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How to Save Energy when Air Conditioning is a Must

There are some areas of the country where air conditioning isn’t just a convenience. When hot temperatures arise to triple digits, especially when such temperatures are combined with high humidity, public health can be affected. It’s always a good idea to have an air conditioner in the home for such times.

Air conditioning can be expensive, so it’s natural to want to know how to save energy when air conditioning is a must. Here are some answers to this question.

Use Air Conditioning Only When Needed

This may seem obvious, but the reality is that energy is often used mindlessly. How many times have you flipped a wall switch when entering a room, whether it was needed or not? The same is true for air conditioning. Instead of setting it at one setting and forgetting about it all summer, become more aware of how you actually use this power.

Most homes have a thermostat that indicates indoor temperature. When outdoor temperatures are lower than those indoor, take advantage of the free power offered to you by nature and open the windows. If you live in a ranch home, it’s likely that you have windows on both sides of the house. Open them to take advantage of cross ventilation. On days when you can’t open the window, keep shades closed to block as much of the sun as possible.

If you have a basement, consider furnishing it for use in the summer. Avoid cooking with your oven on hot days. Switch to cooking in your microwave or slow cooker instead.
When you must use the air conditioner, set the temperature as high as possible. Experts recommend a setting of 78 degrees fahrenheit as an average, to save money.

Install A Whole House Fan

One of the big problems in the summer is that heat becomes trapped in the home, making air conditioning essential when you’re trying to sleep at night. A whole house fan is an inexpensive way of solving that problem. It is installed into your attic floor to remove accumulated heat from the home in the evening, while opening windows to bring cooler air inside. This has been proven to lower energy bills.

Install ceiling fans in the rooms you use the most.

When You Are Away From Home

If you spend a large part of your day away from home, you may want to have a programmable thermostat installed. This allows you to program in your daily schedule so that air conditioning is cooler when you are at home to enjoy it.

When you go on vacation, set air conditioning temperatures high to save energy. It’s unwise to turn off air conditioning if temperatures are expected to be hot, especially in areas where high humidity is a problem.

These are only some ideas for how to save energy when air conditioning is a must. The best tip by far is to become an alert energy user. Saving energy instead of wasting it thoughtlessly will help you save money while benefiting the earth’s natural resources.

Energy Saving Air conditioners

 

 

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Air conditioners are a central part of the daily lives in lots of homes around the country. The heat wave that sweeps through the country every few months necessitates the need for having conditioners that regulates the warmth or coolness of air that enters or leaves your home. Most homeowners incorporate eco-friendly air conditioning designs and structural changes into their homes during the construction phase. Even then many other homes still need to have an air conditioning fitted.

Choosing Air Cons. Air conditioning is very critical particularly for kids, pets, the elderly and those who aren’t feeling well. There are lots of air conditioners in the market with different designs and efficiency. Needless to say, the pricier air conditioners tend to offer greater functionality than the cheaper ones. You have to consider the size of your house, the design, your personal preferences, and costs when choosing which air conditioner will work for your home. Typically, the conditioners cost between $500 and $4,000.

Friedrich Kuhl Plus. This air conditioner is also known to act as a heater. It works optimally when the temperature ranges from 50 degrees to 150 degrees. It’s well accomplished at regulating the temperature at your home in hot August days as well as chilly September nights. Its BTU unit is roughly 30% more than the standard government requirement. The air container has six different colour varieties to choose from. The air con is heavy grade and made with aluminium fins, copper tubing and retails at about $1000.

GE 115 Volt Room Air Con. This Energy-Star rated air con offers you about 12,000 BTUs with an EER of 10.8. This capacity is what makes it one of the most efficient air cons in the market. The federal standard for EER is about 9.8. This air con is fitted with a 24-hour timer to help you regulate its functioning. It is also equipped with a three-speed fan and an easy-to-access lift out the filter to help maximise air quality and flow.

Frigidaire Window-Mounted Compact Air Con. This air con is sleek enough to anyone’s liking yet small enough to fit even in cramped up apartment buildings. This air con generates about 8,000 BTUs which is sufficient to keep a 400-square foot suite comfortable and well regulated. The unit is controlled by a remote control which is also fitted with a thermostat. That’s how the remote is able to ensure that the unit regulates the room based on the room temperature and not the level of heat or cold on the window. It retails at about $250 and has an EER of

Kenmore. This is a heavy duty air con that can safely regulate 1600 square foot of space at one go. It delivers about 25,000 BTU which is among the highest among air con units. This Energy-Star rated unit has a thermostat too which enables it accurately regulate temperature. It also has an active timer which equips you to set the start and end time for the unit to run. It retails at about $590. Keep in mind that it is best fitted upstairs for it to regulate the entire house properly.

Whirlpool Resource Saver. This unit has 6300 BTU with an EER measure of 11 which is about 13% higher than the federal standards. It has both a remote and a docking system that monitors and regulate the temperature. It also has a 24-hour timer which allows you to set what time it should control the heat so that you can lower the energy bills. The whirlpool resource saver retails at about $350 a piece.

Saving Energy on Air Cons. First, you can keep the AC lower at night and raised during the day. You can also use portable units that only regulate the area that you need heated or cooled. Make sure you close off the vents, service your unit and also check the ducts regularly.

5 Tips To Beat The Summer Heat

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Summer is the most hottest season of the year. The heat is not your friend. The heat affects our bodies, our mood and electricity bill. Sometimes when it is hot, I wish winter would come already, but that won’t happen anytime soon. Heat can be really draining sometimes, and you may not want to do anything. Don’t let the heat steal your joy, though, these 5 tips to beat the Summer Heat will have you feeling cooler in no time:

1. Drink Water
The most important way to stay cool in the summer is to drink water. When you are sweating a lot from either exercising or just enjoying the sun, the body needs a way to cool off. Staying hydrated is very important not only will it make you feel cool but it will it will also help you maintain your fluid balance.

