Can you vent a portable air conditioner through a screen?

Venting a portable air conditioner through a screen is possible but may not be ideal depending on factors such as the material and thickness of the screen.

Portable air conditioning units come with some advantages. Since they are portable, you can move them between rooms so you can cool whichever room you are in. This makes them perfect for spot cooling, and not many air conditioner types are useful in that way.

Newer, more modern portable units are known for their need to be vented from a window by attaching the exhaust hose to it using the window kits provided. For consumers who want to explore other methods of venting, though, using a screen is an option they can consider.

Portable AC venting through a screen

Venting your portable air conditioner is a fundamental part of having a unit that works efficiently and effectively without any issues. Making sure your unit is venting properly ensures that you enjoy a pleasant cooling experience.

Using a window is the standard way to vent portable units with an exhaust hose, but other options include venting through a door, a wall, the ceiling, or a dryer vent.

But if people are looking for another option such as venting through a screen, is this a viable solution?

Can you vent a portable air conditioner through a screen?

The venting process of a portable air conditioner needs to be seamless so that nothing can interfere with the airflow in the ventilation process. For this reason, only certain venting options are deemed viable to vent hot air.

The window is the standard way of venting a portable air conditioner, but if you want to vent your portable unit through a screen, this is also possible, though it is not recommended or the ideal option. One of the reasons for this is that it can make your air conditioner less effective.

If the screen is too thick it could result in obstructed airflow, while thinner screens maximise the airflow, making for a better venting process.

So if you have a thin screen, you can vent your portable unit through it. Some people opt to remove their screens to vent their units, but screen removal may also not be the best option.

The screen needs to be quite clean if you want to vent through it, because the rule of thumb is that if you can clearly see through the screen, you can vent your AC through it.

Cleaning the screen frequently

Should you choose to vent your portable AC through a screen, it needs to be sufficiently clean, as previously mentioned.

You need to clean the screen frequently, as any build-up of dust and debris will certainly impede the flow of air through the exhaust hose of the air conditioner.

The screen will collect plenty of dust and debris from the airflow of the exhaust, so making sure you clean it at least every week or so will help prevent the accumulation of dirt which could lead to airflow issues.

How different screen materials affect AC ventilation

The material of the screen through which you want to vent matters. Certain materials are more equipped to handle portable air conditioner venting than others.

If your screen is made of mesh, there is plenty of space for the passage of airflow, but if the mesh does not have enough space the air will not be able to pass.

If the mesh material is Nylon, then venting is not a good idea. Nylon is highly susceptible to heat and will get damaged over time. Steel screens are ideal.

How to vent your portable AC through a screen

Ensure the sealing plate fits perfectly with your window’s length and attach the rubber and foam weather seals to the window sealing plate.

Attach the sealing plate to the corner of your sliding window, then place the hose in, pressing it down firmly until it locks with the sealing plate.

If there are any gaps at the top of the hose, cut some foam pieces and insert them on the edges. Sealing plates and weather sealing foam can be found on Amazon.

Screen venting tools Description Amazon price
Forestchill Window Seal Plates

Buy it on Amazon
·   Designed to prevent hot air from entering

·   Durable material made of high-quality PVC

·   Compatible with portable AC unit exhaust hoses with 5.9-inch diameter

Yotache Air Conditioning Weather Strip

Buy it on Amazon
·   High resilience to compression and deformation

·   Strong and has elasticity and durability

·   Can be placed on top of the unit and lower part of the window or screen

·   Made of non-toxic materials with superior weather-resistance


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