Portable Air Conditioner Without Exhaust Hose

How can you have mobile, portable air conditioners without an exhaust hose to vent off the hot air to the outside? No problem! Read and learn how this can be possible if you're willing to look at the alternatives.

The first thing you need to be aware of is that AC does create a lot of hot, moist air as a by product of chilling the warm air that passes through it to produce the lovely cold air we know and enjoy during the hot season. That hot, most air needs to go someplace other than the room you're in or you'll get a net heating effect!

Expelling the Hot Air Out of the Building

portable air conditioner without exhaust hoseThe simple solution is to connect the AC unit via a flexible plastic hose to a window kit so the hot exhaust can be pumped out of the building where is will simply dissipate into the atmosphere outside. But the problem for many is they don't want that ugly, cumbersome hose dangling anywhere they can see it!

There are some options, so don't give up hope yet!

Window AC

The obvious one is to not buy a portable unit on casters and instead opt for a window air conditioner unit which installs direct to a window. That way it can expel its hot air straight through the glass or through a specially created port to one side that goes through the external wall and that means no ugly hose to look at or trip over!

The downside to having a window unit is that it is not portable, meaning you can't simply take it down and move it to the next room. It needs to stay put where it's installed. Also, this type of appliance can block some of the light coming in through the window itself, making it a bad choice if you only have one small window in your room.

Evaporative Cooler

The other solution is to buy a portable evaporative cooler instead of a traditional refrigerant-based AC. This type of cooler works well in dry atmosphere conditions and because it doesn't produce any hot air, there's no need for a vent hose at all.

The downside to evaporating coolers is they do not work so well in humid conditions. Their effectiveness is reduced by as much as the level of humidity rises. This makes them only useful for people living in a dry climate and that rules out a large number of people who live by the ocean or another large body or water such as a lake or river or where there is simply just too much moisture in the air when it gets hot.

The Myth of the Vent Free Mobile AC

Despite the obvious logic behind why there cannot be any such thing as a portable air conditioner no vent hose model that has no exhaust capabilities to get rid of the hot air it produces, there are plenty of advertisements around in stores and online promoting this mythical beast. So next time you see one advertised, you can allow yourself a smug smile, because know the truth.

If the ad says the model on show is a ventless or exhaust-free AC, the chances are its really an evaporative (swamp) cooler that looks a lot like an AC unit. You would be well advised to question the store owner or salesman about that.

That's because if you buy in (believing it to be a real AC) and take it home and discover that it doesn't work (only putting out warm air) because you live in a humid climate, you're going to be pretty disappointed. But if you can confirm it is in fact an evaporative cooling unit and not an AC, then you will be able to decline gracefully and not put yourself through all the hassle.

Will Evaporative Coolers Work in Any Humidity?

That doesn't mean evaporative coolers won't work in a humid atmosphere period. It will still produce cold air even with 50% or higher humidity as long as you leave a window or door open to allow the air to circulate. However, that capability becomes ever more limited the higher the level of humidity becomes, until it reaches a point where the air is totally saturated (100%) and no more cooling by evaporation is possible.

I know that kind of goes totally against the rules for AC that say you must keep all windows and doors closed to keep the cold air in and keep the hot air out, but swamp coolers are different because they actually produce moist, cold air that will steadily increase the humidity in a room if there's nowhere for all that moisture to go.

You can read more about this type of evaporative cooling appliance in the dedicated section of this website by following the link in the previous paragraph.

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