Best Ventless Portable Air Conditioners – 2021 Reviews

| Last Updated: September 10, 2021

During the hot season, it can get very uncomfortable in the office or at home, especially when you don’t have the means of cooling your space. If you are thinking of investing in an air conditioner and don’t want a bulky unit or are concerned about the wall, then a ventless portable air conditioner is just what you need.

In this article, we are going to help you determine and pick the best model for your home or office.  We’ve shared below a list of five of the best ventless portable air conditioners available on the market today.

There are also a few important things you need to keep in mind before purchasing a ventless portable air conditioner. We’ve covered these as well in this comprehensive guide.

Comparison of the Best Ventless Portable Air Conditioners

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Cools space in less than 10 minutes
  • Can drop temperature up to 30F
  • Battery powered for up to 5 hours
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  • Comes with 3 different operational modes
  • Capable of cooling a room up to 500 sq. feet
  • Can fit models that involve ARC14H and ARC-CF-14S
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  • Runner up
  • Cooling capacity of 525 CFM
  • Best overall ventless portable air conditioner
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  • Second runner up
  • Covers up to 950 sq. ft.
  • Cooling capacity of 3100 CFM
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  • Comes with 4 different modes
  • Delivers 1,300 CFM of cool airflow
  • Cools indoor/outdoor spaces up to 500 sq. ft.
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  • Best for Money
  • Covers up to 200 sq. ft.
  • Cooling capacity of 206 CFM
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How to Choose a Ventless Portable Air Conditioner

When buying a ventless portable AC, there a number of factors you need to take into consideration so that you can choose the right unit for your particular space. You should consider:

Cooling Capacity

You need to choose a unit that’s capable of handling the amount of space you want to cool, otherwise it may not be effective. For example, one of our top picks below can deliver up to 1650 CFM, which means it can cover rooms that are up to 650 sq. ft. in size.

Another model has a 525 CFM rating. It can cover no more than 320 sq. ft. Therefore, determine the size of the room or space you want to cool, so that you can figure out which model will offer the appropriate output.

Luckily, most air conditioners include information on the maximum space they can cover along with the CFM rating in their description.

Convenience

The next thing to consider is the convenience factor. The majority of ventless portable AC units have an array of useful features like a programmable timer, auto restart function, digital display, and remote control.

De’Longhi EV250WH

Portability

Ventless portable air conditioners, as their name suggests, are essentially designed to be portable. However, as much as they are portable, weight is a major concern, especially when it comes to lifting them up and down stairs.

Aside from weight, consider also the height of the unit. You want to choose a unit that’s light enough for one or two people to carry and not extremely tall, just in case you have to transport it in your car.

Water Tank

Whether you are getting an AC unit for your barn or living room, it will require water, and each unit has a tank. Therefore, you should ensure the model you choose has a fairly sizeable tank, preferably more than 7 gallons, so that you don’t have to refill it frequently.

Noise Level

Finally, if you are going to use the unit indoors, the amount of noise it makes is an important consideration. Not all models will have the dBA rating included in their description; however, we’ve included the ratings for each of our picks below.

Generally, ventless portable air conditioners are fairly quiet, but if you want the least noise possible, you should consider models that have a rating of around 50 dBA or below.

Review of the Best Ventless Portable Air Conditioners

Now that we have touched on a little bit of background info, let’s move onto what matters most — the review. Below is a complete overview of our top picks. 

Best Overall

Zero Breeze Mark 2

Specifications

BTU: 2,300

Coverage Area: N/A

Dimensions (in): 20x10x11

Weight: 16.5 lbs.

Decibel Level: 52 dB

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What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers seem quite satisfied with this air conditioner. Most of them report a flawless operation with high cooling capability. Users also admire the quick cooling of this portable unit that makes it highly demanded. Overall, users are satisfied with its cooling performance as well as its various features.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are a number of things that we like about this portable air conditioner. It features a built-in 24V adaptive frequency micro compressor that is responsible for efficient cooling. Additionally, it enables fast cooling capabilities and is a reliable cooling option during summers.

