Single Hose vs Dual Hose. Which is best for you and your home? (Re-Post)

Whynter ARC-12SD 12,000 BTU Dual Hose

Whynter ARC-12SD 12,000 BTU Dual Hose

With so much to know about portable air conditioners, you’re probably wondering what the major difference is between a single and a dual hose unit. Which is one best and which costs more? From a quick glance online you’ll probably notice that most single machines are cheaper than dual machines. You’ll also notice that they are generally smaller in size as well.

Overall a portable AC unit basically removes heat from your room and then ventilates it outside or to another room or through a vent in your apartment living/working space. A single unit does this by removing heat from the room with the power of the condenser, cooling the air and then releasing it back from the same exhaust hose. A dual unit however uses one hose to draw in air from outside to cool the unit and the other to exhaust hot air outside. Most people believe that going with a dual unit is the more efficient option but let’s go over some more details and determine which one is really the better buy and why.


Single Hose:


Since they only have one hose to ventilate your room this method is said to be is less efficient and also cause negative pressure. Also, since it’s using the same hose to heat and cool your room it is said that a single unit doesn’t cool as quickly.

In my experience this is true, although there are ways around the negative pressure if you’re willing to crack open a window (just a touch) to help alleviate it.



1.)   Single units generally consume less energy

2.)   In most cases they are lighter and easier to move around from room to room

3.)   They usually cost less than dual units



1.)   Works less efficient than dual machines (creates negative pressure)

2.)   In some cases they do not cool as fast as a dual units (depends on the brand and when it was manufactured)


Dual Hose:


On the other hand with two hoses, one is used for drawing out heat and the other is used for bringing in cool air. Some consider these to be the best portable air conditioners to spend your money on. With this method there is no negative pressure created in the room therefore making it more efficient at cooling.

It’s important to note that these units are generally larger and are sometimes noisier (depending on manufacturer), but can also cool larger spaces. Another thing to note is that most dual hose units also manufacturer an equivalent heater model. Since these units are like an investment, I think it’s a great idea to buy one with a heater if you don’t already have one.


1.)   Does not create negative pressure in the room.

2.)   Can generally cool your room faster than single units

3.)   Are usually made with higher BTU’s and can cool larger rooms than single hose units



1.)   Louder than most single hose units on the market

2.)   Usually heavier and not as easy to move around from room to room.

3.)   Consumes more energy than a single unit since they require more power.




In the end, it should always come down to what you and your living space need. If you are cooling a small room and plan to move the unit around a lot then going with a single unit might be the best portable air conditioner option for you. However if you have a big room, don’t plan on moving the machine around a lot and don’t mind spending $400 or more for a machine online. Then a dual unit might be the best machine for your living space.

For more information on an eco-friendly unit, see our review of the Whynter ARC-14SH 14,000 BTU Dual Hose with Heater