet may not like it that they can’t come and go as they please anymore, but it will undoubtedly help you in this troublesome situation.

It would help if you made sure that the door is big enough and seal the hole around the exhaust hose. Otherwise, the warm air might enter the cooled rooms and bring you back to square one.

2. Venting through the Ceiling

Venting Portable Air Conditioner through the Ceiling

If you have no way of venting an air conditioner with heat through a window and going through the door is not a possibility either, you can vent through the ceiling.

If you have a drop ceiling, then you may easily take your portable AC unit through it.

To do this, you need to create a hole through the ceiling to put the exhaust hose. In most cases, it is effortless to install – but you will have to be very careful about any electric wiring or pipes that you may have.

Once the hole has been created, run the portable air conditioner hose through its opening. Ensure you seal the cracks properly; otherwise, the warm air will be sent back in.

Bear in mind that after fitting the hose, you might want to keep track of the humidity levels as well. Otherwise, you might end up creating the perfect environment for mold to grow in there.

If you don’t know precisely how to vent a portable air conditioner without a window, mainly through the drop ceiling, you might want to ask a professional to come in.

Read: Best Portable Air Conditioners Without Hose

3. Venting through a Wall

Venting Portable Air Conditioner through the Wall

Is ceiling not an option either? In that case, you might want to vent your portable air conditioner through a wall. Often, this is the easiest way to go, particularly if your wall connects to the outside.

You need the tools necessary to make a hole big enough for the air conditioning hose to pass through.

Once the hole is in, and the hose passes through, make sure to seal the opening. Otherwise, you might end up with the warm air back in your home.

4. Vent through the Dryer Vent

Venting Portable Air Conditioner through Dryer Vent

One more option for venting a portable air conditioner is to take the unit hose through the dryer vent.

Air conditioners need to “breathe,” so when the window is not possible; you have to be creative.

Bear in mind that most manufacturers recommend against using your dryer vent, but if no other option is available, you can make it work. Still, in this case, you should have a professional install the unit. Make sure your dryer vent stays clean in that case.

5. Venting an AC through an Unused Chimney

Venting Portable Air Conditioner through Unused Chimney

Unused chimneys can also double as a way to exhaust the warm air. However, it would be best if you were sure that the chimney is not in use and that it doesn’t have any blockages along the way.

Place the unit right underneath the chimney and point the exhaust pipe upward.


  • Can I vent a portable air conditioner through a dryer vent?

Yes, many people take their portable air conditioner through the dryer vent. With that in mind, due to various complications, many do not recommend it. So, it’s best to consult with a professional before doing so.

  • How to maintain a portable air conditioner?

To maintain a portable AC, you need to clean it regularly in the interior using a damp cloth, replace the filter and keep it in a place where it is not exposed to direct sunlight.

  • How long does a portable air conditioner last?

With proper maintenance, a portable air conditioner can last for as long as 15 years.

  • Can I use a portable air conditioner in a room without a window?

Yes, definitely. While most air conditioners have the warm air passed through the window, there are still ways for you to vent the unit.


We hope that our article helped you find out how to vent a portable air conditioner without a window. The important thing here is that you make use of the resources that you have.

You can easily make it work with a door, a ceiling, a dryer vent – even an unused chimney. Anything connecting you to the outside can help you vent the air conditioner.

Let us know your thoughts on the matter, and if you have any questions, leave them below in the comment section.

Photo of author
Ronald Watford, the owner of Quality Home Air Care, is a qualified HVACR technician and manages the team of expert writers on this site. He believes that educating homeowners about HVAC systems is one of the most impactful aspects of his job.