Can You Use a Window Air Conditioner Without a Window?

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can you use a window ac without a window

Can you use a window air conditioner inside a room?

Yes you can. Though there is not any type of professional conversion kit you buy, there are some very good DIY methods.

A lot of people say that they can’t be used other than through a window.

But that’s not my experience.

I have seen them modified to work in shops, garages and basements.

The thing is you’ve got to know a little about how a window AC works before you can make it work without a window.

But it is actually not as difficult as you may think.

The main things you need to know are how to vent it and how to capture the condensate.

First of all, the main thing to understand is that heat is generated and expels out of the entire back of the unit when it is running.

That means you are not going to be able to bring the unit in and put it on the table, then turn it on and have it cool off the room. I wish it were that easy.

The heat it creates will overtake the cool air coming out and you’ll end up with a hotter room everywhere except right in front of the air conditioner.

You’re going to have to fashion a way to capture the heat coming out of the rear and vent it somewhere. Preferably outside or into the attic. A closet would even do if there isn’t any thing in it that the heat would affect.

Sometimes using a window air conditioner without a window may be as easy as cutting a hole in the wall and setting up the window AC the same way you would if it were in a window.

That is probably a good option if you’re committed to keeping it there.

But if you want to preserve your walls, there are other ways.

how to vent a window air conditioner without a window

In the example here, a storage bin is modified to fit around the rear of the AC and flexible duct is used to vent the heat into the attic.

The lid is cut and duct taped around the opening to create an air tight seal.

The reason a storage bin works is that it gives plenty of room for heat the to go.

That’s important because if the heat gets trapped, the AC will overheat and will not cool down.

Another important thing to remember is to leave the side grills open.

The grills and the sides are basically the supply air. So make sure that they are not drawing air from the vented heat.

On the bucket part of the storage bin, there is a vent box cut into and duct taped to the plastic.

That makes it easy to connect the flexible duct, but it’s completely optional. You can get away with taping the duct straight to the plastic.


The duct is fished into the ceiling. Which is fine because it is a garage.

If you having to vent off into a closet or another room, you can use cardboard to  fill the space around the flex duct.

As for the condensation, the lid can be separated from the bucket part of the storage bin. In any condensation buildup can be emptied out. When you’re emptying out the condensation, that is a good time to clean the inside of the storage bin with 409 or some other germ killer to keep it from getting moldy.

Another option is to put a small tube out of the bottom of the storage bin so that the condensation drains out the tube.

Though the picture shows a black storage bin, getting a clear storage bin with snaps on the lid do keep it tightly closed would be a lot better we’re seeing how much condensation is gathering and keeping a tight seal around the lid.

convert window ac to portable

Basically the whole thing is a DIY conversion of a window air conditioner into a portable air conditioner.

Portable air conditioners run exactly like window air conditioners except for they already have the flexible duct connected and come with ready-made kits to vent them out windows and doors.

They also have a bucket to capture the condensation.

But most of the supplies you need to do your own DIY indoor window air conditioner are usually around the house or don’t cost too much.

The flexible duct is about the only thing that that cost too much and it’s because they don’t really sell less than 25 ft.

And if you’re on a budget a low in window air conditioner even with the DIY supplies to convert it is cheaper than the low in portable air conditioner.

Sitting in my shed.

You can find them in garage sales and tucked away in storage sheds quite often too.

Plus it’s pretty fun when you get it done and it works good.

Good luck.