Are Portable Air Conditioners Allowed In Apartments?

Can I have a portable AC in an apartment? The answer isn’t always as simple as “yes” or “no.”

You are renting a place and are wondering if you are allowed to have an air conditioner in your rental apartment.

You are not the only one who has this question.

The answer is yes you can have a portable air conditioner in an apartment, but it is important that you find out what type of unit you can use first.

There are several types of air conditioners, it’s important to know what are the best ones for your apartment and what is not allowed.

Can I have a portable AC in my apartment?

Portable air conditioners are usually allowed in apartments. But you need to ask for permission if you are going to do some changes to the rental unit.

But remember that it is not illegal for a landlord to say that you cannot have an air conditioner, as long as this policy is announced in the lease or rental agreement. So remember to check your lease to see if it says anything about air conditioners.

This may come as a surprise to you but, landlords usually do not like portable units. They think that the units are ugly and they use up a lot of electricity for heating and cooling which is expensive if the electricity bill is on the landlord.

How can I put air conditioning into an apartment that doesn’t allow window air conditioners?

Portable AC units are usually allowed if the apartment is equipped with a window for the AC vent hose to be installed in.

The whole process can be done in less than an hour and you may not have to pay any additional installation fees if there’s already a suitable spot for it inside your apartment.

Dual hose AC units are more powerful so be sure to check those out before you buy one. Dual-hose portable air conditioners are better at cooling. They work faster and they exchange the air in a more efficient way.

Why do apartments not allow window air conditioners?

You are not allowed to install a permanent air conditioner in an apartment without written permission from the landlord.

Most leases won’t allow tenants to make changes or improvements to their rental unit, let alone add something like security system installation – and that includes satellite dishes and permanent AC units.

Tenant improvement projects often result in structural damage of some kind because they alter existing property features such as ceilings, walls, windows, flooring material, etc., which is why tenant-done work on the premises isn’t allowed at all unless it’s approved by your landlords first!

Most apartments have clauses about alterations within condo agreements that prohibit installing things (such as new windows, AC systems, or surveillance systems) without prior consent.

The law allows the landlord to charge the tenant for the cost of repairs or restoration following an improper air conditioning installation. It is also a violation of the lease agreement and may result in eviction. If the landlord grants permission to the tenant to arrange for an air conditioner installation, the deal should be in writing to protect both parties.

The law allows landlords to charge tenants for repairs or restoration if the tenant has installed their own air conditioner. This is against the lease agreement and may result in eviction. If the landlord agrees to an AC installation, then they might want to make a written deal with you.

How do I install a portable air conditioner in my apartment?

Did you know that most portable air conditioners are easy to install? All it takes is 10-30 minutes of self-installation time and some simple tools.

Proper installation of a portable AC can be boiled down to two major points: venting and drainage.

If you use air conditioning, make sure that it vents properly. It’s important to exhaust the hot air outside so it does not stay in your room.

Drainage is the other important thing to get right. If you want your AC system working properly, you can do it in two ways – manually and with an evaporative condenser-type unit.

Before you start setting up a portable AC, there are some essential safety tips that need to be taken into consideration:

  • The instruction manual is a must-read for those just starting.
  • Portable Air Conditioners can be heavy and difficult to carry.
  • The best power source for a portable air conditioner is an outlet that has been grounded.
  • Don’t let kids climb on the unit. If they do, you risk it tipping over and causing serious injury!
  • Do not plug in your device until after the installation is complete.
  • Make sure you install the included air filter before using a portable AC.
  • Don’t try to fix your portable AC by yourself if it’s broken. If you’re not a professional, don’t attempt fixing it on your own!

Where to place a portable air conditioner?

A portable AC should always be placed on a hard level floor at least 8-12″ away from obstructions like furniture. Check the manual for minimum clearance space between your unit, as well as any other objects near it or behind it.

Never place a portable AC on your desk, chair, or shelf. The best place for a portable AC is near an outside window and near an electrical outlet.

