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Anyone install a portable air conditioner in their basement???
Posted by: spacescape
Date: June 19, 2020 08:12AM
My home was built in the 1960's and has baseboard heating. Two years ago I put in central air (unico system) in our upstairs attic. We love it (wish it was a little cooler on the main floor but it is what it is). My basement is pretty stuffy at times and tempted to use one of these Portable Delonghi air conditioner units that I was using before installing the central air. Anyone ever use a portable AC using in their basement? I have glass block windows with vents. I'm going to see if I can "remove" one of the tilt out window vents and see if I can vent the unit out the window. This particular Delonghi does have a dehumifier built in so figured I could use it in place of my dehumidifier. Any pros / cons?
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Re: Anyone install a portable air conditioner in their basement???
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 19, 2020 08:25AM
They are kind of infamous for condensate leaks. The condensate is supposed to go outside with the hot air vent, but it backs up. If you put a drained pan under it you should be okay in your basement.
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Re: Anyone install a portable air conditioner in their basement???
Posted by: mattkime
Date: June 19, 2020 08:27AM
My basement is nice and cool. Where do you live that its hot and stuffy?



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Re: Anyone install a portable air conditioner in their basement???
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: June 19, 2020 08:51AM
Are you sure you don’t need a dehumidifier down there instead?



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Re: Anyone install a portable air conditioner in their basement???
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 19, 2020 08:54AM
Quote
mattkime
My basement is nice and cool. Where do you live that its hot and stuffy?
Baseboard heating means no airflow. Each human generates around 100W of heat (more if active). Machinery, lighting, old Mac Pros, all pump up the heat. No place for it to go (*), and no airflow, it gets hot and stuffy.

(*) yes, basement walls absorb heat and re-radiate it out to the earth, which gets cooler the deeper you get (and then hotter, but that involves deep drilling / mining).
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Re: Anyone install a portable air conditioner in their basement???
Posted by: spacescape
Date: June 19, 2020 09:10AM
Quote
mattkime
My basement is nice and cool. Where do you live that its hot and stuffy?

Michigan but no cold air returns so no airflow into the basement. We've always had central heating / central air growing up so all my life the basement has been cold as heck.

Quote
Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Are you sure you don’t need a dehumidifier down there instead?

We have one. Humidity is low(ish) but still warm (not muggy). I have arcade games down there so it would be nice to "crank up the AC" if I have friends over. smiling smiley


Quote
cbelt3
Quote
mattkime
My basement is nice and cool. Where do you live that its hot and stuffy?
Baseboard heating means no airflow. Each human generates around 100W of heat (more if active). Machinery, lighting, old Mac Pros, all pump up the heat. No place for it to go (*), and no airflow, it gets hot and stuffy.

(*) yes, basement walls absorb heat and re-radiate it out to the earth, which gets cooler the deeper you get (and then hotter, but that involves deep drilling / mining).

Pretty much what is going on. Just figured instead of selling / giving away these units I'd try and use it in my personal hangout space. smiling smiley
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Re: Anyone install a portable air conditioner in their basement???
Posted by: John B.
Date: June 19, 2020 09:16AM
Is the "stuffy" humidity or temperature? I think that drives part of the decision of what equipment to use.

I have a 1950's basement. The previous owners didn't dehumidify much (if at all), to the point where I have "shadows" on the concrete floor from where condensate formed on the cold water lines in the basement and then dripped onto the floor, staining them. Couple of things I've learned in the meantime.

1. The dehumidifier is on from the end of heating season to the beginning of the next heating season.
2. When I moved the dehumidifier from sitting on the floor in a corner to a wall-mounted shelf above the laundry sink, its' performance got better.
3. What also made a huge difference for me was when I ripped out the 1950's/1960's "finished basement" (think paneling sheets) and replaced with 201x technology....rigid foam insulation around the perimeter, vapor barrier under the vinyl plank floor, and getting the packed insulation batts out of the joist space and replacing with spray foam....the batts were so stained with dirt it was obvious they did nothing to stop airflow. Part of that is that when you replace materials that can absorb moisture with materials that don't, that gets rid of some of the stuffy/musty issue.
4. When I upgraded to a high-efficiency forced air HVAC system a couple years back, the installer said that even when running central AC I would still need to keep the basement dehumidifier running.