2. Use Air Conditioning Or Fans
Keep cool with fans, air conditioning or by taking cold showers. Air conditioning is a great way to cool off. You can set your air conditioner at any temperature. If you do not have air conditioning, you can stay cool by placing a big bowl of ice in front of a window fan and let it blow on you. Make sure you keep your shades pulled down on the sunny side of your house or apartment. If you have no access to a fan or air conditioning, go to a public place that is cool.

3. Don’t Wear Layers Of Clothes
Dress in light loose clothing. The best type of clothing material to wear is cotton material. Natural fabrics like cotton are cooler than most fabrics. Make sure you keep the sun out of your eyes and stay in shaded areas. Wearing loose fitting clothes allow air to circulate so you can stay cool.

4. Go Outside When It Is Cooler
One of the most convenient ways to stay cool is to go outside when you have those rare times of cooler weather. If you want to do strenuous exercise, schedule it for cooler times. Even walking should be done in cooler times because walking around in the heat can make all parts of your body sweat. Going out in the evening when the sun is going down can help you stay cool.

5. Eat Cold Food
One of the most well-known things to do during the summer is eating ice cream. Not only does it taste good but it cools you down. If you are at a cookout or at the beach, make sure you bring a nice cold treat with you. It is scorching hot during the summer, and you have to make sure your young ones stay cool also so bringing them ice cream can cool down their bodies.

Staying cool in the summer can sometimes be a challenge. Summer can be a really fun time. The weather is nice, and there are a lot of activities to do. Using these 5 tips to beat the summer heat will help you enjoy your summer while staying cool.

Silent Air Conditioners

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Most of us may wonder how our predecessors ever managed to get along without an air conditioner. Today an air conditioner is not only a convenience; in some climates, it’s almost a necessity.

The only problem with this invention of modern man is that it can be very noisy. The condenser and fan of the air conditioner can be so noisy it keeps one awake at night. Sleepers may be abruptly awakened as the unit cycles on and off. This is especially true for those of us who are noise-sensitive.

Admittedly, most of us hear noises at different levels, and what bothers one person may not bother another. Window-mounted or room-mounted air conditioners tend to be the noisiest, reaching about 60 decibels of noise, the same noise level as if someone was having a conversation in the room with you.

Apartment dwellers are often the most affected. That’s because their air conditioners are usually located indoors with them. Thankfully, manufacturers are tuning in to this specialized need, and providing what is called a “silent” or “quiet” air conditioner.

How Does A Quiet Air Conditioner Work?

All air conditioners emit some noise. However, a quiet air conditioner operates with a low hum instead of a loud mechanical noise. It is designed with a buffer that is located around the condenser to muffle the noise. The fan of the unit is also specially designed so that it works more efficiently and silently.

How will you know if an air conditioner you want to buy is a quiet model? There are units that are specifically branded this way, so look carefully at the package. Unfortunately, most models don’t list the exact noise level of the unit, so check customer reviews to find out which air conditioner will best fit your needs before you buy.

It’s possible you may have to pay a little more for this feature; however, prices are coming down as demand increases. Certain manufacturers, such as Friedrich, are known for supplying the quietest air conditioners overall.

Quiet models come with other consumer-pleasing features that make them very attractive to buy. For instance, many models are energy efficient, and they have digital remote control of temperature.

Manufacturers who produce quiet air conditioners warn that it’s important to be certain your unit is properly installed. If it’s not, it will not operate as it should, and may be noisier than it is rated.

If A Quiet Air Conditioner Isn’t Quiet Enough

Some people are ultra-sensitive to noise. For such people, there is really only one good answer: locate the air conditioner outside. A ductless mini-split air conditioner does not require installation in a window and is much quieter because the condenser is located outdoors. All that it requires is a hole in the exterior wall, to route a pipe from the outdoor components to the indoor parts.

This can be a viable option for any homeowner who does not have central air conditioning and wants to keep the cost of air conditioning low. It has the added bonus that it can be configured as a source of heat as well as cooling.

Fortunately, none of us have to choose between keeping cool and getting a good night’s sleep. Silent air conditioners give us the best of both worlds.

Analog vs Digital Thermostats

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If you’re living in an older home, you’d easily recognize an analog thermostat anywhere. For decades, people have relied on analog thermostats to provide them with a constant supply of heat and keep their homes nice and toasty. But these efficient devices burn major holes in your pocket via the hefty energy bills that you’ve to pay every year.

In today’s green-friendly, energy-saving, cost-effective times, analog thermostats don’t quite make the cut when it comes to providing a low-cost heat supply that does not have you dealing with inaccurate readouts and the loss of valuable heat when you forget to turn down the thermostat in your home.

Analog vs Digital Thermostats

The Need of the Hour – a Digital Thermostat

With the speed with which the world is going digital, is it any surprise that your old, trusty heating device has a better, more efficiently energy-conserving digital counterpart?

The thermostat is a valuable tool as it controls the heat supply and the air conditioning system in your home. Technological advancements have made possible glitzy ‘cool’ thermostats with options like a LED touchscreen display, intriguing designs, Wi-Fi facility, self-learning capability, accessibility to your smart phones and many more that will make you pause in surprise as to how far we have all come from our knob-and-button system, handy analog thermostats.

These mercury thermostats are literally being left behind in the dust as everyone is grabbing digital ones to be on top of their thermostat game.

A Quick Glance at Thermostat History

In 1620 England, a thermostat type controller device was first built to regulate the temperature of a chicken coop; at least that is the first instance of a thermostat to be actually recorded. And these rustic devices continued to be used as such till around 1830, when further advancements were made.