The air conditioner itself is lightweight, with only 16.5lbs of weight. Moreover, it has a sleek and compact design that makes it much smaller than traditional units. It also allows it to fit in conveniently without cramping you for space. It also has a low noise profile, which just adds to its overall reliability.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a powerful cooling solution that is feasible anywhere, this is what you want. This portable air conditioner is specifically designed to cater to your cooling needs with powerful yet efficient cooling. Now, you can finally enjoy a peaceful stay with this unit anywhere you go.

Pros

Requires only a little space to fit in

52dB(A) silent operation keeps the noise at bay

Lightweight design with a weight of only 16.5lbs

Much smaller than conventional portable air conditioners

Features a built-in 24V adaptive frequency micro compressor

Cons

Maintenance costs might be high

Runner-up

Whynter ARC-14S

Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Fan with Activated Carbon Filter Plus Storage Bag for Rooms up to 500 sq ft, Platinum and Black

Specifications

BTU (DOE): 9,500

Coverage Area: 500 sq.ft.

Dimensions (in): 16x19x35.5

Weight: 80 lbs.

Decibel Level: 56 dB

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What Recent Buyers Report

This product has been a game-changer in the industry, and recent buyers agree completely. It is not only a very large model but also comes with an amazing BTU. It provides you with a 24-hour programmable timer that offers more convenience. It also comes with an amazing carbon filter that ensures you can keep the model running for a longer time.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Well, this award-winning model is known for many things, but it’s most famous for its dehumidification tendency. It can cool up to 500 sq. ft. to 600 sq. ft. or even larger. Its dehumidification tendency is amazing and can remove 4-5 pints per hour. The humidity levels of the room might limit this dehumidification tendency but only for a very short time.

Moreover, the patented auto drain function further adds to the product’s appeal.

Who Will Use This Most

We find that this dual-hose is meant to provide fast and efficient cooling, and it does this brilliantly. The model is specifically made to fit a range of ARC14H and CF 14S. It also comes with 3 different operational modes that give more customization to the user. This also gives users more control over their settings hence ensuring that you can have the cooling setting you want.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is one of the finest products in the market and is designed to be very powerful and efficient. It is the most ideal solution to keep smaller spaces like offices, bedrooms, and server rooms cool and comfortable. It also comes with an advanced auto drain technology that can recycle moisture and can produce cool air instantly.

Pros

Has a carbon air filter that is fully activated

Ensures full thermostatic control with digital readout

Completely eco-friendly hence reducing the carbon footprint

Dehumidification factor helps remove extra humidity from the air

Comes with a 24-hour programmable timer for more convenience

Cons

Larger size makes installation more difficult

Best for the Money

Honeywell 525 CFM

Honeywell 525-790CFM Portable, Fan & Humidifier with Ice Compartment & Remote, CL30XCWW, White Evaporative Cooler, 525 CFM

Specifications

Airflow (CFM): 525

Coverage Area: 320 sq.ft.

Dimensions (in): 18×13.8×33.7

Weight: 24.9 lbs.

Decibel Level: 64 dB

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Honeywell is a brand that has always had a great reputation for its quality products, and their CO30XE ventless portable air conditioner is no different. It’s an excellent machine built to offer superb performance while being very cost effective.

Performance

The CO30XE is a solid air conditioner with a powerful 525 CFM fan that will efficiently distribute cooled air into the surrounding area. While it does not have many cooling pads, the unit’s wet honeycomb cooling medium is very effective on its own.

It absorbs all the heat from the drawn air, so combined with the powerful 525 CFM airflow, this unit will comfortably cool small to medium-sized areas of up to 320 sq. ft.

The unit can also help humidify the air during the cool weather months. It features an adjustable humidity control that lets you set the moisture level of its cooling media to ensure optimal relative humidity levels within your space.

The water tank has a capacity of 7.9 gallons, which is a fairly large size. It can go for 48 hours before it needs a refill. There is also an ice-compartment located at the top of the unit, which is another impressive addition.

When used in combination with the tank, it can help enhance the unit’s cooling effectiveness even further, making it powerful enough to handle the hottest spaces.

Ease of Use

When it comes to operating the CO30XE, it’s simply the easiest. The LED control panel is very user-friendly and the full-function remote control adds to its convenience, so operating it is a breeze.

Moving the machine from spot to spot is also easy, as it only weighs around 25 pounds and has side handles along with four durable caster wheels for easy mobility on a daily basis.  

