Do Window Air Conditioners Pull Air From Outside?

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Because of the growth in global temperatures, the use of air conditioners has increased throughout time. That’s because they’re good at cooling air on the fly and providing clean, cool air every time you use them. If you have a window air conditioner, you must enjoy the convenience of having it chilling your home for you. But have you ever thought about how they function? Do window air conditioners pull air from outside?

Actually, window air conditioners do not use outside air to cool inside. Instead, they take air from the room and circulate it around the space. All the chilled air blown through the Window AC unit into the room is recirculated air. Before entering the room, the air is drawn in and passed through coils. These coils are what cool the air in the end. Now you’re probably wondering why a portion of the unit has been left outside. This is because hot air from inside is vented outside through an exhaust system, leaving cool air behind.

But how do window air conditioners achieve this? How do they maintain an optimal temperature even with sweltering temperatures outside? Read on to find out.

Do Air Conditioners Pull Air from Outside?

No, they don’t. It is possible to believe this because some people notice floating debris inside the house, like pollen. They think that it’s the air conditioner pulling air from the outside to lack a better explanation.

The window air conditioner is, at best, a sealed system. That means that it doesn’t allow in the air from the outside. For this, there is a fan that pulls in the air with heat from the house’s interior. 

The air then goes through the air conditioner, where it goes over refrigerator-like parts supercoiled to increase the area of contact. The now cool air then leaves through the front of the AC while heat leaves through a heat vent at the back.

Air conditioners have air filters that prevent the machine from sucking in dust particles. The dust is usually from the air inside your house. If you were to inspect your Ac’s air filter, you’d see debris that is more common in your house than from the outside.

Upon cooling the air, the fan pulls in more hot air from your house, and the cycle continues. In that way, there is a cyclic movement of air from your house throughout the AC and back into the house as cool air.

That’s the principle behind the cooling power of the window air conditioners. Window air conditioners operate to cool air within their environs, which is the inside of a house. Once installed, the window air conditioners operate under the same principles as a refrigerator. 

No air from outside the house is involved in the process. Therefore, if you happen to see floating particles you think are from outside, they aren’t from your air conditioner. They might have come in through the open windows or even the door.

Read Also: Can You Use a Window Air Conditioner Without a Window – What You Should Know

Window Air Conditioner Parts And Functions

The window air conditioner has different parts that facilitate its continual operation. It is simple yet so complex in how it keeps the air of its environs cool even when the temperatures are over the roof. Let’s talk about the parts that enable the window air conditioner to do its work capably.

Blower: Mounted at the back of the cooling coil, it conveniently draws air from its environment. Firstly, the air is passed through the air filter to the cooling coil and cooled. Upon filtering the air, the blower supplies the chilled air to the room through the front panel.

Fan: The fan sucks hot air from the house then the condenser dissipates the heat into the atmosphere. This cools the air in the surrounding area. 

Motor: The strategic position of the motor makes it compact since it holds the blower and the conditioner in place.

Filter Drier: When moisture accumulates in the refrigerant, the filter drier removes it.

Drain Pan: When the cooling coil condenses to water, the pan is used to hold the water till it is discarded.

Cooling coil: The cooling coil facilitates the exchange of heat between the air in the refrigerant and the air in the room. 

Front Panel: The front panel provides an interface where the user can adjust the settings based on the room temperature. This flexibility allows the user to set the right amount of air coming through the vent. 

Thermostat: Upon keeping track of the temperature of the room, the thermostat comes in handy. The scale provides the user with an opportunity to set the ideal temperature of the room. 

When the optimal temperature is achieved, the compressor stops. As soon as hot air accumulates in the room, the thermostat fires the compressor. The compressor cools the air. Keeping the compressor at optimal levels is encouraged to ensure you don’t incur substantial energy charges.

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Air Filter: The air filter serves a crucial part in cleaning the air as it gets to the room. Cleaning it often is a best practice as it can clog quite easily. You don’t want to damage the machine by blocking the filter and the evaporator. 

How to Ensure your Window Air Conditioner is In Good Shape

 Although efficient in its work, an air conditioner will also need you to maintain it to ensure it is in good working order. The first thing you should do is to clean the filter regularly.

The filter gets clogged with debris from all the hot air, which might impair the working of the AC. Apart from cleaning the filter, you will also need to clean the other AC parts to ensure it is in good working order.

Cleaning the Ac will also ensure you don’t get recirculating dirt back into your house’s air. Also, regular maintenance from professionals will ensure the AC recirculates cleaner air into your house.

As much as you will want your house to have cleaner air, it doesn’t help if you

In addition to maintaining the AC in good shape, you will also need to be opening the windows regularly. That will go a long way in helping change the air flowing through the house as well.

Read Also: Air Conditioner Makes Loud Noise When Starting – Fix It Easily

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Air Conditioner Ventilate A Room

An air conditioner typically removes heat from a room by cooling the air and trapping moisture. Some people think that an air conditioner also ventilates a room by blowing wind through the window and out into the open. Is this true?

The answer is no, an air conditioner cannot ventilate a room by blowing wind through the window. The reason an air conditioner can remove heat from a room is that it cools the air. When warm air is cooled, it becomes less dense and rises. This process of removing heat from a room is called evaporative cooling.

Evaporative cooling works because when warm air reaches cooler surroundings, moisture in the warmer air condenses (turns into water). These water droplets act as tiny fans and help to move the cooler surrounding air into and through the room.

How Much Of A Window AC Needs To Be Outside

Window ACs need to be placed outside of the room they are in has an outdoor temperature below 65 degrees. If the room has an outdoor temperature of 65 degrees or higher, the window AC needs to be placed on the second floor or higher.

As there are various types of air conditioners, and they often differ in size appreciably. The sizes of new window air conditioners have become so diminutive that tilting the unit is almost always the best way to go. Be sure you read the instructions for the air conditioner to determine which installation method to use.


Do window air conditioners pull air from the outside? We hope you now know the answer to that is a resounding no. They might appear as they do, but that isn’t the case. We hope we were able to shed more light on that.

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Relevant Resources:

  1. How to Seal a Window Air Conditioner for the Winter – 6 Easy Steps
  2. Air Conditioner Starts Then Stops After Only a Few Seconds – 8 Effective Solutions
  3. Frigidaire Air Conditioner Buttons Not Working – Fix It Now
  4. Portable Air Conditioner Exhaust Hose Gets Hot – Top 5 Reasons
  5. How Can a Portable AC be Used as a Dehumidifier – 3 Best Steps
  6. Air Conditioner Makes Loud Noise When Starting – Fix It Easily
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