Can You Use A Portable AC Without The Hose? (4 Hoseless Methods)

It’s incredibly hot, you just got a portable AC, and you want to run it without a hose. Can you use a portable air conditioner without the hose? Here’s why so many people are asking this:

  • You might have misplaced the hose. Now you have a portable AC without a hose but you still want to run it.
  • You don’t have a window to mount the portable AC exhaust hose through. You can check some ideas how to run a portable AC without a window here.
  • You are just wondering if you can turn the portable AC on without the hose attached.

Obviously, you can turn the portable air conditioner on even if you don’t have a hose attached. You will get cold air from one end and hot air from the other end; which is kind of futile if you really wish to lower the temperature in your room. The hose solves this problem by channeling the hot air out.

Can you use a portable AC without the hose and still get only cool air?

The immediate reaction is this: “Of course you can’t, where will all that hot air go?” However, there are ways how to use a portable AC without a hose attached to the unit. The best way to explain this is by answering the following question:

Why do you need a hose for a portable air conditioner?

Well, the portable AC unit exhausts hot and humid air from the back. The whole purpose of the hose is to be able to channel that hot and humid air outdoors. In essence, it helps to get rid of heat and humidity.

But the hose is not necessarily the only way how to get rid of AC exhaust. If you correctly channel the hot and humid airflow from the outdoors directly, you can use a portable air conditioner without a hose. Here is a 3-photo explanation of what happens with that hot exhaust air:

channeling hot and humid air away from portable air conditioner
Step 1: When using a hose, the hot and humid air travels along with that hose outdoor or into another room.
removing a hose from the back of a portable air conditioner
Step 2: When you are removing a hose, the exhaust airflow ceases to be channeled via the hose and the portable AC starts to vent directly.
how to use a portable air conditioner without a hose
Step 3: Without a hose attached to the back of the portable AC, the unit is expelling hot and humid air directly behind it.

Example Of A Hoseless Portable AC Setup: Standardly, you would use a hose to channel that hot air from the portable AC through the sliding door. That’s how it’s usually done. However, if you place your air conditioner directly in front of the sliding door, and seal the door opening, you can easily run the portable AC unit without the exhaust hose.

This is just 1 example. We will cover 4 such suggestions; you can go one-by-one and check which way of running portable AC without the hose is most appropriate for your situation.

A fair warning before we check the 1st method: You will probably be a bit creative and/or crafty if you truly need to run a portable AC without a hose.

With this in mind, let’s look at these 4 hoseless portable AC unit ventilation methods:

1. Put A Portable AC Into The Door Gap

The simplest way for a hoseless portable AC use is just to place the unit next to a door. Open the door about 5-6 inches wide, move the portable AC next to the door.

Here you have to check where the exhaust on the back of the unit is located. You have to align that opening (it’s usually round with a 6-inch diameter; that’s where you would usually attach the hose) with the door opening.

hoseless portable air conditioner placed next to a sliding door
Example of positioning portable AC unit in front of the sliding door for direct exhaust venting without a hose.

As we have mentioned above, this can be a sliding door, and you are effectively channeling the hot and humid air exhaust outdoors directly (without a hose). It can be any other as well.

Example: Let’s say that you want to cool a room but you don’t really care what the temperature in the adjacent room is. Just open the door, place the portable AC next to the door, and adequately align the door gap and the exhaust hole in the back of the portable AC, and you are expelling hot exhaust air into the adjoining room without the hose.

What you are left with, of course, is the door gap. Cold air in your room can escape through that gap. The most effective way to keep the cool air in is to get a door seal for a portable air conditioner. In many cases, however, that’s quite hard to install and inconvenient if you have to use the door frequently.

The easiest way to do it is just to put some blanket or linen to cover the door gap. It would be air-tight but you will likely lose up to 80% less cold air just by doing that.

2. Mount The Portable AC Through The Window

Imagine that a hose is just a 6-inch diameter way to channel a portable AC exhaust through a window. If you want to use a portable AC without a hose, you can just move the unit closer to the window. Open the window and you can do any of these things:

  • Move portable AC and put it on a window sill. You are basically turning a portable AC unit into a window air conditioner (those are standardly installed on window sills).
  • Tilt the portable AC through the window. Be sure to tighten it down so that it doesn’t fall from the window.

If you have a small window and can cover the rest of the window, you can pretty much use this method to run a portable AC without a hose.

This is how window AC units can run without a hose.

3. Make A Hole In The Wall And Move Portable AC Unit To That Hole

Every air conditioner exhaust problem can usually be solved by making a hole in the wall. In the case of a portable air conditioner, you have to measure the diameter of the exhaust on the back of the unit. Once you have that diameter (it’s usually 6-inches), you cut a hole into the wall.

Needless to say, you will have to align the portable AC with the hole in the wall in order to use it without an exhaust hose. Make sure that the unit is as close to the wall and the hole as possible. In such a way, all of the hot and humid exhaust air will be channeled directly outdoors.

Obviously, there is one problem with this hoseless portable AC method:

Many homeowners will bulge at cutting a hole in the wall. Nonetheless, we know of quite a few cases when cutting a wall hole for portable AC venting seemed to be the only viable option to use a portable AC without a hose.

4. Put A Portable Air Conditioner Into A Fireplace

First thing first: you have to have a fireplace. Fireplace exhausts through the chimney; it’s one place in the middle of the house that you can use to channel the hot and humid air outdoors even without a hose.

Now, when you place a hoseless portable AC unit into a fireplace, check where the exhaust air is venting out. You want to increase that airflow upward through the chimney. For that, you can use some cardboard and DIY skills to channel the exhaust towards the chimney and outdoors.

This will effectively turn a fireplace into an air conditioning system.

All in all, as you might imagine, it is not all that easy to use a portable AC without a hose. However, if you are a bit creative, it can be done.

One thing is certain:

You can definitely use a portable AC without a hose. It’s just that in the majority of situations, it’s easier to install a portable AC with a hose.

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