All air conditioners you’ve known so far work by pulling hot air and making cool air. Well, some models work differently. For example, ventless air conditioners are unique in that they don’t have an exhaust hose because they don’t exhaust hot air, meaning that there’s no heat exchange.
Instead, the ventless AC works either by lowering the temperature on a small scale, like in ventless portable air conditioners, or forcing cold air out to have a cooling effect on the room without changing the air temperature, like evaporative coolers. The second type also doubles as a humidifier for drier desert areas in dire need of cool moisture.
It might sound too complicated at first, but you’ll get the hang of it by reading the article. So, continue reading if you want to find the best ventless air conditioner, how it has caught our attention, what you need to know about it before buying, and how to choose a ventless air conditioner in general.
|Hessaire MC37M||Dimensions: 16” x 24” x 38”
Weight: 40 lbs.
Coverage: up to 950 sq. ft.
Maximum Airflow: 3,100 CFM
|hOmeLabs Evaporative Cooler||Dimensions: 13.1” x 14.7” x 34”
Weight: 18.5 lbs.
Coverage: up to 200 sq. ft.
Maximum Airflow: Unspecified
|BLACK+DECKER BEAC75||Dimensions: 15.8” x 13.6” x 36.6”
Weight: 16.96 lbs.
Coverage: up to 300 sq. ft.
Maximum Airflow: 476 CFM
|Zero Breeze Mark 2||Dimensions: 10” x 20” x 11”
Weight: 45 lbs.
Coverage: up to 40 sq. ft.
Maximum Airflow: 120 CFM
|Honeywell TC10PEU||Dimensions: 11.6” x 11.5” x 29.6”
Weight: 14 lbs.
Coverage: up to 120 sq. ft.
Maximum Airflow: 194 CFM
Top 5 Models
Here’s a selection of the best options on the market that’ll provide you with ventless air conditioning if you’re done with the heat. Each evaporative cooler or portable air conditioner has its unique features, advantages, and disadvantages.
1. Hessaire MC37M - Best Overall
|Maximum airflow:||3,100 CFM|
|Recommended square footage:||950 sq. ft.|
|Tank size:||10.3 gallon|
|Dimensions (WxDxH in inches):||16” x 24” x 38”|
Are you in a hurry and want the best ventless portable air conditioner without doing too much research? The Hessaire MC37M outdoes all competitors in terms of power, coverage, and versatility.
What is arguably the best portable air conditioner reminds you why evaporative coolers are the coolest, no pun intended. Its four heavy-duty locking caster wheels are great for moving the ventless air conditioner around the house, patio, workshop, or any other large area.
It prides itself in being the most powerful ventless portable AC on our list with 3,100 CFM and 250W, thus effectively cooling air. But, more importantly, its coverage is insane, as it can cool air in 950 sq. ft., which is a much wider space than any other evaporative cooler can cover.
With a 10.3-gallon water tank, the ventless air cooler can cool air for 4 hours continuously. Thanks to the garden hose connection, you can constantly fill the portable AC to have a continuous cooling effect, which means it has two different refilling methods for maximum convenience.
If you aren’t tech-savvy, you’ll like how mechanical and straightforward the controls are. For instance, you can switch the dial to choose between three fan speeds.
While we wouldn’t call this portable AC expensive, it isn’t budget-friendly. However, you’ll get your money’s worth with the best ventless air conditioner and its fantastic performance.
Also, the noise level is higher than other swamp coolers we’ll discuss. Finally, with a 250W motor, it consumes more power than your average swamp cooler to provide lots of cooled air to large areas.
- Best ventless portable air conditioner
- Widest coverage
- Four wheels for mobility
- Has a large tank with a garden hose connection
- Easy-to-use mechanical speed and temperature control
- Not the most affordable
- Not quiet
- High power consumption compared to other evaporative coolers
2. hOmeLabs Evaporative Cooler - Portable Air Conditioner With Ice Compartment
|Recommended square footage:||200 sq. ft.|
|Tank size:||2.6 gallon|
|Dimensions (WxDxH in inches):||13.1” x 14.7” x 34”|
If the water tank alone isn’t good enough, you need a portable air conditioner with an ice tank for maximum cooling capacity, which is precisely what the hOmeLabs Evaporative Cooler has to offer.
