Can you use a window air conditioner without a window?

Using a window air conditioner without a window is possible but you may have to resort to cutting a hole through your wall as a venting alternative.


Window air conditioners have been a popular type of air conditioner for a very long time. If you are considering purchasing an air conditioner (AC), then a window unit might be the best option for you, especially if you already have a window in which it can be installed.

But in the event that you do not have a window in which to place your window air conditioner, it may be important to know if using this unit is possible and what alternatives you have if you are in this predicament.

Different types of air conditioners

Varying air conditioning units have unique installation demands. Through-the-wall units are installed through a wall, portable units might need to have a window through which to vent the exhaust hose, while window air conditioners require a window for their placement.

It is not advisable to get a window unit if you do not have a window in which to install it.

So, if you are wondering whether it is possible to use a window air conditioner without a window, and whether it is advised that you utilise alternatives, you came to the right place.

Can you use a window air conditioner without a window?

There are different types of air conditioning systems. A popular type of unit is the window air conditioner, which has been around for a much longer time than the newer types such as portable units.

If you are getting a window air conditioning unit for your space, the number one thing to consider is whether you have a window for its placement.

While it is possible to use a window unit without a window, it is not recommended, as window units are designed to be encased in the window.

An alternative to a window is making a hole through a wall, as long as you can vent the air conditioner out of the other side of the wall.

Why cutting a hole in a wall could be problematic

Though the option to cut a hole through a wall may sound like a worthy alternative, it can be problematic, especially if the AC is only a seasonal need. When you are not using the air conditioner, you will have a huge gaping hole in your wall.

This could also be a more permanent alternative to a window, as gaps around the house’s wall will need to be filled, possibly seasonally. In any case where you need to remove the air conditioner, you will need to fill up the hole to close it up securely.

The next best possible solution: A portable unit

If a window is truly an impossible option and cutting a hole through your wall seems like the worst decision you could make, your next best bet is to invest in a portable air conditioner instead of a window unit.

A portable unit also needs a window, but only a part of it, so that you can vent the exhaust hose outside.

A window is not your only option for venting a portable unit, though, as you also have the option to vent through a small wall opening, the ceiling, or even a door.

The importance of assessing your windows for a window unit

Before purchasing an air conditioner, it is important that you assess your windows to determine if they are suited for the window unit and are strong enough to hold the air conditioner.

Measure your window to compare it to the measurements of the window air conditioner you find while shopping.

If the air conditioner is quite heavy, you should install brackets for added support for the windowsill, glass, and window frame. Also measure how far out of a window the unit will be tilted for condensation outside.

Final thoughts

Different air conditioning units require specific installation instructions in order for the units to function optimally. A window air conditioner is designed to be placed through a window for the compressor to be vented outside. If you do not have a window, there are alternatives you can try.

While there may be alternatives for installing and using a window air conditioner without a window, such as cutting a hole in the wall, this is not recommended.

Though it is achievable if you are comfortable with the permanency of it. Getting a portable unit can offer a more sustainable alternative to cutting a hole in the wall.

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