I live in Seattle in a 800sqft condo without central AC. I have a balcony with an outward swing door, tilt and turn windows, a fire place, and a dryer vent.

I'm not allowed to use a window AC unit, so I'm looking at portable AC units, but I'm not sure what the best way to vent it.

I will most likely go with a fabric window seat kit on one of the windows. But I wanted to see what other ideas that the community may have.

One of my windows is connected to the balcony, so I was hoping room for creativity here.

I have seen people vent their portable AC in their fireplace, but I don't think this will be viable.

What are some safe options that I could explore? Thanks!

  • You'll need to post photos of your window, inside and out, opened, and indicate what models of ac you're looking at. Also, will you be wanting to have the window or door open to the balcony only while using the ac, or even when you are not using it or away?
    – Armand
    Aug 14, 2023 at 6:13
  • You should really, really, really use a 2-hose portable anyway. Aug 14, 2023 at 7:29
  • @Harper Yes, but the better "2-hose" systems use hose-within-hose to make things easier.
    – Armand
    Aug 14, 2023 at 8:26
  • 2
    Agitate among fellow owners to force a change in the building policy through the condo association changing the rules, as climate change causes AC to be more needed in your area. Assuming the rules don't already permit mini-splits, which would be the best option. and get the windows out of the equation.
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 14, 2023 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


First: single-tube portable AC units suck. Literally. They pull out the cool air they just made inside the room, and blow it out their hose. If at all possible use a two-hose AC unit.

Second: this is probably much closer to an 'arts and crafts' sort of project. You need to come up with a way to seal around the tubes as they go out the window. It needs to look good, reasonably seal the air, and properly support the two tubes from your AC. That's pretty much it. You might be best off getting someone to sew you something custom that can go around the window.

Third: there is a sort of goofy option available here. You could switch to a ventless dryer, then hook a single-hose AC unit up to the dryer vent in place of the dryer connection. You'd have all the downsides of a single-hose AC unit, but it would be a very clean setup.

Or do what Ecnerwal advocated for: change things so you can use the much better mini split units in the building.

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