There are several advantages that make purchasing a windowless air conditioner a good idea, such as size, or if you can't install a traditional air conditioner. However, they do offer several disadvantages that can make purchasing one a costly mistake.
Windowless Air Conditioners and Cost
A regular air conditioner can cost anywhere from $49.00 up to $500.00 and more. A windowless air conditioner is a lot pricier, as they can cost two to three times more than a traditional air conditioner with the exact same power output. Your smallest air conditioner, typically 5,000 BTU, will retail for around $99.00. However a windowless air conditioner, also 5,000 BTU, can retail for $599.99 or more.
Heating Instead of Cooling a Room
It's important to know that a traditional air conditioner cools a room by sucking in the heated air and then putting it under pressure in order to turn it into a liquid. It will then simultaneously remove the heat, which is released from the back of the air conditioner. The coolant, which is in a liquid state, is released and boils back to a gas, which absorbs the heat to make cold air. This cold air is then blown out of the air conditioner and then recirculated through the air conditioner, making the air colder and colder with each pass. With a windowless air conditioner there is nowhere for the heat to go, as it just moves it some place else in the room. The windowless air conditioner works overtime, creating cold air while its parts heat up, making more warm air and defeating the purpose of the unit.
This particular disadvantage of a windowless air conditioner goes hand in hand with the inefficient cooling of a room. In order to alleviate the problem of pushing heated air around the room, it vents it. In order to vent the heated air produced, the windowless air conditioner typically comes with a large hose that you affix to the back of the unit and out a window. This allows more heat inside the area again, defeating the purpose of the unit. The solution is to cut a hole in a wall or into an existing vent in order to attach the hose. This is another costly project.
Size Doesn't Matter
Many people feel that the larger an air conditioner the better it is. Windowless air conditioners stand upright and move with casters. This means that they not only take up a lot of space, but are also hard to hide. They do not normally fit inside a corner out of the way or a small closet. If you purchased a unit that does not have wheels, then moving it around your apartment or home can be just as difficult as a traditional air conditioner.