If you want to know about the oldest patent for an electric thermostat, it would be 1328427, which was applied for in 1915 by A. Goldstein and it was issued to him in 1920.

A quick search in the patent database reveals more than 340000 entries for the term ‘thermostat’.

Understanding How Energy Savings Work in Modern Thermostats

The website of the Department of Energy states that digital thermostats are liable to save you as much as 15% on your energy bill annually, if these things are programmed or set properly. Even if you don’t touch your brand new heating devices, you can save at least 5% on your total every bill.

Why do you save so much moolah on digital ones and not on analog thermostats?

The reason is simple – these new thermostats are equipped with the ability to program them according to your preferences. You can set automatic temperatures or even apply certain parameters for when you are not at home.

For example, if you set your AC from your analog thermostat to 71 degrees, it will continue to keep it cool at 71 degrees even when you have left home and do not need the cooling temperature. That’s wasted energy and it leads to a heavier energy bill.

In house with a digital thermostat, you could set it so that the temperature goes up to 75-77 degrees and initiate cooling an hour or so before you come back home. This is how you save energy, and reap the benefits of a cool home without the hassle of fidgeting ts the settings on your analog.

Your HVAC system works according to you; not vice versa

Advantages & Disadvantages of Using an Analog Thermostat

The only benefit that these mercury based heating devices have these days is the lesser price rate than the digital ones. But that factor is easily negated in the long run, as temperature accuracy and a higher energy bill more than ‘make up’ for its lower cost.

Plus, you cannot set your analog thermostat using your smartphone or access it remotely, or learn temperature patterns. Then there is the fact that digital ones are just so much better looking with sleek, sophisticated designs and a display in full HD color.

Analog thermostats are mercury based and modern science reveals that mercury can be dangerous in your home. People have started to avoid fluorescent light bulbs and other products that require mercury to work, because an accidental spill could be hazardous to the health and safety of your family.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Using a Digital Thermostat

We have already discussed the key points when it comes to the benefits of using a digital thermostat – health and safety reasons, monetary benefits, convenience, accuracy etc.

It becomes obvious why many homeowners are enthusiastically getting these digital heating tools installed today.

Let’s take a deeper look at the various advantages.

  1. Energy Conservation

Everyone and their cat is going green today. Plus, in this economy saving money on utilities is important and a necessity. By programming your heating and cooling requirements into a digital thermostat ahead of time, you save maga bucks on your electricity bill. Choose the temperature you find most comfortable as per the time of day or night, not like the one-setting-24-hours system of an analog one.

One thing that has really simplified our lives is an accurate readout in a digital heating/cooling device.

Just think about it – an analog that has an inaccuracy factor of 3 degrees could cost you up to 7% in your heating bill during extreme winters. This could easily be hundreds of dollars of wastage of money and energy for certain homeowners.

  1. Programmability

Forget about changing your thermostat setting every time you leave your home. Just pre-set according to your preferences and timings, and be on your way.

Saving money couldn’t be more simpler or efficient!

There is is only one disadvantage to a digital thermostat – its higher price cost. But the initial investment more than pays itself off by saving you so much more on your electric bills annually.

Are You Scared of Going Digital?

Some homeowners are concerned about the programming capability of these advanced devices and whether or not they can operate one easily. We would advice that you go digital thermostat shopping and take a look at all the models available today.

Many are extremely simple to use and there is no cause for concern or confusion.

Digital Thermostats We Like

  1. Nest Learning Thermostat – 2nd Generation T200577

A self-learning thermostat, this one comes jam-packed with all the cool features you may find in top-notch digital devices, with schedule changing settings that can be carried out from your phone, tablet or computer. The high cost will easily be paid off in an year or two in energy savings.

  1. Honeywell RTH2300B1012/A 5-2 Day Programmable Thermostat

Though this one does not have all the bells and whistles of the Nest one, it still delivers the savings. It does the job well, is easy to operate and has a much lower price cost than many other digital thermostats.

Bottomline: If you compare the features or perks of analog thermostats versus digital ones, it would be like comparing night with the day. The digital devices are so much better at controlling the heat and/or the cooling temperatures in your home or office.

If you’re still on the fence about digital thermostats, you can try out a free tool/app online at DOE Programmable Thermostat Tool, where you can play with the features and settings and get a feel of how a digital thermostat actually works.

History of Air Conditioning

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Primitive Air Conditioning
For a long time, man has struggled to get comfort in different climates and seasons. Air conditioning happens to be one of the best inventions of man on that regard. Air conditioning in its primitive form such as fans used in palaces has existed for a long time. They were, however, inefficient and expensive to use and acquire. This, therefore, limited their use to palaces alone and homes of wealthy individuals.

Until the 1900s, American also dealt with harsh weather conditions the same way common folks around the world did. Things began to change when electric fans were invented. These replaced hand fans that wealthy people were used, and slowly even the working class found it affordable to have one installed at home.

Basic Air Conditioning
The first real air conditioner was built in 1881 for a dying president. It involved blowing air through cotton sheets soaked in cold water. This was obviously an expensive technique. By the end of the two months, the system had consumed over half a million pounds of ice.

First Efficient Air Conditioner
The first efficient air controller was built in 1902 after Nikola Tesla invented alternating current motors. This made it possible to make oscillating fans. That is when a New York-based 25-year-old engineer named Willis Carrier made the first true air- conditioner. This device blew air thorough water-cooled coils. The unit was not invented with human comfort in mind. It was designed to make sure that a printing press was dehumidified. The process involved cooling the air to get rid of moisture from the warm moist air.
He then in 1922 followed it with a modification. He invented the centrifugal chiller to reduce the overall size of the unit. It was introduced in the Rivoli Theater, Times Square. This started the tradition of the blockbuster summer, where people would flock to air-conditioned movie theaters on hot summers.

