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Best Ventless Air Conditioner in 2021

Find the best ventless air conditioner for you?

If you’re looking to keep cool when the hot, dry summer kicks in, you’re going to need a quality air conditioner. Central AC can be expensive to run, and not every home has the right structure for ductwork to be installed. Is there an effective and efficient alternative? There sure is! A ventless air conditioner.

Ventless portable air conditioners, also known as evaporative coolers or swamp coolers, are extremely cheap to run, eco-friendly, and don’t require any outside ventilation. This review and buying guide will help you find the best ventless air conditioner for you and your home. 

I’ve been working as a qualified Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) engineer for over a decade. I want to help you choose the best ventless air conditioner for your home because I’ve seen the positive impact they can have on the comfort and health of entire families.

Non-vented air conditioner units work best in certain types of climate, and each has pros and cons you need to be aware of when shopping for the best unit that matches your specific requirements. 

This buying guide will help you understand some of the most important things you should consider when looking for your perfect ventless air conditioner.

Ventless Air Conditioner Buying Guide

A ventless air conditioner is a great investment to beat the heat, so long as you get the right one for the job. That decision will be a lot easier once you understand what to look for in a ventless air conditioner.

Expectations Of Ventless Air Conditioner

Firstly, you should know that ventless air conditioners are technically not air conditioners at all. They are actually evaporative coolers that work by manipulating the airflow in your home to produce a cooling effect. 

An actual air conditioner, like central AC or a mini-split system, works by pulling hot air into the system and needs proper ventilation so it can expel this hot air outside. Their effectiveness and efficiency depend on how well they vent that air.

Ventless air conditioners do not need to do this, so they do not need an exhaust hose.

In this article, I may refer to them as either ventless air conditioners or evaporative coolers, but they are the same thing! Whatever we call them, they’re an effective, affordable, and energy-efficient solution to your home cooling needs.

What To Look For In Ventless Air Conditioner

Let’s look at some important factors to consider to find the right model for your home. 

High Airflow

A ventless portable air conditioner with a higher airflow is desirable for quicker and more effective cooling. The best ventless air conditioners have a maximum airflow of between 150 and 190, so that’s a good starting point to look for.

Low Noise Levels

As with any household appliance, quiet operation means you’ll be less distracted when trying to relax, watch TV, or sleep. Ventless air conditioner manufacturers seek to strike a balance between the power of the unit’s airflow and its noise level. 

All the products I have reviewed and compared can be considered to be quiet enough to use comfortably in a home setting.

Inclusion Of An Ice Tank

Ventless air conditioners are known as evaporative coolers because they use cold water to produce a cooling effect—the colder the water, the better. And ice is just water in its coldest possible form!

Ice has a much higher cooling capacity than water. Some advanced evaporative coolers come with an ice tank that cold holds ice at a low enough temperature so that it doesn’t melt. These are simply better at cooling air than a water-only unit. 

Their downside is that since they don’t produce their own ice, so you’ll need a consistent supply of ice for them to operate effectively. 

Reliability

Finding a ventless air conditioner from a reputable brand is a sure-fire way to ensure you’re getting a product that is not only effective but reliable too. After all, who wants an air conditioner that breaks down in the middle of a scorching summer, right when you need it most? 

Many of the top HVAC manufacturers have yet to venture into the world of evaporative cooling, but that doesn’t mean that your options are limited. 

I want to take the guesswork out of that for you. That’s why each product I have reviewed and compared comes from brands known for their commitment to high-quality and long-lasting reliability. 

Climate Conditions

Since evaporative coolers are also known as swamp coolers, you may think they’re designed to operate in areas with high humidity. In fact, the opposite is true.

An evaporative cooler works best in dry, desert-like conditions. Swamp coolers work by evaporating cool air into your home environment, and humid air that is already saturated with moisture makes it difficult for this to occur. The last thing you need in a humid climate is more moisture!

Tank Size And Runtime

An evaporative air cooler works by evaporating water stored in a tank. A fan and pump pull the water from this tank and drips it onto cooling pads, where it is evaporated into the air, producing a cool breeze. 

Evaporative coolers with a larger water tank can run for longer without having to be manually refilled. With this in mind, you should look for units with a tank capacity of around 2.5 gallons or more.

