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A Portable AC with No Hose?

They were the bane of my life in summer. Not-so-portable AC units that had to be vented to the outside via an ugly hose dangling out a window or open door.

Sure, they kept the room I was occupying cool and comfortable, but I could not just unplug the unit and wheel it into the next room when I needed to because of all the hassle involved in moving the exhaust hose!

I'm pretty sure you've had similar experiences where you decided you needed to get out of one room and go into another but still be cool and comfortable. I would finish up in my home office at the end of the day and want to go watch TV, but I couldn't move the "portable" AC unit.

I just did not know how else to stay cool without air conditioning in those days.

Unportable Cooling Devices

It was because that would have meant un-hitching the venting hose from its comfy position out the window and all the padding I had stuffed around it to keep the hot air out and the cold air in! Too much hassle so I had to buy a second unit to put in the TV room and have another ugly corrugated plastic hose dangle out the window in there!

So did I just have two of these things? No sir, I had a third one for the bedroom because the other two were staying put where I'd set them up. The bedroom aircon, of course, stayed in the bedroom.

That was in the days when I refused to spend a lot of money on having the entire house fitted with a big climate control (HVAC) system because they cost so much to run and they used up so much power.

It just didn't fit in with my views on energy conservation in any case. Neither did running any kind of sir conditioning because it really does use a lot of energy which is wasteful and in many cases not even necessary.

Comfort at a Price

I liked being comfortable and during the height of summer, that meant not getting so hot and sweaty indoors when there was a working solution in just running a single AC in whatever room I was currently occupying. At least it wasn't too expensive in terms of electricity units used when compared with running a HVAC to keep the whole house at a comfortable temperature.

The foolish part about what I was doing is that there was a cheaper and less energy hungry solution already available and I didn't know about it a the time.I was just like most other folks in believing that to keep warm in winter you need to burn energy to run a heater and to keep cool in summer you needed to also burn energy to run an air conditioner.

An Economical, Portable Hose Free Solution

Then a neighbor was telling me he just bought this great looking cooler that didn't need venting to the outside and it used something like 80% less energy than a comparable AC. I was stunned at first, but I had to see this thing in action before I'd believe it.

the thing that he had bought was a big evaporative air cooler (or swamp cooler) that worked by evaporating moisture and pumping the wet air into the room to chill it. Now at first, I had no idea about humidity levels and all that, I guess because I was living in a very dry part of the country at the time so the subject never came up.

Well, my neighbor turned on his new baby and I was shocked at the blast of really chilled air that hit me in the face!

In no time at all, the room we were talking in went from high 90s down to 70 and it felt really comfortable. I later discovered one of the reasons it felt so good was because the air had not only been chilled but humidified as well, which is actually a little kinder on the lungs than the hot, arid, dry air I was used to breathing.

Another really obvious benefit of this machine was the absence of any hose. That made the unit free to be moved anywhere within reach of a power outlet but no need for a window or messy padding or any of that other stuff that got me so worked up!

I went out the next day and bought one for myself.

It sits in my office during the day keeping me nice and cool while I work. When I'm done in there, I just unplug it, wheel it into the TV room and plug it in for the evening. Then when I head off to bed, it goes with me to the bedroom!

The real ecological bonus is it really does use around 80% less electricity as any one of my old AC's and I only need the one machine instead of three! And there's no ugly exhaust vent hose trailing out of it either.

So if you, like me are interested in getting one of these great portable air conditioners, vent free and cheap to run, you might want to check out my article on them by following that link.


Posted on Wed, May 06 2015 in Air Conditioning | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on "A Portable AC with No Hose?"

Bill says:
April 19, 2021

Hey Doc, just found your website, while searching for "break even" humidity level for "swamp coolers". Don't know if it's been mentioned before, but all these people complaining about how swamp coolers won't work in their part of the country due to high ambient humidity levels. They're more than likely overlooking a very simple solution to make their A/C units ( window or central ). Simply SHADE THE UNIT FROM DIRECT SUNLIGHT ( but don't SMOTHER it ) and/or use a "COIL MISTER" to spray a fine spray of water on the condenser (outside or hot) coil. No matter what the O.A.T. is, it's GOT to be cooler than a condenser coil baking in the hot summer sun for umpteen hours. Check the internet. There's an ingenious unit that requires NO electricity to operate. When the fan kicks on, it uses this air to move a "weathervane" type water valve to spray a small stream of water on the outside of the coil, where it is sucked in with the air used to cool the coil !! Anyways, just MY $0.02.

Cook says:
June 2, 2016

Hey Carolyn, yes it is. That is as long as the chimney is cleaned and unblocked, has good natural draw (air gets sucked up unimpeded) and you can keep the AC’s vent hose in place so it doesn’t drop down. I’d recommend you check with an AC engineer first, to be sure.

Carolyn Gilmore says:
May 31, 2016

Is it possible to vent an AC through a fireplace chimney?