Air Conditioner Revolution
Carrier’s invention set in motion the idea that air-conditioning can be applied to other living spaces and places of work. From the 1930s, air-conditioning spread from factories to departmental stores, offices, and rail cars, this sent summer productivity to new record heights. Residential cooling, however, took a little bit longer to catch on.
Up to as late as 1965, only about 10% of the total population had air conditioning at home. According to reports by Carrier Corporation, the home owners in the South slept on the porch. They also put their underwear in an ice box before wearing it. This changed over the years. By the year 2007, over 87 percent homes had air conditioning. Overall, this marvelous invention has led to Sun Belt cities becoming bearable during summers. They have therefore attracted big populations, creating the U.S long-term population shift.

Air Conditioning in the Rest of the World Today
The Europeans have been slow to take the concept of air-conditioning. It is, however, beginning to take root. In the developing world, data is scarce on the use of air-conditioning. The statistics show that air-conditioning is available in corporate offices, hotels, and restaurants. Staying in the shade and drinking cold water is a common technique of fighting heat in third world countries.

More on our airconditionerlab.com.

How to Shop for Energy Efficient Air Conditioners

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Summer is the time for swimming, vacations, and racking up huge electric bills, if your old air conditioner is not energy efficient. Upgrading to a new unit, whether a central system or window unit, will help cut your bill while keeping you comfortable. The key to shopping for a new air conditioner is knowing about energy ratings and what the mean for your budget and the environment.

According to Energystar.gov, the Energy Star program is a voluntary program where companies and individuals can work together to make and buy products with a mind to their environmental impact. Established by EPA in 1992, under the authority of the Clean Air Act, the Energy Star logo is a familiar sticker on many appliances, particularly air conditioning units. EER stands for Energy Efficiency Rating, and the standard government rating is 9.8. Many of the newer units have a EER of 110.8 or 11. These ratings apply to central air conditioning units as well as window and portable air conditioners. The best part is that purchasing an energy star unit can save you money at tax time too. As of this writing, federal tax deductions exist for purchasing energy saving appliances.

Central Air Conditioners
Central Air conditioners are quiet and take up less space than window and potable units. They also are more effective in keeping your house cool and comfortable. Unless you live in a tiny apartment, having central AC is the best practical way to cool your home. As it is a big ticket expense, many homeowners delay putting out money for new unit; however, the money spent on a new central air conditioner unit will save money in the long run, so it is a wise investment.

Many of these units are designed to blow out of the central heating pump. What some purchasers don’t understand is that unless the blower exhaust systems in the heating unit is updated, the new system will not work as well as designed.

Window Air Conditioners
If you live in an apartment, or simply cannot afford central air conditioners, window units are the way to go. They also have energy star ratings. You need to keep the size of your window and the area you are cooling in mind to choose the best one. BTU’s stand for One British Thermal Unit (BTU) and stands for the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

The Energy Star website,  has a handy guide to how many BTUs are needed to cool a certain sized room. For example, an 8,000 BTU Window unit would be adequate to cool a home office, but a larger unit would be needed for the living room. Many homeowners who don’t opt for central air find that they can save energy and money by installing several smaller units around the home, and turning off the units in rooms that are not in use. A central air conditioning unit cannot be calibrated to only cool one room, unless there is a separate thermostat unit in each room.

Portable Floor Air Conditioners
Portable floor rolling types of air conditioners do not work as well as central air conditioners, or even window units, but can be handy to roll out in an emergency if your central unit breaks down. A hose is attached out of the window for air exchange.

Looking for the Energy Star sticker and getting a unit, whether central or portable, to find an air conditioner that matches your home’s space, budget and cooling needs. Whether you be using air conditioning two months out of the year in Wisconsin or nine months a year inn Florida, keep the environment as well as your pocketbook in mind to get the best deal.

Check our reviews on air conditioners by visiting airconditionerlab.com.

Best Portable Air Conditioner 2017: Top Small, Cheap, Window AC Unit Reviews

 

Room Square Footage BTUs Required
100 to 200 7,000 to 8,000
150 to 250 8,000 to 10,000
250 to 350 10,000 to 12,000
350 to 550 12,000 to 13,000

Portable air conditioners (PACs) are perfect solutions for cooling spaces ranging from individual rooms to smaller condos and apartments. Unlike the traditional air conditioner unit, these machines stand on their own, and don’t need to be  installed on the wall. The advantage is that you can use them just about anywhere, even if you don’t have an optimal window space for a traditional a/c unit.

Despite their size, portable models can deliver the same cooling bigger units provide! However, there are lots of options, and it’s important to make sure they you choose the right conditioner for your space and conditions.

In this guide:

We’ll help you learn all you need to know about the different makes and models on the market right now. We’ll talk you through all the technical know-how about BTU ratings, square footage, and all the other details that makes shopping for the best portable air conditioner such a challenge.

We’ve come up with a list of great models to recommend to you. During our thorough, painstaking research process, we’ve sorted through dozens of options, comparing power, portability, reliability and durability–not to mention value! We consolidated test results from Consumer Reports with all the buyer and user reviews we could find.

In the end, we’ve rounded up a portable air conditioner for just about every application.  You can find all our recommendations, along with our own in-depth reviews for each one,  below.

Unlike other reviewers, we’ll break it all down in layman’s terms, with real-world examples of what each of our recommendations will and won’t do. We’ll help you figure out exactly what kind of power, features, and functions you need in your new machine, and then steer you to your ideal unit.

So, let’s get started!

