Monday, 25 March 2013

Sensible Air Conditioning Practices

Enjoying the blissful cooling capability of your own air cooling solution whatever it may be, provides a thankful respite from teh relentless heat of summer for many people. However, while it may be a natural reaction to the hot weather to want to crank up the aircon to the max in an attempt to stay cool anc comfortable during summer, it should also be remembered that at the end of the month, someone has got to pay for all the power.

Make no mistake, an air conditioner can use a scary amount of power to keep yoru home cool, so you may be interested in what you can do to keep things sensible in that area. This article will take a look at some helpful tips you might want to follow to help keep your energy consumption in check while still enjoying a cool atmosphere in your home.

Practice Economical Thinking


The first thing that should always be lodged in you mind is sensible economy when it comes to your home's power consumption during summer. If you're running a large HVAC system, your first point of call should be the thermostat. You can actually reduce you system's power consumption quite dramatically simply by turning the temperature dial a few notches.

A comfortable room temperature is around 72 degrees (F), so if your temperature control is set to anything lower than that, you are wasting electricity. How many of you have it set to 70 or even as low as 68? I know plenty of my friends do just that without realizing how much harder their system has to work to maintain that indoor temperature.

It's actually quite normal to err on the cool side when setting your aircon's thermostat during very hot weather, but this is a mistake that can prove very costly when your monthly power bill drops through your door! Make opening that bill a more bearable experience by turning down the dial!


Do You Need HVAC?


In many homes, having a big HVAC is not even necessary, especially when there are not enough people actually living in the house to warrant keeping every room super cool. Some homes are occupied by only one or two people at any given time, so it makes a lot better sense to have one or two portable air conditioning units to keep only the rooms that are actually occupied cool!

Not much point in keeping a whole room cool just so the cat can enjoy curling up in a thick pile of blankets! And do you really need a super cooled kitchen or bathroom? Probably not.

Swamp Cooler Option


Aside from turning down the dial a few notches so you don't waste so much power, there is another option that is more power-sensible as long as you live in an area with a dry heat (low humidity) and that's a swamp cooler. These units, as explained in earlier posts, only use a fraction of the power to blast out cold air into a room and are much more environmentally friendly to run too.

So there's a few things to think about next time you're sitting in your home huddled in a blanket in the moiddle of summer while you aircon system icres up under the strain of trying to turn your home into a walk-in freezer!

Be sensible with temperature and you can save money as well as be kinder to the power company!

 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Portable Air Conditioners: Vent Free and Portable

One of the great things about a portable air conditioner without exhaust hose pipe venting (vent free) is its amazing portability, versatility and usability in keeping you cool when the weather gets hot. It's a huge advantage over other kinds of portable unit that by their very nature need to be vented to the outside. That's even in a room that doesn't have an accessible window.

When you read this article, you'll discover the common sense benefits of choosing a truly vent free space cooling option that really will keep you feeling nice and cool in the hot summer months.

Why Normal Portable Air Conditioning Units are Not so Portable


With regular mobile, room air conditioners, their portability is actually pretty limited to places where there is an easily accessible external wall outlet to the outside. That's because they produce a hot air exhaust which is a by-product of the heat exchange system that allows them to create chilled or refrigerated air to keep you cool.

In most cases, there won't be a customized outlet for fitting the hot air exhaust venting pipe to. So it will usually end up being poked out of an open window or door, meaning some of its benefit is lost thanks to there being some hot air from outside that's allowed to get in!

Some users have places they habitually use and block up the openings with cushions, strips of thick foam rubber or other insulating material, but it never looks very good. However you do it, you will have to find a means of getting that hot exhaust air out of the house, because if you don't it will simply blow into the room creating a net heating effect!

Which is exactly what you do not want!

When Vent Free Means Vent Free!


Truly ventless air coolers are of course the types of device called evaporative coolers, commonly known as "swamp coolers". These units cool the air by evaporating moisture through some loose knit, porous material that is kept wet thanks to being partially immersed in a reservoir tank of water.

A regular fan blows air through the material, evaporating the moisture and creating a cooling breeze that can effectively reduce the air temperature in a room by as much as thirty degrees or more. Because there is no compressor to run or refrigeration process to exchange hot air for cold, there is no hot exhaust air produced, meaning there is nothing that requires a venting hose or exhaust pipe.

Swamp coolers literally take room temperature air and blast it through a wet membrane to produce cold, humidified air. With no other mechanical workings inside them, they use very little power, making them far cheaper to run than regular room air conditioning units.

So that's how they work and what gives them true portability in every sense of the word.

Which Windowless Vent Free Air Cooler Models Are Best?


