portable air conditioner no vent

Portable Air Conditioner No Vent

This is why a portable air conditioner (no vent) will make you more comfortable during the hottest weather by keeping you cool in your home or office.

Table of Contents

  1. Thinking Big Cooling
  2. Thinking Mid-Range Cooling
  3. Thinking Economy Cooling
  4. Cheaper AC Running Cost
  5. Evaporative Coolers
  6. Humidity
  7. Summing Up

What do you need to make your home cooler in summer?

For most people, it would be an air conditioning solution of a size that would adequately cool your home to make it comfortable for you and your family, right?

There are numerous configurations of cooling system that would suffice, depending on where you live, your local climate and of course, your budget limitations.

Let's take a look at some scenarios to see where you fit into this grand scheme of humans vs the heat of summer!

What Cooling Solution is Right for You?

Thinking Big Cooling

Let's take the top of the range solution that would work for a family in a healthy financial situation where size, installation, running costs etc are not such a great issue.

air conditioningWhatever size of house you live in, there is a central HVAC system that will do what you need it to do.


I used the term ″HVAC″ instead of ″Air Conditioner″ for a good reason in this scenario. Since price is not a limiting factor, you may as well have a system that can both cool your home in summer and heat it in winter if necessary.

After all, it's all-year comfort that you're looking for, isn't it?

However, what if you, like the vast majority of homeowners, do not have the luxury of very deep pockets when it comes to the household budget?

Thinking Mid-Range Cooling

Instead of a huge central heating and cooling system, a more economical approach would be to install a zone or distributed (ductless mini-split) air conditioner configuration.

This set up provides you with an internal cooling unit in each room connected to an array of condenser units outside the building.

Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioning System

These can prove to be more cost effective as they are only used when a room is occupied and turned off when the room is vacated. That's better energy management than having a central system keeping the whole house cool even in rooms that are unoccupied.

It is not very kind to the environment to install and use an energy-hungry monster HVAC system all-year round, when a more economical (and ecologically-sound) alternative can be found, no matter how limitless your budget may be.

This is a solution that many homes have installed and they work very well. However, there is still the rather high cost of purchasing the equipment and having it all installed.

Thinking Economy Cooling

When your budget it tighter, a cheaper solution is to install smaller window AC units in each room.

This is cheaper than buying and installing zone AC mini-split units, but there is still the problem of having to install a unit in each room on a permanent basis.

Portable Air Conditioning Units

A much cheaper solution is to buy just one or two portable air conditioners and move them from room to room as you move around the place.

These have the benefit of portability as long as you install window venting kits in each room and simply ″plug in″ the exhaust vent hose to the window vent when you bring the unit from one room to the next.

There is still a relatively high running cost associated with portable AC units, since they consume electricity at a similar rate to an electric heater, which is about 1-2 kW depending on its size.

Cheaper AC Running Cost

For many people, keeping the on-going running costs of a home's cooling system to a sensible level is an important factor determining what solution you will decide upon.

While there are steps you can take to reduce the energy load on your system (however large or small), it can still be very expensive to run what with energy costs constantly rising.

However, there are cooling solutions that can actually be extremely cost-effective depending on where you live. It all comes down to the climate you have during summer.

Evaporative Coolers

If it's hot but the air is mostly dry, as you'd normally experience in desert or semi-desert locations, especially in the southern to mid western states, you could opt for evaporative coolers instead of air conditioners to keep you cool.

portable air conditioner no ventThese coolers are extremely economical to run, as they typically consume between 50-200 watts of electricity to run.

That's a big difference when compared to the 1-2 kW of a mid-range portable AC.

Ventless Cooling!

Incidentally, since you are still reading and have gotten this far, I suspect you're wondering what was meant by the ″no vent″ part of the title of this page. Well, I'll let you into a little secret.

Actually, it's not really a secret, just a play on terms that a lot of advertisers use that can confuse people. When you see the term, ″ventless portable air conditioner″ or any similar description of a free standing AC that does not have a vent hose, what is really meant is that it's an evaporative cooler (or swamp cooler).

Hot Air Exhaust Vent

Real air conditioners, whether they're fixed, window mounted or portable all produce a lot of hot air as well as cold air as part of the refrigeration process they use to make cold air.

The big mechanical compressor generates a lot of heat when in operation. The hot air must be vented to the outside of the building of course, or you would not get any benefit from the cold air!

Portable units do that by venting the hot air out through the exhaust hose that connects the back of the AC unit to the window venting kit. If you took away the vent hose, the unit would simply pump out the hot air directly into the room that you're trying to cool down.

That's NOT what you want!

AC Must Be Vented

Therefore, a portable air conditioner without a vent hose DOES NOT EXIST!

For that matter, any air conditioning equipment must have a means to vent the hot air out of the building to prevent a net heat gain inside. It pays to know the difference!

Swamp Coolers are Vent Free

However, portable swamp coolers (evaporative coolers) look very much like portable ACs, with the main external difference being there is no vent hose. They don't need one because they don't produce any hot air. Just cold!

Since they're pretty powerful producers of cold air in the right environment, they get confused with AC units a lot. Just make sure you know the difference.


The reason you need to know the difference is because swamp coolers do not work very well when the air gets humid.

In areas of high humidity, a swamp cooler will be ineffective because it can't evaporate any more moisture into already saturated air.

That's because of the way they produce cold air. They do it via the evaporation of moisture by blowing air across a wet absorbent medium.

The moisture evaporates and reduces the temperature of the air, much the same way your skin does when you perspire when it's hot and a breeze make your skin feel cold.

Dry Air is Best

That's fine when the air is dry as it is in the desert, because it can absorb a lot of moisture and maintain the cooling effect. But when the level of moisture in the air gets too high (when it's very humid), less and less moisture can be evaporated and so the cooling effect is reduced.

When you reach 100% humidity, that saturation point and no more cooling will occur. That's why you feel so hot in a humid climate no matter how much you perspire!

Summing Up

So now you know the difference between air conditioning and evaporative cooling, you can decide which is best for your needs depending on your local climate.

Is is hot but humid?

Then you'll need a true air conditioner to keep cool

Is it hot and dry?

You're in luck, because you can save a lot of money with an evaporative cooling solution!

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