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Portable air con for surplus

  • 29-03-2022 4:40pm
    Registered Users Posts: 182 ✭✭

    Thinking of a portable air con unit for the summer months. Mostly to use any excess I have to cool my office (with the help of home assistant). Has anybody done similar? If so, any recommendations for units? There are so many

    As an aside, I am in Orlando for the last weeks. It's unbelievable how little domestic solar they have here. Practically zero.



  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 7,822 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jonathan

    Was thinking along similar lines and bought a second hand 9000BTU unit in new condition off adverts for €140 a few weeks ago.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,880 ✭✭✭SD_DRACULA

    I looked at this as well but most things I found required a horrible hose type thing to go out the window.

    What type is that @Jonathan

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,323 ✭✭✭Nelbert

    Proper air con needs to expel the heat somewhere... If you don't see a house it's just a fan (usually).

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭JimmyVik

    Get one of those wall mounted ones. No issues with heat transfer through the hose or gaps around to make it inefficient.

    Can be used a heater too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,880 ✭✭✭SD_DRACULA

    Wouldn't mind going for one of these, get 3 rooms out of it but problem is finding someone who can fit it (correctly)

    Does both heat and cool.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 182 ✭✭harderthanf

    That is some price. Was looking for something a bit more cheap and cheerful!

    I don't mind the hose, it's really just for a mid sized room.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,112 ✭✭✭Schorpio

    I got one last year during the heat wave. This one to be precise. At the time I really struggled to find anywhere with units that were reasonably priced and would ship to Ireland. However, I was buying at the height of summer, so you might be in a better position now on that front.

    Definitely worth it, imo. Max power draw for the unit I have is stated to be 1.1 kW, but it seemed to usually sit around 800 W. It's quite a small unit, but perfect for a single office/bedroom/etc. You will need to buy the window seals separately though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 182 ✭✭harderthanf

    Window seals? What are those!?

    This comes with the hose, yeah?

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,475 ✭✭✭✭Sleeper12

    I had a portable AC unit a few years ago. I got it for the sitting room. Tried to use it 2 or 3 times but gave up. It was so noisy we couldn't watch the TV.

    Got a mini split heat pump / AC last year. It's super quiet

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,112 ✭✭✭Schorpio

    Yes, comes with the hose, but that's no good if you're letting the ambient air back inside. The window seal is like a plastic-y material which attaches to your window with velcrow and you stick the hose out through it. It's just to try to keep the warm air out. Obviously it's not a perfect system, but it's good enough for a small/non-permanent solution.

    On the noise front - the one I have has 2 power settings. It's quite noisy in the higher power setting, but I didn't have a problem with the lower setting. It's similar to the amount of noise produced by a dehumidifier.

    The permanent solutions essentially have half of the machine located outside, which gives them a huge advantage in terms of noise and dealing with waste heat. The all-in-ones are never going to be able to complete with that, but on a hot day they still produce lovely cold air.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,907 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I really like this idea, found during the last few heat waves that the bedrooms got so hot it's almost impossible to sleep

    Running the air con in a low power mode during the day might stop the heat building up so much. And with solar it seems like a great idea

    If I ever replace the heat pump I'm definitely getting one that can do cooling as well so I can do this on a larger scale with solar

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,560 Mod ✭✭✭✭Tree

    Do you need your house sealed/airtight for permanent/semi-permanent aircon like for a heat pump?

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,475 ✭✭✭✭Sleeper12

    Aircon will work fine in any house. The better insulation /airtightness, the easier it is to cool & keep cool.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,880 ✭✭✭SD_DRACULA

    Looking into the possibility of adding a split system (or two) that can do both AC and heating, something similar to these:

    Just wondering if anyone here has done something similar and can suggest a decent installer in the Dublin area

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,460 ✭✭✭poker--addict

    I have one of the portable units.

    the hose out the window is a bit of a faff and I suspect adds significant inefficient and quick reheating of the area. Maybe hose into attic via vent in bathroom is an option.

    alternatively with the summers seemingly getting warmer, and our house bakes with solar gain through windows, I am considering going all out and getting a few permanent air to air units. Pricey though.

    This used to be a referral link 😎

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,460 ✭✭✭poker--addict

    Ok perhaps a misleading title.

    Our house bakes in summer with solar gain particularly upstairs. Air con units would basically have no electricity costs now that solar in installed, so I am wondering has anyone installed air con?

    it's rare in Ireland but summers do seem to be getting hotter, and a lot of new houses seem to be hard to cool too, and throw on the solar to power it for free and maybe this is a space which will grow?

    Curious if DIY is an option for install?

    This used to be a referral link 😎

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,422 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    A Chimney for ones that still have them should work well. Shove the pipe up there. maybe an old towel to seal it up a bit.. hot air rises.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,079 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

    The average annual temperature in Ireland is about 10°C. It's why all those data centres set up shop here - free cooling. The annual average temperature in Sydney is about 20°C.

