Why do portable A/C machines have vents? Is it just to send dusty/warm air outside or are there harmful vapors and such that it’s expelling?

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For background, I’ve been looking to get a portable A/C for my bedroom until I can get a permanent unit installed, which will take time. Unfortunately I don’t have a window, just a sliding glass door. Would it be bad if I got a portable A/C and just pointed the vent tube into the hallway? Is there any hazard beyond dust?

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The heat discarded by an air conditioner must be moved somewhere. Unless you keep your room door closed, cooling off a room by warming up an adjacent hallway will just become a waste of energy.

You can’t create coldnes. An AC has to move heat away from your room through that vent. There are no dangerous vapors involved, but if you don’t seal off the path for the hot air to flow back to your room you are buying a very expensive and energy consuming fan.

Portable air conditioners breakdown the ambient air into a stream of cool air and a stream of hot air. The hot air must be vented outside or the room will simply not cool. In fact due to the energy required to run the machine, The room will be hotter than if the air conditioning was turned off.

AC works by creating cold air AND hot air. Normally, you’d point the cold air inside, and hot air somewhere it won’t bother you. If you put it somewhere where they can mix, all you’re doing is heating the room very expensively.

Air conditioners don’t ‘make cold’. The way they work is to take heat from one place and put it in another while generating a little bit more heat at the same time.

Indoor A/C machines need a place to put the excess heat. So they take indoor air, cool down some of it, out the extra heat into the rest of it, blow the cool air back into the room, and blow the hot air out of the exhaust vent.