Cool air in. Hot air out. That’s the basic thermodynamics of every air conditioner.
For that ‘Hot air out’ part, every air conditioner needs an exhaust hose to vent the hot air out. Of course, you’re probably looking for a ventless air conditioner. What is a ventless air conditioner?
“Ventless air conditioner is an AC unit that doesn’t require a vent through the window in order to function properly. That practically eliminates the bothersome installation.”
In the HVAC world, there is no such thing as a ventless air conditioner. This is a phrase to describe evaporative coolers (swamp coolers), sometimes referred to as ‘ventless portable air conditioners’. These can provide a powerful cooling effect without the need for venting:
Let us be frank:
Physics can’t be bent. An air conditioner without a vent has no way of how to dissipate the heat. Example: You have a portable air conditioner without window access. It’s physically impossible to create a hot-cold air conditioner exchange without proper ventilation.
Note (more later on): That doesn’t mean that ventless coolers don’t exist; they do, create a cooling breeze that cools us but doesn’t decrease the overall temperature. If you are standing in the wind, you will feel colder, but the temperature will be the same; the perceived temperature will change.
These evaporative coolers are the best ventless AC-like units. Their main advantage is that, unlike all air conditioners, they don’t need to be vented. That’s the ‘air conditioner no windows’ problem solved.
If you have a windowless room you want to cool, or if you for some other reason cannot adequately vent an air conditioner, you do have a problem. Everybody understands the struggle of having a hot place that’s impossible to cool down with a standard AC.
What Are Ventless Devices That Can Cool You?
Everybody who’s looking for a solution on the internet will come across articles that feature ‘Top 10 Best Ventless Air Conditioners’. It is important to understand that none of those HVAC devices is a cooling air conditioner. They both fall into two categories:
- The ventless air conditioner is not actually an air conditioner without a vent. It’s just a normal portable air conditioner.
- It’s an evaporative cooler. Evaporative coolers are, in the HVAC community, known as ‘make-believe air conditioners’ or ‘fake air conditioners’. They create airflow and do work as a glorified fan; however, they don’t actually decrease the temperature in the room. Every single one of them produces the same amount of cooling effect: Exactly 0 BTU.
That being said (very important):
With one exception – the #5 Zero Breeze 2 AC unit that is quite expensive – you only have two choices if you want to get some cooling without the need for a vent:
- You can realize that there are no ventless air conditioners; true AC units that have 5,000 BTU, 10,000 BTU, or 15,000 BTU of cooling effect. You can check the truly best portable air conditioner here, window air conditioners here, and ductless mini-splits here.
- You invest in the very best evaporative cooler. While coolers don’t have an HVAC-certified cooling effect, they do cool you quite effectively. They create the cool airflow that evaporates the moisture from our skin, and this cools our body. Especially the ones that use ice water are most effective. None of them require venting to work properly.
The evaporative coolers from hOmeLabs, Hessaire, and reliable Honeywell and Black+Decker portable air conditioners without hoses are the most optimum choice for everybody who can’t properly vent an air conditioner.
Before we look at all the best 5 ventless AC options, let’s clarify what are some of the most basic specifications to check before buying an HVAC unit that doesn’t require venting:
3 Basic Things What To Look For When Buying A Ventless AC Like Unit
Ventless evaporative coolers can be very good, or they can be very bad. The key to how to cool yourself without using any vents is the powerful airflow these coolers create.
The higher the airflow, the better. If you look in the table below, you will see that Hessaire MC37M far outpaces all other coolers. On that specification alone you can see that this is the best portable air conditioner without a hose; it cools you quickly and effectively.
Low Noise Levels
High airflow can create quite a lot of noise. In engineering these ventless coolers, there is a desire for a good balance between airflow and noise levels.
A cooler that doesn’t need to be vented at all and creates 1000+ CFM of airflow is rather useless if it generates 70+ dB of noise. In the table of the best ventless coolers below, you will only find ventless AC-like units that are considered quiet or very quiet.
Addition Of Ice Tank
Evaporative coolers use cold water to generate the cooling effect. Cold water is good; ice is even better.
It’s hard to find an advanced ventless cooler that has a tank. That’s why hOmeLabs B089KQWY4V is such a terrific AC-like unit. It has a 10-liter tank that can hold ice.
- Lower temperature than water.
- Much higher cooling capacity than water.
Of course, you will have to get ice somewhere which is not always easy. However, if your end goal is to have an air conditioner that doesn’t need to be vented through the window, having an ice evaporative cooler is a superior choice to the water-only cooler.
Note: These ventless AC units increase humidity levels. That’s why it is best to use them in dry climates.
Reliability (Importance Of Good Respectable Brand)
Most of the well-recognized HVAC companies don’t produce ventless evaporative coolers. Rather, they produce air conditioners that need to be properly vented.
A respectable brand is the best guarantee for quality and reliability. Honeywell and Black+Decker are two respectable companies that vent into creating their own ventless coolers.
