When you want to keep cool during summer, a ventless portable air conditioner without exhaust hose venting sounds like total freedom.
But does this attractive sounding ″no vent air cooler″ even exist? Are there portable air conditioners that don't require venting?
And where can you buy one if it does exist?
Just to set the record straight for those that are not quite sure if a portable, unvented AC is even possible, let's look at what we have here. Until someone invents an alternative, we are limited to the two main types of air cooling device:
- Refrigerant-based air conditioner (AC)
- Evaporative air cooler
Let's take a look at the two types in a little more depth to see the differences between them. We'll start with air conditioners:
Air Conditioning Fact:
Without exception, all refrigerant-based air conditioners must have a way to vent the hot air they produce as a by-product of the heat exchange process that produces the cold air.
The science is pretty simple to understand here. Just like your domestic fridge, a process that involves a motorized compressor to compress the refrigerant gas and create the heat-exchange mechanism to create the chilled air.
Why an AC Produces Heat
Motors produce heat through mechanical work. That heat can be considerable, depending on how hard the motor is working.
A domestic fridge produces a lot less hot air than an AC unit because it has far less volume of air to chill. Simply that!
Where Does the Heat Go?
So whatever you might think, or whatever you might be told by a slick salesman, a traditional AC must have a way to remove the hot air it produces and not exhaust it into the room that needs to be cooled.
That means it has to go outside somehow!
That "somehow" is via a venting duct or hose. A fixed, mini-split or window AC system has a permanent link to the outside of the building so there is no need for a visible hose.
Exhaust Vent Hose
However, a portable AC unit needs to make use of a flexible exhaust hose. It must be connected to a suitable exterior venting hole, installed window kit or simply hung out of a window to allow the hot air to get out of the room.
Now let's take a look at evaporative (swamp) coolers:
The alternative way to create cool air indoors (or out) with a free standing, movable unit is to get an evaporative or swamp cooler.
This type of device does not employ a refrigerant plus compressor system to create cool air, and so does not produce any heat.
Simply put, these coolers do not need to be vented or make use of an exhaust hose. They are therefore truly "ventless" coolers.
Do Ventless Air Conditioners Work?
Yes they do!
Completely ventless cooling devices, evaporative coolers (swamp coolers) create airflow to cool you like a cool breeze. There is no refrigeration process or compressor to produce hot air like like an air conditioner that must be vented.
An evaporative cooler does not reduce the overall temperature inside a room or dry the air in the same way an air conditioner does. Instead it cools by evaporation, humidifying the air.
Evaporative Coolers are Not Air Conditioners
The point to be realized here is this: While these coolers are indeed ventless and may closely, visually resemble what is often described as a ″portable air conditioner, no vent required″ and while they certainly do produce lots of cool air, they are NOT air conditioners!
They rely on the evaporation of moisture to create cold air that is forced through and out of the unit by a powerful fan.
Cooling by Evaporation
The air comes into the unit, is saturated with moisture and blasted out many degrees colder than it went in!
The other major point to bear in mind here is that a true AC can use upwards of 1-2 kilowatts of power (1,000-2,000 watts) to run, while a comparable evaporative unit only needs to use between 100-200 watts to do the same job.
That represents a considerable saving in energy and results in much lower energy utility bills for the summer!
Not for Humid Conditions
The major downside is that evaporative coolers do not perform very well in areas of high humidity.
Their ability to produce cold air is greatly reduced as the level of moisture naturally occurring in the air rises. That's especially humidity levels above 50-60%.
Would You Buy a Portable Evaporative Cooler?
If you believe where you live has the right circumstances for an evaporative cooler to work well and provide you with low cost coolness, why no take a look at one of the top models currently on sale online?
There are some really great units on sale right now, but it makes sense to get the best of the available models when it's offered.
Top Rated Cooler
It just so happens that I ran across this top rated cooler the other day while searching for stuff on Sylvane and I was so impressed, I thought I would share it with you. It's made by Hessaire, a highly respected brand in air coolers and is pictured below.
Note: As a Sylvane affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Hessaire MC37M 3,100 CFM Evaporative Cooler
Get the best of both worlds with this cooler that is perfectly at home indoors or out blasting a gust of chilled air to keep you cool!
This powerful swamp cooler from Hessaire has a high output of 3,100 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute)
It is easily capable of cooling an indoor space of up to 950 sq ft without needing to be connected to a window by an ugly plastic hose, or guzzling up kilowatts of your electricity supply!
This model is as sophisticated as any air conditioning unit with its easy-to-use on-board digital control panel.
