Portable Air Conditioner

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  AnnAnne 11 months, 1 week ago.

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    So I am a wuss. I admit it, I don’t care. I come from the land of central a/c and I am proud of that. Unfortunately due to WA and their archaic views of comfort and the fact we live in a ’34 house that doesn’t have typical window, I think my hands are somewhat tied for the summer. In looking at the air conditioning units that don’t need window drainage, has anyone had success with any of them? Our windows are ’34 brick house lovely and don’t really play well with modern things. Am just curious. All I ask for is one room to be cool for sleeping. Last summer I would either go out in my car (yay for a/c) after a run or come home and put bags of ice on me. It’s pretty sad when the cats want to share in the ice goodness…so I’m grasping. We do have two dehumidifiers and unfortunately my research seems to seem like that’s as good as it gets?



    Something like this?

    I had a friend with something like this – it ducts through any size window (4″ or larger) or in a door. it worked well for them cost was about $300 if I recall ( a few yrs ago)



    teigyr – we keep the upstairs rooms in our 1945 house cool in the summer with a portable a/c unit like one of these:

    They are free standing and draw air in through a window through a tube attached to adjustable panel that will fit most windows. You have to empty the water container but other than that they require very little attention to keep the space cool.



    Teigyr – If I’m reading your question correctly, you are looking for an A/C that doesn’t have to vent through a window? If so, I’m in the same situation. Where I need A/C the windows are big pane windows, the kitchen has one window but it’s up above sink. My bedroom windows are strange – total 9 feet long with three individual panes – two of which open by tilting out. Can’t put one there either as bed below.
    So I’m hoping there is an A/C that you can use w/o needing window. My house gets really hot (western exposure in the afternoon).



    gracie, these portable A/C’s just need someplace to vent their relatively short intake/exhaust hose (I think they’re usually only about 5 feet or so long). Some even have two hoses, for separate input and exhaust, which can really boost efficiency. Anyway, you might be able to fairly easily cut a hole through your wall and install a short rigid vent tube that could then be connected to your portable A/C hose when needed. You might also find that installing wall insulation and/or an attic exhaust fan might help prevent the heat from getting so bad on those hot sunny days.



    gracie, your question reminds me of an old question from HS physics class.

    If you have a well insulated air-tight room and you put a refrigerator in the room, plug it in, and open both the refrigerator and freezer doors, will the temperature in the room:

    a. Go down
    b. Stay the same
    c. Go up



    Ernie, for extra credit:

    “What is the difference between leaving the doors open and closed?”

    PS I hated HS Physics.



    Ernie: The temperature would go up once the motor burned out from trying to cool several hundred square feet of apartment with a fridge. :D

    I’ve kicked around the idea of buying a portable AC for quite awhile. I currently have a window AC. It does fit in the window, but it’s only 5k BTU which is not big enough for the space and I have to climb a step stool while lifting the 50lbs AC with all the weight on my right leg while stepping up in order to get it into the window.

    However, these units vary greatly on quality and efficiency. I’d love to hear personal endorsements for a specific unit (or against a specific unit) that I could wheel around. It would certainly make life easier.

    Teigyr: Don’t feel bad. Everybody here says “oh, it doesn’t get hot here,” until summer comes when everyone screams for mercy. When I moved up here I had 3 ACs and I literally could not GIVE them away because “it never gets hot here.” Sure enough, just one month later (in July), a friend who had previously turned it down said he was “worried [his] cat might die.” Heh. He had that thing for years until he returned it to me after he moved to a place with central air.
    It was 10k BTU which is what I need here, but it was too large to fit in one of these windows.


    great idea

    this thread really makes me appreciate my basement.



    teigyr: Would something like this work? http://www.homedepot.com/p/Amvent-Elite-12-000-BTU-110-Volt-60-Hz-1-Ton-Ductless-Mini-Split-Air-Conditioner-A37GW2C-ELT/203423958?N=5yc1vZc4m1

    I didn’t know such a thing existed and of course there’s the question of whether it would stay put (as opposed to walking off), but it looks like it might fit the bill with your type of windows. BTW, the above was just an example. They have 3-4 of that type.



    Pretty cool, Phoo (heh heh). If they had something like that that also worked as a heat pump to supply some heat in the winter, I bet you could get some kind of discount from Seattle City Light or the feds, since pumping heat is so much more efficient than creating it.



    Mondoman: They do have portable units that also do heat. It’d be worth knowing if SCL did give a discount. For an extra $50, this unit will have heat: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Avallon-14-000-BTU-Portable-Air-Conditioner-with-InvisiMist-Smart-Drain-Technology-APAC140C/205037354?N=5yc1vZc4m4Z2bcqfkZ2bcqflZ1z0ze64#product_description

    Unfortunately, I haven’t found reviews for the above unit. They seem to be new enough that there aren’t any. The “invisimist” sounds interesting – other units either have a large water bin that have to be constantly emptied, or the dual hose models are supposed to be self evaporating, but when that isn’t enough the unit itself has to be tipped up to try and drain the small reservoir inside. This one has a separate water hose that ejects water out of the unit when self-evaporation isn’t enough. I think this is one reason (aside from cost) that I gave up when I was considering a portable AC last year.