Hessaire, on the other hand, is a good example of a smaller brand that specifically vent out and designed the best portable air conditioner without a hose. That’s what was missing on the market and Hessaire fulfilled that needs.
That is also why Hessaire MC37M is by far the biggest cooler that doesn’t need to be vented.
All in all, considering all these specifications, LearnMetrics has created a list of the best AC-like units that need no venting. Here is the full best-of list, with individual reviews (you can find them below the list):
Best Ventless AC-Like Coolers (That Actually Cool You Down)
1. hOmeLabs B089KQWY4V (Best Ventless Air Conditioner In 2023; With ICE Tank)
|Tank Size:||2.64 Gallons (You can even fill it up with ice)|
|Power, Voltage, Amps:||130W (120V, 1.1 A)|
|Dimensions (LxWxH):||14.7″ x 13.1″ x 34″|
hOmeLabs B089KQWY4V is quite a unique ventless cooler; in the most positive way possible. Their tagline is ‘What’s cooler than being cool?’ and they have an ice-cold argument for that; quite literally.
hOmeLabs B089KQWY4V is one of the few evaporative coolers that have an ice tank. 2.64 ice tank, to be exact. That allows it to create a cooling breeze that is way colder than with cold water.
With ventless air conditioners or coolers, lowering the temperature of the source of cooling is of utmost importance. If you start with cold water, you will achieve a lower cooling than with ice.
In comparison, ice has a much higher cooling capacity; it will last much longer than plain water. Obviously, the drawback hOmeLabs B089KQWY4V faces is that you need to get ice, if you want to unlock the extreme cooling capacity. No ice, no high-efficiency cooling.
In short, as far as ventless air conditioners go, hOmeLabs B089KQWY4V is the closest to the real BTU rating of standard air conditioners, primarily because it has the option to add ice to the 10 L tank:
1. Hessaire MC37M (Very Big Ventless AC-Like Cooler)
|Tank Size:||10.3 Gallons|
|Max. Airflow:||3100 CFM|
|Power, Voltage, Amps:||250W (115V, 2.4 A)|
|Noise Levels:||59 dB|
|Dimensions (LxWxH):||24″ x 16″ x 38″|
Hessaire MC37M is by far the best and, as a consequence, best-selling big ventless cooler. Hessaire is a company that specialized in engineering coolers, and the MC37M is their best and most popular model.
As you know, if you truly want to have ventless AC-like cooling, you need massive airflow. Hessaire MC37M is capable of creating enormous 3,100 CFM airflow that can cool down places up to 950 sq ft in total. That’s just incredible to achieve with only the evaporation process.
In comparison, other ventless units can create 200 CFM, or maybe 300 CFM. Hessaire really double-downed on creating a truly supercharged chilling ventless AC-like unit (of course, you can lower the airflow if it gets too cold).
Generally, high airflow ventless units have high noise levels. Hessaire MC37M is designed really well and created only 59 dB of noise. That’s on par with the quietest portable and quietest window air conditioners.
The supercharged Hessaire MC37M does require more energy than other low airflow units; 250W to be exact. That’s much less than ordinary vented AC units but still more than 200 CFM coolers.
All in all, given the supercharged airflow (3,100 CFM in total), and the specialized cooler focus by Hessaire, the Hessaire MC37M is by far the coldest (and thus best) cooler that doesn’t need to be vented:
3. Honeywell TC10PEU (Cheapest Ventless Air Conditioner Like Unit)
|Cooling Capacity:||0 BTU|
|Max. Airflow:||194 CFM|
|Power, Voltage, Amps:||145W (120V, 1.2 A)|
|Dimensions (LxWxH):||11.5″ x 11.6″ x 29.6″|
Honeywell is one of the top brands in the HVAC industry. They make everything from air conditioners to dehumidifiers, and so on. In recent years, they have also developed a model that everybody looking for a ventless air conditioner will love: the Honeywell TC10PEU.
Honeywell TC10PEU is a solid and reliable device. First of all, all hats of to Honeywell to write precisely what the Honeywell TC10PEU does; or, at least, not to claim this is the best ventless air conditioner in the market.
“Mimic the comfort of a cool lake breeze.”
This is the Honeywell TC10PEU tagline and it’s exactly what this ventless device does. It is a spot cooler and cools your immediate area; and, best of all, it doesn’t need to be vented.
The unit generates 194 CFM of airflow. To be fair, that’s about average for a standard spot cooler. You can plug it in any 120 V electrical outlet and you have the immediate cooling effect without any exhaust hoses that would need to be vented out of the window.
The best thing about Honeywell TC10PEU is the price. With a price tag of below $200, this is the cheapest ventless AC-like device you’ll find. Honeywell, in general, has a good reputation to produce budget-friendly and reliable devices, and the Honeywell TC10PEU cooler is not an exception.
