For many older homes and apartments without a central air conditioning unit, a portable air conditioner is a lifesaver, especially with so many people working from home these days. You probably want to be as comfortable as possible while working. Summer and early fall can bring some pretty warm weather, and some people might even live in warm temperatures year-round. No one wants to sit in humid and hot weather as they work all day.
So, your solution might be to purchase a portable air conditioner to keep your house cool all day long. What do you do though, when you get home and realize that the optimal place to put your unit is through a casement window. But can portable air conditioners work with casement windows?
So — can they?
Casement windows can certainly pose a problem to those who need a portable air conditioner though. Portable air conditioners tend to require a window, and casement windows can make that difficult. Casement windows are the ones that crank open, also known as crank out windows, instead of lifting open. This causes the windows to only open outwards a little bit, which might make it seem impossible to use with any AC unit.
The good news
Portable air conditioners are different from the average window AC unit. Usually, they sit on the floor and have an exhaust port that goes out of the window. Even though most portable air conditioners require a pretty open window space, it’s possible to make them work with casement windows. Instead of using the traditional window kit that the unit comes with, you will have to do it a little differently with the casement window.
One way to make your portable air conditioner unit work with casement windows is by using plexiglass. This is the most common option and many people have done this in times of need. The first thing you need to do is measure how big your window is so you can get the correct size plexiglass. Many hardware stores will cut the right size plexiglass for you; they will also need to cut out a hole in the plexiglass for the vent to insert into.
Once you have the plexiglass cut for your window and vent hose, you can insert it. You will want to attach a latch to the window and the frame. Now you’re ready to insert the plexiglass into the frame which can either be done with retainer clips or twist clamps. Lastly, you need to caulk where the window frame and casing meet so that it is sealed and waterproof. In these few steps, you can have a fully functional portable AC unit in a casement window.
Another method that might be a little cheaper and faster is using the window kit the unit comes with and a block of foam. Some people have found success by putting in the window insert that comes with the portable unit vertically where the casement window opens up. You can screw this in easily and then use a block of foam to fill in the rest of the window. This would work best in a home that does not receive a lot of wind and has enough natural sunlight from other windows because the foam will block out the entire window.
Casement window-specific portable AC units
There are also kits that can be purchased that are made specifically for inserting a portable AC unit into a casement window. Simply put, it involves using some velcro around the window to create a cover that zips up around the vent. This allows you to place the vent outside the opening of the window and zip up around it to keep the bugs and weather outside your window — where they belong!
These are the top three ways to make your portable air conditioner compatible with a casement window. All of them require some work and a little bit of money, but if it means being comfortable while you are stuck home all day, then it might just be worth it.