Who uses an Air Conditioner?

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briandm81

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Over the winter I added pair of servers to my lab. As Spring has come and we head near Summer (I'm in Dallas, 100 degrees is coming soon), I quickly realized that my office was getting warmer and warmer. Finally, I had to break down and do something about it. I'm an Amazon Prime junkie, so I went over there picked up one of these:

http://amzn.com/B002XITVCK

It is a little loud, but I have it sitting across the room and I can do phone calls all day without issue. I have the unit set to between 71 and 75 depending on how I'm feeling and it seems to do a great job.

So who else is using an A/C unit, and what unit do you use?
 
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briandm81

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I read a few that it fails, but plenty that it didn't. I liked that it would allow me to put a network control device on in the future. If it fails...no biggy for me.
 

T_Minus

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I use a portable unit like that but made for 'home use', got it from Costco 5+ years ago. What's funny is that it's rated lower than the newer units that I also got from Costco, yet it cools SOOOO much better!! It sips energy! I leave it on 8+ hours a day and the bill barely goes up 100 bucks... well worth it, keeps my office at 70 or under and the entire down stairs (~1.2k sq/ft) at 75 or under on all days except those that push 100+ for 3+ days at a time.

I thought about getting that unit to cool my rack but so far I'm not using enough systems at once to warrant a separate cooler.
 
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briandm81

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I'm thinking I will put all of the equipment and that air conditioner in my office closet. It has solid wood doors and I can exhaust to the third car garage. But for now...it works great and was super easy.
 

CreoleLakerFan

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I have a bid out to have an A/C split unit installed in the garage. I currently have a 24U rack in the garage, but it's too hot here to have it running in the warm months. I thought about building an enclosure for the rack and using a portable A/C unit (like the Tripp-Lite above) to cool it, but putting in a cooler for the garage (it's fully insulated, except for the doors) seems a better investment, since we will be able to use the space for other things (workshop, workout space, etc).
 
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briandm81

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I'm still trying to convince the finance committee that I should have a Garaffice (Garage Office). We just need to insulate two walls, put in a fake wall over the door, and throw a mini-split unit in. Thus far I have been unsuccessful in gaining approval. ;)
 

Terry Kennedy

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It is a little loud, but I have it sitting across the room and I can do phone calls all day without issue. I have the unit set to between 71 and 75 depending on how I'm feeling and it seems to do a great job.

So who else is using an A/C unit, and what unit do you use?
An air conditioner is a device used for moving heat from location A to location B at less than 100% efficiency. Therefore, if the inlet and outlet are in the same room, the total heat in the room goes up. If all you need is spot cooling, that may not be a problem.

If funding and practicality (landlord / spouse approval, etc.) allow it, the best bet is a mini-split system. Finding a good installer / service company is quite important.

For window units, I used to recommend Friedrich. Their units cost lots more than similarly sized units from other brands, but they were practically indestructable and parts were available, even for ancient units. But they really blew it with the Kuhl series (the replacement for the QuietMaster). There are so many things wrong with the Kuhl series that I wouldn't know where to start if you asked me for a list.
 
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briandm81

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That's why I have it in the corner...it's near a window for the outlet. :) I love mini splits, this was just super easy. I can't do a window unit...because just no.
 
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cheezehead

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Sep 23, 2012
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All my gear is in the basement, there's more than enough air space to keep the gear cool without AC. I've needed to use portable AC units in the past when the gear was above grade but the earth does plenty of cooling if you have enough linear concrete to handle the heat transfer.
 

TechIsCool

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Feb 8, 2012
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A/C for the super warm days, and Recreation for the semi warm days. But I take advantage of the Cool nights and pump the shop full of cool air at night. It takes until about 4pm to need to A/C to run for a good 4-6 hours and then it self resolves. Still working on the automation to make it just do itself but that will be fixed soon enough.
 

wiretap

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Jul 14, 2015
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I keep all my servers racked in the basement. Even on 100F degree days, the AC has no problem keeping up and the basement stays cool. (68-72F)
 

coolrunnings82

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I went with a minisplit in my office. It is near silent, incredibly efficient (i.e. keeping it 77 when it is 105+ for days on end only cost me $20/mo in electricity increase). I used a "library quiet" model of portable AC from Costco and it died after 3 years of sporadic use. I can't express just how much better the minisplit!
 

Evan

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I live in a tropical country , aircon 24x7 ! (Sleep or life in general would otherwise be impossible)
 

WANg

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Over the winter I added pair of servers to my lab. As Spring has come and we head near Summer (I'm in Dallas, 100 degrees is coming soon), I quickly realized that my office was getting warmer and warmer. Finally, I had to break down and do something about it. I'm an Amazon Prime junkie, so I went over there picked up one of these:

http://amzn.com/B002XITVCK

It is a little loud, but I have it sitting across the room and I can do phone calls all day without issue. I have the unit set to between 71 and 75 depending on how I'm feeling and it seems to do a great job.

So who else is using an A/C unit, and what unit do you use?
Oh hell no. That's a single leg portable AC, which create a low pressure area in your room (so the hot air outside rushes in) while doing a relatively poor job of cooling it (watch the linked video for the explanation). You are basically losing at least 20% of the cooler efficiency simply have it in this configuration. Yeah, either Window unit AC, or mini-split. Portable AC (even if it's separate hot/cold end) is a temporary cooling hack that does nothing to help the situation.
 

