If you do not fancy a window air conditioner or a split unit, and you probably can’t afford a central unit, a portable air conditioner is a valuable option. Think about it, a portable AC is efficient for small to medium rooms and can be moved easily from one place to another if the need arises.
Portable ACs are also more affordable than split and window units and you do not need a window to use them. Just find a suitable corner in the room and you’re good to go.
They are great for temporary homes, dorm rooms and regular rooms where the owners do not want to destroy any part of the structure, a window is not available or they just can’t afford window or split units.
While they may not be as powerful as split units, portable air conditioners are more efficient than desktop air coolers that can only do so much.
There are several types on the market and we’ll get to those as we go on. While a portable unit is all great, you may be forced to wonder; what happens to the heat?
Ventilation is often an issue for many owners. Ensuring that your portable AC doesn’t dispel heat back into your home is a very important thing to consider during an installation.
If you simply allow heat out the back and into your room, you’d be putting a lot of pressure on your unit and prevent it from working efficiently.
There are several options available if you’re looking to direct heat outside the house. Whether it’s through a door, window or even your wall, the heat simply has to go somewhere.
You may have heard also that it is possible to vent your portable AC into the attic and you’re wondering if that works. Well, you’ll soon find that an attic is not meant for storage alone, but can be a useful space for ventilation.
Can you vent my portable AC into attic?
The simple answer is Yes. It is all about attaching a venting mechanism (pipe or hose) and running it through the ceiling.
It is one of the most practical ways to direct the heat emitted by your portable air conditioner out of the room.
The attic is that enhanced space between your roof and the ceiling that allows a large amount of slowly moving air out of the building.
This can help control temperature in your home and is certainly a great tool for venting portable AC.
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How do you vent a portable air conditioner through the ceiling?
Venting a portable air conditioner through the ceiling has become an option of choice in many households.
Yes, having a hose or duct run-up to your roof may seem a little bulky, but where no other options exist, this may be the only way. If you do not know how to go about it, you’re in luck.
Most ceiling types, except for POP and concrete can be cut open for this purpose, especially if your home has an attic. But some ceilings are more suitable than others.
Having a drop ceiling is the best option for venting a portable air conditioner through the ceiling.
The ceiling panel can be reconfigured and transformed into a ventilation area. This is why the option is not very common in modern homes because drop ceilings are rarely used.
Computer server rooms, storerooms and other windowless structures can benefit from this method of venting. There are two major ways to do this;
- using ceiling vent Kits
- Create vent Manually
1. Using the Ceiling Vent Kits
For this option, you’ll need to replace a ceiling tile with the stainless-steel panel included in the kits. There are many of such Kits on the market. You may find some included in the package upon delivery.
Sometimes, you have to order them separately. The stainless-steel panel already has an opening that the hose can be attached to.
Ensure it runs down smoothly without sharp bends that may obstruct the flow of warm air or even cause damage to the duct. Also, you must ensure the duct is properly installed and that there are no leaks.
2. Create vent Manually
It requires more technical work and effort for this manual option. To do it successfully, you should follow the simple steps;
- Select a specific tile from the drop ceiling in an appropriate part of the room, and take it out.
- Cut a hole in the tile. Ensure the panel is large enough to accommodate the hose you want to attach.
- Pass the hose (exhaust duct) through the hole. You may choose to attach a vent cover, on the other side or leave it that way.
- Add a sealant to close up any opening that may appear around the hole.
- You’re all set.
Oftentimes, all you need to make a clean cut in the drop ceiling tile are a drywall circle gauge, like the Goldblatt GO5141 Drywall Circle Cutter (for making a perfect circle) and drywall saw, such as the Klein Tools 31737 Folding Jab Saw / Drywall Saw.
These are items you can pick up at a local supermarket or online.
Top 3 Portable Air Conditioners to Vent into Attic Easily
1. Whynter Elite ARC-122DS Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner [Value for Money]
The Whynter Elite Portable Air Conditioner is a product that is tested and trusted by many across the globe.
When it comes to electronics and appliances, especially portable air conditioners, there are only a few other brands that can do as well as Whynter.
If what you need is a durable and functional portable air conditioner, the Whynter Elite appliance is a notable air conditioner that deserves your attention.
At 12,000 BTU, you’d get considerable cooling in your medium to large home or office, measuring up to 400 sq feet. It has a 24-hour self-timer, multiple fan speed modes and full thermostat control.
This Class A energy-efficient appliance also has a remote control to help you work things around without actually moving an inch.
The system is easy to operate and can easily be connected to a vent that goes up the roof. The auto-drain function ensures all condensate is drained out easily.
However, you may need to get the kits yourself or use the other method explained previously.
The unit also has a LED ‘water full’ indicator to tell you when it’s time to empty the tray, as well as for thermostat display and other settings.
And if you need to move it from one end of the room to another, the lightweight design makes it easy.
2. BLACK+DECKER BPACT10WT Portable Air Conditioner [Best Price]
At 5,500 BTU (DOE) and 10,000 BTU (ASHRAE), this Black+Decker portable air conditioner is one of the most budget-friendly within its category you can find anywhere.
The package comes with a vent kit that includes a 1.5m exhaust pipe.
To run this to your ceiling and vent into the attic, you’d need to get at least one extra meter of the duct and properly add it to what is included.
The unit functions as a fan, a cooler and a dehumidifier, with the temperature dropping to 65° F on the coolest fan mode. There is also a 24-hour timer for auto shut-off presets.
At Sleep mode, this unit runs on ‘auto-pilot’ and gives you the quiet you need to rest. It comes with an R410a refrigerant that is environmentally friendly.
It is suitable for small rooms, offices and even RVs. The unit has a LED display for easy control and remote control for your convenience.
It won’t be as quiet as a graveyard, but the noise wouldn’t go beyond 45 dB on the regular operation. There is an active filter to keep it going, as well as 4 Caster wheels in case you need to move it anywhere in the room.
3. Honeywell Smart WiFi Portable Air Conditioner & Dehumidifier [Best Features]
Talk about smart technology, futuristic functionality and unbeatable features, and there’s no better product than the Honeywell Smart Wifi portable air conditioner.
This unit is not just powerful enough to cater for large rooms up to 450 sq feet, but also is also equipped with a drain pan and insulation tape.
The custom venting kit also makes installation easy, as one of the products that can be vented into the attic.
This 9,000 BTU cooling appliance also functions as a dehumidifier. It is a truly premium product that has the capacity to cool medium to large rooms or offices.
As a portable device, you can use it anywhere within your home. You can also control the speed rate among different modes, with the best capability of reducing room temperature by as much as 16 degrees.
It also includes a 24-hour timer for energy saving. The Honeywell Smart Wifi portable air conditioner is also very convenient to use, with its ergonomic remote control. It can also be connected to your phone for app operations.
Now you know, venting your portable air conditioner isn’t just possible, but it is a convenient option as well. If you need to install a portable AC in a windowless room, you do not have to break the wall open.
The ceiling is an easier and less destructive option, especially if the room has drop ceilings. You can also pick from the reviews above and enjoy the cooling satisfaction, portability, mobility and affordability that portable air conditioners offer.