We are thinking of getting a portable air conditioner this year because we got new windows and don't want to muck any of them up with our old window air conditioner unit. If anyone on TT has one, I would appreciate your comments on their efficiency/effectiveness, brand name, BTUs. Thanks in advance.
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I have used them for year or at least since 1996. I live in a Condo (no window units allowed) and have Central Air, but why should I keep the Central Air at 70 for the whole house, so I leave it at around 76 and use the portable in my bedroom. I have had several, because they don't last as long as a window unit. Right now, I am venting the hot air down the laundry shoot to the basement, and my cousin vents his out the window, pick up two new ones this year at Sams Club - 299.00, 12,000btu. Will get the bedroom down in the low 60's. Remember if you tried to run it without the Central Air to get rid of most of the humidity, on a high humid day, it would not be able to evaporate all the water and send it down the exhaust tube, so it might shut off when the water tank gets full and you would have to manually empty it. Since I keep the Central on even though at a higher temp, I don't have that problem usually. 1.You are not air conditioning areas of the house not used or at least keeping the Central Air turned way up. 2. Nice cold air blowing on you. 3. Lower bills, keep the Central turned high and your room real cold. 4. Nothing to stick out a window. Cons, can not keep up with water removal on a high humid day without the central on. Makes noise, so some might not be able to sleep. The first one I had did not evaporate the water and you had to empty the water bucket daily on humid days. But now they self evaporate, but again, they can not keep up on high humid days and shut off when the water thing gets full, but if you keep the Central Air on at a high temp, so it keeps most of the humidity out, so then they are fine and they get rid of all the humidity exhausted out the tube.
Thanks, Nyse, for your input. It sounds like there is still a bit of tweaking to do on the techincal side of portable air conditioners. I don't think I could handle emptying a water tank. I know there are some that have auto evaporating, but even those supposedly collect water. Maybe we'll just use the window units for now.
I have a couple due to the fact that our house's strange conglomeration of additions on the original structure do not lend themselves well to central air (half the house has forced air, half baseboard electric heat). They work well for their uses, and emptying the condensation is not really a big deal, plus you can hook a drain hose up if you want and empty into a drain or outdoors.
I usually just throw an old towel under the drain hole and then throw the towel in the washer after it collects the water, but this is because I have been too busy to create a permanent drain system (drain tube to PVC to a floor drain or external gutter).
I am happy with these units, and they efficiently cool the rooms we especially need cooled (bedrooms, home office, and so on). In the hottest times when we have them going 20-25 days a month the three portable units drive up the monthly electric bill $75 or so. We have a fourth unit that we occasionally use if we are entertaining guests on the first floor on super-hot days. The machines were about $400-$500 each, and we have picked them up one at a time the last five years or so. They work much better than our old window A/C units.
I've been curious about something that is sort of on this topic...
When I first moved to Toledo, I had a few co-workers suggest that if I was interested in buying a house, I should consider looking at the OWE. (This was about 10 years ago or so, when the OWE was starting to gather momentum.)
Anyhow, I remember talking about what I'd be looking for if/when I bought a house, and they told me that you can't put in central air in the OWE.
Is that true, or were they totally off base?
I didn't end up buying at that time anyhow, so I guess the point was moot. But it did concern me a little about even considering the OWE when I was looking...central air is an absolute must have for me, especially in the humid weather.
I'm assuming they meant because most of the houses used water source heat and therefore there is not ductwork in the houses.
But I could be wrong. Maybe there are deed restrictions or the owner's association has some type of restriction due to historical requirements.
I could be wrong, because these were brief conversations 10 years ago or more. But, I think they said something along the lines of what you mentioned...that there were some sort of historical restrictions that would prevent a person from installing central air (and the accompanying duct work)?