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Can I Duct a Portable Air Conditioner Into the Next Room?

A portable air conditioner is designed to operate indoors in any room in your house. The portability of the unit makes it a convenient option for those who have a home where central air conditioning is not an option, because of the size of the home or the inability to install duct work throughout the home. There are many different types of portable air conditioners and some provide the ability to duct air into adjoining rooms.

Choosing an Air Conditioner

If you plan to duct cool air into another room, make sure your find a portable air conditioner unit that allows for this. Many are designed simply to sit in one room, running from a normal household AC connection. They will cool the room using freon air conditioning and operate just as they are intended. Adding duct work to these freestanding units when they are not designed to accept ducts may cause problems. Units with attachments for ducts are designed to vent air into another room. for instance the MovinCool Classic Plus 14. You should inquire with your salesman about whether the models you are interested in accept ducts.

Venting and Cooling

All AC units must vent exhaust. Most portable AC units have a vent hose attached to an exterior vent. This exhaust hose is adjustable in most cases and slides into a standard 8-inch circular hole, just like your dryer air vent hose will. That means the unit can be moved as far as the exhaust hose allows. If you plan to vent or install duct work in any part of your home to cool other rooms, ensure the ducts and AC can meet within a reasonable distance from your vent hole. Some also have attachments that vent through a window.

Installing Ducts

To install ducts for a portable air conditioner, you must cut a hole in your wall using a jigsaw or drywall saw. The hole is to receive the duct work so it must be large enough to accommodate the diameter of the duct. Slide the duct through the hole and secure it with brackets or bracing. Metal pipe brackets are one option, if you are using PVC pipe as the duct material. Metal ducting will fit right into the wall and can be supported by duct braces. With either material you should install a vent grate along the top of the wall in the room you want to cool. This allows proper airflow into the room.