Update for 2016: There are some really awesome evaporative air coolers available to buy this year. They are already proving hugely popular with customers at Amazon, so let's take a look at my personal "Top 3" of the best selling units currently and compare them:

Honeywell CL30XC Portable
Evaporative Air Cooler


best vent-free portable evaporative cooler on sale
Visit Amazon for Details
The Honeywell came up tops for me personally as it's a great looking, compact model that packs a pretty impressive output rating for the price. It can cool a space anywhere up to 320 sq ft by an amazing 25 degrees Fahrenheit or greater depending on the room's humidity level.

A generous 7.9 gallon water reservoir means the necessity of refills are few and far between. For me that's important as it can provide a long period of constant cooling. Easy glide wheels make it a cinch to move around to where I need it and it's very cheap to run. Great value from a great mobile cooler!



NewAir AF-1000W

top ventless portable air conditioner without hose pipe exhaust windowless

Visit Amazon for Details
You're going to love this powerful unit from NewAir that can cool any room up to 300 sq ft by as much as 25 degrees F. It has a big 5.3 gallon water tank to give you several hours of cooling before it becomes necessary to refill with water. The cooling pad incorporates a filter for clean and cool air.

The unit is on durable, easy roll casters so moving between rooms is easy. There's a 10 hour timer and easy to use remote for convenience. This model is really great value for money and running costs are super cheap too. Remember, evap coolers work best in climates with 40% humidity or less.



Hessaire MC37A 2200 CFM

best portable air cooler vent-free for 2016

Visit Amazon for Details
I included this Hessaire MC37A 2200 CFM 3 speed evaporative cooler to my top three trio for 2016. It's relatively new to Amazon and other online stores and is already getting a lot of very good (five star) reviews from purchasers.

So what can this baby do? Well, it can cool up to 750 sq ft by 15-20 degrees in dry climates. According to the manufacturer, it has a patented axial prop that is claimed as more energy efficient and able to push cool air further. It has an oscillating fan feature for better air circulation, a timer and an auto shutoff if it runs out of water.

Note: Hessaire MC37A replaces the Kuulaire PACKA43 in my list of top coolers because the Kuulaire is having availability problems and I think the price is way too high right now. I've kept the review text below but I removed the link to the online store out of courtesy to my readers:



I chose these three models based on their build quality, cooling effectiveness and price. They are all on sale this year at affordable, entry-level prices with discounts you can take advantage of when you click any one of the special links situated below each image (or click the image itself).

KuulAire PACKA43 350 CFM

top rated vent-free evaporative air cooler portable
I've kept my review paragraphs and image of this model on the page as a comparison and in the hope that availability returns, as right now it's getting harder to find one.

Here is a good workhorse cooler that can chill a room anywhere up to 175 sq ft by up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit while staying frugal with the minuscule amount of power it consumes. A large capacity, easy fill 4 gall water reservoir means this baby can run happily for several hours before it needs refilling.

Big on features and big on convenience, this model has a remote control so you don't have to get up out of your seat to change the settings. Fully portable on easy glide wheels, it's a pleasure to move from room to room.

Please note: I have taken down the link because the price seems to have risen out of proportion to the other models featured on this page.

Major Disadvantage


The only downside is swamp coolers are not effective in areas that already have high humidity in hot weather. In that case the evaporating cooling effect is diluted by the amount of moisture already present in the air and the net cooling effect is greatly reduced depending on the level of humidity.

It is really important that you understand, these portable vent free air coolers are NOT air conditioners without venting exhaust hose pipes and will not make cold air in a humid room. If you are not sure what the humidity level of your air is locally, you can usually find out online via Google or check with local weather stations.

Please do NOT buy one of these units if you're unsure if your air is dry enough for them to work well. You'll only end up returning it when it doesn't live up to your expectations!

Getting Maximum Efficiency from Your Evaporative Cooler


Here is a great tip: One thing you can do to ensure your evaporative air cooler keeps working at its most efficient in keeping you cool indoors is to make sure the air in the room stays dry. Here's what you need to do:

Crack a window open a little and place your cooling unit close to it. Also, crack the door open a little and you'll set up a cross draft that will take the moist air produced by the unit out of the room.

I know it defies the logic of keeping the hot air out and the cold air in as with air conditioning. But doing this will ensure the air does not get too artificially humid in the room you're cooling because of the way these machines work.

Don't worry, you'll still have a nice cool room and the air blasted out of your cooler will stay colder as long as the cross-draft is there to take away the moisture. Try it and see for yourself!

Economical Air Cooling System


This is an excellent way to fend off the heat of summer without spending a whole load of money on electricity running a power hungry AC solution. Without the need to run a refrigeration setup, evaporative cooling units are very economical to run in terms of extremely low power usage.

They are kind to the environment and are a real no-brainer for folks living in dry climates that don't like to throw money away on AC if it is not really necessary. You can read more about this money-saving aspect of these devices in other articles published here.

