Thursday, June 29, 2006

Portable Aircon

"What? But why would you want an aircon in Seattle? Isn't it cool and rainy all the time?"

Well no. Sometimes cool and rainy, often sunny, and for a short time in summer, very warm. Whether or not AC is worth buying for that short period is something one could argue... but only when it's cool. When it's 97'F and you want to sleep, I shall be snug in my chilled bedroom, and you will suffer, and I will laugh, and you will cry.

As a compromise, I bought a "portable AC". Unlike the wall-mount or in-window units these just roll around on wheels, much like R2D2. You hook a vent hose to your nearest window, and tada, instant cooling. The downside is, of course, that it takes floorspace, and tend to be less efficient (the guy at sears said 50%, but I have trouble believing it's that much).

Back around the time of our last heat wave (after it cooled down), I bought a 9000BTU Royal Soverign portable for a cool $500. from Sears. And sure enough, plug it in, run the hose, and tada, cold air comes out. But there's a catch: it's loud like a freakin' jet engine! This thing is NOT pleasant to have running while you sleep. Plus, they are not exaggerating at all when they tell you the size of room they can chill - if you plan to chill a full apartment with this single room AC, think again. I can get my bedroom cool over time, but the thing won't make so much as a dent on my living room.

But on the plus side, it has a remote, and, my primary concern, it makes things cold. The main concerns.

A friend waited until now before buying one. They're nearly impossible to find now, but my friend lucked out and grabbed an Everstar 10,000BTU portable at Home Depot. It's a bit larger in size, but it cools amazingly - far more than you'd guess from a 1000BTU difference. Plus, it has a removable condenser tray and a few more modes. But on the other hand, the remote is rather finicky. The biggest bonus though: it's QUIET! Far quieter than mine. I'm now officially jealous.

... but at least I'm still cool.


Anonymous said...

There is a low-tech solution to unwanted noise called ear plugs. Get'em. Without them I wouldn't be able to sleep through *anything* at the corner of two most rowdy and traffic-heavy streets in downtown Montreal. They have been my best friends for five weeks.

Anonymous said...

aye, loud or not, sleeping at your place that one night was damned near impossible. The street was loud enough, but the heat was crazy.

I'd also recommend ear plugs.

Even if your A/C isn't as fancy as your friends, it still beats nothing, and if it makes sleeping bearable - all the power to ya.

- The Irishman