Starting with the design, this ventless portable AC unit manages to be quite space-saving, thanks to its small footprint. Also, it’s lightweight, weighing only 18.45 pounds, which makes it a breeze to carry. Not to mention, the four wheels are excellent in moving the portable air conditioner unit where it’s most needed.
The 130W is the right amount of power consumption for covering 200 sq. ft., whether it’s for spot cooling or an entire average-sized room. The 2.6-gallon detachable water tank lets you add ice to intensify the cooling effect. Even better, the washable filter ensures that you only have clean humid air in the room. Regular maintenance goes a long way here in terms of air quality.
In addition to the air conditioning, if you’re living where the air’s in desperate need of moisture, this portable air cooler can increase indoor humidity.
Fans of digital controls will enjoy its handy control panel, remote control, and timer. Surprisingly, the portable air conditioner is still affordable while providing all of this goodness. Nonetheless, it has two downsides. Firstly, its coverage isn’t the widest. And secondly, you’ll have to add your own ice.
- Relatively affordable
- Lightweight and slim
- Four wheels for mobility
- LED control panel, remote control, and a 24-hour timer
- Washable air filter for fresh air
- Only suitable for a medium-sized room
- Doesn’t come with its own ice packs
3. BLACK+DECKER BEAC75 - Budget Pick
|Maximum airflow:||476 CFM|
|Recommended square footage:||300 sq. ft.|
|Tank size:||2 gallon|
|Dimensions (WxDxH in inches):||15.8” x 13.6” x 36.6”|
Are you ready to get as cool as a cucumber without spending much? Then, get the highly affordable BLACK+DECKER BEAC75.
At first glance, this portable air conditioner won’t take up too much space. It’s compact, and it weighs less than 17 pounds. Also, the handle and four wheels allow you to use it where needed effortlessly.
It’s energy-efficient, which allows it to use the 90W motor to the max, so it can have a cooling effect of up to 300 sq. ft. The 2-gallon water tank comes with its ice packs to kick the cooling power up a notch. Plus, the low-water alarm keeps you updated.
More importantly, the swamp cooler boasts a user-friendly LED display. In addition, you can choose between three fan speeds and four operation modes, including a smart mode that adjusts the cooling performance to fit the ambient temperature. Also, there’s a timer for maximum energy efficiency.
Despite its abundance of features, this compact evaporative cooler costs less than $200. However, we have to note that the highest speed is admittedly loud. But the good news is that its lower fan speeds are quiet enough.
- Most affordable
- Lightweight and slim
- Handle and four wheels for mobility
- Four operation modes
- LED display, remote control, and an energy-saving timer
- Comes with ice packs
- Can get loud
4. Zero Breeze Mark 2 - Best for Performance
|Maximum airflow:||120 CFM|
|Recommended square footage:||40 sq. ft.|
|Dimensions (WxDxH in inches):||10” x 20” x 11”|
If swamp coolers aren’t doing it for you and you want a ventless AC that removes warm air and has measurable cooling power, get the Zero Breeze Mark 2.
The biggest advantage of this ventless air conditioner is that it does highly effective air conditioning, unlike swamp coolers. It lowers the temperature by 30 degrees. Moreover, it has a small but powerful compressor system and produces a cooling output of 2,300 BTU that puts any evaporative air cooler to shame.
And unlike swamp coolers that act as humidifiers, this ventless air conditioner battles excess moisture in the air. Thanks to its inner magic, it stands out from other air conditioners with its quiet operation.
In addition, it’s unique because it runs on a battery that allows you to enjoy a little bit of cold for up to 5 hours. The charging takes anywhere between 5 to 8 hours. Even better, it supports solar charging.
As for its design, this portable AC is shaped like it’s meant to be carried with a handle so that you can use it in your RV, tent, cabin, boat, or anywhere else.
The main disadvantage with this air conditioning unit is the price tag, so this isn’t a portable AC unit that you can buy on a whim. In addition, the ventless portable air conditioner can only cool air within a small range compared to other air conditioners. Finally, you can’t adjust its setting; just leave it to work its magic.
