Rooms with no windows can get extremely hot during summer. Fortunately, you have several options to keep your space cool, including air conditioning. While the absence of a window limits your options when it comes to choosing an air conditioner for a windowless room, other types of air conditioners can still cool the room efficiently.
Not all air conditioners can be used in a windowless room. A good example would be window air conditioners. You can’t install window ac in a room without windows. However, portable air conditioners are ideal for providing cold air inside rooms without windows. They work similar to fans but produce much colder air. Through the wall AC units are also ideal. They’re permanent and efficient once installed, allowing you to enjoy a cool room year after year.
In this article, you’ll find the best air conditioners for windowless room. It’s important to consider the size of your room to help you determine the number of BTUs you need.
How to Air Condition a Room with No Windows
1. Best Air Conditioner for Apartment With No Windows
Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner
Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners are a two-part system that cools and heats one or more rooms in your home. They are the best alternative to window air conditioners with heat, especially if you are looking for a unit that can heat and cool.
Ductless mini-split air conditioners have an indoor air-handling unit and an outdoor unit with a compressor.
The indoor unit is usually hung on a wall or suspended on a ceiling, and it blows cold air into your space. This unit is connected to the outdoor compressor through a refrigerant line. As such, you don’t need to have ducts in your home to install a mini-split system.
You can have one or several indoor units depending on the number of rooms you want to cool. While multiple indoor air handling units are usually connected to one outdoor unit, you can always control them independently.
Advantages of Ductless Air Conditioners
Mini-split systems are excellent choices for homes with no existing ductwork. They are also ideal for apartments where the owners are only looking to cool or heat a specific area at a time.
Each zone has its own thermostat; therefore, you can condition only rooms that are currently occupied while saving energy in unoccupied zones.
- Long lifespan
- Energy efficient
- You don’t need to have ductwork.
- Easy to install compared to central air conditioner
- Provide flexibility and convenience since you can cool only the rooms you use and ignore spaces you don’t use.
- Save floor and window space that you can use for other things.
- Can keep you cool in the summer and warm in winter
- Modern look to blend well with your interior design
- Feature-packed with customization options and remote control.
- Higher upfront cost than portable, window, and wall-mounted air conditioner. However, the cost of operating a mini-split system is low compared to other units.
- Most mini-split requires professional installation. You risk damaging the unit, malfunction, or inefficiency if improperly installed.
- Not ideal for rooms with ductwork installed, especially a one-floor home.
What is the Best Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner
Pioneer Air Conditioner Wall Mount Ductless Inverter + Mini Split Heat Pump.
- Save money all year-round with a highly efficient ductless mini split inverter+ heat pump system
- Ultra-silent and beautifully built: perfect for home or light commercial use
- Use for both cooling and heating at 9000 BTU/hour with 20.5 SEER and 10 HSPF efficiency
- Comes with every needed component in the box including an easy-install 16ft copper piping kit
- Free tech support and a 5 year coverage on the parts and compressor
Pioneer Mini Splits are one of the popular mini-split brands and best sellers on Amazon. They are beautifully built, affordable, and can be used in both residential and commercial buildings.
The company offers a range of cooling capacities from 9,000 to 36,000 BTU. For cooling and heating multiple rooms, they also provide dual and multi-zone systems.
For small apartments with no windows, I recommend Pioneer WYS012A-19. It’s energy-efficient and ideal for spaces between 300 to 450 square feet.
It’s powered by the standard 110/120 vac voltage, so you don’t have to change anything. It also comes with all the installation materials. Remote control is also included to let you adjust the temperature or settings at the comfort of your seat.
2. Best Air Conditioner for Small Room with No Windows
Swamp Cooler/ Evaporative Cooler
Evaporating cooling is one of the oldest forms of climate control that still exists today. It’s beneficial to people living in hot, dry climates, and may not be helpful in humid climates.
Evaporative air coolers are less expensive to purchase and install, eco-friendly, easy to maintain, and add moisture to the air. It’s their ability to add moisture to the air that makes them the perfect fit for dry climates.
How do swamp coolers work? By circulating water through a cooling pad while drawing air across the surface of the cooling pad. Hot air from a heat pump absorbs the moisture from the pad, reducing the temperature of the air discharged by the unit.