I had a portable air conditioner in a small commercial office, replaced it last year with a mini split and will tell you that there is no comparison. So if you need the temperature adjustment, prove it with the portables and then think something else long term. For the short term you'll probably need to get the portable unit up on a shelf if you want it to vent out a block window 6' off the floor.
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Re: Anyone install a portable air conditioner in their basement???
Posted by: spacescape
Date: June 19, 2020 09:28AM
Quote
John B.
Is the "stuffy" humidity or temperature? I think that drives part of the decision of what equipment to use.

I have a 1950's basement. The previous owners didn't dehumidify much (if at all), to the point where I have "shadows" on the concrete floor from where condensate formed on the cold water lines in the basement and then dripped onto the floor, staining them. Couple of things I've learned in the meantime.

1. The dehumidifier is on from the end of heating season to the beginning of the next heating season.
2. When I moved the dehumidifier from sitting on the floor in a corner to a wall-mounted shelf above the laundry sink, its' performance got better.
3. What also made a huge difference for me was when I ripped out the 1950's/1960's "finished basement" (think paneling sheets) and replaced with 201x technology....rigid foam insulation around the perimeter, vapor barrier under the vinyl plank floor, and getting the packed insulation batts out of the joist space and replacing with spray foam....the batts were so stained with dirt it was obvious they did nothing to stop airflow. Part of that is that when you replace materials that can absorb moisture with materials that don't, that gets rid of some of the stuffy/musty issue.
4. When I upgraded to a high-efficiency forced air HVAC system a couple years back, the installer said that even when running central AC I would still need to keep the basement dehumidifier running.

I had a portable air conditioner in a small commercial office, replaced it last year with a mini split and will tell you that there is no comparison. So if you need the temperature adjustment, prove it with the portables and then think something else long term. For the short term you'll probably need to get the portable unit up on a shelf if you want it to vent out a block window 6' off the floor.

Yikes, that's a good point. Maybe need to get it "up" a little bit. Maybe a mini split might be a good option later on.
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Re: Anyone install a portable air conditioner in their basement???
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: June 19, 2020 10:08AM
Portable air conditioners are typically very inefficient. Even models with inlet and outlet vents usually only get to CEER of 10. The first window AC I bought 35 years ago had a rating of 9.7.

A mini-split would be best for efficiency, but even that will not work properly unless it can be mounted high enough that the condensate drain will flow downhill to the outside grade.



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Re: Anyone install a portable air conditioner in their basement???
Posted by: deckeda
Date: June 19, 2020 10:43AM
If there's no airflow out of the basement, a window A/C doesn't change that. It'll be cooler but the air won't be any better quality necessarily. If you use one or more dehumidifiers you can eliminate the humidity they'd otherwise leave behind in the room (in the water pan) by plumbing their drains outside.

Our basement (old house, cement floor and cement basement walls) has two dehumidifiers (used to be 3 until one died). Old noisy Sears units. Each sits up about chest or head height on a shelf attached to the wall. The drain has a hose that's plumbed through the cement wall to the ground outside. Whatever humidity they remove, goes outside.

I won't say the air quality is "great" (still seems musty to me) but there's no return down there for the house's A/C. There is one vent in the ceiling to send some cooled (i.e. conditioned/less humid( air into the basement, which I'll feel as very subtle breeze as it pressurizes the room. But I swear the breeze smells a bit like outside, like the A/C is getting forced out and the room is then sucking in outside air.
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Re: Anyone install a portable air conditioner in their basement???
Posted by: Zoidberg
Date: June 19, 2020 11:26AM
This was educational for me re/those freestanding A/C units: [youtu.be]

When it's all you can use, it's better than nothing.

Living in the southeast, I dream of living somewhere that cool (or cool-ish) temps are the norm and the A/C breaking down is not a reason to book a hotel room somewhere. The house quickly turns into an oven during the summer months. And I scoff (heavily) at those who say things like "just open a window and use a fan", like turning the house into a convection oven will be better.



(BTW, it's spelled < y'all >.)
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Re: Anyone install a portable air conditioner in their basement???
Posted by: JoeH
Date: June 19, 2020 03:51PM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
A mini-split would be best for efficiency, but even that will not work properly unless it can be mounted high enough that the condensate drain will flow downhill to the outside grade.

If it can not be mounted high enough to drain on its on to the outside, have it drain into one of those condensate pumps used for high efficiency furnaces. That would take care of pumping the condensate into a drain or outside.
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Re: Anyone install a portable air conditioner in their basement???
Posted by: spacescape
Date: June 20, 2020 08:51AM
Thanks. Guess I'll just turn the dehumidifier up a little bit more. It's a newer model and drains to the floor drain so it's probably fairly efficient.
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