Smallest Portable Air Conditioner

The smallest portable air conditioner of decent quality is the EdgeStar Ultra Compact 8,000 BTU Portable AC. It measures 24 3/4″H x 19 1/4″ W x 13 1/4″ D and weighs 56 lbs. It can cool a room 150-250 sq. ft. relatively quickly, depending on how much heat there already is in the room.

While you may be able to find smaller models, according to customer reviews this model is the smallest that’s in any way effective at cooling a room.

What is the Best Portable Air Conditioner on the Market?

In our own in-depth reviews, we’ve looked at some of our favorite portable air conditioners available today. We’ve picked a few different options in each size category, to help you narrow down which model is the most appropriate choice for your needs.

Best Compact Model: Haier 8,000 BTUs

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This Haier unit is one of the smallest on the market. We like it for its smart features, like the washable mesh air filter, its 24-hour timer, and automatic self-evaporation function. We think it’s the smallest portable air conditioner you can buy that really works well and reliably. The EdgeStar we mentioned above is even smaller, but it doesn’t have the cooling capacity or track record for reliability that the Haier boasts.

Previous buyers raved about the low maintenance, space-saving design, especially compared to other brands. It’s compact, efficient, and much more reliable than other micro units! It’s a great solution for people who want to cool single rooms in a home, or for keeping offices comfortable.

Pros:

It’s very compact. It’s only 2 feet high, and is just over 1 foot deep. That means you can fit it in nearly any space, without crowding the whole room. It’s perfect for offices and bedrooms where space is tight.

The window assembly is also compact. This one’s a single-hose unit, which means that you only need half the space in your window to get it vented! The Haier comes with a very user-friendly assembly that couldn’t be easier to set up.

It has a remote control, with all the same buttons as the control panel on the machine! So, you can easily control it from the bedside or from your desk without disturbing whatever you’re doing.

It’s a 2-function machine. In addition to the cooling function, the Haier also works as a dehumidifier during the cooler months. This really comes in handy during the winter, when you’re less likely to air out your house. It can take 50 pints per day out of your air, saving mold and mildew problems. This feature is a great advantage for basement rooms and spaces with poor ventilation!

In the summer, the dehumidifier feature allows you to stay comfortable at higher temperatures by reducing the moisture content in your space.

It’s self-evaporating, thanks to the onboard dehumidifier. That means you don’t have to empty out a water container manually. Other air conditioners drain water constantly, which makes them more of a pain to use. That’s not a problem with the Haier.

There are 3 fan speeds to choose from. This helps you find the right balance between cooling power and noise level. There are also three different modes you can use: cooling (which is air conditioning), dehumidify (to make the room more comfortable), or a simple fan setting.

It’s available with up to 2 years of warranty coverage. That’s a huge plus for us, since portable A/C units can be pretty temperamental on the whole. This Haier has better reliability ratings than other ultra-compact units like the Edgestar, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Cons:

You can’t expect this one to cool a whole house. It’s really meant for small to average-sized rooms, up to 250 square feet.

8,000 BTU isn’t a particularly high power rating. Some people found that it didn’t quite do the trick in extremely hot humid scenarios. This one is also a single-hose design. While that format saves space, it also makes machines less effective overall.

Some people found it noisy. Anything this small is bound to be loud, since there’s not as much insulation in the design. Most folks found that they could still make phone calls and get their work done with it running, but you’ll probably want to use the lower fan settings while you’re in the room.

Best Midrange

Friedrich P12B 11,500 BTU

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This Friedrich unit provides a pretty sizable boost in power over the little EdgeStar. It’s one of our favorite dual-hose designs, and was one of the only portable A/C units recommended by Consumer Reports!

We love its portable features, like side handles and caster wheels, as well as its impressive efficiency. Previous buyers said this is one of the most reliable models on the market. It’s ideal for larger rooms or den spaces up to small apartments.

Pros:

The dual-hose design means it’s much more efficient than the EdgeStar. As a rough rule of thumb, a dual hose model is 1.5X as efficient as a single hose model. That means that it cools faster than the EdgeStar (~40%), and doesn’t have to work as hard in the process. That means you’re getting more cooling power per BTU, and more BTUs overall than with the EdgeStar, or with a single hose unit at this BTU rating.

Our favorite part is that unlike other 2-hose units, the Friedrich window adapter is relatively compact. This makes it easier to install, and less of an eyesore both inside and outside.

It’s rated to cool spaces of up to 550 square feet. Previous buyers said it was a great choice for condos or apartments, and was a solid (if a bit overpowered) choice for large bedrooms or dens.

Like the EdgeStar, it has a smart system onboard to help you control your energy usage. It has a 24-hour timer so you can set the machine to run specifically when you’re going to be home and need air to be cooler.

It’s a 3-function machine. The Friedrich works as an A/C unit, a dehumidifier, and a fan. The Friedrich comes with a remote control and LCD display.

The condensate (water from the air and from the cooling process) is recirculated to cool the coils. That results in nearly all of it self-evaporating, like the EdgeStar. In the case that water does collect, as is common in humid areas, the unit will shut itself off automatically when it’s at capacity, saving you spills and water damage.

While many portable A/C units are built flimsily, and crack easily, Friedrich have a much better reputation for reliability. That’s why Consumer Reports listed this unit as one of the only models they felt comfortable recommending!

Previous buyers agreed. We found lots of reviews from buyers who had become loyal Friedrich customers after trying this model and seeing the excellent build quality. This is one of the most reliable units you can buy.

Most previous buyers wrote that this unit was quieter than other units they’d used.

It’s covered by a very impressive 5-year warranty.

Cons:

Since there are two hoses, you’ll need a bigger window adapter to fit both of them.

