How to Install a Portable Air Conditioner (Even Without Windows)

Portable air conditioners are a standalone cooling system that reduces the humidity in the immediate area. They serve the same purpose as their ‘mainstream’ cousins. The only difference is that these ones are mobile. We’re sure you can start visualizing all sorts of advantages. Today, you’ll learn how to install a portable air conditioner.

how to install a portable air conditioner

One good thing about portable air conditioners is how convenient they are to install. If you have the necessary window kit, which should come with the device, as well as a little DIY skill, and you follow our guide, you’d be done in no time at all.

You’ll also learn how you can use the exhaust hose to vent the heat from a portable AC when there isn’t a window. We will also give some safety tips to keep you protected.

When you’re done, you will not only enjoy a cool room, you will have a better understanding of portable air conditioners. Now, let’s get started, shall we?

Steps to Install Portable Air Conditioners

1.    Read the user manual

You want to take in the user manual to have a good understanding of the components within and how to go about handling them, especially the window kit.

2.    Choose a placement location

An ideal location to place portable air conditioners will be somewhere close to a window and an electrical outlet. Another thing to consider for the location of your portable AC is that furniture or plants will not obstruct it and that it doesn’t constitute a tripping hazard.

3.    Work the adapter kit to your window

A portable AC comes with a window kit that allows you to channel warm air outdoors. Ideally, these adapters are cut to work with a sliding window. You will only need to measure for width if you’re using a window that slides vertically. Close the window on the kit to hold it in place. If you got your measurement right, it should fit snugly with no spaces.

On another hand, the window kit might be missing, or for some reasons, you couldn’t use the window kit. In cases like that, you’ll need to improvise. Don’t worry, we’re here to walk you through that.

The aim is to keep your window sealed off while there’s just enough space for the vent hose to pass warm air out the windows while it’s cooling the room.

You’ll have to measure your windows in more detail here. That way, you will more accurately trim the venting kit to fit the exhaust hose. If the adapter will not work at all, you might need to have a Plexiglas cut to fit.

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4.    Attach the exhaust hose

This is where you attach the exhaust hose that ejects the heat outside. First, you connect one end to the portable AC. In most cases, the hole will be at the back of the unit. You might need to consult the user manual again to be sure of how best to affix it.

Some have a screw-in design, others might require the use of clips or screwdrivers. You will find out what you’re dealing with from the manual.

Attach the other end, which might look a lot like a vacuum cleaner attachment, to the hole for the vent hose in the kit that came with the unit. If you had to cut a Plexiglas, you would have made a hole in it to dimension.

Once the connection is done, you can fix the adapter to the window to seal out air and let out heat. You might need to use duct tape to secure the connections to be sure there are no leaks anywhere. If there are no leaks, the unit will cool the room a lot better and use less energy.

5.    Plug in the Portable Air conditioner

It’s time to give the device a run! If everything goes as plan, once you plug the portable air conditioner to an electrical outlet your room should start getting cool. In that case, relax and enjoy it!

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Venting Through a Casement Window

If you notice, the above method is suited for sliding windows. In the case of a casement window that opens outward, you can still use a portable air conditioner. Releasing hot air will only require a different approach.

You will have to leave your window open, but don’t worry, your room won’t be exposed. You will need to measure your windows and cut Plexiglas to fit. Don’t forget to make a hole in it for the exhaust hose.

When you need to use the portable air conditioner, you only need to open your window, place the Plexiglas there, connect the exhaust hose, and you’re good to go.

The Plexiglas will be a temporary replacement for the window sealing out air and other elements outside the room while you enjoy the cool.

You Can Install Portable Air Conditioners When There Are no Windows

It’s possible you want to use a portable AC and there’s no window opening to outlet the heat. That doesn’t need to be a problem; there are other ways you can dispel hot air.

Vent through a door

Just like it was with the casement windows, you will have to improvise. If it’s a sliding door, you just need to cut Plexiglas wide enough to accommodate the width of the vent hose and the height of the door.

With that done, you only need to place the Plexiglas by the doorway and slide the glass to hold it in place. However, it will be inconvenient using that door. So, make sure it’s not a highly trafficked area.

Exhaust the heat through the chimney

This is a good idea since chimneys are already used for venting heat. With a little creativity and handiwork, you can create a wall venting kit to work with your fireplace.

Cut Plexiglas to fit the opening of your fireplace. Remember to cut the hole for the hose. Make sure your chimney is clean of soot and there’s nothing obstructing it.

Vent heat through the wall

This will require an expert’s intervention. You’ll need to get a contractor to bore a hole through the wall so you can feed the hose of the portable air conditioner through.

However, this will depend on whether you own the home or the landlord will allow you to do that. This is not an ideal go-to approach unless you’re sure the portable air conditioning installation is a permanent one.

Release heat through the ceiling

There are cases where the other methods are not feasible such as an office environment. Venting heat through the ceiling is a sound idea. You surely will need to get permission from the building management first.

If you get permission to do this, it’s best to get an HVAC company to implement it. The professionals will have better ways to deal with the inefficiencies and risks involved.

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Do Portable Room Air Conditioners Work?

The straight answer is “yes”. However, when it comes to how well they work, that will depend on certain factors.

For one thing, you have to consider the capacity of the unit compared to the size of the room you want to use it for. The larger the room, the more the capacity the portable air conditioner should have.

There are some other important factors to consider when choosing the size of air conditioner you need. It is crucial you get this right as it has everything to do with how well the unit will dehumidify and cool the room.

Do You Have to Put Water in a Portable Air Conditioner?

Whether portable or not, it is still an air conditioner. It does not need water for cooling a space. In fact, part of its job is to reduce the moisture in a room, not add to it.

Safety Tips for Installing Portable Air Conditioning

We care about your safety. While you enjoy the pleasures of having air conditioning, you and your family have to be careful around it. Some specific measures you should take are as follows:

Read the manual

While we’ve mentioned this before and it seems obvious, don’t skip on it. The manual will tell you the important things you need to know and the brand will not be liable if you’re negligent about something in there. Pay attention to the instructions and especially any warnings.

Portable air conditioners are usually heavy

Even though they’re portable, you might not be able to just lift it and go. Knowing this, you can avoid associated injuries. Some of them come with casters that allow you to slide the portable air conditioner across the floor.

Keep kids away from it

Remember, this is an actual air conditioner and since it is standalone, some parts of it might get hot. Don’t let your kids sit on it or place anything on it since there’s the possibility of a tilt. Remember it’s heavy, so a fall can damage the unit or hurt someone.

Install before plugging

Be sure that you’re done with the installation process before plugging and turning on the unit. There’s no reason to test it before you are done with the portable air conditioner install.

Only connect to a grounded outlet

Be sure to plug portable air conditioners directly to an electrical socket. Since it draws a lot of power, this is the safest way. Using an extension might cause overheating and damage to either the unit or the extension socket.

Make sure the filter is in place before use

Some brands expect you to install the filters yourself, you will know if this is the case if you read the manual. Using the device without the filter will mean debris flying around inside it and this can damage the device.

Never attempt a repair

Unless you’re an HVAC expert, don’t open the unit in an attempt to repair anything. It’s best to leave this part to the professionals to handle any defect or reach out to the manufacturer if you still have a warranty. Repairing a portable air conditioner is not something we will suggest you go DIY on.


That’s it! All you need to know to install a portable air conditioning. We covered most of the challenges you might face during installation, such as when there’s no window opening, and how to deal with them. We also intimated you with some safety tips. If you find this information useful, kindly share it so others can benefit. You can always explore our site for more info like this. Thank you for your time; we hope to see you again.

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