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Thread: Portable air conditioner

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    The Irish Drunk! neonplanet40's Avatar
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    Question Portable air conditioner

    Hi folks, with a newborn, we are struggling to control the temperature in our bedroom due to the south facing window. We have got blackout blinds etc but it's getting quite stuffy now.

    Is there a type of portable air conditioner that can be bought and is easy to use. Not to cool the whole house, but a specific room?

    I have seen a variety of ones. However, some need some kind of vent which is a bit of a pain if you don't have a hole in your wall.
    Last edited by neonplanet40; 28-05-2020 at 10:41 PM.
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    Senior Member Spreadie's Avatar
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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    Most portable units have a hose you hang out of a window. We have a 9000 BTU model that sits in the upstairs hallway - It can't effectively cool the entire floor but it makes things tolerable and any "waste" cool air flows down the stairs to the lounge. They're not exactly quiet though.

    The vast majority of the models that don't use a vent aren't worth the effort.
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    mush-mushroom b0redom's Avatar
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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    You can make a ghetto aircon unit by freezing a bottle of water and then sticking it in front of a fan. That’ll blow cold air around the room. Non vented air con units won’t work very well.

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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    I hate these stuffy nights, but my solution is a simple fan. Well, a fan, though not entirely simple.

    I use a Meaco 1056. Funny looking thing, a bit like an over-sized football with one face cut off. It oscillates horizontally and vertically and has one or two other tricks but mainly, it is very quiet. Very quiet indeed. Which to me is critical in a bedroom.

    It's not air-con, but I find that circulating the air produces a gentle breeze over me by indirect airflow makes it feel cooler, and especially much less stuffy.

    They're not cheap. Around £100 for a fan, but Costco were doing them at about £70-ish. But best fan I've ever had, by miles.

    Did I mention it's quiet? Near silent, until about speed 5 of 10.



    Note to self - try b0redom's trick, too. Sneaky.
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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    There are window kits for the duct, portable AC's usually come with one for sliding windows, but there are some for hinged windows. I've got one that can be outside or inside, because you can duct both the hot and cold air. Most just have a duct for the hot air though.

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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    I can put a hose out a window as long as it isn't a wide hose. I just thought having an open window would allow the cool air to escape.

    Does anyone have recommended ones that they have or are using? I will look up the one mentioned and also try the ice trick too.

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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    I have a 5000 BTU A/C unit for my bedroom from Homebase, this one: https://www.homebase.co.uk/5k-btu-po...tioner_p499059

    It is good enough for a small room and does need to be vented outside, the hose is around 15cm in diameter and comes with a reducer for the exhaust end that is 9x24cm.

    As said you can get window kits like this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/HOOMEE-Univ.../dp/B07BPZGJ3B , I am lucky I still have secondary glazing so it is easy to block off the gap.

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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    Quote Originally Posted by neonplanet40 View Post
    ... I just thought having an open window would allow the cool air to escape. ...
    If you manage to get enough cool air to fill the entire room to open-window level, you're doing pretty damn well Don't forget that the cool air sinks, so the open window isn't actually going to negate the capacity of the air con that much - it's not like in a car where you have a reasonable chance of getting the entire passenger compartment down to the set temperature - those portable units basically provide a fan-driven flow of cooled air and it's the localised cooling that does the work, rather than trying to recycle and cool an entire room's worth (although with a powerful enough unit you can get there).

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    DDY
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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    I would advise against simply sticking a hose out an open window. Seal your window!

    It’s actually worse than ‘letting the cool air escape’. The as the AC unit is exhausting hot air by pulling air from inside your room. This draws a negative pressure and if you’ve got an open window with a hose dumping hot air outside, it will pull the exhausted hot air straight back in via your open window.

    I built my own ‘seal’ by cutting a sheet of MDF to fit the PVC window frame, painted on the outside and edges to seal the MDF from moisture, and reinforced the MDF sheet using aluminium L sections. I 3D printed the hose flange adapters and down-facing louvers on the outside to stop rain getting in to the hoses. Also 3D printed clamps to secure the MDF to the window frame, and 3D printed handles for, well, handing.

    Also, modded using cardboard, the AC unit itself in to a ‘dual hose’ unit, so that the AC doesn’t pull a negative pressure, and potentially the horrible smells from the rest of the house in to my bedroom.

    I was going to recommend the unit in the photo, but I can't find it for sale anywhere.


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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    If the weather suddenly turns.. well.. British in the next week or so I am completely blaming this thread.

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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    I bought a MecoFan 1056. Here are some power measurements. I was bored.

    1.2w at idle
    1.4w at idle with LEDs off (yup, 0.2w more. Within MoE? Maybe a weird switch mode PSU thing?)