The only minor downside is that it is a bit noisy, particularly when the fan is operating on the high setting. However, it’s not loud enough to bother anyone when used during the day. It would only be an issue at night if you sleep with it nearby.

Other than that, this is a powerful yet efficient ventless AC. In fact, it’s designed to withstand the elements and is suitable for use indoors or outside. No installation needed; you just need to unpack it, add water/ice, and plug it in, 

Bottom Line

The Honeywell CO30XE is a well-built ventless portable air conditioner that will work efficiently in rooms that are 320 sq. ft. and below. It even performs more efficiently in areas with relative humidity levels of 60% or less. In short, this is a unit that gives you more bang for your buck. It will certainly not disappoint.

Pros

Can also serve as a humidifier

Very easy to operate and install

Features a programmable timer

Comes with an ice compartment

Features a fairly large water tank

You can use it both indoors and outdoors

Has a low power consumption, at only 288 watts

Cons

Might be a little bit noisy, especially at night

Second Runner-up

Hessaire MC37M

Hessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Cooler, 3100 Cubic Feet per Minute, Cools 950 Square Feet

Specifications

Airflow (CFM): 3,100

Coverage Area: 950 sq.ft.

Dimensions (in): 24x16x38

Weight: 39 lbs.

Decibel Level: 59 dB

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The Hessaire MC37M is another powerful unit on our list and takes a spot on our list as one of the best ventless portable AC. It comes with several amazing features that really boost its performance and usage. Plus, it has a simple but very aesthetically pleasing look.

Performance

The MC37M has the capability to cool a large room with great ease. The unit produces 3100 CMF, which is by far the highest on our list, meaning that this unit can comfortably cool down a large room up to 950 sq. ft.

This unit features three Xel50 cooling pads instead of the usual one, which efficiently remove heat from the sucked air cast out through the filter.

The Xel50 cooling media delivers 80% more evaporation than many other forms of media in the same range. You will also be able to adjust the cooling capacity to your preference. It comes with 3 fan settings: low, medium, and high setting.

With a 10.3 gallon tank, this Hessaire AC unit will run for two to three days before going dry and need to be refilled.

One thing you will also appreciate about this unit is the filling options; you can either fill it manually or directly connect it to a hose for continuous water supply. With this option in place, you won’t need to keep on monitoring the tank to ensure you fill it at the right time.

Ease of Use

The Hessaire MC37M comes with a dial for the fan speeds as well as a handful of simple buttons for power, pump, and oscillation. The caster wheels are quite sturdy and make it easier to move the unit from room to room. However, it’s a bit heavy, weighing around 39 pounds; as such, it might be somewhat hard to carry around.

In terms of overall construction, the MC37M is solidly built with a sturdy polypropylene house, which is UV resistant. It is more ideal for outdoor use but you can also use it indoors, as long as there is enough ventilation.

Bottom Line

The Hessaire MC37M is a perfect ventless portable air conditioner for those who want to cool a large room or want a unit that’s precisely designed for outdoor use. It’s durable, energy-efficient, and has the power needed to keep your home cool and comfortable.

Pros

Large water reservoir

Simple control panel that’s easy to use

Weatherproof and ideal for outdoor use

Powerful air flow capable of cooling a wide area up to 950 sq. ft.

You can connect it directly to a hose for continuous water supply

Cons

Might be a bit heavy to lift up alone

Not ideal for use in enclosed areas with poor ventilation

Hessaire MC18M

Hessaire MC18M Portable Evaporative Cooler – color may vary, 1300 CFM, Cools 500 Square Feet

Specifications

Airflow (CFM): 1,300

Coverage Area: 500 sq.ft.

Dimensions (in): 20x10x28H

Weight: 16 lbs.

Decibel Level: 53.4 dB

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Review

This Hessaire ventless AC is an excellent find if you’re searching for a small and powerful evaporator. It’s not the most beautiful appliance in the world, but you bet it’s going to cool the room with the power it has packed in its compact body.

You can use it indoors and outside and have it operate at one of the four settings:

  • Low fan-only
  • High fan-only
  • Low fan and pump
  • Pump-only (used for pre-wetting pads)

One of the highlights of the unit is its manual and continuous water fill. The latter works well if you don’t want to monitor the evaporator all the time.