It’s a larger unit than the EdgeStar, so it’ll take up more space in your house.

It’s expensive. This one is easily twice the price of the EdgeStar. However, previous buyers said they were glad they shelled out a bit more for a quality machine. Many wrote that they were apprehensive at first, but reassured after the first few months of problem-free operation.

Top Pick for Large Rooms and Apartments

Friedrich

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This is one of Friedrich’s largest units, and it’s our recommendation for people who need to cool apartments or condos. It’s rated for the largest range of our three recommendations, and has the added bonus of the heating function.

We love its sheer power, which cools air more quickly and quietly than either of the other units! Plus, it has the same excellent reputation for reliability and build quality as the smaller Friedrich.

Pros:

It’s more powerful than either of our other recommendations. With 13,500 BTU of A/C power, it’s rated to cool 700 square feet, and do so even more effectively than the other Friedrich. It’s self-evaporating, and uses the same recycled condensation feature as its smaller sibling.

Previous buyers in humid areas said they were prepared to install an additional drain line to assist the unit, as they had with models they’d used previously. However, the Friedrich surprised them by getting rid of all the condensation by itself! That’s where that extra power really comes in handy!

It’s a dual-hose air conditioner, just like its smaller sibling. That means it’s the most efficient of the portable options.

It has all the same functions as the other Friedrich, with A/C, dehumidifier and fan features all onboard. Like both the EdgeStar and the smaller Friedrich, there’s a 24-hour smart timer, 3 fan speeds, and automatic restart. It also comes with a remote control.

The major plus here is that this model adds a powerful heater function, which means that this one will work for you all year long! It’s nearly as powerful as a heater, with 10,700 BTU of heating power. Previous buyers said it’s very effective, and could compensate for central air systems in apartments, as well as space heaters!

As with the other two models, this one comes with everything you need to get it set up, including hoses, and a widow bracket that’ll work in both horizontal and vertical windows.

Even though it’s big and powerful, previous buyers still thought it was quieter than some other units they had used.

Overall, many previous buyers said that they were glad they spent the extra money to get a unit that really worked well. They cited the condensation system, energy efficiency, and evenness of the cooling as winning features over cheaper models they had owned.

It’s covered by a 5-year warranty.

Cons:

It’s 3 times the price of the EdgeStar, and significantly more expensive than the other Friedrich.

It’s heavy. This one weighs almost 100 pounds, so you won’t want to be moving it about too frequently.

Some previous buyers mentioned that the air hoses and window plate aren’t built as well as the main unit.

Some previous buyers said that their units arrived poorly packaged. If you get a cracked part, you might have problems with leakage. Thankfully, that’s an issue that would be covered by the vendor.

Like the smaller Friedrich, it’s covered by a 3-year warranty.

Best Portable AC for Condos and Larger Flats

Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU

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The Whynter is the most powerful portable A/C unit we’re recommending here. While it doesn’t have added heater function of the Friedrich, it’s more powerful than either Friedrich when it comes to pure cooling! Plus, it has all the same smart features at a very reasonable price.

Pros:

It’s very powerful. At 14,000 BTU, it’s almost twice as powerful as the EdgeStar, and has an edge on both the Friedrich’s. It’s a dual-hose design, so it’s as efficient as either of the Friedrich’s.

It’s a 3-function appliance, like the EdgeStar and Friedrich’s. This one works as an air conditioner, a dehumidifier, and a fan.

The Whynter is self-evaporating, like our other recommendations. It cycles condensed water back through the system to eliminate the need for a water pan and emptying routine. Previous buyers were especially impressed with how well it worked on this model. They said that they’d run the unit for weeks at a time in hot, humid climes, and never needed to empty the water tray manually. The condensation unit handled it all, no matter the humidity!

It has the same smart features as the other options, with a 24-hour timer, 3 speed settings for the fan, and a remote control. It’ll also restart automatically, to the same settings you had assigned before the outage.

In addition to the main functions, this one also works as an air purifier. It has a built-in carbon filter to keep air fresh and odor-free.

It looks super modern, and fits in with newer houses and apartments in particular.

It comes with everything you need–a window screen, both hoses, and the remote.

Previous buyers said it saved them quite a bit on their electric bill when compared to their traditional wall units.

It’s pretty inexpensive, compared to the larger Friedrich. This is priced about the same as the smaller Friedrich (P12B).

Cons:

It’s only rated for 500 square feet, as opposed to the bigger Friedrich’s 700. We’re not sure why that is, given that the Whynter is more powerful.

It’s the bulkiest of our recommendations. It’s 3-feet tall, and weighs 100 pounds.

It’s a bit loud.

See also:

Best Swamp Cooler

Swamp coolers combine a cooling foil system with a misting function to treat hot, dry air in offices or desert-like environments. They’re great for people who live in areas with relatively low humidity, who don’t want a full air-conditioner. We like swamp coolers because they’re cheap to run, don’t require windows, and only need water to operate.

Luna Comfort

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This ultra-compact unit combines a small air cooler with a humidifier. It’s designed to help people in hot, dry places have refreshing, healthier air.

Pros:

It works by circulating water and air through a cooling foil, which creates a cool, moist breeze. All you need is water. The company also suggests using an ice pack in the water compartment. It comes with two ice packs, so you can keep one in the freezer while the other one is in use.

It’s rated to cool up to 250 square feet. The manufacturer says that in optimal conditions, it can cool air by up to 20 degrees! Previous buyers had pretty good success with it, but did warn others to be realistic with their expectations. It’ll be less effective in humid conditions, and at extreme levels of heat (90+).

There’s a built-in air filter. It’ll trap dust and debris, helping you breathe easier. The filter is also washable, so you don’t have to buy replacements.

