Dual Hose or Single Hose Portable Air Conditioner: Which is Better?

In an attempt to discover which is better, a dual hose or single hose portable air conditioner, I compare the pros and cons of the two types for clarification.

There are some important differences between the two that are worth being aware of when choosing between them in the store that are not always obvious at first glance.

Of course the first thing that most people notice is the price difference. Portable air conditioning units equipped with dual hoses tend to be a little more expensive than those equipped with just one vent hose.

The higher cost is generally explained by the additional venting configuration and hardware that comes with these cooling appliances, but is there more to it than meets the eye?dual hose or single hose portable air conditioner

Let's dig a little deeper beneath the surface and see.

Dual Hose vs Single Hose

The best way to learn the differences between the two types of cooler is to compare them and look at the pros and cons of each.

This is in order to determine which of them is the best performer and also the best value for money.

Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioners

With a double hose configuration, free standing air conditioners are less common in terms of model choices and power output ratings.

These units are distinguished by two flexible corrugated conduits that connect them to a window fixing kit. However, are two hoses better than one?

A single hose configuration is acceptable for venting hot exhaust air out of a building. However, I will demonstrate some of the benefits of using two.

Dual-Hose Portable AC Units: The Pros

The main benefit of portable air conditioners equipped with double hose exhaust systems, is their increased efficiency and economics in operation.

This happens because fresh air from outside is drawn into the unit to be conditioned and cooled with one hose while hot, moist exhaust is pumped through the second.

This arrangement eliminates any air pressure difference between outside and inside. This eliminates the possibility of warm air being sucked into walls through small openings.

Therefore, the unit doesn't have to work as hard in order to keep the room cool. The unit also uses less electricity which saves money on utility bills.

The dedicated exhaust hose can be used by self-evaporating portable conditioners to increase their effectiveness and remove any moisture that has accumulated inside.

Dual-Hose Portable AC Units: The Cons

Dual hoses mean higher manufacturing costs, which are passed onto the consumer through a slightly higher cost of production.

This extra cost can however be recouped thanks to their lower operating expenses over the life of the unit.

Vent hoses protruding from the rear of AC units will never be aesthetically pleasing to say the least and it is true that many people do not like how they look.

Yet as with most aspects of a room's décor, it is possible to disguise those two hoses by placing camouflaging furniture or house plants in strategic positions to hide them from view.

Single-Hose Portable Air Conditioners

This unit is the most popular and well-known type of portable cooling unit.

It is named after the single exhaust vent pipe that connects to the rear unit. On the other end, it attaches directly to a window fixing kit.

All air conditioners produce hot as well as cool air. Therefore, it is crucial that the cold air be circulated in the room to cool it and that hot air be expelled out of the space to prevent it from being reheated.

This is accomplished by the vent hose connecting the unit’s hot air output ventilation vent to an external vent opening. Usually, this is a window.

The unit draws in air from the room. It then conditions the air internally by chilling and drying it. Finally, the unit releases the cool, dry air back into the room through vents on its front. The back vents the hot, humid air.

Single-Hose Portable AC Units: The Pros

Single-hose portable air conditioners have the advantage of being cheaper to buy and are available in many hardware stores, as well as online.

For those who don't have the necessary handyman skills, it is easier to install a window using one hose.

This advantage is magnified when an AC portable needs to be vented through a wall.

The hose that runs from the unit up to a window is not something many people like, but it serves its purpose. You can cleverly hide it with furniture placement or house plants.

Single-Hose Portable AC Units: The Cons

A negative air pressure is created in a room by drawing air from it and cooling it.

This negative pressure will make nature try to balance it with the outside. Nature may try to draw hot air into the room through cracks or crevices made in masonry.

This decreases the unit's cooling efficiency, and it has to work harder in order to maintain the room at a lower temperature. This extra work consumes more energy and results in higher electricity costs.


The decision of whether to choose a portable air conditioner with a single or two-hose hose is based on personal preference.

If you don't want the additional hassle of fitting a 2-hose window kit that connects up to two unsightly flexible hoses, then the single-hose model is a great option.

When it comes to how the appliance looks in a room, there is always the option of a completely ventless portable air conditioner that has no exhaust hose. However this type of cooler is actually a swamp cooler and a subject for a different article to explain what it is and the difference between this type of evaporative cooler and a true air conditioner.

The choice does however take on a more serious aspect when it comes to economy and efficiency. Dual-hose models are the best performers in this area and the savings in electricity bills soon outweigh the higher purchase price of the unit.

The dual-hose models generally have faster cooling times due to their greater efficiency. They are therefore likely to appeal to those who want to get more comfortable quickly after returning from work.

Whichever configuration you choose between the single or double vent hose equipped portable air conditioners, the price you are able to afford and what the unit can do in terms of cooling efficiency and economy of operation will determine the final decision.