    No, I do not think this is an area that will grow.

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,422 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    Average temperatures are misleading though.

    But yes this area will grow. Just picked up a portable one, wont need it until july/aug. Plan is to blast it during the day and have it off at night when home.

    But me Try and do it as cheap as I can, have plenty of power, so picked up a refurbished one for 360ish 12000BTU one from buyitdirect, We shall see how it goes for me.

    Still not fully installed aircon, but should be enough to take the edge off.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,460 ✭✭✭poker--addict

    Unfortunately my problem is upstairs so no chimney to shove pipe into.

    i think it's 9000btu, so not the biggest but not small either. Like you say, running it during the day, off at night. But finding once off it's not long before temps up again, and I'm blaming the lack of air tightness with pipe out window setup... also surprising how little the air moves to the adjoining bedroom beside it.

    This used to be a referral link 😎

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  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 7,822 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jonathan

    Hadn't considered chimney! I will try that next time.

    The window adapters only work well for sash type windows (which I don't have) so hard to get a good seal as @poker--addict says.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,110 ✭✭✭DC999

    For us it's stored heat in the external red brick walls that travels internally. Sun travels around the house from morning to evening with nothing blocking it. House is all red brick - which 'sponges' up the sun.

    Pumps out as radiant heat all night. Like an UFH when you don't want it :)

    Bedrooms stay well into 20s at night during really hot spells. Beside a main road so can't open windows or no one can sleep. Windows open until bed time and temp climbs as soon as closed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,110 ✭✭✭DC999

    Man, you think so differently. In a good way. You come up with ideas many wouldn't. Most of us have an unused chimney during summer and I never thought of it. Class!!

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 17,883 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    If you want a cool bedroom you should not have the window opened during the day and have curtains/blinds pulled down to lower solar gain

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,110 ✭✭✭DC999

    For us solar gain is not the big issue upstairs (sure, it can reallly heat rooms though). We've only a single small landing window on south side.

    It's the 'thermal mass gain' of the whole external walls being cooked in the sun all day.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,907 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Would putting the vent pipe up through the attic hatch be an option? It's generally outside the insulated space and is probably well enough ventilated to remove the warm air being added

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,422 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    Thought about that, the air out of them is usually humid too, (so you don't have to empty it) not sure what consequences that has though.

    There is window kits for our normal hinged windows.. anyone for core drilling a vent through the block work? And seal it up in the winter?

    I suppose also it could be assisted with fans to circulate the air through the house?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,907 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Most houses these days have the high tech Irish ventilation system (big hole in wall with cheap plastic vent cover) so I guess you could use those if you have them?

    That's probably what I'll end up doing, but it kind of fixes the air conditioner into one room which is a bit wasteful for the 1 week a year it's needed, and negates the portable bit

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,460 ✭✭✭poker--addict

    Considering this option too, albeit hard to know ideal location, and then it's another hole in the winter. Part of me feels if going to effort of bursting holes in the wall then may as well just get a permanent air con unit which will be quieter and work better.

    mine collects water seperate to hot air flow, so pumping into attic leaves me with no concerns about humidity on timber up there. However on a day with min airflow through attic that space will I imagine get extra warm, and in a way hinder cooling.

    This used to be a referral link 😎

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,112 ✭✭✭Schorpio

    As someone who has had a single-hose portable unit for the past few years - I would say don't do it.

    I'm not saying don't get any A/C, but just don't get a single hose units. Especially if you intend on using it in rooms you want to sleep in.

    They are are loudest, and most inefficient A/C units you can get. Even at a lower-blow setting, you will still have the noise of the compressor circulating the refrigerant. It's much like a fridge, except louder.

    Also, whilst the hot exhaust air goes through the hose and out the window; that air originates from inside. This is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, you are using electricity to cool the air in the room, only for some of the air (which you have used energy to cool) going straight back outside; and secondly, pumping air out of the room lowers the pressure within the room which then means that external air is sucked in.

    As others have said, the only semi-good window seals are the ones which work on sash windows. If you have windows which hinge outwards, the seals are not very good at all (but better than nothing). I am looking into whether I can tie the unit into the room vent, but I need to try to get/make an adapter.

    Better systems exist.

    2 hose units suck in external air to dissipate the heat generated by the unit, which is much better as you aren't exhausting your cooled air, and you're not creating a pressure differential. These units seem to be fairly rare though.

    You can also get split 'portable' units, which are like mini-versions of the installed A/C units. These keep all of the hot stuff (and some of the noisy components) outside, with just power and refrigerant lines connecting the two. These are expensive though.

    Best is a permanent install - but this is more expensive again.