Among air conditioners, the window models are portable, cheaper, and often easy to set up by users themselves. However, the aspect that they need to think about is how to set up the ventilation. The portable units have a traditional airflow system.

Here we look at the ways one can set up the ventilation system, especially when there is no window nearby.

Setup of a Portable Window Air Conditioner

Such units are usually easy to set up, especially as they are portable and can be compact, smaller models, ideal for small rooms. However, to set up the air conditioner in a room, especially one where there is no window would require some work.

The working mechanism of such units usually includes a circulation system that would pick up the air that is hot and humid inside and vent that outside. While most of the air is cooled over an inner refrigerant and exhausted back into the room as cold air, the remaining hot air is then passed out through the vent to the outdoors.

How to Vent a Portable Window AC?

In the case of rooms where you cannot set up a portable air conditioner by the window, here are some steps to follow in setting up the ventilation system. You could set up the vent in the following ways,

  • Through a door.
  • Use an opening in a wall/ceiling.
  • Use a dryer opening.

Setting Up Vent through the Door

If you have a door that is close by and is of the sliding design, it would be easy to set up a ventilation system. It would also mean that you can place the air conditioner close to the door. Also, you should be able to make an opening in the door frame. There are kits that allow one to add an opening for an air conditioner hose.

Here are some handy tips to keep in mind when you are setting up a vent for your portable air conditioner through a door,

  • Ensure that the frame of the door can hold a vent hole.
  • Get hold of kits that allow you to fit a ventilation hose through a door frame.
  • Ensure that the hose pipe is at least 10 feet in length.
  • Ensure that the hose entrance is tightly sealed.

Opting for a vent by a door is optimal when you are trying to place a portable air conditioner in a room. If you have a sliding door frame that makes it easy to put the hose through.

Vent through Wall/Ceiling

This is the second option that you as a homeowner could look at. That is also when you are handy with a power drill. To create a hole through the wall through which a hose would go through, here are the steps to follow,

  • Ensure that you have experience in handling power tools. You need to bore through cement walls with a power drill.
  • Check the hose diameter and increase or decrease the whole diameter accordingly.
  • Once you have created a hole, ensure that you seal the opening after the hose passes through it. This would also ensure that dirt, insects, or other irritants do not make their way through the opening.
  • Seal opening by using a caulk. It is easy to find silicone caulk from hardware stores; you need to cut up the tip of the tube at a 45-degree angle. It is a bet that you use a caulk gun to apply the caulk and use the nozzle mouth against the wall to apply it. After that, give it enough time so that caulk dries up before you use the ventilation system.

Why Choose Drop Ceiling?

If you are handy with power tools and in drilling holes through a wall or a ceiling, this would come in handy. In case you wish to explore the possibility of venting through a ceiling, it is best to choose a drop ceiling.

Modern homes often do not have such a system. However, in older homes, there are high ceilings and one can exploit the same.  That would also mean that you have a space close to the ceiling where the air conditioner could be positioned. The main steps to rig a vent through the ceiling are the following,

  • You can rig a hole through the ceiling tiles and push through the exhaust.
  • Use of a vent kit for the ceiling; it is the best choice since it is convenient for running a hose through a ceiling.
  • At the time of drilling a hole, you need to have done it before. Ensure that you have prior know-how on how to drill and rig through ceiling tiles.
  • When you use a vent kit ensure that pets or children are not running around since they might collide with the AC unit.

Use of Dryer Vent

This is another option, especially if you have the dryer in the same room where the AC unit would be. This is also a method that many do not recommend. Manufacturers are often against it because the exhaust hose of the portable air conditioner is usually larger compared to the dryer vent. However, if that is the only method that is feasible for you, it would help in applying force to insert the exhaust hose through the vent.

  • Remember, however, that the whole’s low diameter would impede the venting effectively. Hence, your AC unit would not function optimally.
  • In some cases, however, especially when there is a large dryer in use, it could possess a vent large enough in diameter to allow hot air to pass through effortlessly.


1. What are the Benefits of Using a Portable Air Conditioner?

Such units are easy to install and use. They also use the four-step process for cooling as do traditional units. Hot air passes into the unit, over the refrigerant and then cold air circulates back in the room you have positioned it. The exhaust pushes out warm air into the outdoors.

2. What Happens if You do not Vent a Portable Air Conditioner?

For any portable AC unit to work effectively, you need to provide an outlet for the exhaust pipe. It would lead the warm air outside and help keep cool air inside the room. In absence of that, you receive air that is both warm and cold in the same room. Hence, effective cooling is not achieved.

3. How to Maintain Portable Air Conditioners?

To improve shelf life and functionality of an AC unit, you need to clean interiors regularly with a damp cloth. Ensure that you clean filters and replace them in due time. Ensure that the exhaust hose does not curl up. Also, place the air conditioner away from direct sunlight.

4. How to Ensure the Longevity of Portable Air Conditioners?

These units usually last about 15 years when used properly and with care. The warranty coverage would only be for a limited period of time, however.


The above methods showcase how to set up an exhaust vent for your portable air conditioner, especially if you do not have a window to set up the ventilation through. The vent through a door frame is probably a better and convenient option, as opposed to trying to set it up through a dryer vent. Again, if you wish to use the ceiling ventilation, ensure that you have a prior working knowledge of doing so.

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