Extra Features

Many of the best evaporative coolers come with advanced extra features for extra comfort and convenience. Look for a ventless cooler with features such as an auto-restart, remote-control, programmable timer, or digital display

Ease Of Maintenance And Use

Maintaining an evaporative air cooler is much more straightforward than other types of air conditioning. As long as you clean the water tank and any removable, washable air filters regularly, you can expect the unit to last at least 15-20 years.

Using an evaporative cooler is also simple. Simply plug the unit into a power outlet, fill the water tank, and then let the unit do its job of providing cooled air into your home.

Ventless Air Conditioner Reviews

To help you quickly access the best ventless air conditioners, I’ve picked out 4 of the best that your money can buy today.

Overall Best Product 2021

hOmeLabs Evaporative Cooler With Ice Tank
Editor’s choice
B089KQWY4V
Check price on Amazon
Features
Well-known and reliable brand
Three fan speeds, including fan-only mode
24-hour programmable timer

Designed and engineered by hOmelabs right here in the United States, this is a good air conditioner for effectively keeping the air temperature of an entire room nice and low, thanks to its incorporated ice tank

With sufficient ice supplied throughout the day, this unit can easily make a mid-sized room feel cooler by 10 degrees. You won’t constantly have to keep central AC running in desert-like climates, and this unit means you’ll save on your energy bills since it uses so little power through a standard 130v connection

An LED display and remote control make this unit easy to use, and switching between the three fan speeds is simple. There’s a setting for everyone, whether it be high-powered wind or the super-quiet sleep setting that provides a gentle breeze at under just 45decibels, around the same noise level as your refrigerator. 

Of course, you’ll need a consistent supply of ice to fill it up to benefit from its exceptional cooling power. But so long as you can supply this, all things considered, it’s the best portable air conditioner without a vent that I came across when compiling this review.

What We Like:

  • Cooling system uses ice to produce colder cooled air than with water
  • Well-known and reliable brand
  • 24-hour programmable timer
  • LED control panel
  • Three fan speeds, including fan-only mode

What We Don’t Like:

  • Need a consistent supply of ice to operate
  • Comparatively pricey upfront cost

Best For Cooling Large Spaces

Hessaire MC37V
Runner up
B07CJWDGDJ
Check price on Amazon
Features
Cools rooms up to 950 sq ft
Three fan speeds
Simple to use

Hessaire produces some of the best high-capacity ventless air conditioners that your money can buy today, and this impressive unit is no exception. It’s unsurprising to know the company background is in commercial and industrial markets, given the size and power of this beast!

Because of its massive 3,100cfm (cubic feet per minute) airflow that makes many other portable air conditioners seem tiny in comparison, this unit can effectively cool down large spaces up to 950 square feet. It’s a fantastic option if you want to cool large rooms or even an entire open-plan apartment.

You may think that all that power would make this portable air conditioner without hose too noisy to run in the background at home, but Hessaire has excelled again. This unit creates only around 60decibels of noise, as quiet as a much smaller portable air conditioner or a larger window air conditioner. It’s low enough that you can still watch TV or read a book comfortably. 

But, with great power comes great expenditure, and this unit needs around twice as much power to operate as other portable ductless air conditioners I came across, around 250watts. If your primary goal is saving energy or conserving the environment, this unit may not be the best choice for you.

It does, however, remain an excellent choice of evaporative air cooler if you’re looking to cool larger spaces of up to around 950 sq ft, 

What We Like:

  • Power airflow of 3,100cfm
  • Cools rooms up to 950 sq ft
  • High-density cooling pads
  • Simple to use
  • Three fan speeds
  • Oscillating louvers for even air distribution

What We Don’t Like:

  • Noisier than other units on this list

Best Budget Option

Honeywell TC10PEU Portable Evaporative Cooler With Fan
Runner up
B07R1MZ9XQ
Check price on Amazon
Features
Low, budget-friendly price
Space-saving, compact design
Easy maintenance

Honeywell claims that this unit can ‘mimic the comfort of a cool lake breeze’ in your home, and I’ve found that it does a good job of living up to its statement! 

This unit is designed to take up as little space as possible. It can easily fit at the end of your couch or bed, near your workspace, or into a recess in your home. That makes it discreet and unobtrusive because it fits into most home decors.  

Oscillating louvers that allow for focused, directional airflow make this a swamp cooler that’s best for personal evaporative cooling, rather than looking to cool a whole room. 

