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Old 06-02-2020, 09:30 AM
 
Location: NJ
27,639 posts, read 32,963,544 times
Reputation: 19758

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i used to have a portable A/C unit that i used for a bedroom when i lived in an apartment without central AC. it worked well but the annoying thing was it would collect the water and you had to drain it periodically. in the summer it would fill up before you woke up in the morning.
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:50 AM
 
2,759 posts, read 768,948 times
Reputation: 4465
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainNJ View Post
i used to have a portable A/C unit that i used for a bedroom when i lived in an apartment without central AC. it worked well but the annoying thing was it would collect the water and you had to drain it periodically. in the summer it would fill up before you woke up in the morning.
This house originally had a rooftop cooler, which was removed during a roofing job a few years before I bought it. (The vents, annoyingly, are still in place; haven't figured out a good way to get rid of them as patching/texturing is never invisible...)

So for about two years it apparently had no cooling, which I thought would work until the first spring, at which I dropped all other projects and installed the cooler mentioned above. It works as well as I could wish.

The owners left behind a Haier portable AC that they had used in their child's room. My daughter used it a few nights, and it made more noise than cool air. Seemed to be working fine, ice-cold discharge and all, but just not very effective at cooling even a 10x12 room. (Selling it did pay a lot towards the cooler, though...)

A portable wouldn't be my first choice if there are any other options.
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Old 06-02-2020, 12:30 PM
 
12,086 posts, read 14,059,914 times
Reputation: 17855
Quote:
Originally Posted by bande1102 View Post
My upstairs bedroom is ridiculously hot. I cannot have a window unit, per hoa rules. I'm debating between a swamp cooler vs a portable ac unit. Does anyone have any ideas as to which would be better. Mid-Atlantic region if that matters. The house does have central A/C, but the bedroom is still too hot.
Why not just pop the window unit out at night...........nobody would see it and then pull it back in during the day
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:05 PM
 
Location: NW Oregon
472 posts, read 312,922 times
Reputation: 1518
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil_fields View Post
Doesn't a portable AC unit still need to get the water out somehow? Through a hose that goes out your window? Make sure HOA is okay with that.

I have been using one for the last four years and I just drain the water into a cup every few days and dump it in the sink. Depending on the temp/humidity where the OP lives it may need to be drained more or less often. You could also run a hose into a container and dump when full.
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:26 PM
 
2,908 posts, read 4,328,599 times
Reputation: 3301
Quote:
Originally Posted by rational1 View Post
> Mid-Atlantic region if that matters.

It matters a lot. Swamp coolers only work where the humidity is low. They don't even work that well in the Southwest during monsoon season.

Try to get your system fixed first.
I would totally agree! Forget a swamp ( or evaporative) cooler. Most homes now in the SW part of the country are converting to refrigerated air as the swamp does not do the job when the rains start. When daughter moved to Philly and had an attic apartment, we looked into those portable A/Cs but they were expensive and didn't really do well.
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:32 PM
 
1,993 posts, read 621,603 times
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I would rule out the swamp cooler, it cools the air by evaporating water, and you just trade cooler air for higher humidity - OK if you live in the desert, but inefficient (or ineffective) where you're at. The portable air conditioner will work, but you still need access to outside air to bring fresh air into the unit's condenser and then vent it outside again. That's how air conditioners actually work - they are a "thermal conveyer belt" that moves heat from one place to another. The problem is, the "other" also includes the heat (energy) that comes from your electrical plug - since you are adding energy to the system. if you run the system without at least venting the condenser air outdoors, it would actually heat up your bedroom hotter than it already is.

I have a simple test for you, however - First, make sure all of the supply air registers are completely open on the highest floor, and then make sure the return air vents are clean and unobstructed. Feel for airflow at each register with the A/C running, you should feel circulation at each vent, you can remove the return vents and vacuum behind them - you may find they are partially blocked by hair, etc.. Then, close some of the supply registers on the coolest (lower) level of your home, to push more air to the higher level. You should feel some improvement in air movement and comfort just from this. Finally, as a separate step, and if you are able, turn the "fan" switch on your thermostat from "auto" to "on", so it runs continuously, so it will continuously move air from the lower, cooler levels to the warmest. You can turn it back to auto during the day if you want, and the actual air conditioner will still cycle on and off as the thermostat calls for. My guess is this will help you significantly. You may want to reverse these steps in the winter, as you may find your bedroom too warm during heating season.