- Quiet operation
- An actual ventless air conditioner that lowers the air temperature
- Excellent for areas with high humidity
- Most compact portable AC
- Portable design for outdoors
- Best for small space or coverage
- You can’t adjust its temperature or speed
5. Honeywell TC10PEU - Most Lightweight
|Maximum airflow:||194 CFM|
|Recommended square footage:||120 sq. ft.|
|Tank size:||12 gallon|
|Dimensions (WxDxH in inches):||11.6” x 11.5” x 29.6”|
If you have more than one room that needs a cooling system, get the Honeywell TC10PEU, the most lightweight and compact ventless air conditioner for the best indoor air quality. It only weighs 14 pounds and has the tiniest dimensions of all air conditioners in this article.
Right off the bat, you’ll notice the sleek design of the indoor air conditioner. It definitely caters to minimalistic decorations. It also comes with a one-year warranty, putting our minds at ease about its durability.
In addition, this evaporative air cooler covers 120 sq. ft. with a 145W power consumption and a 194 CFM rate. So, it isn’t intense, but we’d call it energy-efficient.
The icing on the cake is that the water tank capacity of this ventless AC unit is the highest on the list at 12 gallons. So, you can leave it alone to work without worrying about running out of water.
With such a modern look, it comes as no surprise that the controls are digital. You get to have your remote control and everything so that you can change the fan speed from afar.
Despite being packed with features, this AC unit costs very little, which is excellent news for anyone who wants cool air without gaping at the price tag.
That being said, this air conditioner isn’t entirely flawless. Its coverage and power tell you that it isn’t meant for large rooms or areas unless you’re looking for spot cooling, which it excels at.
In addition, the noise level isn’t the best, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for a silent operation. But, overall, the advantages of this ventless air conditioner cancel out the disadvantages.
- Relatively affordable
- Largest water tank capacity
- Most lightweight and smallest footprint
- Digital control panel and remote control
- Modern design
- Only suitable for small space or coverage
- Can be loud
Whether you’re an expert in the world of portable ductless air conditioners or you thought that all air conditioners were vented until yesterday, there are a few features to consider before making a final decision. So, without further ado, the following factors play an essential role in how suitable an air conditioner is:
It sounds like a no-brainer, but you have to check the sizing and dimensions of an air conditioner before buying it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a ventless or vented one. That being said, ventless AC units tend to be on the smaller side because they aren’t tied to a duct system.
So, make sure that you have enough floor space for your new cooling companion. In addition, height should come into consideration if you have a low ceiling.
Whenever you pick any air conditioner, ventless or not, its coverage area should be a priority, as it tells you whether it’s right for the room you have in mind or not.
Here's how to ensure that it’s right for you. Be sure to pick an air conditioner with the exact square footage of the room where you want cool air or more. Some models cover anything between 20 and 1,000 sq. ft., so there’s definitely an air cooler for you out there. And you can also use an air conditioner for multiple rooms if you leave it in between with the doors open.
Ventless air conditioners work a bit differently from your average ductless air conditioner or window air conditioner. Instead of getting rid of the hot air in the room, evaporative coolers create a cool breeze that makes the room feel less hot and clammy.
Moreover, there are ventless portable air conditioners, which don’t need proper ventilation since they only provide cooler air.
Both types hugely rely on air circulation, which is measured in cubic feet per minute or CFM. The higher the CFM is, the more powerful an air conditioning unit is and the better it’s at covering a large room.
The water tank capacity is crucial in ventless AC units because it dictates how often you’ll have to refill the water tank. So, larger tanks enable you to leave the air cooler running, even while sleeping. And you won’t have to worry about the water running out, as working dry damages the evaporative cooling system.
Another feature to look for is the existence of an ice compartment. Not every evaporative cooler has one, but it’s a great advantage. To elaborate, the ice melting leaves behind more water that has a higher cooling capacity than the average cold water, providing the unit with cold air for longer.
The ventless portable air conditioner is likely to be louder than the traditional AC unit. And the higher noise level is a result of an increased airflow, which the portable evaporative cooler depends on to blow cold air. Furthermore, noise levels are measured in decibels or dB. A silent operation is typically less than 55 decibels. But anything louder than 57 dB is probably too loud.
If you want an air cooler that sounds like white noise at its loudest, get a smaller model, or lower the fan speed. Some models have a sleep mode for a quiet operation that doesn’t disturb you.