At the end of the day, if you live in an area of low summer humidity and need a cheap cooling solution that is really portable and can go with you from room to room without needing to be vented to the outside, you might want to take a closer look at a swamp cooler as your solution. It can make a really effective low cost way to stay cool and comfortable during the hot weather.

Comparing the Best Portable Air Conditioners


If you have read this article this far and feel a little downhearted because you happen to live in an area of high humidity, all is not lost. You still have the option of regular AC in a portable unit, you just don't get to share on the highly desirable savings in running costs.

There are some models that, while not as spectacularly inexpensive to run as swamp coolers, can still be economical when compared to running a larger fixed, central system in your home or office. Just so you don't feel left out of the equation, I have included two of what I consider the best and most economical to run room AC models for you to take a look at if you want:

Honeywell MN10CESWW

top honeywell portable air conditioner

Visit Amazon for Details

This is a great 10,000 BTU portable AC that comes with a remote control, three fan speeds and an automatic timer. One of the main features of this model is its dehumidification capability that can remove as much as 79 pints from the air per day by evaporation without needing to be emptied, which is a real time and hassle saver.

What I like about this model is that it is very affordable to purchase (it's currently offered with a big discount but you'll need to grab one at the low price before they remove the deal). Running costs are average for an AC of this size but it is eco-friendly with no CFC gases and it can cool a room up to 350 sq ft bringing the temperature down to a comfortable level surprisingly fast.

It comes in pure white, black and silver or plain black to suit your tastes and has its own window venting kit that's pretty easy to install yourself. It runs fairly quietly on the low setting and only draws 9.5 amps in power.

If you want to find out more and read some of the hundreds of customer/purchaser reviews, click on the image or link below it to visit the relevant page at Amazon.com where all is revealed (including the latest discount price offer).

Whynter ARC-14S

best mobile room portable air conditioner

Visit Amazon for Details
This is a more powerful machine and naturally costs more than the model above, but if you need greater cooling power for larger spaces, this is probably the best model in its class in terms of overall costs (including running costs). It is CFC free, so more eco-friendly than other units yet it still manages to cool rooms up to 500 sq ft with its 14,000 BTU rating.

What helps make this unit more efficient is its dual hose setup with separate intake and exhaust pipes that connect to the outside for better airflow. It also has a dehumidifying function capable or removing up to 101 pints per day that is evaporated and expelled to the outside via the exhaust hose along with the unwanted hot air.

Power consumption is surprisingly low for an AC of this power, drawing only 1250 watts (10.8 amps) max. There is a remote control and timer with auto-shutoff and auto-restart features and the stylish platinum and black finish looks good in any setting.

Remember, these last two featured units on this page are true AC models and as such must be vented to the outside via their flexible exhaust ducts. That's to allow the hot air they produce to escape to the outside and not compromise their cooling capacity inside the room.

If you happened to skip to this part of the page by mistake and missed the info about the type of free standing, portable air conditioner without exhaust hose pipe venting that you came here to see, all you need to do is scroll back up the page (or click the "TOP of PAGE" link below to read all about them!

(TOP of PAGE)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

What is a Swamp Cooler?

People interested in staying cool in the hot weather can read this and learn about swamp coolers (evaporative coolers), the portable air conditioner alternative. This article looks at the differences between the two main types of air cooling devices and explains the benefits and downsides to the innovative yet simply designed swamp cooler.

There are several different types of air cooling device ranging from air conditioners to basic fans and swamp coolers come somewhere in between. Where a portable aircon unit uses a gas refrigerant and heat exchanger to produce cold air, a swamp cooler only uses plain water which it cools by evaporation. 

Economical


This makes the swamp cooler much more economical to buy and to run than its power hungry alternative, although using evaporation does have its limitations. But first, lets look at the benefits.

As long as you live in a climate that has predominantly dry heat, or a low humidity level, then a swamp cooler can effectively reduce the temperature in a room by as much as thirty degrees Fahrenheit. It does it by passing air through a damp membrane that is simply an absorbent, loose knit material that has been stretched over an open frame.

The material is kept damp thanks to the lower part being immersed in a small reservoir of plain water. This water can be chilled by adding ice cubes to help lower the air temperature further. A simple fan forces the air through the material and into the room.

There are no other moving parts to the swamp cooler (except for models that include a timer mechanism) which means that power consumption is kept very low. It also means there are fewer things that can go wrong with the device, making for better longevity and useful service.

Disadvantages


However, if you live in a damp climate, or one with high average humidity, the swamp cooler is far less effective at cooling the air. This is because for evaporative cooling to work, the air must not contain too much moisture already.

In dry climates, this is not a problem, because the swamp cooler performs two important functions. They are:

1. Cooling the air to make it more comfortable, and
2. Humidifying it, helping you to breathe easier

But when the ambient humidity is high, the air is already heavy with moisture and adding more to it will not lower its temperature by much. In fact the effectiveness of the swamp cooler in cooling the air goes down the high the humidity level is.

