Many homeowners feel puzzled about whether they should buy a portable air conditioner or not, given that the room in which they want to place the AC unit has no window. So is it possible to use a portable AC model in a windowless area? The short answer is yes. In fact, there are several different ways to achieve this, such as venting it through a door, the dryer vent, or the ceiling. One of the most preferred ones, however, is through a wall. And with the right tools, the process is not as overwhelming as it may seem. Here are the must-know details on how to install a portable air conditioner through a wall.
Why do you need to install (vent) your portable AC unit?
Portable AC units are no different than every other air conditioner in the way they function. They suck the warm air in a room in, cool it by passing it through a refrigerant, and then return it to the room. In doing so, it exhausts the warm air away outdoors. If it does not, the warm air will mix with the cold air in the room. This will seriously affect the effectiveness of your portable AC unit to cool. Plus, it forces it to use a massive amount of energy to cool the room since there will always be warm air present that needs to be cooled. For this reason, you need to vent your portable air conditioner — unless you’re okay with paying huge utility bills!
Tools you will need:
- Electric drill
- Tape measure
- Pen, pencil, or marker
- Six No.6 flat head screws (depends on the type and thickness of the material you are about to drill into).
- Screwdriver that matches the selected head screws
- Silicone caulk
Installing your portable AC unit through a wall
- Choose the location of your first air hole.
- The second hole should be spaced at least 12 inches diagonally from the first one.
- Use a 3.5-inch hole saw to drill a hole on the exterior side and a 4-inch hole saw to drill through your interior wall.
- Seal the hole on the outer side with silicone caulk.
- Secure your external wall flange with the head screws.
- Clean excess caulk.
- Connect the hose to the wall flange.
- On your interior wall, connect and then secure a wall adapter (ThermoVent is the most preferred).
- Connect the other end of the hose to the portable AC unit’s ClimateRight unit.
Venting a portable AC through the wall
The optimal way to vent a portable AC unit is by drilling a hole through a wall. This is one of the most permanent solutions for a portable AC. However, this requires some skills and expertise to get it right. Otherwise, you may cause irreversible damage if you make a mistake in the drilling process. For that, you need the right tools and take calculated steps. Below are some considerations you need to bear in mind before drilling a hole through a wall:
- Decide the size of the hole based on the diameter of your portable air conditioner’s hose pipe.
- Ensure you seal the hole properly after drilling it on your wall to prevent environmental irritants, such as insects and dirt from entering your room. Silicone caulk is a great option for this. To get it right, make sure the hose’s tip is cut at a 45o angle before you place it inside a caulk gun.
- Be cautious about the plumbing and wiring on that wall you want to drill through, especially if you’re about to vent your portable air conditioner through a brick or stone wall.
- Always consider the location of the wall you wish to drill, even if it’s a wall made of wood or drywall, which are considered easy options. If possible, choose an exterior wall to vent your portable AC so the air goes outdoors directly.
- Locate the safest drilling spot to avoid weakening the structure of your home. For example, drilling your studs or support beams does not sound like a good plan. In this case, it’s best to go through the architectural plan of your home and see which walls make the best candidates for the task at hand.