Bottom Line

At 85 watts and high (1,300 CFM) airflow, this ventless cooler is an engineering marvel. While it doesn’t have fancy digital controls or a remote, this unit is an excellent addition to your home or patio on a hot and dry summer day.

Pros

Indoor and outdoor usage

Two cooling and two fan modes

Manual and continuous water fill

Cools the air up to 35 degrees (in dry rooms)

Airflow power of 1,300 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)

Cons

Rotary controls

DeLonghi EV250WH

DeLonghi America America Portable Evaporative Cooler, White

Specifications

Airflow (CFM): 206

Coverage Area: N/A

Dimensions (in): 13.6×12.2×29.5

Weight: 16.22 lbs.

Decibel Level: 53 dB

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DeLonghi has a built a good reputation for itself for many years now with its high-quality products, and this EV250WH portable evaporative model does well to affirm this reputation. It has a great price to value ratio, providing an energy efficient way of cooling down a warm environment.

Performance

It lacks any compressor and has a very energy-efficient design that offers simple yet effective operation using a minimal amount of electricity.

The cooler draws in warm air and transforms it into a cool breeze of fresh air using an internal water chamber and then distributes it efficiently around the room.

The fans are fairly powerful, delivering an airflow of up to 206 CFM, which is just enough to cool a small room of up to 200 sq. ft.

This AC unit features a motorized internal swing system that creates an oscillation effect and broadens the air circulation range, allowing the cool air to distribute evenly within the room.

The louvers are as well adjustable either up or down, giving you the opportunity to control the vertical circulation direction. Together with the swing mode, they work quite well to keep the air well mixed and distributed.

You also have three fan speeds and three wind modes to choose from, allowing you to completely customize the air circulation and achieve the comfort level you desire.

The built-in-ionizer is another wonderful addition that ensures you get a clean and fresh breath of air every time. Its unique filter system helps clean and freshen stale room air before it is released back into the room.

While the cooling performance of this DeLonghi model is commendable, much like the COSTWAY evaporative AC above, the water tank on this unit is very small; it is only capable of holding 1.19 gallons of water. That’s quite low, and can only last for a few hours, which leads to more frequent inspecting and filling.

Ease of Use

The EV250WH offers hassle-free operation and fairly intuitive controls. This unit’s buttons feature textured rubber, which makes it easy to press them without your hand slipping. The unit has a small but easy-to-see LED display that show the setting the system is on.

This unit comes with a remote, which means you will be able to control all the key functions at your leisure. It also features a 24 hour programmable timer, allowing you to schedule the system according to your needs and lifestyle.

This unit weighs 16.22 pounds, making it relatively light; unfortunately, it doesn’t have any handles on the sides, so it will be a bit tricky when you want to lift it up.

However, the wheels make it easy to move around, provided that you are not planning to carry it up or down the staircase. When it comes to noise, the fan is incredibly quiet; even when running on a high setting it only produces a maximum of around 53 dB.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a portable ventless air conditioner for temporary heat relief that is both efficient and cost-effective, this is it.

The DeLonghi EV250WH portable evaporative AC will cool, humidify, and improve the air quality around you, without sending your power bill up through the roof.

For the price and the several great features it comes with, this is a superb unit that we would recommend for anyone on a budget.

Pros

Draining and filling the water tank is easy

Can efficiently cool and humidify a small room

Facilitates even circulation of air within the room

Effective filter system that helps improve quality of air

Best for use in areas with low relative humidity, less than 60%

Hassle-free operation with an easy-to-use remote control included

Cons

No side handles hence a bit tricky to lift up

Has a small water tank that might require frequent refilling and inspecting

Luma Comfort EC111B

Luma Comfort EC111B, Portable Indoor Tower Fan with Evaporative Air Cooler and Humidifier, 3 Speed Adjustments, Black

Specifications

Airflow (CFM): 500

Coverage Area: 250 sq.ft.

Dimensions (in): 12.75×11.25×34.5

Weight: 16.2 lbs.

Decibel Level: 66 dB

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Review

If you’re living in a dry and hot climate, this evaporative cooler has your back. With its sleek design and oscillating fan, the unit will keep your space breathable and pleasant. It’s an excellent alternative to an air conditioner and is eco-friendly, running on water.