For people who live in hot climates with high humidity, using an air conditioning unit is really the only viable way to chill the air effectively. Please read our articles and reviews on portable air conditioners to find one that suits your needs.

Are You Lucky?


If you do happen to live in a hot, dry climate then you are one of the lucky ones who will benefit greatly from using a swamp cooler to keep you cool in preference to an air conditioner.

You will get a high level of cooling for far less cost in terms of power usage. Also, the purchase price of evaporative coolers is far lower than comparable portable aircon units, so you win in both departments!

Monday, 18 March 2013

How to Keep Cool Cheaply When Its Hot

There is nothing quite like being able to sit indoors on a blisteringly hot day and enjoy a cool blast of air from a portable air cooling unit while relaxing with a book or in front of the TV. This small pleasure can become an absolute necessity if you work from home and spend several hours each day at a desk working on a computer or laptop.

Having a means to keep cool indoors when it's getting crazy hot outside is something that many people take for granted. But not everyone has the means or the budget to be able to afford the cost of buying and running a big portable air conditioning unit in their home office or in their sitting room or bedroom.

Let's face it, the power hungry aircon units will eat up your electricity supply in order to blast out that beautifully cold air and you will end up paying dearly for the privilege at the end of the month. However, there is a much cheaper air cooling solution that can be every bit as effective, as long as you live in the right kind of place.

Swamp Coolers


Instead of the power hogging portable air conditioner, why not look into buying a swamp cooler, or evaporative air cooler to give it the right name? As long as you live in a hot dry climate, then these units can cool the air as effectively as their electricity hogging cousins while using only a fraction of the power to do it.

The only caveat is that you have low humidity for these things to work at their best. If you have high humidity, then you're out of luck. That's because a swamp cooler cools by evaporation and it needs dry air to create a cooling effect.

Real Life


I have a friend who lives in Denver, Colorado and his home office is kept beautifully cool by a single swamp cooler that he paid less than a hundred bucks for, brand new. It uses only slightly more power than a regular fan, which is almost nothing and there is no need to vent it to the outside because swamp coolers don't produce any hot exhaust air.

That means you can take one of these units and move it from room to room in your as you need it without the hassle of feeding a flexible exhaust pipe out a nearby window, as you would have to with a regular but not vent free portable air conditioner. How incredibly convenient is that!

So if you live in an area with low average humidity when it gets hot, you really should consider one of these amazing swamp coolers for your home. You'd be throwing a lot of money away otherwise!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

A Portable Air Conditioner for Economy and Coolness

The intense heat that we experience during the hot summer months may seem like a long way away right now but they will soon be upon us and then having a ventless portable air conditioner in the home will suddenly make a lot of sense. So maybe now is the time to start thinking about adding one of these useful and versatile units to your shopping list for the coming summer.

If you need some ideas, here is a look at them and their benefits. I've seen all the kinds of portable air conditioners I've been interested in for the last few years. It is usual enough to be unaware of how to prevent rooms getting too hot. I'll try to let you down easy, but I wanted to write a post germane to coping with really hot weather.

Cost Effective Cooling

The recipe for a cost effective way to keep cool successfully is elementary. It's worth seeking out the best highly portable and easy to move around units that come with great deals. Every little matter from cost, to power consumption must be covered.

Here's a list of many advantages over whole house air conditioning types. In this article, I'm going to give you a few tips to help you with cooling individual rooms. I am not bold enough to mention economical and portable climate control in that context. Cooling individual rooms insulates you from many advantages over whole house air conditioning.

Through this medium, people notice quality over economy with no need for permanent installation. Many still think that there is a reason to demonstrate those advantages, when really its all about how well they are at cooling individual rooms.

Getting over the concept of coping with really hot weather, at the very least its something you might want to jump into it as soon as you possibly can. So, what do I mean by a really hot and humid day?

Hot Outside, Cool Inside

It won't be too fancy, but it's a good place to start with wanting the simple pleasures of staying cool inside when its gotten really hot outside. Cooling individual rooms can work out a more economical solution to using a big HVAC system in your home.

Of course it all depends on your individual circumstances. It may be the other detail you shouldn't notice if it was anything like a serious problem. yet, in reality, it is simple and most folks already know this. When achieved, your use of portable units for cooling individual rooms is a definite benefit.

Prevent rooms getting too hot in the first place by taking a look outside at ways in which you can shade the house from the direct rays of teh sun.  Before you take another step in the direction of going to purchase a new room air conditioning unit, you need to know all the salient points in regard to their advantages and disadvantages

Okay, you might think that you've bitten off more than you can chew when buying a big expensive unit. But its worth it to know all there is to know about these things before you jump in and buy one!