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I need help - too frugal
Old 05-29-2007, 09:11 PM   #1
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I need help - too frugal

Today I found myself seriously contemplating going through the summer without an air conditioner.

(I didn't have one until I retired)

Please recommend a good small window A/C.

I promise to purchase a new efficient one (the old one is a 15+ year old hand-me-down).
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Old 05-29-2007, 09:29 PM   #2
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Brands of small window A/C's are as ubiquitous as electric hair dryers. Just look for a high efficiency unit - think SEER's of around 9 or 10 are about the best you can do.
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Old 05-29-2007, 09:32 PM   #3
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Do you live in a high or low humidity location?

If high, I'd say go for one with as high an EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) as you can find.

If you live in a low humidity location, look into Evaporative Coolers, also known as "swamp coolers". They cool with very little power consumption. But don't work well in areas where the humidity is high.
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Old 05-29-2007, 09:35 PM   #4
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I've seen a good selection at costco and sams club, if you're a member. I saw a couple in the 5000-8000 btu range for $100-150.

My 5 year old panasonic has a seer of about 11. Its tough to find them over 10 though. Other than efficiency, you have noise level, remote control or not, and what direction it blows air...believe it or not, many can only blow air to the left...not particularly useful if theres a wall to the left.

Just dont do the "portable" ones. Expensive, most are pretty loud, and many use a 'single hose' exhaust, which means its sucking air out of your house and blowing it out the window to cool its innards...and your vacuum induced house is sucking in warm air from every crack and seam in your house to make up for the air loss.

I'm still looking for a quiet dual hose portable with decent efficiency...our cc&r's prohibit regular window air conditioners...
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Old 05-29-2007, 09:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olav23 View Post
Do you live in a high or low humidity location?

If high, I'd say go for one with as high an EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) as you can find.

If you live in a low humidity location, look into Evaporative Coolers, also known as "swamp coolers". They cool with very little power consumption. But don't work well in areas where the humidity is high.
SW Ohio
Definitely gets humid.
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Old 05-29-2007, 09:47 PM   #6
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KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNN!

Its been awhile...
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Old 05-29-2007, 09:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNN!

Its been awhile...
Do you do that out loud?

At what decibel level?

From hell's heart, I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
SW Ohio
Definitely gets humid.
Slightly...Dayton right...
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:09 PM   #9
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KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNN!
I’ve hesitated telling this, but can’t resist any longer…

The former president of my old company had a last name that was pronounced “Kahn”, although it wasn’t spelled that way. He came to our company from the now defunct Rath Packing Company. As Rath declined in the 70’s and 80’s, our new president filled several mid and upper level management position with ex-managers from his previous employer. That group of managers was known around corporate HQ (unofficially of course) as ‘The Rath of Kahn’.
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan View Post
Today I found myself seriously contemplating going through the summer without an air conditioner.

(I didn't have one until I retired)

Please recommend a good small window A/C.

I promise to purchase a new efficient one (the old one is a 15+ year old hand-me-down).
As cold as you kept it in your house all winter I would think that you would welcome the heat of the summer.
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:15 AM   #11
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CFB had a pretty good list of things to look for. I bought two of them a couple years ago. They are 6000 BTU and cost me about $100 each at Home Depot. They come with a remote and I can point where the air flow goes.

But be warned - window units can be pretty noisy. Even the quiet ones aren't really that quiet compared to the noise of central air.

But live without air conditioning to save some money? No thanks. I'd rather work longer
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:37 AM   #12
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That group of managers was known around corporate HQ (unofficially of course) as ‘The Rath of Kahn’.
And his ability to leave early was brought about by the Roth of Kahn, right?

On topic, high efficiency A/C units aren't real easy to find. When I got one a couple years ago you couldn't find them in Home Depot because they just sold the cheaper, low efficiency units. We ended up going to Sears or another appliance chain to find one that was rated 11.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:11 AM   #13
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Do you do that out loud?

At what decibel level?

From hell's heart, I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.
I do, and its pretty loud. My wife no longer asks questions she already knows she doesnt want the answer to.

To the last, I will grapple with thee.

I believe its sharp that has a "Library quiet" model series, which are pretty efficient, very quiet, and not that hideously expensive.