It can cool 250 square feet and only use electricity as much as a lightbulb does. With customizable controls, three cooling and wind speeds, and a removable tank, it’s a convenient choice for any user.

Bottom Line

Some air conditioners can get quite pricey and emit harmful chemicals during operation. Luma evaporators are eco-friendly and don’t contain freon.

While not as powerful as other units on our list, this ventless AC sits in the corner and whirs gently to provide you with cool and fresh air, reaching all the corners of your small room.

Pros

Remote and timer

Customizable controls

Removable tank (1.5 gallons)

Three fan speeds and cooling modes

75% energy saving compared to an AC

Cons

Airflow power of 500 Cubic Feet Per Minute

Luma Comfort EC220W

Luma Comfort EC220W High Power 1650 CFM Evaporative Cooler with 650 Square Foot Cooling

Specifications

Airflow (CFM): 1,650

Coverage Area: 650 sq.ft.

Dimensions (in): 27.4×17.2×41.3

Weight: 41.9 lbs.

Decibel Level: 68 dB

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The Luma Comfort EC220W is one of the most powerful models on our list, built and designed for heavy-duty cooling. If you are looking for a unit that can handle medium to large-sized rooms, then this is a good option.

Performance

The Luma Comfort EC220W will cool the hottest part of your home very quickly. It’s a heavy duty unit with a powerful 220-watt fan that pushes the warm air through three water saturated cooling pads at a rate of 1,650 CFM.

That’s a very good capacity and will cover a very large area, up to approximately 650 sq. ft. The cooling pads are located on three different sides and the fans oscillate, so the cool air is distributed evenly across the room.

No matter where you put it, this unit will provide plenty of airflow to keep your space cooler throughout the hot months.

As it cools the air, the EC220W filters out airborne particles, which means you get to breathe in much cleaner air. The evaporation cooling pads also function as humidifiers, so they will help deal with the irritating dryness.  

The water tank is big enough to accommodate up to 10.6 gallons of water. It will last three to four days, giving you enough time to enjoy the cool air before you can think again of a refill.

It can even accommodate DIY ice packs, which can give an extra boost to the cooling power on the hottest days. You can add water from the bottom or top part of the machine.

You can also connect it directly to a garden hose if you want a continuous water supply. It’s designed to offer complete convenience.

Ease of Use

The control panel is user-friendly and easy to operate; it also comes with a remote control, making it even easier and more convenient to operate the machine.

Even much better, this unit is completely mobile. It has easy roll caster wheels and is lightweight. You will be able to easily move it wherever you want to use it, in your home or even outdoors.

Like the Honeywell CO30XE above, the Luma Comfort EC220W has a 220-watt motor, so it’s very energy efficient.

The only downside is that it’s a bit noisy, especially on its highest settings. It produces around 68 dB, mainly due to the powerful fan it has.

The noise is a trade-off you will have to face for the exceptional performance. That said, it is fairly quiet on the first and second setting.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a powerful ventless portable air conditioner that is capable of handling a large area and can be used almost anywhere, then this is a great option to consider. The Honeywell CO30XE is a real workhorse that will deliver great results whether indoors or outdoors. It’s an investment that definitely won’t disappoint.

Pros

Will save electricity

Easy to operate and completely mobile

Has filters to clean up the air while cooling it

Powerful fan and very effective cooling pads

Has a very large water tank that can last four days

It will efficiently cool any hot large area up to 650 sq. ft.

Cons

A bit noisy, especially when running on the high level

Best on Amazon

COSTWAY Evaporative Air Cooler

Air Cooler

Specifications

Airflow (CFM): 500

Coverage Area: 300 sq.ft.

Dimensions (in): 10x11x24 

Weight: 10 lbs.

Decibel Level: N/A

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The COSTWAY evaporative AC is one of the most economical, well-performing coolers on the market. It has received several positive reviews on Amazon due to its inexpensive pricing, yet it offers some great features that you would find in much more expensive units.

Performance

The COSTWAY evaporative air cooler a quality unit suitable for small to average sized rooms. It comes equipped with a superb honeycomb cooling pad that uses water evaporation to efficiently cool hot air drawn into the unit.