While swamp cooler and air conditioners serve the same purpose of keeping your room cool, they operate differently. Evaporative cooling systems draw the warmer air from the room they are employed in while air conditioners take humidity out of the room.
The difference between these two units is the operating costs. The cost of operating swamp coolers is much less compared to traditional air conditioners.
What is the Best Evaporative Cooler
Honeywell 525-729CFM Portable Evaporative Cooler
- Indoor evaporative air cooler or swamp cooler ideal for use in the Southwest and Midwest regions of the US - Performs best in hot/dry climates where humidity levels are <60%
- Low power consumption 288W & powerful 525 CFM airflow ideal for spot cooling small to medium spaces such as living room, bedroom, den, covered patio, and garage.
- Carbon Dust Air Filter, Remote Control, Low water alarm, energy saving timer, Adjustable humidification dial & Ice compartment. Detachable Tank for easy maintenance.
- Moist, cool breeze can cool you down & be used as humidification during winter months.
- Not an Air Conditioner and Not Just a Fan - Reduces temperature through environmentally friendly water evaporation. Air cooler is not an air conditioner and should not be expected to cool as efficiently as a refrigerated AC.
Honeywell 525-729CFM Portable Evaporative Cooler is the most popular portable swamp cooler on the market. It’s portable, lightweight, and perfect for both residential and commercial rooms. The recommended room size it can cool is 320 square feet.
Apart from having a sturdy design and two colors to choose from, the CL30XC is feature-packed and has a powerful airflow of 525 CFM. You can use the remote or the user-friendly LED control panel with angle viewing to adjust the fan speed or adjust other settings.
The CL30XC will help you save up to 80% on your cooling bills compared to people using refrigerated systems. It has a detachable tank, programmable timer, low water alarm function, and sleep feature, all intended for you to get the best out of the unit.
3. Portable Air Conditioners for Room With No Window
Portable ACs are one of the affordable, most efficient, and cost-effective spot cooling solutions for a variety of residential and commercial applications.
While the advantages of portable ac are numerous, the main benefit is their ability to provide permanent or temporary cooling to specific rooms within a home.
It’s not a good idea to use a portable air conditioner in a room without a window, but if you are creative with your installation, you can vent your portable ac unit using other methods.
One of the alternative ways of venting a portable air conditioning system is through a wall, dryer vent, or drop ceiling.
If you choose to vent a portable ac without a window, make sure the heat is transferred to another room or outside. You don’t want the heat reentering the room where the ac is cooling. Also, don’t extend the exhaust hose because that would reduce the efficiency of the unit.
What is the Best Portable Air Conditioner for Room Without Windows
Honeywell MN10CESWW Portable Conditioner, Dehumidifier & Fan
- Powerful, safe & dependable Cools rooms up to 350-450 sq. ft. Thermal Overload protection for added safety & peace of mind.
- Quick installation easy-to-install window venting kit included with adjustable window bracket from 19.9". to 47.25"
- Easy maintenance Washable Filter designed to protect from dust & hair to extend product life & performance. Filter cleans easily under a faucet for easy maintenance.
- Designed for comfort Enjoy simple digital control with 3 fan speeds, 24 hour energy saving timer & remote control included
- 3-in-1 appliance Powerful cooling in the summer, Dehumidifier for humid days (removes up to 66 pints/ 24 hours with continuous drain option for long unattended operation), Fan circulates air for everyday comfort. Exhaust Hose Length: 12" to 47".
- Cooling capacity 10000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard) / 5500 BTU (DOE+ 2017 Standard)
- Wattage: 1.4 kilowatts
You can find a variety of models that would work well in rooms without windows. However, one that has performed well for such a situation is the Honeywell MN10CESWW Portable Conditioner, Dehumidifier & Fan. It provides 10000 BTUs and ideal for rooms between 350 to 450 square feet.
Apart from cooling, this ac has an in-built dehumidifier that removes up to 67.7 pints of moisture from your air per day. Another essential feature is the fan-only mode that circulates air in your room, preventing room stuffiness during those days when cooling isn’t necessary.
You can fully customize the unit to turn on a specific time of the day as well as set your ideal temperature that will be maintained throughout the duration the ac is on. You can use the remote control or the control panel to make quick adjustments.