Dont overbuy on BTU's. Air conditioners are more efficient if the compressor runs for longer periods of time. If you overbuy, the unit will cycle on and off a lot, and the spinning up of the compressor is what sucks electricity. Compressors that run a lot also extract more humidity from the air for you. But dont severely underbuy or the unit wont be able to keep up. Factor in lots of windows, high ceilings and insulative factors of the room to be cooled in the figures.

So if you have 350 square feet to cool, an 8000btu unit might be the right size. If its got a brazillion large windows that take direct sun all day, thin poorly insulated walls, etc....I might stuck with the 8000 and let it run. For a small room thats well insulated, I might just use a 5000 and let it run all day.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:53 AM   #14
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We just finished shopping around for a window A/C unit for my son's room. Best Buy had LG, Frigidaire and Goldstar. You could plug in the display models and run them. The LG and the Frigidaire were very noisy. We didn't try the Goldstar.

Home Depot had LG and Goldstar. They were the same or very similar models. Sears had White Kenmore, but no display models that you could try and the prices were higher than the other brands.

Lowes had a good selection of Samsung units. We couldn't try one out but the price was good so we bought one. It's much quieter than any others that we tried.

This one has nice features, a remote and digital readouts. There is an E-Saver mode for energy savings. In E-Saver mode both the fan and the compressor cycle on and off with the thermostat. When it's not in the E-Saver mode, the fan continues to run when the compressor turns off. So to maintain cooling while my son is at work, he uses the E-Saver mode.

The room is 12'x14' = 168 sq. ft. so he bought a 6000 BTU unit.
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:20 AM   #15
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As cold as you kept it in your house all winter I would think that you would welcome the heat of the summer.
I was OK yesterday at 87F (80 inside). But sometimes there are several days in a row at or above 90 and the heat builds up inside.
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:33 AM   #16
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I do, and its pretty loud. My wife no longer asks questions she already knows she doesnt want the answer to.

To the last, I will grapple with thee.

I believe its sharp that has a "Library quiet" model series, which are pretty efficient, very quiet, and not that hideously expensive.

Dont overbuy on BTU's. Air conditioners are more efficient if the compressor runs for longer periods of time. If you overbuy, the unit will cycle on and off a lot, and the spinning up of the compressor is what sucks electricity. Compressors that run a lot also extract more humidity from the air for you. But dont severely underbuy or the unit wont be able to keep up. Factor in lots of windows, high ceilings and insulative factors of the room to be cooled in the figures.

So if you have 350 square feet to cool, an 8000btu unit might be the right size. If its got a brazillion large windows that take direct sun all day, thin poorly insulated walls, etc....I might stuck with the 8000 and let it run. For a small room thats well insulated, I might just use a 5000 and let it run all day.
Specs:

Window unit
Thermostat 80 - 85F
~600 square feet (just the ground level, I don't use A/C in the bedroom upstairs
Very little direct sun through glass (awnings and trees)
Good insulation
SW Ohio

I live within 5 miles of Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, Meijer, WalMart
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:11 AM   #17
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With those specs, i'd probably look at a 10000btu unit. If you wanted it cooler than 80-85 or had more direct sun, I'd say 12000. Those 12000 units can be a lot heavier than the 10000's. Pain in the butt to load into a window.

I think walmart only carries Haier, which isnt that great IMO. Sears only carries kenmores, which can be hit or miss...I'd listen to it first.


Looks like Lowes has a samsung 10,200btu unit on sale this week. $208, energy star qualified so check with your local electric utilities web site to see if they're offering any rebates on E* window unit purchases. PG&E in my area is offering a $50 rebate for E* unit purchases.
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:34 AM   #18
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Don't forget to add some BTUs if you are using this for your ground floor if it includes a kitchen.
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Old 05-30-2007, 01:40 PM   #19
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Khan,
I haven't bought one in awhile, but when I did, I looked at (and purchased) the 220v ones, which required some rewiring, but were much more efficient units. Just something to consider.
--Fellow Ohioan sweating out the muggy day...
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:25 PM   #20
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I have nothing to add about air conditioners, but I feel the need to interject here that "The Wrath of Khan" is the best "Star Trek" movie.

Carry on....cool vibes for everyone.
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