Single vs Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioners

Sometimes you may need to compare single vs dual hose portable air conditioners to find out which type is best for your needs and ticks all the right boxes for you.

Learning the major differences between the two will allow you to decide which one is the best choice to suit your home or office.

Single or Dual Hose Portable AC?

single vs dual hose portable air conditionersSingle-hose equipped portable AC units come at a lower price and are available in a variety of sizes, power outputs, features and designs from many manufacturers.

Double-hose equipped portable AC units cost a little more but are more energy efficient, cool a space faster and ultimately save money in the long run on operating costs.

Let's have a look at both types to determine which cooling unit is right for you.

Single-Hose Portable Air Conditioners

This type is the most commonly used and recognized variation of portable cooler that you'll find in many homes and some office spaces.

These are typified by the single exhaust vent tube, which attaches at the rear to the unit. The other end of the hose connects to a window connector that is installed on a suitable window.

Because all air conditioners produce hot and cold, it is vital that only the cool air be circulated around the room. The hot air should be exhausted outside to prevent the air conditioner from actually heating the space.

The vent hose that connects the unit's hot-air output vent and an exterior window vent opening is the standard solution for portable models.

The unit extracts air from the room and then chills and dries it. Finally, the unit opens the vents to return the cool, dry air into a room. The back vents any hot or moist air.

Advantages of Single-Hose Portable AC Units

Portable air conditioners with one-hose are generally more affordable and can be purchased in most hardware stores as they can online.

Installing a window is easy and straightforward for anyone with a measure of handyman skills.

This advantage is more pertinent when venting the portable AC through walls is required. Only one hole must be drilled into the wall.

The look of the hose dangling from the unit to a windows isn't something that many people love, but it serves its function and can be disguised by strategical furniture placements or using house plants.

Disadvantages of Single-Hose Portable AC Units

Drawing air from the room to condition the air and cool it, and then venting hot air outside, creates negative pressure in the room.

For this reason it is important that all doors and windows are sealed as per the manufacturer's recommendation. Nature will attempt to counter this negative pressure by trying to draw in air from outside through cracks or crevices within masonry and window frames.

This causes the unit to operate harder to maintain low temperatures and lowers its cooling efficiency.

Higher electricity bills are a consequence of this since these models use more energy to keep you cool during hot weather.

Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioners

A double hose configuration is less common in free standing air conditioners. This is because there are fewer models, output rating and manufacturers to choose from.

These units are marked by having two flexible, corrugated vent hoses connecting to a suitable window fixing kit. Two hoses mean more flexibility of operation over a single hose setup.

While one hose configuration will work well to vent hot air from the building, it is not ideal. I will discuss some benefits below.

Advantages of Dual-Hose Portable AC Units

The main benefit portable air conditioners with double-hose exhaust systems has to do with their efficiency and economy.

This is because fresh, outside air is drawn into a unit to cool it and condition it. Hot, moist exhaust air is pumped out using the second hose.

This arrangement eliminates the possibility of air pressure variations between indoors and outdoors. It eliminates the risk of warm outside air getting through small openings in walls or door frames.

The unit is therefore less energy-intensive and requires less effort to cool the room. This saves you money on electricity.

Portable air conditioners that self-evaporate make good use the designated exhaust hose to improve efficiency and their ability to remove moisture from the air.

Disadvantages of Dual-Hose Portable AC Units

The dual hose design means higher manufacturing costs that are passed on to the customer in a slightly more expensive purchase.

The additional cost is offset by lower operating and maintenance costs over the unit's lifetime.

Two hoses make for an unsightly asthetic in a room. Many people dislike the appearance of them. However, those two hoses can be disguised with the use of camouflaging house plants or well placed furniture for example.


When it comes to the appearance of each type of air conditioner unit, your preference is what you will choose.

Also, single-hose models are easy to install for those who don't want to have to fit a two-hose kit to connect to two unsightly flexible hoses.

This decision becomes even more critical when you consider the economics and operating efficiency. Dual-hose models perform well in this area. This saves electricity and quickly compensates for the higher price.

Due to their higher efficiency, dual-hose models offer a quicker cooling time, which will appeal to those who need their room to cool down more quickly, especially after a hard day at work.

The final decision is ultimately down to your financial situation, your cooling needs, and the economy of operation.