The most common way to vent a portable air conditioning’s hot air exhaust is through your window.

If you have no windows in your room or can’t use a window, read the next section.

Step 1: Install the adjustable window kit to achieve a customized look.

  • If your window opening is smaller than the minimum length of a sliding kit, you may need to trim it down in order for it to work.
  • If your window has a traditional up-down operation then place the kit on the bottom and extend it until it fills the width of the opening.
  • If your window slides side-to-side, place the kit on one side. Then extend it up to the height of the window.
  • If your window opening is bigger than the maximum length of the slider kit, you can use plywood, plexiglass, or cardboard to fill it.
  • After you install the window kit, close it so that there is no air coming in and no light.
  • If you want, you can buy a lock for your window. This will prevent someone from opening the window from the outside.

Step 2: Connect the hose to the AC unit and the window

  • First, you need to attach the vent hose to the back of the AC. If there is no connector already in place on the AC, then put one there first and then attach it.
  • At the other end of the hose, connect the window exhaust connector. Make sure it locks into place.
  • Your exhaust hose should be straight and short. This will help the airflow. If the air can’t go through easily, then it can damage the unit or make it so that it doesn’t cool as well as it could.

Step 3: Plug In The AC

Safety tips, be sure to use a properly grounded outlet and never plug the AC into power strips or extension cords.

Most plugs have an indicator light that shines when it is plugged in. There should also be two buttons, one labeled ‘RESET’ and the other labeled ‘TEST.’

Press the button that says ‘TEST’. This activates a safety feature where if it detects something wrong with the power, it will turn off. The light and unit should turn off. Press RESET to reconnect the AC again.

Do not use these buttons to control the AC for cooling. They are only for testing and if the power goes off.

Vent AC heat out of your apartment through a sliding door.

It is easy and convenient to have a window exhaust vent. But if there is not a window or you cannot use the one that’s there, here are some other ways:

The process of installing a sliding door vent is the same as installing a window venting system.

The difference for sliding doors is that you need to buy a slider kit that will fill up the whole height of the door and you don’t need to use any filler material. If you do decide to use the window kit, you can use plexiglass or other types of material for filling the gap.

A venting door has some challenges. Can you still easily open the door? What about your home security?

How safe is it?

You need to put a security bar on it. If you have one, adjust the bar to fit with the vent kit size.

What if you don’t have a security bar? 

If this is the case, then there is a way to stop people from getting in. Cut a simple wooden dowel and place it in the doorframe while the AC is on.

But just in case, I recommend that you uninstall the kit when you’re going to sleep or if you are going away from home. That way, you can completely close and lock the door.

Vent a portable AC through the ceiling

If you are going to be using a portable AC in your office, it may not be possible to vent through the window. It is important to talk with the building manager because there might be safety or air quality issues with this. You may need an HVAC technician’s help, too.

Vent the AC through an exterior wall

If you are in a windowless room, you can pass the vent hose through the wall.

You’ll need to pay an expert to make a hole that is the right size in your wall where you can secure the vent hose.

You can also vent through the chimney

If you don’t use your chimney, put the vent hose there. But it should not have soot in it, and the flue should be open

Do all portable air conditioners need to be vented outside?

The answer to that question is not so simple. It depends on the type of portable ac unit you are using.

Yes. Most portable ac units need to be vented outside the room.

Manual draining units don’t need to be vented outside if they are only being used for dehumidification or in fan mode. But whenever an air conditioner is cooling the room, it needs to vent outside, otherwise, the warm exhaust will blow back into the room and that would make it not as useful.


Summer calls for cooling, but not all of us have the luxury of central air conditioning luckily the portable AC is invented.

But you need to check your lease or tenancy agreement. If it doesn’t say anything about air conditioners, then you can put one in as long as it is safe and won’t cause damage to the property. If it makes noise, make sure that the sound isn’t bothersome for others who live in your building.