The fan, on the other hand, is fairly powerful. It delivers 500 CFM, which is enough to keep a room of up to 300 sq. ft. nice and cool. Furthermore, this cooler is designed to ensure even distribution of the cool air everywhere around the room.

It offers a swing function that, once activated, swings the blades automatically right to left, delivering the air at a horizontal wide angle. Plus, you can manually direct the air up and down by hand to make the whole room cool.

Aside from adjusting the air direction, the COSTWAY ventless AC allows you to adjust the fan speed to three levels: high, medium, and low. This allows you to adjust it for different needs and occasions.

With this unit, you will not only enjoy a cool and more comfortable environment, but you will also be breathing in clean air. A washable filter is included in the system to trap dust, bacteria, and other airborne particles.

This unit can efficiently serve as a humidifier too, raising relative humidity to a more comfortable level to prevent air drying.

The humidifier works more effectively in areas where the humidity level is less than 50%. Therefore, if you have slight breathing problems, it will make the air more breathable to you.

Unfortunately, the water tank is small. It can only hold up to 4 liters of water and there’s no hose to connect it directly for continuous water supply. This is rather disappointing, but it does feature two ice-crystal boxes that you can add in the water tank to increase its cooling performance.

Ease of Use

Operating this Costway won’t present any challenge, as it has simple mechanical controls. All it takes is pressing a few buttons and turning a knob if you want to adjust the fan speed.

Featuring four smooth caster wheels, moving it from room to room is very easy. Even better, it only weighs around 10 pounds, making it one of the lightest models on our list.

There are also two side handles, hence you will have no problem lifting the entire machine alone. As for noise level, the fan runs pretty quietly, so you can use it even while sleeping.

The overall design and build quality are good. The only downside is the small water tank and it can be somewhat difficult to remove. Fortunately, there’s a plug to pull it out.

Bottom Line

The COSTWAY evaporative air cooler is a versatile, inexpensive unit that can perform efficiently in a small room. Furthermore, it has a very stylish design that would look good with any modern room décor.

Even with the water tank being quite small and a pain to remove, at such an economical price, it’s a unit worth investing in if you only have a small room to cool.

Pros

Facilitates even distribution of air

Lightweight and easy to move around

You can adjust fan speed to your preference

Operating and controlling the functions is easy

Comes with a removable, washable filter that cleans the air

Features two iceboxes to enhance the cooling performance

Fan is powerful and the honeycomb cooling pad quite effective

Cons

The water tank is quite small

It’s not suitable for outdoor use

Water tank might be a pain to remove

What Size of Ventless Portable Air Conditioner Do I Need? 

A ventless portable air conditioner is also known as a portable swamp cooler, and it provides an adequate cooling alternative for all rooms. Strictly speaking, it is not an air conditioner, since, in air conditioning, it is required that air be treated, dehumidified, chilled and filled. It must be vented to the outside to pump the heat out.

As for the appropriate size, it often depends on your requirements and the size of the room that you want to cool. The standard rule is that any portable air conditioner unit will need approximately 20 BTU for each of its sq. feet of floor space that you intend to cool. To measure this space, you can simply multiply the length of your room by its width. This will allow you to measure the square footage of the room.

When Would a Ventless Air Conditioner Be a Good Option?

There’s no doubt that portable air conditioners can be a lifesaver in some cases. However, there are a few situations that require a ventless option. Below are a few of those.

Photo redit: bestbrandcheck.com

No Way to Vent the Portable Unit

There are many venting options, but the most popular is using a window kit. What if your building code doesn’t allow it, and you can’t use other options like venting the AC through the ceiling, let alone through the wall or the floor.

Evaporative coolers are an excellent option if you can’t opt for a mini-split or a window unit.

Too Inconvenient to Move the Exhaust Hose

While portable ACs can be mobile and easy to use in the whole house (one room at a time), there are cases where it’s just too much work to move the exhaust hose around. The pipes can be too long or hard to remove from the window kit. In these cases, ventless ACs work better.

Environmentally Friendly Cooling, Less Energy Usage

All air conditioners use some cooling agent. While some are efficient and eco-friendly, others harm the environment.

For a more sustainable approach to nature and your electricity bills, you can buy a ventless AC. These units run on water and use very little electricity.

