How to Install a Portable Air Conditioner


The beauty of portable air conditioners is, in part, in the name, because their portability allows them to be moved from room to room. That, and the relative easiness of installing them, make them a good alternative to window-mounted air conditioners.

Portable air conditioners cool a room by taking warm room air and chilling it through the use of refrigerants. The hot air – a byproduct of this process – is sent out of the room via an exhaust hose.

The following are some tips I’ll share that will help you install your own.

Here’s how you can install the best portable air conditioner for your home:


The very first step I take when it comes to figuring out how to install a portable air conditioner is an obvious one: Choose a good location. Again, the great part about portable air conditioners is that there is no permanent installation, and that they can be used in multiple rooms.

You’ll want to place the unit near both a window and electrical outlet. Make sure that the air conditioner won’t be in the way and a tripping hazard – which is always good advice for me! I also make sure that the air flow isn’t blocked by plants or furniture.

Check the Window Adapter Kit

Like mine, your unit should come with a window adapter kit that can be used to fit most windows. The first thing I do is measure the window to determine what adjustments I’ll need to ensure that it fits the opening.

The unit will function properly if the gaps between the window adapter for the vent hose and the sides of the window are sealed tightly.

If there is no kit which comes with your unit, you can either take measurements of the window opening and have a piece of Plexiglas cut for you, or use plywood or cardboard to fill any gaps.

Connect the Exhaust Hose

My next step is to connect the exhaust hose to the air conditioning unit. The directions may vary depending on the unit, but most – like mine – come with a single hose in which the connectors have already been attached. If not, the alternative is to attach the exhaust connector to the unit, and then attach the hose to the connector.

Next, I connect the window connection bracket or adapter to the exhaust hose. We then run the hose to the window, and then set the connection bracket into the window.

Secure the Connection

We’re almost there as we learn how to install a portable air conditioner. After making sure the window is open, I place the window slider kit – which was included with my unit – on the inside rim of the window. I then adjust the slider width until it fits the opening.

I gently close the window so that it fits tight against the exhaust hose window connection – this holds everything in place. My final step is to make sure that there are no gaps around exhaust hose window connection. If no gaps exist, the unit is ready to use.

And with that, you now know how to install a portable air conditioner!

  • Updated February 2, 2016
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