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Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Jp!
Date: July 10, 2007 10:44PM
I've been tempted to get a small unit just for one/some room/s. And, I see many houses in my area that have small window A/Cs, too.

My open design house, with a large two-story great room SUCKS for evenly distributing both heat and Air conditioning. And I've thought about getting a small unit instead of cooling the whole house a degree or two cooler.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: jimbrady
Date: July 10, 2007 10:53PM
I supplement my large window units with small window units. The 5000 BTU Frigidaires are nice.



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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Rain
Date: July 10, 2007 10:56PM
for two years we did that - large window unit in back bedroom. opposite end of house from HVAC.

(sign of a piss poor HVAC install design)

System doing much much better this year



[www.reverbnation.com]

Thanks for everyone's help and support after Hurricane Katrina!
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: chas_m
Date: July 10, 2007 10:58PM
Maybe you just need to go move into the beer cooler!

smiling smiley



chas_m




[crawlingfromtheusa.blogspot.com] <-- Moving to Canada blog
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: July 10, 2007 11:07PM
I used to live on the top floor of a 1.5 story house (not including basement) which did not have A/C when it was built. The landlord had installed a central A/C unit that flowed through the heating ducts pretty well, but it just wasn't big or powerful enough to get the upstairs cool. Lots of windows open at night and a couple fans going kept it bearable though. In retrospect it would have been nice to have a window unit at least some of the time.

In my new house (full 3 stories) the downstairs is sort of a walkout basement which is many degrees colder all the time. The upstairs again is hotter, but not bad as long as I don't leave the G5 running all the time.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: July 10, 2007 11:13PM
Can of worms opened? Check. grinning smiley

If your current system is a new efficient unit and properly sized, it might be better to install a booster fan in a duct or run an additional return from the hot/cold room.

You can get a portable unit that is pretty efficient. A 12,000 BTU portable with a 12 EER is $400 to $600 but might be overkill. Inexpensive window units at 8,000 BTU and below currently only max out at about a 10.8 EER.



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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Jp!
Date: July 10, 2007 11:16PM
i have floor vents. I have put fans on them (just normal fans) pointing UP to increase airflow.

I like the duracraft fan, it has a flat back and once pointed UP, the on/off controls are right there.



BUT, I wonder about just getting a small window AC unit, instead.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: July 10, 2007 11:18PM
>>My open design house, with a large two-story great room SUCKS for evenly distributing both heat and Air conditioning.

Does it have a fan? Sometimes being concerned with airflow can be much more effective than throwing more BTUs at the problem.



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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Jp!
Date: July 10, 2007 11:28PM
oh yeah. a large ceiling fan, PLUS I have always kept the Central Air's fan on for 15 years.

The blower is at the NW corner of the house, pushes through ONE duct along the north side of the ground floor ceiling, with two ducts cutting south about 2/3 and 7/8 of the way to the east side. so, it's a big F shape with the tines pointing south.

It would distribute better if it were more centrally located, either the unit OR the duct. But, can't re-design it now.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Kraniac
Date: July 11, 2007 12:00AM
The world, particularly the US, is being softened by AC. Get some cubes and embrace the heat for what it marks...time to slow down and take it easy.

I only use AC when it's hot and I or a family member is sick, or, for when it's really damn hot..so hot that my wife doesn't want to make some sexy time. Even then, it's off after the flesh settles.

Seriously, something about the thought of supplementing central air conditioning with more air conditioning, in a house that is designed irresponsibly, really cuts hard given the situation on earth these days. My opinion is that we are a very soft and wimpy culture here in these US's.