The Intuitive Controls and Handy Functions
Controls in ventless air conditioners come in one of two types: mechanical or digital.
Many people prefer mechanical controls in their portable AC units, such as rotary dials, because they find them easy to use. These features are especially appealing to those who don’t have the best digital skills.
As you can expect, many more prefer LED display and touch buttons because they’re more intuitive to them. With remote control, modern ventless AC units can be a dream come true.
Typically, ventless air conditioners come with three options, from which you can pick the ideal fan speed. Some air conditioners go a step further by providing different modes, such as energy-saver, sleep, smart, and fan-only mode.
Finally, the low-water alarm comes in handy if you don’t want to have to check the water tank yourself every two hours. Also, it never hurts to have a timer.
Cooling pads are how ventless air conditioners or any other cooling system keep the air clean. Most people prefer larger pads to smaller ones because they can clean more air during the same time. Also, each air conditioner manufacturer lists how often you need to change these pads to get the best out of your air conditioner.
It may sound a bit extra, but the design of your evaporative air cooler is more important than you think. Whether you’ll use it indoors or show it off to your friends at your next BBQ party, an air conditioner that matches the surroundings is a huge plus. In fact, many manufacturers provide multiple color options for the same model so that you can match it with your furniture.
Some air conditioners look very mechanical and old, and they are way more loved than you’d expect. Maybe it’s nostalgia or just a personal taste, but a mechanical air conditioner looks timeless in a vintage setting.
On the other end of the spectrum, more and more evaporative coolers are designed to look modern and sleek. The allure of an LED display is unparalleled if it matches the lights from other smart devices around the house.
Models That Don’t Require Venting?
It holds that most ventless portable air conditioners are different from other air conditioners; they cool air without affecting the temperature or removing warm air through an exhaust hose. Nonetheless, there are a few models that function the same as an air conditioner despite being ventless.
The best example that comes to mind is the Zero Breeze Mark 2, which we’ve reviewed earlier. Unlike ventless portable ACs, it uses the same technology as traditional air conditioners without an exhaust hose. Other ventless portable air conditioners are more AC-like; this type is called a portable evaporative cooler.
Do They Work?
It depends on what you expect of them. A ventless air conditioner functions differently from a traditional one because it doesn’t suck warm air in to get the desired colder air out. Most ventless AC units work by providing a cooling effect. They’re helpful in a dry environment that needs cooling and moisture. So, if you purchase them for that purpose, they definitely work.
However, if you expect to have an air conditioner that completely transforms the room temperature, absorbs all the warmth from the room, and replaces it with coldness, you’re better off with a traditional ductless system.
Where Does the Heat Go?
There’s no heat exchange in a ventless air conditioner, which is precisely how it manages to be ventless in the first place. The point is that it provides the user with a cooling effect without changing the room's actual temperature.
So, if you’re looking for spot cooling and or a little bit of a nice breeze, a ventless air conditioner is exactly what you need. However, if you’re dealing with extreme heat that an evaporative air cooler can’t even touch, it’d be wise to look for other types of air conditioners.
How Long do They Last?
Most ventless air conditioners and evaporative coolers last anywhere between a year and 3 years. To elaborate, the cheapest models typically don’t have the highest durability, while expensive models tend to have more premium components that extend their lifespan.
Not to mention, warranties give you a better idea of how long a unit is expected to last. Reliable brands offer the longest warranties, which means they believe that their air conditioners are highly durable. As you can imagine, shorter warranties signal a short lifespan. Speaking of longevity, regular maintenance and cleaning of the AC unit can help it last for so much longer.
Hopefully, you’ve benefited from our review of the best evaporative coolers and portable air conditioners available on the market today, along with our buying guide.
To recap, our favorite evaporative cooler is the Hessaire MC37M. It offers the most powerful airflow, widest coverage, largest water tank capacity, and versatile refilling methods.
Also, if you’re tired of dry air and want the best cooling performance that ice can bring to the table, look no further than the hOmeLabs Evaporative Cooler. This unit cools and cleans the air while increasing the humidity levels.
Last but not least, shoppers who appreciate air conditioning that doesn’t break the bank will love the affordable BLACK+DECKER BEAC75 more than other pricier air conditioners that may not be as cool.