There are several different settings, to help you control the speed of the fan, and the pattern of the flow. This allows you to create “breezes” inside your house or office.

It’s more environmentally-friendly than typical air conditioners. Since it’s not a traditional air conditioner, you won’t have coils full of harmful chemicals around. It’s also cost-effective solution. While most air conditioners (especially portable units) can really eat up your electricity, the evaporative system in this model uses a lot less energy overall.

The water tank pulls out for refills, and holds a full 2 gallons at a time.

Previous buyers said it’s very quiet.

Cons:

It’s not a full air conditioner. You really can’t expect this to cool a whole apartment. It’s only going to work on a single room. We found that a lot of the negative reviews on this model were from people who didn’t understand the limitations of evaporative coolers compared to air conditioners.

It doesn’t work well in humid environments. You probably won’t want to get this if your average humidity level is over 40%.

Previous buyers had pretty mixed experiences with durability. Some people said their coolers developed leaks after a year or so of use.

How to Choose a Portable AC:

Step-by-Step Buying Guide

Portable ACs or PACs are the best cooling solution for spaces that are too small and narrow to accommodate a window-mounted version. Some common places in the house where these machines are used are workshops, sun rooms, garages, and other rooms that can be negatively affected without proper ventilation and circulation.

If you are planning to get one, you should make it a point to find the best portable air conditioner for your needs. There are several factors that you should consider when doing this, and it can all get a bit technical for the average Joe to understand. Don’t worry–we’ve put together a quick guide.

Here are the big points to consider when you’re shopping for your new portable air conditioner:

1. The Amount of Power You Need

The proper power rating for the area or room you want to install the PAC on is a very important factor to consider:

If your machine is underpowered, you won’t see the cooling effect that you were expecting, especially in hot, humid summers.

If your unit is overpowered, you might have trouble finding a comfortable setting.

The first thing to do is to establish the square footage of the space you’re trying to cool down. Remember that if you’re cooling a room that’s connected to another room, you should consider both of them when you’re totaling up the measurements. We’ve put together a chart of rough floor space to BTU ratios at the top of this page.

Experts also recommend that you consider the insulation and floor plan of the room where you want the unit installed in order for you to determine the proper BTU or British Thermal Unit rating that you need. If you don’t take insulation and other dynamics like air flow or ventilation, there is always the chance that you will end up with excess condensation in your room. Know how high the ceilings are compared to the standard 8 ft. height, and be sure to take any big discrepancies into account. If your ceilings are higher than average, you’ll want to round up your space/BTU requirements proportionally. For lower ceilings, simply do the reverse.

One other big consideration when you’re thinking about the appropriate BTU rating for your space is whether the unit in question is a single or dual hose portable air conditioner.

If you’re looking at a single-hose unit, you’ll want to make some modifications to our chart. That’s because most of those ratings are tested to apply only to wall units, which have two ports for cycling air.

Smaller portable A/C units like the EdgeStar are often “single-hose” designs. That allows them to be smaller an more convenient to set up in your window. However, it does make them more inefficient. If you’re looking at a single-hose unit, you’ll want to add another 50% to the recommended power rating, to compensate for the lack of efficiency.

Finally, BTU guidelines can sometimes vary depending on the manufacturer of the AC unit, so you’ll want to take them with a grain of salt. We’ve used mean ratings in our chart, to help you get a rough sense of the market as a whole.

Always round on the conservative side. That means it’s better to have a slightly overpowered unit than a slightly underpowered unit. If your unit is slightly too powerful, it’ll simply have less work to do. If it’s slightly underpowered, it could burn itself out early by trying to keep up with the load. Don’t take that too far, though, since a really overpowered unit might cool your space too severely.

2. Think About Environmental Factors

In addition to your space measurements as a factor for BTU calculation, outside factors can affect it as well. Depending on these other factors, you’ll probably have to make some adjustments when considering the BTU that you need:

Again, when you’re doing so, make sure you always round up and err on the side of a bit too much power. You might not need every single BTU every day, but that extra power can really come in handy during a heatwave or a humid streak.

Generally, you’ll want to think about a few key factors:

First, think about sunlight, especially during the middle of the day. For example, if your room is heavily shaded, it is suggested that you reduce your BTU capacity by 10%. If the room is on a part of the house that always receives sunlight, however, then you have to increase it by 10%.

The number of people that will occupy the room is another consideration. You have to add 600 BTU for each additional person beyond two who will occupy the room. That’s due to body heat, as well as the CO2 each person breathes out, which warms the room even more.

Finally, make sure you think about air flow in your house. If you’re cooling a room that’s shut off most of the time, you can get away with a lower power rating. However, if there’s a fair amount of air circulating between the cooled room and the next space, you probably want more power.

airconditioner-controlsportable

3. The Type of Controls that You Need

The controls that you prefer are the next factor that you have to consider. You can choose to have PACs which can be controlled by louvers and remote controls. Then there are also units with a manual control type which are easier to operate.

Many newer units also have smart features to save you energy, and make the whole process more convenient. We like models that automatically restart the cooling process at your preferred settings after a power outage. Another great feature is a timer, so you can tell the machine when specifically you need to cool the room down, and when it can shut off and save you electricity.

The more you pay for your unit, the more you’ll get in terms of convenience and automatic controls. To decide on your budget, think about how often you’ll want to adjust the machine, and how many different temperature settings you’ll assign. For instance, most of us won’t run the a/c quite so much while we’re not at home, so you’ll have one temp for the hours you’re home, and another for the hours you’re at work. On the other hand, if you have pets to think about, you may simply want to pick one temperature and leave it.

