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Portable A/C Recommendations? 11

tyen asks: "There is enough gear in my office that a dedicated air conditioner is called for. A standard window unit will not work for various reasons; I need a unit that will let me mount an intake/exhaust panel inline with the window. I am looking for recommendations of portable units as used in data centers for spot cooling; reliable, low-maintenance units preferred over simply cheap ones. While the DeLonghi Pinguino wins style points for its unintended Linux riff, US$1,000 and up is a bit much to spend just for the sake of staying 'tres Linux cool'."
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Portable A/C Recommendations?

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  • Are you looking to cool the equipment or the whole room? I've seen several water cooling units that would cool to an external radiator, and I've seen some rack-mount chassis that have integrated air-conditioners. Please explain the details of your scenario a little further.

  • I can't even guess at their quality, but "Fedders" seems to be an air conditioner company name that turns up at Home Depot [] stores quite a lot. They have what they term "portable" air conditioner models.

    The company's main page [] doesn't seem to list any of their specific products, but the link to their refurbished items store [] (via Yahoo) seems to have an idea that might work for you.
  • Also consider, in lieu of a dedicated AC unit, a dedicated fan. I was having heating problems in my computer room so I just put a el cheapo fan in the door and it cooled off quite nicely. Since that's annoying to have a fan in the door, you could put some fan ductwork in the ceiling to distribute the hot air out to the rest of your building. This has the added benefit that a large building AC unit is going to work much better than a small portable AC unit.
  • As posted above:

    1) a simple fan. I would advise you to purchase from sears the "kenmore Hepa 200" this fan is silent and has a filter that takes everything out of the air ( I'm in a smoking enviroment 15' x 35' and it clears up rather quickly )

    2) the air conditionair you need is simular to the one's in hotels, these can be mounted very close to the ceiling or at the very top of your window. they take up no space. I would advise looking into a grainger catalog.

    I think we need more details


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  • by CritterNYC ( 190163 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2001 @01:18PM (#285139) Homepage
    I have a Delonghi Pinguino Classic PAC-85U in my apartment. It is one of the with/without water models (ie, it will cool without adding water to it... but not as well - only 7500 Btu instead of 8500 - and with a bit more noise). I've had pretty good luck with it. It doesn't seem to do as well as an in-window model, but it does get the job done. I just wish it hadn't cost as much as it did ($1000 at the time). Oh, Delonghi does have a section of their site in English [] as well. The A/C page is here [].
  • Some time in the last year or so, I forget which issue, Consumer Reports did an article on room A/C units like you're describing, with ratings and everything. Their site's not free so I can't get a link, try your library. They should have some sort of periodicals index that you can search for "room air conditioners".


  • I bought a Danby portable A/C from [] and have been reasonablly satisfied with it (especially after I poked a hole in its condensate tank and ran 30 feet of 1/4 inch plastic tubing out to the downstairs shower so I wouldn't have to drain the tank...)

    They have a couple other brands as well. More expensive than window units, but generally much easier to deal with.

    Tom Swiss | the infamous tms |

  • We had some cooling troubles in our data center, so we added a few of these units: I don't know about the cost, but I would suspect they're up there. One note: "Danger! Will Robinson! Danger!" --nbvb p.s. I don't recommend using them in a data center. They don't help the situation when it's too hot/not humid enough; they just exasberate the problem. Check with Worldwide Environment Services; they rock! ( these folks know what proper equipment environments are all about!
  • I DON'T know about cheap, but my phone closet is cooled by a Sanyo A/C unit. After we got it properly installed, I've found it to be very reliable.

    One thing to note about two-piece units (like my Sanyo): If you want to use it in the winter, make sure your installer works the proper magic at install time. If not, then when the exterior temperature drops below about 40 degrees F, and the unit turns on, the cold changes the pressure differentials in the compressor and the limit switches trip, shutting it down.

    Unfortunately, I suspect that $1000 is about what you are going to have to pay - small non-window unit A/C units just aren't in that high of a demand.

    Here's a thought: Build a box with ductwork & fans that you can mount a small window unit into. The box would have two ducts and at least one fan. The fan would circulate air in the one duct and out the other, both ducts (big dryer ductwork?) would go out the window.

    Good luck!
  • I'll second the reccomendation for Fedders. At our old house we didn't have central A/C and since my wife telecommutes from home we had to make her office as livable as possible. We got one of the Fedders portable units from Home Depot (~$600?) and set it up.

    It was easy to use, did an effective job of cooling the 12x12 room, and wasn't overly noisy, considering.

    You will need to empty the water occasionally, but even in humid Hawaii we didn't need to do it more than once every few weeks or a month or so and there is an indicator light that tells you when to do it.


  • my $.02:
    I had an idea for a cabinet chiller based on the OverClockers water cooled CPUs.

    I'm in the process of acquiring a standard run-of-the-mill water cooler from an old office, (standard 5 gal water bottle type) a 110v pump, and an aircraft style plate oil cooler from the local NAPA. And a window mount fan unit
    the concept being I will use the cooler to chill the water cooler (slightly modified, no 5 gal bottle, just teh resevoir filled with water), pump it through the oil cooler. The fans will blow cool air across teh radiator into the cabinet allowing the rack cases to suck in the cool air.
    My calculations show a water cooler is rated at 1.5a vs the room AC at 5.9a. running the cooler/fan/pump will be roughly equivelent of 200w worth of light bulbs. A room AC [] alone is 625w.
    I realize this will not cool as efficently as a room AC, but will help in greatly reducing the ambiant temperature in the cabinet, and should help my Electric bill from having to run the central AC. maX_

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