If you owned the place, you could install a duct directly from the lowest level to the highest, they make these for high-ceiling industrial spaces - they have their own fan - in the winter, air stratification can make the air at the ceiling twenty degrees higher than the air at the floor, and blowing the warm air down can greatly improve comfort and save heating dollars. This is essentially what I am asking you to do above, except in the reverse direction. Let us know if this helps.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:12 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
8,377 posts, read 13,843,585 times
Reputation: 34333
We've had a 12,000 BTU portable unit for 3 or 4 years now and it works great. Plus I know nothing about draining the water out of it. There's no drain and not a thing in the manual about it. I know because I checked when a friend mentioned it. We live in an old double brick house and we have ours in the den where it keeps the den, kitchen, bathroom and hallway very comfortable. I know I'll be getting one for my bedroom but I'll keep my 8000 BTU window unit as long as it's still working for now.
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Old 06-03-2020, 03:51 AM
 
1,404 posts, read 292,486 times
Reputation: 2377
Swamp cooler for a desert climate. Before AC, in deep south, you needed maximum ventilation, maximum shade, and try to capture any prevalent breezes. Houses were designed with high ceilings and windows and doors aligned to the prevalent breezes. You see those old southern houses with the upstairs balconies, people slept out there in summer. Heck even in northern cities, summer is lot shorter but can be pretty hot and humid, so people would sleep on fire escapes and such.


Modern world, houses are designed for AC and maximum profit, not to take advantage of shade and breezes. They dont even take advantage of something like "super insulation" which has been around since 1970s and cuts heating and cooling costs tremendously. Well worth the extra 10% to 20% initial cost long term. But requires lot attention to detail, cant just be slapped together willy nilly with cheapest labor possible and a case premium whiskey delivered to the inspector.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
4,347 posts, read 10,037,554 times
Reputation: 9091
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly Q. Bobalink View Post
I would rule out the swamp cooler, it cools the air by evaporating water, and you just trade cooler air for higher humidity - OK if you live in the desert, but inefficient (or ineffective) where you're at. The portable air conditioner will work, but you still need access to outside air to bring fresh air into the unit's condenser and then vent it outside again. That's how air conditioners actually work - they are a "thermal conveyer belt" that moves heat from one place to another. The problem is, the "other" also includes the heat (energy) that comes from your electrical plug - since you are adding energy to the system. if you run the system without at least venting the condenser air outdoors, it would actually heat up your bedroom hotter than it already is.

I have a simple test for you, however - First, make sure all of the supply air registers are completely open on the highest floor, and then make sure the return air vents are clean and unobstructed. Feel for airflow at each register with the A/C running, you should feel circulation at each vent, you can remove the return vents and vacuum behind them - you may find they are partially blocked by hair, etc.. Then, close some of the supply registers on the coolest (lower) level of your home, to push more air to the higher level. You should feel some improvement in air movement and comfort just from this. Finally, as a separate step, and if you are able, turn the "fan" switch on your thermostat from "auto" to "on", so it runs continuously, so it will continuously move air from the lower, cooler levels to the warmest. You can turn it back to auto during the day if you want, and the actual air conditioner will still cycle on and off as the thermostat calls for. My guess is this will help you significantly. You may want to reverse these steps in the winter, as you may find your bedroom too warm during heating season.

If you owned the place, you could install a duct directly from the lowest level to the highest, they make these for high-ceiling industrial spaces - they have their own fan - in the winter, air stratification can make the air at the ceiling twenty degrees higher than the air at the floor, and blowing the warm air down can greatly improve comfort and save heating dollars. This is essentially what I am asking you to do above, except in the reverse direction. Let us know if this helps.
Thank you, this is all very helpful and I'm going to give it a try tonight. I have already checked the registers/vents and cool air is coming out of them. I noticed last night that I feel comfortable until the a/c shuts off, then the heat comes back. I like the idea of running the fan.

We moved into this place during the spring (we didn't need heat or air) and noticed all of the registers in the basement were closed. We didn't even think about it and just opened them back up.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
4,347 posts, read 10,037,554 times
Reputation: 9091
Quote:
Originally Posted by HJ99 View Post
Swamp cooler for a desert climate. Before AC, in deep south, you needed maximum ventilation, maximum shade, and try to capture any prevalent breezes. Houses were designed with high ceilings and windows and doors aligned to the prevalent breezes. You see those old southern houses with the upstairs balconies, people slept out there in summer. Heck even in northern cities, summer is lot shorter but can be pretty hot and humid, so people would sleep on fire escapes and such.


Modern world, houses are designed for AC and maximum profit, not to take advantage of shade and breezes. They dont even take advantage of something like "super insulation" which has been around since 1970s and cuts heating and cooling costs tremendously. Well worth the extra 10% to 20% initial cost long term. But requires lot attention to detail, cant just be slapped together willy nilly with cheapest labor possible and a case premium whiskey delivered to the inspector.
My family in the deep south and midwest did not have a/c at all. Their houses were bearable, but I do recall sleeping on the porch (it had netting) in the summer. I also recall walking into my grandma's house and from the front door, you could see thru the living room and kitchen and there was a back door. She'd use those doors to create a breeze.
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