T_Minus

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Feb 15, 2015
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Oh hell no. That's a single leg portable AC, which create a low pressure area in your room (so the hot air outside rushes in) while doing a relatively poor job of cooling it (watch the linked video for the explanation). You are basically losing at least 20% of the cooler efficiency simply have it in this configuration. Yeah, either Window unit AC, or mini-split. Portable AC (even if it's separate hot/cold end) is a temporary cooling hack that does nothing to help the situation.
Not really as big of an issue as you'd think.

1- Keeping a rooms air cool will then cool the furniture, and eventually the structure which yields additional cooling benefits, and greatly reduces fluctuations by incoming hot air.

2- Most homes are not sealed tight, and some homes can pull a large amount of cool air from the basement continuously because of the temperature of the entire structure

3- You need to circulate air with any AC room anyway, and it's not as-if it's an entire whole house fan.


My experience is cooling a 400sqft vaulted ceiling office with a unit like this simply on a window with the window cracked 1\2 way providing even less efficiency for the hot air to escape... this 8000 BTU unit cost minimal to run, and I'm always 65-70* even when it's 80-100 outside. My other end of the experience is heating... after a few days of keeping the house 85-88* in the downstairs (wood stove) the entire structure is very very warm... can open windows\doors for an hour or two close up and the entire house warms up as-if nothing happened, or the fact we have a 4" vent for COLD intake air for the wood stove ie: just like the AC. Or it can be freezing otusid

In theory it sounds terrible and makes it soo inefficient, yet reality not so much the case... and in no way would prevent me from using one to cool a room, rack, etc :)
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Not really as big of an issue as you'd think.

1- Keeping a rooms air cool will then cool the furniture, and eventually the structure which yields additional cooling benefits, and greatly reduces fluctuations by incoming hot air.

2- Most homes are not sealed tight, and some homes can pull a large amount of cool air from the basement continuously because of the temperature of the entire structure

3- You need to circulate air with any AC room anyway, and it's not as-if it's an entire whole house fan.


My experience is cooling a 400sqft vaulted ceiling office with a unit like this simply on a window with the window cracked 1\2 way providing even less efficiency for the hot air to escape... this 8000 BTU unit cost minimal to run, and I'm always 65-70* even when it's 80-100 outside. My other end of the experience is heating... after a few days of keeping the house 85-88* in the downstairs (wood stove) the entire structure is very very warm... can open windows\doors for an hour or two close up and the entire house warms up as-if nothing happened, or the fact we have a 4" vent for COLD intake air for the wood stove ie: just like the AC. Or it can be freezing otusid

In theory it sounds terrible and makes it soo inefficient, yet reality not so much the case... and in no way would prevent me from using one to cool a room, rack, etc :)
Well, yeah. Your mileage will vary, and there are different factors impacting your results, like insulation, room layout, air distribution patterns, thermal inertia, etc, but in general, portable AC units (especially the single leg, single hose ones) are less efficient than their window unit/mini-split/central cooling cousins.

It'll work (for the most part), but it'll just cost you more money, and judging from all my previous gigs where the IT guys (like me) have to shoehorn AC units into pre-war Manhattan office buildings that didn't have provisions for them (roof cannot support condensers or we don't have tenancy rights for placing things there) some of the stuff I did to make things work made me cringe and throw up in my mouth a little.
 

T_Minus

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Feb 15, 2015
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Well, yeah. Your mileage will vary, and there are different factors impacting your results, like insulation, room layout, air distribution patterns, thermal inertia, etc, but in general, portable AC units (especially the single leg, single hose ones) are less efficient than their window unit/mini-split/central cooling cousins.

It'll work (for the most part), but it'll just cost you more money, and judging from all my previous gigs where the IT guys (like me) have to shoehorn AC units into pre-war Manhattan office buildings that didn't have provisions for them (roof cannot support condensers or we don't have tenancy rights for placing things there) some of the stuff I did to make things work made me cringe and throw up in my mouth a little.
Yes, the thing is even with all those "things to think about"... my room is 400sqft, has vaulted ceilings, is in direct sun light, has 2 large windows that are 5'x3' and another that's 5'x1' that were made in the 1980s thus potentially worst-case scenario and yet, this device which is underrated power-wise for a room this size, installed to allow hot air in easier, keeps the room under 70 for all but the 100*+ days occurring in a row, and I turn it off every night except those days where it's 100 for days on end.

It would be hard to get a worse scenario for these devices, excluding putting it in a tiny tiny closet with a rack of hardware that's near air tight then again no AC is going to work well in those situations though ;)

I have 2 other floor standing units they don't cool near as good as this unit no matter what I do! They're rated for 1000 BTU higher, and are newer tech... the AC system \ tune up is also extremely important as well.

Don't get me wrong though these aren't the best solution, I'm going mini-split in the next year or two but for the last 10 years this has kept my office very cool (<70) and my entire downstairs around 75... much much better than upper 80s. :D
 

funkywizard

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Over the winter I added pair of servers to my lab. As Spring has come and we head near Summer (I'm in Dallas, 100 degrees is coming soon), I quickly realized that my office was getting warmer and warmer. Finally, I had to break down and do something about it. I'm an Amazon Prime junkie, so I went over there picked up one of these:

http://amzn.com/B002XITVCK

It is a little loud, but I have it sitting across the room and I can do phone calls all day without issue. I have the unit set to between 71 and 75 depending on how I'm feeling and it seems to do a great job.

So who else is using an A/C unit, and what unit do you use?
Those types of units are convenient, but not terribly efficient. If possible, a dual hose unit is more efficient (though these have become uncommon). A window unit likewise is more efficient, but not always possible to use those.

Central A/C is pretty nice : )

Though the best of the bunch if you don't mind the install hassle is a "mini split" ac.
 
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