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Portable Air Conditioner Unit


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted May 14 2005 - 08:18 PM

Anyone own one of these units that's on wheels and has an exhaust like a laundry dryer? I've been considering getting one but there's not much out there in the way of advice or recommendations. I've located three stores that carry them, each with different brands.

Costco: Sharp, most expensive of the lot at over 500.00

Sears: Royal Sovereign

Home Depot: Everstar, last year it carried a Maytag that had a favorable review on epinions.

Epinions also shows a majority of reviews saying the Windchaser models as average to poor. The higher rated ones are the Sunpentowns, but I've not been able to locate one locally. One of the reviewers said he/she bought one from Fry's, which would require me to take a short trip.
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#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Scott Simonian

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Posted May 14 2005 - 08:59 PM

I didn't know that they made portable AC units that have an exhaust. That is sweet! I need one for my room.

It sure gets hot in the summer.
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#3 of 16 OFFLINE   John Stone

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Posted May 15 2005 - 12:00 AM

I bought this one from Amazon. Just over $400.00 and 12,000 BTU. It's on the way to me right now.

I live in Florida, and I lost power for a total of 7 days last summer thanks to the hurricanes. It was miserable. This year I got a 5.5 KW generator, also from Amazon (free shipping!) My generator can't handle running the central air, but it has enough juice to run my two refrigerators, lights, TV, DVD player, radio and this portable A/C unit. Now my wife and I can relax and watch DVDs in our "comfort room" if the power goes out again this summer.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   DonnyD

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Posted May 15 2005 - 12:08 AM

I've used various types of the portable ac units for several times in different applications. When I ran a large chemical treatment process, our PCU's were located in an area of large 140 degree tanks and required cooling to operate correctly. That ac unit actually exhausted cool air out a dryer hose-like into our pcu cabinets, kinda the reverse of most home applications.....
There are several types of ac units on the market and the less expensive ones are certainly for short term/limited use but they do a pretty fair job in small spaces.
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#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted May 15 2005 - 05:01 AM

Y'know I always forget about checking Amazon. Thanks!
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#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted May 15 2005 - 06:43 AM

Well, I wound up going for the Sears unit since it was on sale and can take it back easily should something go wrong. It felt good to finally make a decision!
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#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Jeff B.

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Posted June 05 2005 - 09:39 AM

Guo, how is the Royal Sovereign unit working out for you? I want a portable so I can use it in my bedroom during the summer, and then bring it to school with me during the year. (Dropped my window unit out the window :B) So you can just plop these portable's anywhere and they will cool just as well as anything else as long as they're in a room size they can handle?

Guo if you don't mind me asking, how much did you pay for your unit? I haven't found anything for under 300, mostly in the 400-500 range...anyone know why these are so much more expensive then wall/window units with the same amount of btu? Thanks.

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Jordan_E

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Posted June 05 2005 - 10:12 AM

We had one of those units for our bedroom and it worked fine, but this year we went for broke and had the Real Deal installed.
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#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted June 05 2005 - 11:59 AM

Jeff,

I've only used the unit twice so far. We had an uncharacteristic "hot" period (ooh, 90 degrees!) so I busted it out. Actually, I probably would not have needed to even during the higher temperatures, except my bedroom faces west and it warms up very quickly.

So far I have no big complaints. It does the job for my bedroom and it has a timer so I can set it to start going before I get home from work. The one issue is that it essentially has to sit in the middle of the room because of the hose needing to be as straight as possible. No right angles allowed (at least accoring to the manual). So it's definitely easier to install than a window unit, but not as efficient on space as one would think. But it works out because the way my room is arranged it still doesn't block the TV. Posted Image

I had a hard time finding anything around 300.00. I bought mine on sale at Sears for 450.00 (regularly 500.00). CostCo was the lowest I found around 350.00, but what little user reviews I found (on epinions) rated those Windchaser models average or below average.

I'm not sure why portables are so much more expensive than window units. I'm guessing it's because the intake and exhaust design is a bit more involved - not exactly a straight path like the window units seem to employ. And it's only been in the last couple years I've seen this design, so it's probably considered "new" technology (i.e. let's charge as much as we can for this new fangled design!).

Costco is carrying a Sharp unit that is supposed to be pretty quiet - specs say 36 dB. If I hadn't already purchased the Royal Sovereign I probably would have gone for the Sharp as it was only 30.00 more after a rebate. The Royal Sovereign isn't annoyingly loud or anything, but the "low" setting seems more like a high.

I hope to install the Real Deal as well, but this year the expense is new siding and paint.
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#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Jeff B.

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Posted June 05 2005 - 12:53 PM

Thanks for the response Guo. Looks like I am going to just have to spend a little more then I thought I would. I'm going to head over to sears tomorrow and check out the Royal Sovereign. Closest Costco is an hour and a half away, so I might not be able to do the Sharp.

A couple more questions. How long is the actual hose, pictures I see online make me think 1.5-2 feet max. Is that a good ballpark? And do you think these portables would still work with a window that slides on the horizontal, instead of the usual up and down of most windows? I would be inclined to think so except that the hose might not be long enough. Thanks again.

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted June 05 2005 - 01:40 PM

The hose at its most compact, with the necessary attachments, is around 2 feet long. Fully extended it's 5'8". To eliminate sharp angles I have to have it fully extended. I don't see how you could use the hose at its shortest length unless the bottom of the window is one foot from the floor.

My windows also open horizontally and is why I had to look at portables. They do make window units for these types of windows, but they cost as much, weigh more, and of course there's the risk of dropping it out the other side. The panel provided is just a bit short of covering the entire opening, but that's nothing a bit of duct tape can't solve Posted Image.
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#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Jeff B.

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Posted June 07 2005 - 12:51 PM

Well thanks for all your help Guo. I headed over to sears and picked up the 9000btu Royal Sovereign. I think I'm in the same boat as you.. I won't be using it all the time. However, it will be nice to know its there when I need it, like today almost 90 degrees out. The unit worked great in my bedroom. Anyways, thanks again Posted Image

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted June 07 2005 - 04:00 PM

Well, give me a warning should some go awry and I'll do the same Posted Image
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#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert_Gaither

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Posted August 16 2005 - 11:45 PM

I have a question, what does these things do with the condensed water (is there a trap and container to drain periodically?)? Most window ACs are at slight angles and just drips out the back of them.

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Shawn C

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Posted August 17 2005 - 04:09 AM

They work well. The only problem is that they use A LOT of electricity. The stand-up portable ones do have a plastic hose that you route to a window for venting.

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Jordan_E

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Posted August 17 2005 - 04:55 AM

You could run the hose into the bathtub (we did that) instead of getting water running out the window. And the Real Deal IS the Real Deal! This summer, even when it hit 90, I didn't realize how hot it was outside until I had to go get the ol Snail Mail! Great investment.
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