How Well Does a Windowless Air Conditioner Work?

pushing buttoons on an air conditioning unit

A windowless air conditioner seems like a great option for many people. They are especially useful in apartments without central air. They are easy to conceal and great for rooms with no usable windows. Since a windowless air conditioner works in the same manner as one that requires a window, the question remains, do they work? Here we will look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of these units.

1. How They Work

A windowless air conditioner works by pulling air into the unit, chilling the air, and forcing cold air back out in to the room. As it cools the air it brings in, it forces hot air out the back of the air conditioner. If you ever walk near a central air conditioner outdoors while it's running, you will feel hot air coming off of it. The windowless varieties work in the same manner.

2. A Few Benefits

If you don't have central air, and have a windowless room, or a sunroom where windows can't be opened, these types of air conditioners may help to cool the air by a few degrees. Since these units are generally pretty small, they won't work well in large, open rooms. They are better suited for smaller bedrooms and dens.

These work well in small apartments, especially in ones where a landlord won't allow a window unit. You can generally pick up a windowless unit for under $600, and a well-made one can be used for many years, just like any other appliance. They are also completely portable, so if you move, they are easy to take with you.

3. A Few Disadvantages

thermometer reading 90 degrees

Because a windowless unit has no where to release the heat it pulls from the air, you will be releasing this directly back into your room. In a windowless room, this can really make it worthless. Some windowless air conditioners come with hoses that can be snaked out a window or into an unused room to vent the excess heat. Some of these units allow for installation of a hose through acoustic ceiling tiles to release the heat as well.

If these options aren't ideal for you, the placement of the unit will be very important. You will want to place the air conditioner in an area where the heat won't be escaping back into the sitting or resting area. If you have a bedroom with a small bathroom, many people will place the units with the cold air facing the room, allowing the hot air to escape into the bathroom.

4. Are They Worth It?

The answer to this is both yes, and no, depending on your situation. If you just need something to bring the temperature down a little bit for a few weeks a year, then the investment may be a good one for you.

However, if you have larger rooms that need to be cooled, or if you suffer from high heat and humidity in the summer, a window unit may be a better option for you.