What is the Exhaust control for on Air Conditioner?

It's an older Westinghouse window A.C. Besides the temperature control, HI - LOW - OFF and Automatic Fan controls, it has this lever that says Exhaust OPEN - CLOSED. With the front panel removed, I can see it flips open a small door inside the unit.
My question is what is that for, or what does it do? I guessed that it would take some of the indoor air and blow it outside with that lever set to OPEN. I held a cigarette near it with it set both ways and pretty much could not notice much difference. The smoke just scattered around the room from the fan. So what is it for?
To get the most cooling and least energy usage, is it better to leave it open or closed?
One other thing, Does the front panel really serve any purpose other than make it look nice? I found that it seems to feel much cooler with that panel off. Maybe it's not really cooling better, but the air comes out better. That panel seems to restrict the air flow. I'd rather have it look ugly and feel good, than look good and not feel as cool.
This may be common knowledge, but I've either had central air, or no air. This is my first window unit. This has been such an extremely hot summer I finally installed it. It's been sitting in the shed for at least 8 years since it was given to me.
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The exhaust opening doesn't do much, at all. I'm not sure why they bother.
The plastic front plate is not required. A fan blowing towards the AC will also help cool the room. Blowing away from the AC doesn't do much difference.
Cigarette smoke is toxic. They should never be lit or burned in the presence of people, children, pets, or any animal that breathes.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
It's an older Westinghouse window A.C. Besides the temperature control, HI - LOW - OFF and Automatic Fan controls, it has this lever that says Exhaust OPEN - CLOSED. With the front panel removed, I can see it flips open a small door inside the unit.
My question is what is that for, or what does it do? I guessed that it would take some of the indoor air and blow it outside with that lever set to OPEN. I held a cigarette near it with it set both ways and pretty much could not notice much difference. The smoke just scattered around the room from the fan. So what is it for?
To get the most cooling and least energy usage, is it better to leave it open or closed?
One other thing, Does the front panel really serve any purpose other than make it look nice? I found that it seems to feel much cooler with that panel off. Maybe it's not really cooling better, but the air comes out better. That panel seems to restrict the air flow. I'd rather have it look ugly and feel good, than look good and not feel as cool.
This may be common knowledge, but I've either had central air, or no air. This is my first window unit. This has been such an extremely hot summer I finally installed it. It's been sitting in the shed for at least 8 years since it was given to me.
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On Sat, 04 Aug 2012 04:35:40 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@thecave.com wrote:

According to an engineer from Frigidaire, it is there because they can say they have another "feature" that the competition may or may not have. Useless as far as real life use. It is supposed to exhaust some of the indoor air so fresh air can be drawn in. A few years back, my company made the part with the vent opening. Laughable really, but on a comparison chart, they had another check mark.

Closed.

The front panel holds the filter. If you are removing the filter, the fins will eventually get covered with dust and dirt and you'll get no air flow. They are not easily cleaned so be sure it is filtered and kept clean..
If you don't want the air diffused as it comes out, it would be OK to cut out the diffusers on the outlet portion. In any case, it won't make the air nay colder. The capacity is what it is. You may feel a bit cooler if the air is blowing right on you though.
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I've worked on dozens, or possibly hundreds of window or through the wall AC. Only a very few, the lack of filter on the front has been a problem. One, I did service. Looked and smelled like it had been used right next to a greasy kitchen. The evaporator was a sheet of congealed cooking grease.
The big problem is the outdoor air contains dust, and clogs the condensor. So far, I've never seen a window AC with an outdoor air filter.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

The front panel holds the filter. If you are removing the filter, the fins will eventually get covered with dust and dirt and you'll get no air flow. They are not easily cleaned so be sure it is filtered and kept clean..
If you don't want the air diffused as it comes out, it would be OK to cut out the diffusers on the outlet portion. In any case, it won't make the air nay colder. The capacity is what it is. You may feel a bit cooler if the air is blowing right on you though.
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I've stayed in many motels over the years that had the knob for Exhaust - Open/Closed and most of them took the knob off presumably to make sure no one put it in the open position and used an extra 3 cents worth of electricity.
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snipped-for-privacy@thecave.com wrote:

If you're using the window unit in your bedroom, and the central a/c is off while you sleep, be prepared for a pleasant surprise when you get your next utility bill. A BIG, pleasant surprise.
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Been years since I've seen one but at one time it was a feature that was sold based on the ability to 'exhaust' smoke and other odors from the room.
I guess that technically it did work but on the practical side ...
for effency -- closed.
I doubt taking the cover off makes any difference one way or the other.
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