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  1. #1
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    Anybody Use A Portable Air Conditioner?
    Looking for advice/recommendations.

    So living in a new place and have central air/heat and it works great and it's usually set at 72 and the place is nice and cool at that temp, how I like it. Problem is where I have my computer/TV (my room) it's warmer. I could set the temp at 71 and be nice and cool, but then the rest of the house is actually cold. There is like a 3-5 degree difference because of the heat my computer and TV puts out. Tried an oscillating fan, didn't do anything, so I need some sort of added air conditioner. Not sure of a window ac and not sure it's even allowed, so I'm looking at some portable ones. They usually have some hose that goes out the window and comes with a kit.

    So just wondering if anybody uses something like this?

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager bcwaller's Avatar
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    A friend bought one from Costco a few years back for the few weeks a year it gets hot here. I think it was $250 or so and works like a charm for the one room.
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  3. #3
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    Tried an oscillating fan, didn't do anything,
    That's what I was going to suggest as it works for me. It's roughly 11" diameter and stands on a pedestal about 10 feet behind me. Only have to use it when it's really hot.


  4. #4
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    I used to work for a company that sold them. For rooms they're pretty good but if you're looking at a large space/multiple rooms I wouldn't recommend it.

    Use a BTU calculator for the space you're trying to cool and then add 2000 BTU. Unless they've improved the technology, venting through the window was less efficient than how a window A/C functions.

    Bob

  5. #5
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    It'll be just for my room, the rest of the house is fine. Didn't know about the BTU calculator, tried a few out and they're all over the place but under 10,000.

    I guess something like - http://www.compactappliance.com/AP12...fault,pd.html?

  6. #6
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    I used one a few years ago, before I moved out west. It was just for one room and be sure you have the hose go out the window! I couldn't put a window air conditioner because of the types of windows we had. It worked great for what we needed it for, but it used a lot more electricity than a window one would have. I think they are more efficient now.
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  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager ParadigmWilliam's Avatar
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    Have him take a look at sears outlet. I picked up a $450 one for $80 two weeks ago. It was brand new in the box. Depending on your area it varies. I also picked up a $300 for $35. This one the box was open but still had the tags on it.

    As for portable ones, I had one and it worked pretty good. Just moved to window units as it was easier for me.
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  8. #8
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Have you asked about putting in a small window unit? The smallest ones cost under $100 and are much smaller and lighter than typical window AC units. Between using less power and less initial cost, you could save a lot with a small window unit.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    It'll be just for my room, the rest of the house is fine. Didn't know about the BTU calculator, tried a few out and they're all over the place but under 10,000.

    I guess something like - http://www.compactappliance.com/AP12...fault,pd.html?
    Hmm..the calculations we used for BTU was area times ceiling height times 5. If you have a 10x15 room with 8 ft ceilings, you'd be looking at something around 6000 BTU's for a window and we'd usually recommend going up in BTU's for a portable because of less efficiency.

    I'm not familiar with EdgeStar but the best one back in the day was Sunpentown. This was 8+ years ago so I'm sure my knowledge is behind the times

    I agree with everyone else...electricity costs are quite a bit higher than a window.

  10. #10
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    P.S. You could always look into an air cooler. They're better than a fan, not as good as an A/C. Basically you put ice/water in the air cooler and it blows like a fan except with cooler temps.

    It's cheaper, better energy usage, and pretty good if you just need personal space cooled which it sounds like you do. As long as you don't have A/C cooling expectations you should be satisfied.

    Bob

  11. #11
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    I bought a portable air conditioner unit 3 years ago, when I was using an upstairs apartment for my office -- it got very hot on summer afternoons. It worked quite well to cool one room, provided that I kept the door closed. (The landlord prohibits installation of air conditioners in the windows, so I bought a portable unit.)

    After moving my office to a downstairs apartment, I only needed to use the portable air conditioner three or four times, the past two summers. (We live in Hayward, about 3 miles from the San Francisco Bay, so we usually only feel "intolerably oppressed" by the heat for a few dozen days each year, especially if we remember to leave the windows open at night and then close all the windows and drapes before 8am.

    I'm not certain, but I think I spent $400 for the portable AC unit (at Fry's Electronics). (This is definitely one category of used product that you couldn't buy cheap on Craigslist -- whenever I saw one posted, usually for 60% to 80% of retail price, it was gone within hours.)

    It didn't do huge damage to the electric bill: even when I was upstairs and running it for 30-40 hours a week, I don't think the monthly electric bill ever topped $100 (total, including the always-on computers).

    I tried an air-cooler, but it definitely didn't help.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Also consider your windows if you have any. My office was a formal dining room and has 2 large floor to ceiling windows. In the afternoon, when the sun hit them, it would get really warm in here around 80-82 degrees F. The dark wood blinds only kept the sunlight from hitting me directly but didn't seem to make any difference in the temperature.

    Last year I had those windows replaced with better thermal windows with a high UV block. That made all the difference. With the sun shining directly on them, you can't feel any heat coming through the glass at all. That's all it took for me.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Drumm View Post
    Hmm..the calculations we used for BTU was area times ceiling height times 5. If you have a 10x15 room with 8 ft ceilings, you'd be looking at something around 6000 BTU's for a window and we'd usually recommend going up in BTU's for a portable because of less efficiency.

    I'm not familiar with EdgeStar but the best one back in the day was Sunpentown. This was 8+ years ago so I'm sure my knowledge is behind the times

    I agree with everyone else...electricity costs are quite a bit higher than a window.
    If I estimate, I would say the room is 10x12, 8 ft ceiling. Speaking of air coolers and Sunpentown, was checking those out as well - http://www.amazon.com/SPT-SF-608R-Po...4460427&sr=8-1

    With that one, it had 31 5 star ratings but then 21 1 star ratings. So for some, they loved it, others it was just an expensive fan.

    For the window air conditioners, some of them are pretty cheap. They have Fridigaires like this one http://www.amazon.com/Frigidaire-FAA...4460681&sr=1-1 for just over $100, about 1/3 the price of a decent portable.

    As far as the BTU calculators, I tried some I found on the first page and get everything from
    3120
    7150
    19200

    So I'm guessing 10,000 BTU plus or minus a couple of thousand should do the trick?

    I live in Florida so got to get something soon.

  14. #14
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    So it's in the mid 90's and heat index over 105 and the main AC couldn't quite keep up, was stuck on 76 when we had it set at 72 and then thought it might have went out because it seemed like it stopped blowing, but today it's fine and moved it to 74. So got a portable AC a few days ago, hooked it up last night, got this one - http://www.air-n-water.com/product/ac-10000e.htm The window I guess was a little wider than a usual one so the bracket was a little short, couple of inches, right now just put a little piece of cardboard and some duct tape to seal off those couple of inches. Took under 15 minutes to hook it all up. Very easy, plug and play pretty much.

    And it works great I turned it on this morning and was gone for about an hour, came back and it was 69 in here, lowest ever I recorded was 73 before. So about 73-75 actually feels nice. So if you're thinking about getting one, I highly recommend it.

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