    Teigyr, if the ductless system does seem like a good idea, I found this: http://www.seattle.gov/light/ductless/

    “If you’re currently heating your home with electric resistance baseboards, wall heaters, or an electric furnace, Seattle City Light can help you upgrade to a Ductless Heating and Cooling System with a $1,200 rebate.”

    I didn’t find anything for a cheaper portable unit, but if I do, I’ll post it here.



    Good ideas, thank you. Part of my problem is Mr T who is a native from here. He seems to think nothing of the summer – I’m the SoCal person who cringes when it gets over 60!!! After going round and round, he finally said it would be an ok expense (though not really needed) if it was truly portable and wasn’t reliant on a window. In our room, the only feasible window cranks outward so I don’t see that as being viable. If we rearranged, there is a window where, never mind. There is a screen that lifts up and down but the window cranks outward.

    We have a basement too, there are spiders down there.



    If it comes down to it, just too hot in house & can’t sleep, I just got a screen room in my backyard. Have a low slung wide hammock-type piece of lawn furniture could put in there to sleep on. Got the screen room because I can have my cat in there with me and she can’t escape to go adventuring during the night or any critters of the night could come up upon me while sleeping.



    At least the way I read it, the least reliant on a window is the split ductless system. It looks like you have one part outside, and the other inside (not necessarily in a window, with hoses (small hoses I think) connecting the two. Even the portable AC has ducts (like the size of a dryer duct) that go into the window, unless you have another hole in your house you could use. A doggie door would be hilarious, but probably not practical unless it was modified to have a long length of duct and a stopper on the door to keep the duct from whamming against the wall.

    Does anyone have experience with good or bad models/brands of portable ACs? I am seriously thinking of buying one this year.



    This isn’t about a portable air conditioner but just remembered – one particularly hot summer I bought this mister that attached to end of hose. It was HEAVEN. I could sit outside on chaise, clip it onto chaise with fine mist cooling me down. Even my dog came and sat by it and she usually hated to get wet. Will have to dig that out.



    Phoo, many years ago I bought a portable single-duct model. Mechanically, it functions well, but since all the machinery is inside the room, it can sometimes be a bit noisy for sleeping. After about 4-5 years, the hot moist air backing up in the vinyl duct degraded the vinyl to brittleness and the duct material broke into little shards.

    At least for my mail-order model, replacement vinyl ducts were very hard to find, and certainly not for less than $75! I ended up ordering semi-rigid aluminum ducting and attaching it to the window adapter and A/C ends with (you guessed it!) duct tape, all for less than $10. It certainly hadn’t helped that I left the window screen in place when mounting the window adapter — if things get hot this summer, I’ll figure out how to remove it and make a better installation in the window.

    Sadly, I don’t remember the A/C brand name off-hand. It might be Soleus.



    We have a portable a/c unit. I’d recommend going to a store and looking through all the options.

    • You still need to provide a way for it to drain water. It has internal storage pan, but you run the risk of it overflowing onto your floor (which I’ve done many times). Ours came with a hose that I just ran into a bucket
    • The exhaust hose is a little bit of a pain to deal with, so I bought some white duct tape to hold everything together
    • It’s a little noisy, but you may not care since the alternative is a hot room.
    • I went to Best Buy and looked through the different options. I even returned the first one I bought to get a different model. You want one that is the correct power for the size of your room.


    jj, the one I am thinking of buying claims that I don’t need to constantly drain it because it’s got an additional hose jut for water. When the tank starts filling, it has a pump installed that ejects the water out of it. That’s why I’m highly considering the avallon model. I’m just leery of something that I can find 0 reviews for. It’s an online buy only from the home depot site, but free shipping. I found it on another site for a few dollars cheaper for also free shipping, but it’s an unknown site. Sadly, amazon doesn’t have any of this make/model.

    If I go as high as 629 I can get heat with it instead of using my baseboard heat, but I don’t know if it’s worth it. It’s $50 higher than the regular 14k BTU model or $129 more than the 12k BTU model (with just AC).



    Teigyr, friends of ours do one room (bedroom) with portable rollaway, 4″ exhaust with an expandable panel that will fit either horiz or vert, get it at Fry’s for around $300 or so, you only need 11,000 or 12,000 BTU for any size bedroom unless you are under 35 & give off a lot of heat when you sleep…



    For drain water use another pipe with your ac unit so that the water will not stay there for more or ask ac service expert to do some alternative for it.

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