Air Purification Needs

Advanced air conditioners have a built-in air purification mode, where the unit produces charged ions that trap dust and harmful bacteria. Evaporative coolers use air and water filters to clean the air and provide you with a fresh atmosphere. 

Air Conditioner: Vented vs Ventless

Answering this question is a bit tricky because each unit type has a few specifics. Your choice is going to depend on what you want to achieve in your space. That’s why it’s necessary to know how each unit type works.

Whynter ARC-14S

Do You Need a Free-Standing Unit?

Although some vented AC manufacturers advertise their products as “free-standing,” all of them still need to be vented somehow.

This means that the unit will be connected to a window, door, or wall with a large exhaust hose. We’re not even mentioning the power chord most appliances need to operate (others use batteries).

With portable ventless ACs, most of the units, especially the smaller ones, can operate without electricity and be charged later. Also, the bulky venting hoses are, obviously, out of the way.

Do You Need Humidity?

Traditional portable air conditioners typically have three modes: cooling, dehumidification, and fan only. On the other hand, ventless ACs evaporate water to freshen up and cool the space.

The second type adds water to the environment, and if your room is already humid, ventless units aren’t for you. 

Do You Need Heat?

While some vented portable air conditioners only have the three modes mentioned above, others can also heat. With this type, you can choose models that provide the option if you ever need heating, while evaporative coolers don’t.

Price Points of Ventless Portable Air Conditioners

The price for a ventless portable air conditioner builds up considering a few factors. The main one is its power capacity and what size of a room it can cool. Other criteria are indoor and outdoor usage and tank size. Let’s dive into the price points and see the choice on the market.

$25 – $100

These ventless ACs are supposed only to cool the personal space and rooms of up to 200 square feet. They’re small and sleek, can include smart functionality, and usually charge via a USB port.

Higher-priced models include a remote controller and have a tank of up to 2,6 gallons.

$100 – $400

This category brings forth more power and functionality. While the units are still made from plastic, their tank capacity is higher. Most of the appliances in this range rock three fan speeds and fall into the “up to 200 square feet” range. Some singled-out units on the higher-end side will cool up to 600. 

Honeywell 525 CFM

$400 – $600

Products in this price range cool areas of up to 700 square feet and hold 10 gallons of water. Some evaporators are for indoor and outdoor use, and most units come with a built-in water filter.

$600 – 1000

While there are still residential ventless portable ACs in this range, most of the products are more likely to be used for commercial spaces. Residential downdraft models are more common as opposed to portable ones.

When Should You Not Buy a Ventless Portable AC?

Ventless air conditioners can be beneficial for many people, but there are a few minor considerations before you go and buy one.

You Want Exact Temperature Control

As we’ve already described above, the ventless units pass water through filters. The fan pushes the mist into the environment, ensuring that heat evaporates the particles for a cooling effect. Technically, this means the hotter the day, the more efficient the unit.

You don’t have the temperature control with most ventless units as you have with traditional portable air conditioners. You can set the needed coolness and enjoy the day without surprises.

Hessaire MC37M

You Have a High Humidity Problem

As you hunt for an evaporative cooler, most descriptions will caution you against the purchase if you have humidity higher than 50%.

The unit adds more moisture during operation to stimulate evaporation in the room. If there’s no dissipation because the air already has more water particles than it can carry, there’s little a ventless unit can do. 

Open Windows Equal Security Risks

Swamp coolers require open windows to operate. If this fact poses a security risk to your house, you might want to steer clear of these appliances and opt for a portable AC and proper window locks.

Benefits of Investing in a Ventless Portable Air Conditioner

Ventless portable air conditioners offer several benefits, making them preferable to have over other varieties of ACs. Some of these benefits include:

Competitive Price and Low Energy Consumption

A standard ventless portable AC can cost up to 50% less than an equivalent window AC and around 70% to 90% less to run. A ventless portable AC is also often meant for small spaces and as such is designed to consume less power compared to a window or central air conditioning unit.

Continuous Supply of Fresh Moist Air

The best aspect of ventless portable ACs is that they don’t utilize any chemicals and often feature air filters that remove impurities from the air.