Unlike most portable ACs that have to be drained continuously, Honeywell MN10CESWW has two draining options. The first is the manual system where you’ll have to empty the pan that collects the water inside the unit. The most convenient draining option is the self evaporation feature where the hose continuously drains the excess moisture.
4. Through the Wall Air Conditioners
Through the wall air conditioners are self-contained units that can keep one or two rooms in your home cool and comfortable all year round. While wall air conditioners are similar to window units, the only distinguishing factor is how they are installed.
Wall-mounted air conditioners are installed by drilling a hole through a wall and using sleeves to give it support. Window ACs, on the other hand, are installed directly in a window.
Installing a through-the-wall AC has several benefits. They are less expensive and more efficient than central air conditioning systems. Because of their sleek design and installation in a wall, they not only save a lot of space but also do not compromise the amount of light or view from the window.
If you decide to choose a wall ac for a room with no window, consider the size of the room and where it will be installed. Choose the appropriate amount of cooling power by taking into account the number of people that will occupy the room, ceiling height, and how open the room is to the sun.
Apart from traditional wall-mounted air conditioners, you can also install wall mini-split systems. These are ductless mini-split air conditioners that can be permanently mounted on a wall. The advantage of these units is that you don’t have to buy two separate devices.
Best Through the Wall Air Conditioner
LG LT1016CER 9,800 BTU 115V Remote Control Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner
- Large-Scale Cooling and Heating: With a 9.3 energy efficiency ratio (EER), this 14,000 BTU through the wall air conditioner can effectively cool rooms up to 700 sq. ft and dehumidify up to 2.9 pints per hour. (Not suitable for window installation).
- 230-Volt/20-Amp Electrical Outlet Required: This air conditioner has a 6.5ft power cord with a NEMA 6-20P grounding plug that will not fit a standard 115V electrical outlet.
- Temperature Sensing Follow Me Remote Control: With a thermostat built into the remote control, say good-bye to uneven room temperatures. The integrated thermostat signals the AC to cool the space based on where you are.
- Front-Access Filter: Let’s face it. Filters collect dust. With our front-access design, cleaning that dusty filter is a piece of cake. Simply pull it out, vacuum or rinse and dry, and slide back into place. No hassle and no disassembly required.
- Guaranteed Fit: This air conditioner will fit in your existing 24.5” to 27” sleeve. We guarantee it. At 20.3” D x 24.2” W x 14.5” H, we provide the foam seals and installation kit necessary to retrofit your existing sleeve.
The LG LT1016CER 9,800 BTU 115V Remote Control Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner provides superior cooling for rooms up to 440 square feet. It’s energy-efficient with an EER of 10.7 and an energy saver mode that cycles the fan on and off, eliminating unnecessary energy wastage.
It has three operating modes; cooling mode, fan-only mode, and dry mode. For efficient cooling, set the thermostat to your ideal temperature and select your preferred airflow from the 3 fan speeds.
When the weather isn’t chilly enough, turn on the fan-only mode to circulate air across the room. If the room feels stuffy and humid, turn the dry mode to remove the excess water.
Remember, wall air conditioners are permanently installed through your wall, and it’s only wise to hire a professional to do the job. Improper installation can cause unwanted drafts when the ac is turned on.
Also, make sure the unit is appropriately maintained — schedule for maintenance service, including changing the filter to increase the lifespan of the unit.
Do Portable Air Conditioners Need a Window?
All portable ACs need to be ventilated, but they cannot be vented out of a window. While windows are the easiest and most effective solution for ventilation, there are other options to look at. Just remember that if you choose to ventilate into another room, it means airing out so moisture doesn’t build up.
Is It Necessary To Vent Your Portable Air Conditioning Unit?
Even though it can work without being vented out a window, it will still need to be vented in some fashion to prevent the moisture from building up.
If you don’t do this, then the moisture could ruin the cooling effect of the A/C unit. As mentioned above, all AC unit needs to be ventilated somehow.
How To Vent A Portable Air Conditioner Without A Window
If you don’t have the option to vent the portable indoor air conditioner out of a window, don’t worry, there are still several ways to take care of ventilation. It all depends on where you place it.
Here are some of the best ways to vent a portable ventless air conditioner when there isn’t a window around:
Through a Door
Although a window is the easiest solution, it’s not a choice for everyone. When this is the case, your door is the next best option. Specifically a sliding door, like the ones that often face the backyard. Many hardware stores even carry kits to make this easier.