4. Other Features to Consider

In addition to all the other factors mentioned, it’s important to think about the long term. Consider the amount of time you are planning to keep the air conditioner on, and the quality of the customer service that the manufacturer provides. If you’re going to run it most of the year, in a warmer spot, you don’t want to skimp on durability or reliability. If you’re only going to need your unit for a couple killer weeks in the summer, you don’t need to worry too much about finding the most rugged machine on the market.

Noise levels are also very important. If you are planning to install the air conditioner in your work area or bedroom, you have to gauge to the amount of noise it produces. Otherwise, you might find yourself stuck with a unit that is too noisy. Think about where your machine will be set up, and where you’ll be while it’s running.

Pro tip: Look for models with several fan settings, so you can find the right balance between power and noise!

Click Here –> Get a List of Current Portable Air Conditioner Amazon Best-Sellers Here

How to Install a Portable Air Conditioner

Buying Air Conditioner Parts Online

Air_conditioner_partsYour air conditioner breaking down is never good news. This is especially true during the unbearable heat of summer. Since we have a tendency to overuse this appliance during these situations, however, it is quite normal for air conditioners to end up breaking down and overheating. Calling for air conditioner service repair centers are normal but can sometimes be painful on the pockets with its costs. Even though you don’t really have a choice but to call for the service of professionals, however, there are other ways that you can save more money. How you ask? By buying your own air conditioner parts.

There are many reasons why your air conditioner can break down. Most of the time, however, these problems are caused by malfunctioning of its five primary parts. Provided below is a short explanation of the parts and their functions.

1. Evaporator– the one that takes the liquid refrigerant.

2. Condensor– moderates the transfer of heat.

3. Expansion valve– the part that regulates the refrigerant to flow freely into the evaporator.

4. Compressor– pump that pressurizes the refrigerant.

Air conditioners have two basic functions. One is to keep a certain space cool while the other is to moderate the temperature as a thermostat. The cold function part of this unit involves the use of the evaporator and a fan that blows air over the chilled parts or spots in the room. The hot side, on the other hand, includes the compressor, condenser, and a second fan which function together to blow the hot air from the compressed refrigerant outside. Between these two is the expansion valve which controls the amount of compressed liquid refrigerant in the evaporator.

Since these are the five most important parts of an air conditioner, they can get pretty expensive if they are the ones you need to be replaced. Service repair centers offer good deals to their customers. However, you can never know how much they are adding to the cost of parts they’ll replace yours with. Buying your own can help protect yourself from unnecessary increases. Plus, your payment to the repair company won’t even be as big since you only need to pay for their service now.

One of the best places to find portable air conditioner parts is the internet. Buying them in real stores is good because you can touch and examine them for real but if you’re cost conscious, the internet is a really good option. The reason behind this is the number of discounts and cut backs that you may get. This isn’t really common in real life stores. When buying for these parts, however, make sure that they are genuine and new. They should come in the right packaging when delivered to you. If they look opened in any way, return them from the seller. Chances are that part is a fake or a refurbished one only. Read reviews of the store you will also be buying the parts from. Are clients satisfied of their service?  How prompt are they with orders? These are just some of the questions you should ask to make sure you won’t be ripped off by the online seller.

Note: According to our research, The Best Deals on Air Conditioner Parts are Found Here

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Samsung Air Conditioner Reviews: Samsung Split Air Conditioner

samsung-split-air-conditionerSamsung is a brand that is well known for providing some of the best smartphones and HDTVs in the market. Through the years, this iconic name has decided to reach out to other products as well such as air conditioners. At present, Samsung offers a wide range of split air conditioners that not only boast of high quality performance but also channels its signature sleek design. This article will feature a summary of Samsung air conditioner reviews on their split air conditioner units.

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One of the biggest and strongest selling points of a Samsung split air conditioner is its ‘eco-friendly’ feature. The brand has decided to design their brand thinking of air and water conservation, less power usage, and using parts that can be globally recycled. It also uses a R-410a refrigerant which is an eco-friendly one and reduces air pollutants and the usage of material with high global warming potential or GWP.

In terms of technology, Samsung’s split air conditioner units boast of an S-Plasma Ion technology. Their unit which comes with a feature called ‘Virus Doctor’ has the S-Plasma ion which functions by creating oxygen and hydrogen ions. These ions combine with harmful ions present in the air like OH radical, bacteria, and viruses and convert them into water vapor.

Now when it comes to its cooling capabilities, Samsung can be considered as a little more above average. Its split air conditioner units come with two features namely the maximum (turbo) cooling and even cooling function. The turbo cooling option enables the device to run at a maximum speed of 30 minutes and then cools down afterwards. The even cooling control, on the other hand, works by distributing the air evenly in the room.

One good feature of this air conditioner is that they assess the existing humidity and temperature in the room and self-adjusts in order to provide the most pleasing cooling environment in the area. This feature can be enabled when these air conditioners are set on automatic mode. It even helps in the reducing of energy usage as well.

Now with its looks, there is no doubt that Samsung also applies the sleek designs they are so well known for in their air conditioners. They offer units in a number of tonnage capacity and BEE Star ratings. They truly stand out from the usual pack of split air conditioners with its colored body (usually maroon)and  very stream lined design.

In terms of its cons, there are Samsung air conditioner reviews that complain about the brand providing bad customer service. Some people say that they have to constantly remind their service center about their request for repair and that representatives offer false and repetitive excuses whenever they fail to provide technicians. There were even feedbacks from customers complaining about their unit breaking down a couple more times despite of being repaired by service engineers from the brand.

In summary, Samsung’s split air conditioners can be considered above average in terms of performance, design, and features. Still, we cannot give a full okay to them because they weren’t able to meet the customer service needs of their users which is a very important aspect in air conditioners.

Find the Best Deals and Discounts on Samsung Air Conditioners Here

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