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The Best Ventless Portable Air Conditioner Units for Windowless Use

CEO Khai Intela
A good portable and ventless air conditioner can keep you comfortable while giving you the freedom to move cool air to any room you'd like, even without window access. But what are the best options...

A good portable and ventless air conditioner can keep you comfortable while giving you the freedom to move cool air to any room you'd like, even without window access. But what are the best options available on the market today? And how do you choose the right one for your needs?

In this article, we'll discuss the top ventless portable air conditioner units for every room size and help you make an informed decision. Whether you're looking for a windowless air conditioner or a stand-alone AC unit, you'll find the best options here.

SereneLife 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

big white air conditioner Caption: A powerful and efficient portable air conditioner

Before we dive into the details, let's first understand the difference between ventless and portable hose air conditioners.

Ventless Non-Window AC Unit vs Portable Hose Air Conditioner

Not many people are aware, but there are two types of indoor air conditioning units available: ventless and portable. It's important to understand the distinction between the two to avoid any unnecessary expenses or inconveniences.

Ventless air conditioners, also known as non-window AC units, do not require a hose for ventilation. They don't use refrigerant or a compressor system to create cool air, and they don't produce any heat or extract heat from a room. These units are suitable for spaces where ventilation is not possible or required.

On the other hand, portable air conditioners use refrigerant and a compressor to create cool air. They generate heat inside the unit and remove heat from a room, which necessitates a hose for ventilation. Portable AC units work similarly to central air conditioner units and ductless mini-split AC systems, providing cold air more efficiently than ventless air conditioners.

How Portable Air Conditioners Work

To understand how a portable air conditioner works, it's essential to grasp the basics of its functionality. These units pull hot air out of a room, condition it, and push cold air back into the space. Along with removing hot air, portable air conditioners also extract moisture and channel it through a hose and out of a window.

For optimal performance, portable air conditioners need to be installed near a window or vented in some other way to allow the hose to exhaust hot air outside. The unit's fan blows out conditioned air to cool the room effectively. Compared to ventless air conditioners, portable AC units provide colder air because warm air is actively removed from the room.

Which Type of Air Conditioner Should You Get?

Now that you understand how both ventless and portable air conditioners work, you may be wondering which type is the right choice for you. There is one crucial factor you need to consider: the humidity levels of your location.

Portable AC

Portable air conditioners are ideal for humid climates, as they cool warm air by removing moisture from it. These indoor air conditioners must be connected to a window to expel the moisture and hot air. The conditioned air they deliver is colder and more comfortable.

Ventless AC

Ventless AC units are better suited for dry climates, as they add moisture back into the air to aid in cooling. However, there must be a constant supply of fresh air, such as an open window or door, to prevent the air inside the room from becoming overly saturated with water vapor. Additionally, you need to keep the internal tank filled with water or ice to maximize cooling performance.

How to Choose the Right Size Air Conditioner

Choosing the right size air conditioner for your room is crucial for maximum efficiency and cooling performance. Here's a simple guide to help you determine the appropriate BTU or CFM rating for your needs:

  1. Measure the room you plan to use the air conditioner in.
  2. Match the room size to the recommended BTU or CFM rating using our reference chart.

When shopping for air conditioners, you'll come across two types of efficiency ratings: BTU for portable air conditioners and CFM for ventless air conditioners. These ratings correspond to the maximum square footage that the air conditioner can effectively cool.

It's essential to choose an air conditioner that is neither too weak nor too powerful for your room. An undersized unit won't cool your space adequately, leading to increased energy costs and discomfort. Conversely, an oversized unit will consume excess energy and may eventually break down. Optimal sizing ensures maximum efficiency and cooling performance.

For more specific recommendations based on BTU criteria, refer to our refined reviews:

  • Best 5,000 BTU Air Conditioners
  • Best 6,000 BTU Air Conditioners
  • Best 8,000 BTU Air Conditioners
  • Best 10,000 BTU Air Conditioners
  • Best 12,000 BTU Air Conditioners

Benefits of Portable & Ventless Air Conditioners

Now let's explore the primary benefits of portable and ventless air conditioners that make them worth considering:

Low Energy Consumption

One major advantage of portable air conditioning units is their significantly lower energy consumption. Unlike central cooling systems that cool the entire house, even when you only need to cool one specific room, portable ACs offer targeted cooling, resulting in reduced monthly energy costs. They use only a fraction of the electricity required to run central air.

Ventless air conditioners consume even less energy since they don't require a compressor. Some of the best ventless AC units consume just 100 watts of electricity, which is equivalent to a typical light bulb.

No Restrictions

Window-mounted air conditioning units, while popular, often face restrictions due to building codes and HOA regulations. Installing them without written permission from the landlord is prohibited in many rental apartments and HOA zones. Portable units, on the other hand, don't have these restrictions as they don't protrude from the outside. They are a hassle-free and versatile cooling option.

Easy Installation and Portability

Installing portable air conditioners is a breeze. They are lightweight and require no special tools or professional installation. As long as you have an electrical outlet and a way to vent the warm air, you're good to go. Ventless air conditioners require zero installation, making them even more convenient.

Portability is another advantage of these units. You can easily move them from room to room, tailoring your cooling needs as you go. Window units, once installed, are fixed in place and can only cool the space they're mounted in.

Attractive Designs

Portable air conditioners come in sleek and modern designs, adding an aesthetic touch to your space. Window unit designs, on the other hand, are traditional and haven't changed much over the years. If visual appeal is important to you, portable ACs offer a more attractive option.


Many apartment complexes prohibit the use of window air conditioners. However, most landlords allow the use of portable ACs since they are non-intrusive. Additionally, ventless air conditioners are suitable for any room, with or without windows, as they don't require any ventilation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do ventless air conditioners work?
Yes, ventless air conditioners do work to cool a room. They are particularly effective in dry climates where indoor humidity is not a concern. By adding a mist of coolness to the air, ventless AC units can make a room feel more refreshing. In humid climates, their effectiveness is limited as the air is already saturated with water droplets.

Can I use a portable air conditioner in a room without a window?
Yes, you can use a portable air conditioner in a room without a window as long as you find a way to vent it. The heat generated by the air conditioner must be exhausted from the room. You can achieve this by pointing the hose out of a doorway or using one of the several alternative venting options available. Ventless air conditioners, on the other hand, can be used in any room without the need for venting.

How do I vent a portable air conditioner with no windows?
If you don't have windows but still want to use a portable air conditioner, there are various venting options available. You can connect the hose to a dryer vent, run it through a drop ceiling, up a chimney, out a door, through a hole in the wall, or even through the floor into an unoccupied space. Check our comprehensive guide on portable air conditioner venting options for more ideas and step-by-step instructions. For ventless AC units, venting is not necessary as they don't produce heat or require ventilation.

And there you have it! With this comprehensive guide, you should have all the information you need to choose the best ventless portable air conditioner for your needs. Stay cool and comfortable all year round!