The trouble that many people face with this option is that most portable air conditioner hoses aren’t longer than 10 feet. This doesn’t allow very much length for those who want to keep the air conditioner in a room further away from the door. If you have a pet door installed, then you already have an easy opening in place.
Through a Wall
Often you can get away with venting the ventless air conditioner into another room. This is an option if you have a spare room to vent where nobody will be affected by the extra heat. The only real problem with this solution is that it is permanent, so it’s only a good idea to know that room will be the A/C’s designated room.
If you don’t have any carpentry skills, this option may not be the one for you. You need to drill a hole in the wall that is large enough for the hose. Once the hose has been passed through, it’s important to seal the hole, so nothing makes its way through.
Through The Ceiling
If you have an older home with a drop ceiling, then you may be able to find a ceiling vent kit to ventilate the air conditioner unit through the ceiling. Unfortunately, most modern homes don’t have ceilings that allow this option. It is possible to install it through the ceiling without a vent kit, but it’s a lot more complicated.
Portable Air Conditioning Unit Placement
The placement of the unit is important for it to run efficiently. You should always check the user’s manual to how much clearance space it will need from the wall. A good rule of thumb to follow with portable air conditioner placement is always keeping them 8 to 10 inches away from furniture and plants.
They should not be placed on rugs or carpet, as they are most effective when placed on hard and level floors. Don’t raise them as a way to cool off a room quicker. They are only meant to operate off of the floor. You shouldn’t place them on chairs, tables, desks, etc.
Ideally, it’s best to place them near a window because that’s the easiest way to ventilate them. Try to make sure the vent hose stays as straight as possible. However, that option might not be possible for everyone. One thing that is a must for placement is having an electrical outlet nearby because you shouldn’t stretch the power cord.
Can Portable A/C Units Be Laid Down?
It’s crucial that you only operate your portable air conditioner unit when it is standing upright. Don’t place them on their side or even upside down because it may lead to damage to the compressor.
If you must lay the A/C unit down to move it, make sure you allow it to stand in an upright position for at least 24 hours before plugging it in again.
Should I Extend My Vent Hose If It’s A Little Short?
Most manufacturers will recommend that you don’t ever try to extend your vent hose. They recommend that you keep them as short as possible and always keep them straight as well.
This is because they are meant to blow the warm air out of your home, and the shorter they are, the more efficiently they will work.
Can I Use My Attic To Vent My Portable Air Conditioning System?
It is not recommended to vent into your attic unless you have a good source of ventilation in there. That is because when the vent blows warm air up to the attic, it causes moisture.
If the moisture can’t escape, then it could lead to damage or even mold. The best option is to ventilate the A/C to the outside of your home or a room with proper ventilation.
Can you Use a Window Air Conditioner without a Window?
Unfortunately, you are not able to use a window AC without a window. These units are specifically designed to be mounted in a window. The unit needs to be able to vent warm air and water as it runs to blow cool fresh air.
If you do not have a window to vent out of, you might want to consider a different air conditioner like portable units. These units have more flexibility to connect the vent to process the air from inside the room.
How Do Window Air Conditioners Work?
Window air conditioning units are meant to be installed in your window. The part of the unit inside your house uses a fan to blow air through the evaporator to send cold air into the room. The part of the outside unit uses a different fan to blow air from the outside over a condenser to cool it down.
The entire point of a window AC is to get air moving inside the room you place the unit in. When the unit turns on, the blower starts first and is followed by the compressor. The cooling coil starts working on dropping the temperature as soon as the compressor turns on.
The blower works to pull in the room air that is hot and passes it over the cooling coil. Here, two things happen. First, the cooling coil will absorb the air from the air, cooling the air down. Second, the cooling coil has a lower temperature than that of the room, and dew forms on the surface.
This dew helps remove moisture from the air and drops the humidity of the room. The cool, low-humidity air is then sucked into the unit’s blower and passes through a metal duct before being blown out of the front panel. The cool air pushed out cools the room.
Why you Need a Window for Window Air Conditioners
When it comes to using a window AC, you must use a window for more than one reason. First, window units need to be placed in a window to work. If it is not placed in a window, you won’t be able to use the unit.