    4.1w - Speed 1
    5.4w - Speed 2
    5.9w - Speed 3
    6.0w - Speed 4 (seems to be a pointless setting?)
    7.2w - Speed 5
    8.0w - Speed 6
    9.7w - Speed 7
    11.7w - Speed 8
    12.5w - Speed 9
    14.0w - Speed 10
    16.3w - Speed 11
    18.7w - Speed 12

    Subtract 0.2w when LEDs are off during use.

    +2.4w with lateral movement
    +3.3w with vertical movement
    (+5.7w with both horizontal & vertical active)

    Contrast with an old regular noisy Woolworths desk fan of a similar blade size:
    27.4w - Speed 1
    33.0w - Speed 2
    41.5w - Speed 3



    Also, @DDY, excellent work on the DIY A/C ducting. I have similar plans. Did you do any sort of retention method to keep the wood in place if it gets windy?
    Last edited by smargh; 04-06-2020 at 01:22 PM.

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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    Thought about getting a proper split system installed ?



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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    Why am i looking at a £100 fan for the office...




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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    Quote Originally Posted by Apex View Post
    Why am i looking at a £100 fan for the office...
    Because, Apex, it's bleeping good.

    I was .... sceptical. To the point that I confirmed Costco's returns policy. For a fan, it ain't cheap and I'm certainly not wealthy. But sometimes, something that does a simple job utterly brilliantly is just worth it.

    It's also not my First £100 fan. After a series of cheap office fans that barely lasted out the year and made a racket, I bought a fancy Bionaire thingy. Floorstander, and it's effectively tw four-blade fans linked together, one behind the other. Full remote except for oscillate, and it's got the 'breeze, setting where it randomised a variable fan speed.

    Nice fan. Certainly way better than the usual £10 to £40 junk. And, I thought, pretty quiet. I think it's those double blades, which smoothes the aggressive edge off the fan noise.

    And for me, whether in office or bedroom, noise is important. Or lack thereof. In the bedroom, too much noise keeps me awake. In the office, it distracts, ruins concentration and makes it harder to hear people on the phone. Also, if I have music playing, I have to have it that much louder to hear it over even the reasonably quiet Bionaire.

    With the Meaco, you stand no chance of hearing the fan over even quiet music unless you've got it up High. It's not offensively loud even on maximum, as that video demonstrated, but on lower settings .... well, in the evenings (we have one in the lounge) I often have to look to see if it's on or not. Settings 1 to 3 are enough for us in most evenings, and at that, it's barely a whisper.

    I mean, look at me here, extolling the virtues of a flipping fan. WTH?

    It really is that good .... IMHO.

    So why are you looking at £100 fan?

    How much is a nice cooling breath of air, in the office, without the distraction of the traditional fan racket, worth? To me, it's worth every penny of £100 ....even if I did get it for about £70.

    One proviso. The First one I got made an ominous clicking noise on vertical oscillation, After about 3 days. It went back, Costco offered replacement or refund without any issues, and the replacement, now several months old, seems fine. What I can't vouch for, having only had it a few months, is longevity.

    But if you want a very good, quiet fan for the office and can bear the thought of £100, it gets my unreserved approval.
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    DDY
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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    Quote Originally Posted by smargh View Post

    Also, @DDY, excellent work on the DIY A/C ducting. I have similar plans. Did you do any sort of retention method to keep the wood in place if it gets windy?
    Thanks.

    The MDF sits in a trough up against the internal face in the PVC frame so it can only be removed 'outwards', this also means rain can't get in. To prevent it being pulled outwards by the wind or an intruder, I've fitted clamps on the inside which grab on to the inside (e.g. room) face of the PVC frame. The nuts holding the clamps on are tightend such that the clamp can be simply rotated on and off the PVC frame for quick removal/installation of the whole MDF panel.

    In the above photo, you can see one of those clamps on the bottom of the window with a bit of gaffer tape to soften the interface bewteen the clamp and the PVC.

    The only problem I have with wind is actually the opened window pane, which gets caught in the wind and opens and (partially) shuts quite forcefully. Rarely is the wind strong enough to do that so I've not bothered to devise a permanent solution, so for the two days a year it is too windy, I use duct tape to hold the window in a 50% open position.

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    Re: Portable air conditioner

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post

    How much is a nice cooling breath of air, in the office, without the distraction of the traditional fan racket, worth? To me, it's worth every penny of £100 ....even if I did get it for about £70.
    Double edge sword there, remove the current noise generator that is my Bionaire BT19 (we have 4 of these in the house currently) and suddenly you will be hunting for noise from other items and down the rabbit hole we go - will say anything is a improvement over the floor fan i had on last summer, yes 18" fan move a lot of air and cooled the room down but even on the lowest setting if i got disturbed while nodding off the noise it made would make it difficult to drop back off (but boy did it cool the room down)

    But yes to remove the noise from the office so that i can lower the volume in either my headphones or speakers would be welcomed; so for now i'll stick the fan on price watch and wait for it to lower below the £100 mark - the only negative i have is that i would like to have seen this in different colours, while it doesn't make it work better it would 'sit' better in the area and not stick out.



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