Why Does a Window AC Have to Be in the Window

Why Does a Window AC Have to Be in the Window?

Why does a window AC have to be in the window?

A window AC is designed to sit in a window because it needs a place to exhaust the heat that it creates and a place to drip the water that it makes as it dehumidifies.

Window air conditioners are also called through the wall air conditioners sometimes too.

With a through the wall air conditioner, the concept is the same.

The air conditioner sits inside of a wall with the face of the air conditioner inside of the room that you want to cool and the rear of the air conditioner sitting on the outside of the house.

Window air conditioners are a type of miniature HVAC refrigerated air conditioner that are all in one box.

Other type of refrigerated air conditioning like a central heat and air unit (HVAC) for a mini split air conditioner use a separate compressor that is located outside of the house.

If you’ve ever walked by a compressor sitting on the side of someone’s house or business, you probably noticed the heat coming off of the unit.

It is because refrigerated air conditioners exhaust heat as they cool the air.

Window air conditioners are basically a convenient all in the same box type of HVAC, and just like a full size HVAC,  they create heat as they cool as well.

But since the compressor of a window AC is built into the same box, one side of the air conditioner needs a place to exhaust the heat and drip the condensation.

That’s why it is designed to sit into a window.

Portable air conditioners

A portable air conditioner is a refrigerated air conditioner that is basically the same thing as a window air conditioner but sits inside of the room instead of sitting in a window.

  But it still requires a window to exhaust the heat from.

The difference is it exhausts through a hose instead of directly out of the rear of the machine.

The condensation created in the process goes into a drainage catch that has to be emptied from time to time.

A portable air conditioner can also be exhausted into the Attic.

Since it has a hose that extends from the machine around 6 ft.

If the room you are in has an attic but no windows, there is the possibility of exhausting into the Attic. This is most likely a do-it-yourself project. Good luck finding any type of commercial conversion kit.

Portable air conditioners are also good in situations where there are odd shaped or smaller than usual windows.

  A lot of times rooms like basements will have very small windows that do not accommodate a window air conditioner, but they can accommodate the exhaust hose on a portable air conditioner.


Why does a window AC have to be in the window?

Window ACS are placed in a window for 2 reasons.

1.  They create heat that needs a place to exhaust.
2. They need a place to drip the condensation that is formed while the unit is running.

  Placing a window air conditioner through an outside wall is also a common installation process that does not require a window. But it does require cutting a hole through the wall.

Portable air conditioners work on the same premise, but they exhaust the heat through a hose which is meant to sit in a window.

A portable air conditioner can work anywhere that there is a place to run a hose that can accept heat. An attic for instance.

Published by

Dennis Reed

Dennis Reed Owner and Author @ BreatheBetterAir.org