Next, the window air conditioner needs to be able to vent your air from inside your home. The unit on the window takes the air from inside your home and vents it through to cool down the air. If there is no way to vent the air outside, the air will not cool down, and your home will stay hot.
What Happens if you Don’t Use a Window?
If you don’t use a window for your window unit, the unit will not work. It will not have to vent properly, so you will not be able to cool down the air in your room. If you want an air conditioning unit that can be used without a window, you should consider a portable unit.
Can You Use a Window Air Conditioner in a Room?
Yes, you can use a window air conditioner in a room as long as it has a window. If there is no window in the room, the air will not vent and cool. A window is necessary to properly vent the air outside to cool down the air in the room.
Can You Put a Window Air Conditioner on a Table?
Window ACs can only operate when they are mounted in a window. This means it cannot be placed on a table and still operate. If you try to run the air conditioner on the table and not mounted in a window, you could damage the unit.
How to Vent a Window Air Conditioner Without a Window
As said previously, you cannot vent a window air conditioner without a window. However, if you were to purchase a portable conditioning unit, you would be able to vent through a sliding door or the ceiling.
With a window unit, it is designed only to fit in a window. With a portable unit, you have more flexibility on where you can vent the unit.
Other Ways to Cool a Room with No Windows
Being in a room with no windows can be stressful and uncomfortable, especially during summer. If you are looking for a cooling solution for your room with no windows, worry not. I have done the heavy lifting, and you only need to read on.
1. Install a Ceiling Fan in a Room without Windows
You are probably feeling unusually hot in your room with no windows because the hot air stays in one place. The solution? You need to get a ceiling fan. It will help to circulate the air and push the hot air around and make your room cooler enhancing your comfort.
If you feel that your ceiling fan will be overworked, you can use it with a unit to allow easier cooling and reduced workload for your ceiling fan.
2. Try the Two-Fan Trick to Cool a Small Room
Did you know that you can strategically angle two fans to cool a room with no windows? Well, I know that most of you may not be aware of this trick, but it is simple. You only need to position one fan facing the ceiling and the other facing and blowing towards the door.
The fan angled towards the ceiling will circulate the rising hot air. The other fan blowing towards the door will push this hot air out of the room through the door cooling your room down instantly. Ideally, the hot air should be pushed towards a room with a window.
3. Try a Floor Fan with Ice for a Room with No Windows
If you are a DIY guru or fan, you need to try a floor fan with ice. The method will be fun while at the same time highly effective. You will need to get a large bowl with ice (you need lots of pre-made ice) and place it in front of the fan.
The fan will then push the coldness emitted by the ice into your room, cooling it instantaneously. The bonus of this method? You will have learned how to create a DIY evaporative cooler.
4. Keep Doors Closed in a Room with No Windows
You are probably wondering- why should I keep doors closed when I need cool air from other rooms with windows? Well, your simple answer- where there is light, there is heat.
Light will continually heat surfaces that absorb it. Therefore, you need to keep your doors closed to prevent any unnecessary light from entering your room with no windows and, consequently, the generation of heat.
5. Turn Off Appliances in the Room
Turning off any appliances in the room can also significantly cool down a room with no windows. Electronic devices such as computers iron boxes, among others, will cause heat to build up in your room with no windows. It would be best if you also made a habit of switching off the lights when not in use.
6. Turn Off Incandescent Lights in the Room
Did you know that 90% of incandescent energy is emitted as heat? Well, if you have incandescent lights in a room with no window, you now know part of the reason for the uncomfortable heat levels. It is about time you replaced them with compact fluorescent lamps. If you cannot, I advise that you turn them off when not in use.
7. Focus On Your Internal Temperature
You may still feel hot even after trying different cooling methods for a room with no window. It may be a sign that your body’s internal temperature needs your attention. You can keep yourself cool to avoid feeling overly hot by drinking cold beverages or taking a cold shower.
Window air conditioners are not the only types of cooling units that can be installed in rooms without windows. As you have realized, you have several options, and all of them will keep you cool when the heat gets unbearable.
If I were to suggest only one air conditioner for rooms without windows, it would be a ductless mini-split system. It’s not affordable considering the initial purchasing cost but its operation and maintenance costs are much less than other units.