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Many people look into installing air conditioning in their home every year. There are many options to consider when it comes time to make that decision. To help make that decision more clear, I will explore some of the positives and negatives of the two major options. Ductless Split A/C type units lately are also becoming more of a popular option. I will do another “Tips and Tricks” on that option. To include that in this one would just be more confusing. So for now we will just look at window airconditioners and central air conditioning.
Central air conditioning is usually the best way to go if you already have a central hot air heating system already installed in your house or building. The advantage that you have is that you already have the air handler or blower part already installed. The ductwork for the distribution of the air is also all ready in place. The ductwork may need some modification to make it work well for air conditioning, but the major part of it should be adequate. To use the existing furnace and ductwork an A/C coil will need to be installed at the furnace. An outdoor condenser unit will be installed outside and copper tubing will be used to connect the coil to the outdoor unit. Some electrical wiring will need to be done to power the outdoor unit. Low voltage wiring will also be needed to hookup the thermostat, the furnace, and the outdoor unit together so that they can talk to each other. Basically the thermostat will just tell the furnace to run the blower on high speed and the outdoor condenser to start up. If there is no central hot air heating, then the installation of central air conditioning can be much more difficult. Many homes that do not have hot air heat also do not have the room to install ductwork. This would eliminate this possibility. If you are in this category you should get a professional to look at your situation to see if central air conditioning can be done. If it is the room available is to enough to do a good job and get large enough ductwork installed, then do not force the issue and go another option. Ductless split type air conditioning may be your best option.
A window air conditioner in my opinion is a last resort for air conditioning your house or building. There are many down sides to window air conditioning units. There are two good things that window air conditioners have going for them. They are very inexpensive when it comes to cost per BTU of cooling. They also install very quickly and easily. That is where the good part of them ends.
Window air conditioners are security risks. If a thief wants to get into your house, the thin sheet metal box that holds the unit in the window can easily be pulled apart to get in through the window. I have seen many units that are not even screwed fast. If the window air conditioner is just there, balancing in the window frame, it becomes very inviting for a unexpected guest. The window air conditioner is also very inefficient. These units use more power per BTU of cooling than any other type of air conditioner. If you are a light sleeper, than chances are you will not want one of these window shakers. Window air conditioners are one of the loudest forms of air conditioning. The fan for these units is very loud when running. Then add the noise of the compressor and you have enough decibels to keep many people wide awake all night long. If you choose to use a window air conditioner, than you should also look for a place that it can be secured and placed in a room that you will not be sleeping in.
As you can tell by now, I am not a big fan of window air conditioners. They do have a place for some people. However, you do need to be aware of the problems that you may encounter with them. The low initial cost can be offset by the fact that they typically do not last as long as a central air conditioner. Central air conditioning will last much longer, be quieter during operation, be more efficient, be more secure, but the initial cost will be higher. How much depends on each situation. When considering your options for air conditioning installation you need to get prices for everything and then decide what type of unit will work the best for you.
Portable air conditioning offers you the convenience of mobility. All you have to do is roll the portable air conditioner to the room in which it's needed. Install an exhaust hose out a window or other opening (everything you need is provided) and turn it on. The installation process for these units is very simple.These portable air conditioning units are built small enough to be very mobile and are supplied with wheels for easy movement.A portable air conditioner will also work very well in apartment situations where you will often find a window unit is unacceptable.
Portable air conditioners are very unique in that they are portable and can be easily moved to different locations in your home or business.They can be a highly effective way to either help out an existing HVAC system in one room or cool a single room entirely.They are also one of the best ways to cool a room or area without having to install a window mounted unit.
These air conditioners use a compressor and Freon to cool just like normal air conditioning. They are very effective in cooling rooms and to keep the humidity low.Like normal air conditioners portable units extract hot air that must be vented. That is why they need to have the exhaust hose to the outside. These units can cool air as well as air conditioning done with window air conditioners.However they do not require installation like conventional window air conditioners this makes them very convenient for seniors or physically challenged people.Most portable air conditioners are supplied with a window kit. This kit contains exhaust hoses that will work in any window: double-hung, casement, awning or slider.Because they vent through an opening like a window they require no permanent mounting like window air conditioning.
Portable air conditioners are a very good cooling option for those who can't use the more conventional air conditioning methods.Remember though that this type of unit is not as efficient as most window units or conventional air. So while they may make your environment cooler, it won’t turn your tent into a room at the local hotel.
So as you can see these air conditioning units have some great advantages over other types of air conditioning.They are a great alternative for unique applications where central air or conventional window units are either unfeasible or too expensive.During special events, portable air conditioning can also be a great way to keep guests or equipment cool and comfortable.Always be aware though that because portable air conditioning will remove moisture from the air, they will also need to be drained occasionally similar to a dehumidifier.
Does your application warrant a permanent air conditioner of some form or should you just use a portable one? There are some interesting things to consider when making that choice. Weigh out all of the different options and make that decision based on what will best suit your needs.
Standard extention cords are made for light draw applications like lamps and T.V.s. They are not heavy enough for the power that your A/C will draw. You can get an appliance extention cord that is made to handle heavier load such as you A/C. Most hareware stores carry them.
If you are running the AC on an extension cord it can cause such voltage drop that a fuse or breaker can blow, in extreme conditions it can damage electrical connections. Always use extension cords that are as short as possible and replace the cord ends (especially the female end) whenever they lose clamping force. A heavy duty cord end takes much more effort to plug in the male end and to plug things into the female end. Over the counter extension cords for your purpose should be no less than 12/3 with heavy duty (20 amp) ends and no more than 50' long, if you must go farther you should use a 10/3 cord.