You can set the fan speed, louvre oscillation and 8-hour timer for total control or use it in fan-only mode for those times when you don't need so much cooling power.
Large Water Reservoir
Hessaire MC37M features a 10.3 gallon water reservoir that will allow the unit to keep running overnight without needing to be refilled.
For outdoor use, it has a standard garden hose connector so you can hook it up to your garden hose and keep it running continually for those hot days when you're outdoors perhaps relaxing on your patio or around the pool.
Click the image above right to visit the product page at the Sylvane website to ge the full details and current discount price (with free shipping) that will, I'm sure, pleasantly surprise you!
Note: I personally recommend Sylvane now because it's a dedicated electrical appliance store specializing in air cooling, purifying and dehumidifying, so their staff know what they're talking about and their after-sales service is excellent.
Plus the prices are comparable to all the major online retail stores... and you get free shipping on these models!
Here are some other great swamp coolers that you may be interested in taking a closer look at:
Honeywell CL201AE Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
This great air cooler provides an option for cooling smaller rooms in your home or in the office that is energy efficient during hot, dry weather conditions.
This is a smaller, more compact cooler than the model from Hessaire above and while it doesn't pack the same level of cooling power, it's perfect for smaller areas and spot cooling.
Take a look at these attractive features:
- Non-compressor based system cools naturally, efficiently and inexpensively
- Uses 230 watts of power: significantly less electricity than AC!
- Cools a room up to 280 sq ft
- 470 CFM air flow
- No permanent installation required
- Used with open windows and doors
- Top-loading ice compartment
- 5.3 gallon (42-pint) water reservoir tank
- Water level indicator
- Low water alarm
Please note: This device works best in hot dry climates. That means the air humidity needs to be low in your area.
You can click the image (above right) to visit the Sylvane product page for full details, customer feedback and specifications.
Arizona Air AZ65MB KoolKube Industrial Mobile Evaporative Cooler
If you want a really powerful cooler that is just as much at home in a large space in your home as it is in a garage, workshop or industrial premises, this powerhouse from Arizona Air is sure to grab your attention!
With a high power fan capable of moving a heck of a lot of air (4,000 CFMs), this amazing cooler can reduce the temperature in spaces of up to 1,500 sq ft by several degrees to make it feel cooler and more comfortable.
The best part is this machine does not cost as much as you might think!
You'll probably want to click the image to visit the sales page at Sylvane to get the latest discounted price and other details.
Here's a summary of what you'll get when you choose to buy this swamp cooler in preference to smaller, less powerful units from other manufacturers.
For a cooler that can out-perform many larger, more expensive models currently on the market, this one has some very attractive features:
- Cools a room up to 1,500 sq ft
- 4,000 CFM air flow
- No permanent installation required, fitted with heavy duty casters to easily move from place to place
- 14.5 gallon water reservoir tank with front fill door
- Continuous water fill: hooks up to a standard hose connector
- Three fan speeds
- Water level indicator
- Low water alarm
This cooler will provide masses of cold air wherever you need it. It's great for outdoor use as well as indoors, making it possible to give your guests some cool relief when gathering out on the patio or around the pool for barbecues or pool parties.
Available online now at Sylvane with free shipping. Click the image above right for full details!
Hobson's Choice: When a Portable Air Conditioner is Needed
If you live in an area with low humidity, you are in luck as you can take advantage of the low power consuming evaporative option to keep cool.
If you have high humidity, your options are limited to the more costly air conditioning solution along with the vent hose and the additional expense in power consumption!
However, it's not all bad.
How to Stay Cool in Humid Climates
There are a number of excellent portable air conditioners we can recommend that are better suited to more humid climates and provide cooling relief from the heat without costing quite as much as you may expect.
There are also some clever self evaporating portable AC units that don't need periodic draining and are even more energy efficient thanks to their clever technology.
Smart Portable ACs
While I'm mentioning clever tech stuff, I should also mention that you can now buy smart portable air conditioners that are WiFi enabled so that you can program and control them remotely from your phone if you like.
Things are certainly moving forward at a rapid pace in the world of indoor climate management!
Portable Air Conditioner, No Vent
You can find out a lot more about what is often referred to as a "ventless portable air conditioner" that is not really an AC (without vent hose), but is a truly unvented air cooling option that works by evaporation, not refrigeration.
Here is a great external resource that explains this device in a great and highly informative website that really gets into what the unfortunately mistakenly described type of "portable air conditioner no vent" coolers really are and how they keep you cool.
Additionally, that site provides plenty more great resources for buying the best of them for your needs.
Last Updated: June 2, 2021
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