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Author Topic: portable air conditioning - any good?  (Read 5928 times)

nudone

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portable air conditioning - any good?
« on: July 04, 2006, 06:28:06 AM »
i'm english therefore when the weather turns hot during the half-a-dozen days of the year, i can't take it. my brain shuts down and i just dream of finding a cool dark hole to lie down in.

unfotunately i can't put my computer in such a hole so i'm thinking maybe one of these portable air conditioner things would be the solution.

so my question is: does anyone use one and are they any good?

thanks
« Last Edit: July 04, 2006, 07:12:44 AM by nudone »

Carol Haynes

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Re: portable air conditioning - any good?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2006, 08:05:23 AM »
Ditto here - I am dying in 30+C (and humid) ... just sitting here dripping.

Anyone know any decent air conditioning equipment in the UK at non-silly prices ?

momonan

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Re: portable air conditioning - any good?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2006, 11:44:47 AM »
I think the biggest consideration should be the physics of the thing.  A lot of heat is required to convert hot air into cool air.  That heat has to go somewhere -- other than into the room you are trying to cool, as that would result in a net heat gain.  I think most portable ACs have a hose that you put out the window or through a hole in the wall (or, perish the thought, into another room).  This hose carries the hot air out.  If you put the hose out the window, of course, you have to seal up the open part of the window so the hot air doesn't come rushing back in. ;)

The other consideration is that a lot of evaporation must occur in order to cool the air.  That water has to go somewhere, too.  Much of it probably goes out through the hose, but I think there is also a tank for drippings, which can overflow, if not emptied now and then.

All in all, the only reason to have a PORTABLE airconditioner would be if you want to move it from room to room as the day (or night) goes by.

For my part, even though we have very hot summers, I go with the following method of climate control:  windows up at night, to let cool air in; windows and blinds (or curtains) down from early morning throughout the day, to keep the cool air in and prevent hot air from entering and the sun from heating up whatever it touches.  Strategically placed fans to blow on you whenever it gets too hot (and to bring in cool air at night), and absolutely no oven cooking.  This really works, and I can keep the place at least 10 degrees cooler inside than it is outside for most of the day, so long as I close the windows and blinds very early and don't open them again until the temperature begins to equalize (around 6 or 7 in the evening).

It's hard, at first, to resist the impulse to throw open the windows when it starts to heat up in the house, but this is the last thing you want to do if it is hotter outside than it is inside.  Only open the windows when the temperature outside is at or less than the temperature inside.

I've made a science of this, as you can tell.  Even though I'm a zealot on the issue, I've made very few converts, so I would love to know if anyone else is willing to experiment with this.
When you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning - Catherine Aird

nudone

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Re: portable air conditioning - any good?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2006, 12:50:37 PM »
thanks for the advice, momonan. unfortunately, i can't really implement your method where i am but i do see how it would work. the rooms i keep with curtains drawn and doors shut are definitely cooler than the rest of the house - the room my computer is in is one such room but opening the door a few times a day soon destroys the cool ambience.

i'm now going to get up off my arse and walk into the other room and get the fan down from off the top of the wardrobe and plug it in - why i didn't do this several days i go i have no good answer for.

Carol Haynes

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Re: portable air conditioning - any good?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2006, 01:59:56 PM »
My big problem is that the house is effectively single storey with the bedrooms pushing up into the roof space with Velux windows in the roof.

I can keep the blinds on the windows drawn (and they have a heat reflective surface which helps) but the expanse of black stone tile roof  means that the upstairs cooks all day. I could insulate under the roof surface in the loft to try and stop the heat getting in, but short of ripping out the sloping ceilings in the bedrooms, or removing the roof, I can't do anything there to add insulation as the space is inaccessible. (I am not allowed alternative roof materials - not even solar panels - because I live in a National Park and planning controils are very strict).

The only thing I have thought of is to have extraction fans in the roof to suck air up through the house - thus venting the hot air to the outside - but I am not sure how practical or expensive this would be.

mouser

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Re: portable air conditioning - any good?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2006, 02:09:49 PM »
you might be able to get one of those portable air conditioners to work if you built a little isolated mini tent around your workspace using betsheets or something draped from ceiling around you, almost like an isolated hospital bed, you know, like a 4ft x 4ft isolation chamber in your room.

jgpaiva

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Re: portable air conditioning - any good?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2006, 02:11:57 PM »
Mouser: I bet that if someone had one of those in his bedroom, someone who'd come in the room would be quite impressed ;)
That makes me remember those chaimbers that aare created by the medics, in impact areas of a virus :P

nudone

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Re: portable air conditioning - any good?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2006, 02:19:58 PM »
the tent idea has potential - the problem is that it's too hot to get up and start doing anything remotely strenuous. so, i'll just sit here and melt.

mouser

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Re: portable air conditioning - any good?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2006, 02:32:14 PM »
you know if you are feeling adventurous, there have been some stories in the last few months on creating your own organic air conditioner..

JavaJones

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Re: portable air conditioning - any good?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2006, 03:53:00 PM »
I live on the 3rd floor of a huge old Victorian, the attic really. It's completely uninstulated and the place is roofed with dark grey roof shingles. It gets quite deliciously hot up here, let me tell you. :D

I do practice the open-in-the-evening-close-in-the-morning approach and it works reasonably well, but I do need to open my windows at midday again usually since - being uninsulated - the space heats up pretty well despite the closed windows. The air outside is usually cooler and even if it isn't the breeze from the open windows helps anyway. I do now have a small room built with insulation but I have yet to air condition it yet. Gotta get that setup. But it's remarkably cooler in there already even without A/C.

- Oshyan

invenit

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Re: portable air conditioning - any good?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2009, 04:45:42 PM »
Since Summer arrives next week in the USA I figured it'd be OK to revive an old thread and post a great link. Check out http://www.builditso...sementAirCooling.htm

Fran's method won't work for everybody, but it sure works here. I built a prototype for a few bucks about three weeks ago.  ;D

40hz

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Re: portable air conditioning - any good?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2009, 05:49:31 PM »
you know if you are feeling adventurous, there have been some stories in the last few months on creating your own organic air conditioner..

Interesting! Do you have the links? :)


WenZer

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Re: portable air conditioning - any good?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2009, 09:26:59 PM »
     yeah Do you have the links? Can you share it from us? Many months passes and you are still not having some replies.