In addition, a ventless portable cooler doesn’t dry out the air, but rather adds moisture back into the air through the damp pads. This makes such AC units ideal for dry climates, as they can help maintain a healthy natural humidity level.

Highly Portable

All ventless portable ACs are quite lightweight compared to their counterparts and often have handles on the side, making them easy to carry around. They are great for regular travelers.

They are also very mobile, as they come with four caster wheels that facilitate easy movement and maneuverability from one place to another. If you want an AC that you can use in different rooms, then a ventless portable is designed to allow that.

Eco-Friendly

A ventless portable AC offers the best way to cool a space without harming the environment. While most window and central ACs use chemicals that can damage the environment, these units employ a natural process that uses water and motion to cool the air, a process that won’t add any chemicals or ozone-harming pollutants to the environment.

Quiet Operation

If you are a light sleeper or not a fan of the distracting fan noise common in window and central air conditioners, then you will love ventless portable ACs.

They are much quieter than both window and central ACs, with most models producing a maximum of 55 dB on high settings and 50 dB on low settings.

Easy to Install and Cheap to Maintain

A ventless portable AC is the easiest AC unit to install because it doesn’t need permanent installation. You don’t have to be a professional in order to install it in your room and you can do it with minimal knowledge and basic tools in less than an hour. All it takes is identifying a suitable spot where you can place it and plug in the power cord.

When it comes to maintaining a ventless portable AC, the cost and maintenance requirements are much lower than that of window and central AC systems.

De’Longhi EV250WH

Conclusion

Ventless portable air conditioners provide a very efficient way of keeping your home cool and comfortable during those hot summer days. Although they are more efficient in dry environments, they can still perform well in areas with relative humidity levels.

However, choosing the best model that will perfectly address all your needs requires careful evaluation; our guide above can help to make this process much easier.

It’s our hope that aside from the guide, our comprehensive reviews above can also help you narrow down your choices to that one unit that’s perfect for you. All the models on our list are solidly built to last and come at a highly competitive price.

They are the most ideal options to consider if you don’t want to go through all the trouble of extensive research to determine which the best units on the market are.

Photo credit: homeairadvisor.com

People Also Ask

To ensure that you are armed with all the right information before you purchase your unit, we are going to answer a few important questions that often arise when it comes to buying a ventless portable air conditioner.

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Ventless AC?

An evaporative cooler isn’t too expensive to run. The average cost is four cents an hour, which only amounts to almost a dollar a day (a 24-hour calculation). Depending on your electricity prices and hours of operation, the cost of running the appliance is $10 to $30 a month. 

How Long Can I Expect a Ventless AC Unit to Last?

The general rule of thumb is three to five years for a ventless air conditioner. These units are prone to breakage, but you can make them last longer with proper maintenance.

What Is Needed to Install a Ventless AC Wall Unit?

Through-the-wall ventless air conditioners are rare, but if you need to install one, hire a technician or even a crew. These bulky systems need tools, knowledge in carpentry, and HVAC training.

Are Ventless Air Conditioners Safe?

Ventless portable systems are generally safe to use at home and can run all day without causing fire hazards if positioned and operating correctly. They are eco-friendly and won’t cause any harm.

Sure, you need to be cautious of all types of conditioners, as they can cause colds and respiratory diseases if you’re influenced directly by the wind from the appliance. Also, pay attention to the humidity levels in the room where the unit operates, and take measures if it’s high.

What is a Ventless Portable Air Conditioner?

A ventless portable air conditioner is a compact air cooling system that features no exhaust horse and can be moved from place to place with ease. Unlike window or central air conditioning units, ventless portable AC units do not need permanent installation and do not require an expert to install.

How Does a Ventless Portable Air Conditioner Work?

These units cool the air by drawing in hot air from the room and passing it over water-soaked cooling pads, where water evaporates into the air and takes the heat from the air molecules, thereby lowering the temperature of the air. The cooled air is then distributed throughout your environment by the fan.

Where Does the Heat Go on a Ventless Portable Air Conditioner?

Ambient heat from surrounding air molecules is utilized to evaporate water into the air; that water vapor then absorbs heat from those air molecules. To maximize the performance and efficiency of a ventless unit, you can place it closer to a window, a door, or any other opening that can allow fresh air into your space.




My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.