All in all, this is one reliable and cheap air conditioner-like cooler that doesn’t need to be vented. It’s an affordable and decent choice:
4. BLACK+DECKER BEAC75 (Reliable Ventless AC Like Unit)
|Cooling Capacity:||0 BTU|
|Power, Voltage, Amps:||90W (120V, 0.75 A)|
|Noise Levels:||65 dB|
|Dimensions (LxWxH):||13.6″ x 15.8″ x 36.6″|
BLACK+DECKER BEAC75 has a similar story to the Honeywell TC10PEU. BLACK+DECKER is a reliable company that makes a whole range of HVAC devices; the BEAC75 is the version of a ventless cooler that can dub as an air conditioner without the venting needs.
It has all the features a cooler should have: 3 different fan speeds (Low, Medium, High), and 4 operational modes (Normal, Natural, Sleep, Smart). It is designed as a ventless cooler for your immediate surroundings.
It has an easy-to-use control panel and quite appealing design, characteristic of most BLACK+DECKER HVAC devices.
At high speed, however, it can produce up to 65 dB noise. That’s a lot less than the high airflow units, but it’s not ideal.
BLACK+DECKER BEAC75 is available at a very budget-friendly price. Similar to Honeywell ventless AC-like unit, it costs less than $200:
5. Zero Breeze Mark 2 (Best Battery-Powered “Ventless” Air Conditioner That Works Without A Window)
|Cooling Capacity:||2,300 BTU|
|Max. Airflow:||152 CFM|
|Power, Voltage, Amps:||240W (24V, 10 A)|
|Noise Levels:||52 dB|
|Dimensions (LxWxH):||20″ x 10″ x 11″|
There is only one real ventless air conditioner. Not an AC-like cooler, but a true HVAC heat-pump and refrigerant-based air conditioner; the battery-operated Zero Breeze Mark 2.
It’s a remarkable device. This ventless AC unit produces 2,300 BTU of actual cooling effect. Compared to 0 BTU all other coolers produce, the Zero Breeze Mark 2 is the ultimate choice if you need an AC that doesn’t have to be vented.
About the venting part: Does Zero Breeze Mark 2 magically break the basic rules of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics that, translated, clearly state that ‘there cannot be an air conditioning cooling effect without a vent’. Not at all; Zero Breeze Mark 2 is an almost ventless air conditioner. It does create a much much lower ‘hot air out’ airflow and thus needs only limited venting.
Given that it creates a real air conditioning effect, the Zero Breeze Mark 2 does require a whole lot of energy more than 0 BTU coolers. With 650W, it can generate, as we have stated, 2,300 BTU of cooling effect.
The important aspect is that, due to the lower airflow needed, it’s also whisper-quiet compared to other ventless AC units. That’s because it was designed as a perfect air conditioner for tents; can’t sleep with a noisy AC unit, right? At its maximum BTU output, it generates only 52 dB of noise.
Zero Breeze Mark 2 only has one drawback, and it’s a major one. The price. This is a superbly made unit only affluent people can afford. Full with the battery, it costs more than $1,000.
All in all, Zero Breeze Mark 2 is an actual air conditioner that requires minimal venting, and it generates a real cooling effect. No other cooler will lower the temperature in the room; Zero Breeze Mark 2 is the only minimal-venting air conditioner that will do that, and do that remarkably well:
Ventless Air Conditioners FAQ
Air conditioners or AC-like units that don’t require venting are quite a phenomenon and there are quite a few questions our readers might be needing an answer to.
To accommodate this, here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding ventless air conditioners:
Do Ventless Air Conditioners Work?
No, and yes. Ventless air conditioners are not exactly air conditioners at all; they are evaporative coolers that use airflow to create a cooling effect. They have 0 BTU cooling effect but can make you feel colder.
“Mimic the comfort of a cooler lake breeze” is the best way to describe this type of ventless air conditioner. If you’re standing in the wind, you feel cooler, right? The temperature is still the same but you feel cooler due to the evaporation process on your skin.
This is exactly how ventless air conditioner-like cooler work; they create an airflow that cools us, but they don’t decrease the overall temperature like standard air conditioners.
Are There Any Portable Air Conditioners That Don’t Require Venting?
Again, yes and no. No actual air conditioner can work without the ‘hot air out’ venting; that’s just basic physics.
There are air conditioners that require minimal venting. Example: You can check the #1 Zero Breeze Mark 2; the best overall ventless air conditioner on the list above. It’s battery-powered and hence works as the ultimate portable air conditioner; you are not limited by any wires.
Is there a portable air conditioner that doesn’t need a window?
Yes. The truly ventless cooling devices are called evaporative coolers or ‘swamp coolers’. They create airflow and cool you like a cool wind; they do not, however, lower the overall temperature of the room like portable air conditioners that need to be vented.
For all other questions, you can use the comments below and we’ll try to help you out.