Useful extra features make maintaining this compact evaporative cooler simple and easy. A low water alarm lets you know exactly when you need to refill the easily accessible tank, and a removable, washable dust filter ensures your indoor air quality is consistently high.

It may not be the most powerful unit on this list, but this swamp cooler is a truly portable AC. It’s a very good portable air conditioner at a very affordable price and lives up to its promise of providing the cooling effect of a ‘cool lake breeze’. 

What We Like:

  • Low, budget-friendly price
  • Made by a reliable brand
  • Easy maintenance
  • Space-saving, compact design
  • Oscillating louvers for directional airflow

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Only effective in areas with 60% humidity or less

Most Energy-Efficient Option

NewAir Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
Runner up
B00KOHMSHW
Check price on Amazon
Features
Adequate cooling capacity for up to 300 sq ft
Oscillation for whole-room cooling
5.3-gallon tank

This is the most efficient portable air cooler I found when comparing products, cooling up to 300 sq ft when using 200watts of power. You can keep the temperature low as well as your energy bills with this evaporative cooler. 

An oscillating cooling system allows this ventless AC to distribute cool air throughout a whole room, with a 5.3-gallon water reservoir that means you can simply fill it and forget it. You won’t need to refill this portable air conditioner for at least 4-5 hours of constant use, which makes it a great option if you’re looking to use it for extended periods. 

A handy remote control means temperature control is possible from the other side of the room.

If taking up too much of your floor space is a concern for you, this is one of the best portable air conditioners out there for you. It’s a sleek, slim, and space-saving unit that would fit well in any type of home.

Unfortunately, it’s one of the noisier portable air conditioners I’ve reviewed, operating at a minimum of 68decibels. That makes it far from ideal if you’re hoping to leave the unit on at the foot of your bed overnight or if you have it nearby when watching TV. 

Its high energy efficiency makes it a great solution to reducing your energy bills while providing air conditioning for a whole room, so consider this air conditioning unit if that’s your primary goal.

What We Like:

  • Adequate cooling capacity for up to 300 sq ft
  • 1000cfm airflow running on 200watts of power
  • Sleek and slim design with a small footprint
  • 5.3-gallon tank
  • Oscillation for whole-room cooling

What We Don’t Like:

  • Noisy operation at 68decibels

Who Can Install My Ventless Air Conditioner?

Most air conditioning requires either complex ductwork or professional installation, which can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. 

A ventless indoor air conditioner requires zero installation and only minimal set-up. It’s as simple as unpacking it from the box, plugging in the power cord, filling up the water reservoir, and letting the unit get to work.

This makes a ventless and windowless air conditioner air conditioner is an excellent option if you’re on a budget, don’t have much experience with HVAC installation, or simply don’t have the necessary space to facilitate central AC, mini-split systems, or window air conditioners.

Ventless Air Conditioner: Frequently Asked Questions

Where Does The Heat Go On A Ventless Air Conditioner?

A ventless air conditioner doesn’t absorb the hot air from a room like a central or mini-split air conditioner. Instead, it evaporates water stored in a tank into the air while manipulating the airflow to produce a cooling effect. 

Do Ventless Air Conditioners Work Well?

Non vented air conditioner units will work just as well as any other AC unit. A portable air conditioner without window access it cools a room by creating airflow without the need for external ventilation or ductwork. 

How Long Can I Expect A Ventless AC Unit To Last?

With proper basic cleaning and maintenance, the best ventless portable air conditioners from a reliable brand should last at least 15-20 years and sometimes closer to 25 years.

How Much Is The Cost Of Running A Ventless AC?

Even in a particularly dry and desert-like climate, the best ventless AC units should only cost around 4 cents per hour to run. Central air conditioning, by comparison, can cost around 45 cents per hour or around $4 per day. Ventless air conditioners are, therefore, a much cheaper option. 

My Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a ventless air conditioner that can make a mid-sized room feel 10 degrees lower, go with the hOmeLabs evaporative cooler. Its use of an ice tank instead of just cold water makes it much more effective at cooling a space than other models of the same type and size. 

Speaking of size, the Hessaire MC37V should be your go-to option if you want to cool large rooms up to 950 square feet both quickly and effectively. And if you’re looking to reduce your bills or remain on a tighter budget, the above models from NewAir and Honeywell should provide all the features you need in an efficient and affordable package. 

There is a ventless air conditioner to suit most homeowners’ needs, so now you can go on and find the perfect unit for you!