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Knowledge Center
How to Vent a Portable Air Conditioner

How To Vent Your Portable AC

In order to cool your space properly, all portable air conditioners must exhaust hot air during the cooling process. Most portable ACs come with a window kit used to vent the hot air outside. However, not all rooms have windows. Computer server rooms, for instance, are often located in the interior of a building away from windows. For this application, a portable AC is typically set up to vent into a drop ceiling. Portable air conditioner vent hoses can also be configured to exhaust hot air through a sliding door or through a wall and into another room. Read on to learn more on how to vent a portable air conditioner.

Portable AC Window Kits

A standard portable air conditioner window kit used for portable AC venting includes a window bracket, which is a piece of foam or durable plastic that fits into an open window, a vent hose adapter for the bracket, and one or two vent hoses. The average vent hose is 4 to 5 feet long, so you need to place your portable AC fairly close to a window.

When venting a portable air conditioner, attach the vent hose to the portable AC. If necessary, trim the window bracket to fit your window snugly. You may also need to cut a hole in the bracket for the hose, but most brackets will come with pre-cut holes. Next, connect the vent hose to the adapter, and close the window tightly. It's that easy! Customers often want to know if they will have to remove their window screen in order to install a portable air conditioner. While it depends on the type of window and screen, most of our customers find that they do not have to remove the screen because the exhaust hoses do not extend beyond the window.

Sliding Window and Sliding Door Ventilation

Danby DPAC12010H

Standard window brackets are designed to be installed horizontally at the bottom of windows, but they can be installed vertically to fit sliding windows and sliding doors. Some modifications of the window bracket may be required.

For sliding windows, you need to make sure that the bracket will be long enough to fit the opening. Units that feature double window brackets, such as DeLonghi portable air conditioners, generally work well for sliding windows. A double bracket includes the standard window bracket plus an additional filler bracket. After setting up the bracket, if there's still an opening, you can fill it with wood, Plexiglas, insulation, or some other type of filler material.

When working with sliding doors, the window brackets will not be long enough to fill the vertical opening, so you'll need to fill the extra space with some other material like plywood or Plexiglas. Browse our most popular portable ACs for sliding windows or doors

Casement Windows and Crank Windows

Since casement windows and crank windows open like doors, standard window kits will not fit them. But that hasn't stopped our resourceful customers. Many customers who have casement windows simply cover the entire window opening with Plexiglas and cut out a hole for the exhaust hose. 

Drop Ceiling Ventilation

Electronic equipment can produce a great deal of heat, but sensitive equipment must be kept cool at all times. Portable ACs are extremely popular for computer server rooms, since they can cool the warm equipment to avoid overheating and other issues. The only problem is server rooms rarely have windows and are usually away from exterior walls.

Fortunately, most office buildings have drop or panel ceilings. Many portable air conditioners, like those from Movincool, can be configured to vent into drop ceiling spaces. The Movincool CM12 Ceiling-Mounted Air Conditioner is specifically designed to keep critical spots cool while saving valuable floor space in crowded telecom closets and server rooms. The CM12 easily mounts above standard drop ceilings using built-in flanges and included mounting brackets and has the capability to integrate with an existing building control system, as illustrated in the diagram below.

diagram illustration Movincool CM12 Ceiling-Mounted Air Conditioner installation

Wall Ventilation

Some people prefer to exhaust hot air through a wall vent, directly outside or to another room, such as a garage or storage room. You can use a jigsaw to cut the correct size hole in the wall—but make sure there isn't any wiring or plumbing where you want to cut the hole. You can seal the edges of the hole with silicone caulk.

Connecting to Dryer Vents

In most cases, using a dryer vent to exhaust a portable air conditioner isn't recommended. Dryer vents have a 4-inch diameter, and most exhaust hoses are slightly larger in diameter. DeLonghi portable ACs, on the other hand, feature 4-inch exhaust hoses, so they would fit most dryer vents. However, if the external opening of the dryer vent contains a flap, then the unit's hot air exhaust will not be strong enough to push it open. In this case, you would need to remove the flap and replace it with a screen.

Do Not Extend Vent Hoses

You should not try to extend the vent hose during portable air conditioner venting because it will result in decreased efficiency, and it could also void the warranty. 

Still Have Questions?

With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can make a portable air conditioner work almost anywhere in your home or office. For more information on installing and operating a portable air conditioner, visit our Knowledge Center. Or call our product experts at 1 (800) 934-9194 for a free consultation and product recommendation. Be sure to carefully read the instruction manual before installing your new portable air conditioner.

Additional Resources 

Best-Selling Portable Air Conditioners

Portable Air Conditioner FAQs

Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide

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