These houses with "great rooms" and two story living rooms (these things are going up all over chicago) are about the dumbest concept I've ever seen. Please nothing personal intended here...just some opinions on the decline of American civilization is all.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2007 12:41AM by Kraniac.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: davester
Date: July 11, 2007 02:03AM
I think it makes a lot of sense if you are running the small window unit INSTEAD of the central air. If you're running them both, then I'd say you are driving us to environmental disaster with your pedal to the metal.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Jp!
Date: July 11, 2007 04:26AM
lmao
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: July 11, 2007 04:53AM
I'm not so sure that running 2 or more units is a bad thing. I mean if that results in more efficient temperature regulation then you would be using less energy overall as opposed to just one system. In many cases with only one unit parts of the house will be much colder than necessary or even wanted, where the rest of the house may be still too hot.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Jp!
Date: July 11, 2007 05:20AM
exactly. I usually get a little warm when it's 82 in my bedroom. The basement can be 74 at the same setting. I don't want to cool the other parts, just be able to sleep. Thanks to boom box cars and harleys ( I live near a Harley dealer and popular riding road it appears), I can't open windows at night.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: billb
Date: July 11, 2007 07:15AM
My central air functions by opening/closing window(s).
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Jp!
Date: July 11, 2007 07:37AM
what does your home's temperature inside become during 93 degree days? If mine magically was 76, I would have no need to cool it.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: billb
Date: July 11, 2007 07:48AM
I'm surrounded by nice cool 150 year old oak trees, so the house is mostly shaded except at noon. Usually 10 degrees cooler inside.
Anyone who complains about hot inside is more than welcome to go sit outside in the sun. :-)


(or feed the mosquitos at night)
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: wurm
Date: July 11, 2007 09:13AM
I was just saying to my wife (and kids) last evening that having central air installed a few months ago was among the best things we've ever done at the house.

Interestingly, because of the previous owner's addition to the house, many of the companies who came to give us quotes for the install, thought that we might need a supplemental window unt in the addition (my office/studio). We thought that might be the case, as well, because of the lack of insulation and the compromised ductwork that is shared with the kitchen. I'm happy to say that has been a non issue. We set the thermostat for about 71 degrees and the whole house gets nice and comfortable during these hot and humid days. Sometimes we knock it down to 68 during the night.

I'm absolutely thrilled and I happily sold all my window units on Craigslist a couple days after the install.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Jp!
Date: July 11, 2007 09:28AM
yikes, I have NEVER set my thermostat that low.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: July 11, 2007 09:49AM
yeah, wow. I have mine set at 79. I think if it was 71 I would need to wear long sleeves.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Jp!
Date: July 11, 2007 09:59AM
I have mine set at 76...but then again, as stated, that means COLDER than 76 in parts of the house and a lot WARMER in other parts..

Lower ceilings I bet helps keep the temp more even.. I know the great room does not.. plus adds to NOISE.. I hate NOISE.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: July 11, 2007 10:20AM
JP!,

It depends on many factors. In my parents house, there is central A/C on both the first and second floor. However, if only one person is home, then it doesn't pay to use central at all. It's more cost effective to use a single high efficiency window unit in just the one room where that individual stays primarily.

For what it's worth, I'd avoid Frigidaire. They make a decent a/c but I'd take a unit from Sharp over a Fridigaire without hesitation. The efficiency rating is nearly the same but the Sharps I own are quieter and work better. The only reason I got the Frigidaire is because the difference in price was significant and I needed the a/c immediately. Otherwise, I'd've held off and gotten an Equivalent Sharp on sale.

Keep in mind, with window units, efficiency is key but you must take into account the strength of the fans and the noise factor. The Frigidaire doesn't measure up to the Sharps. The fans don't work as well and it's noiser.

Robert
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Jp!
Date: July 11, 2007 11:36AM
thanks for the info
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: July 11, 2007 12:19PM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
Can of worms opened? Check. grinning smiley

If your current system is a new efficient unit and properly sized, it might be better to install a booster fan in a duct or run an additional return from the hot/cold room.

You can get a portable unit that is pretty efficient. A 12,000 BTU portable with a 12 EER is $400 to $600 but might be overkill. Inexpensive window units at 8,000 BTU and below currently only max out at about a 10.8 EER.

I am so glad someone other than myself brings up the EER/SEER ratings about A/C units. Going from a 9.7 up to a 10.7 saves about 9% on the energy use. Going from a 9.7 to an 11.7 is about 17% savings. Those cheap 9.7 in-window units will cost more than the better ones after about a season of use wasting energy. And the better ones are usually quieter too.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: July 11, 2007 01:50PM
Quote
Jp!
i have floor vents. I have put fans on them (just normal fans) pointing UP to increase airflow.

I like the duracraft fan, it has a flat back and once pointed UP, the on/off controls are right there.



BUT, I wonder about just getting a small window AC unit, instead.

A small window unit will help cool a zone of your home. If your current central unit is efficient, adding a window unit could raise your electric bill several dollars a month.

The Duracraft fan is only mixing the air after it gets to the room. I was thinking of something more like this to boost the amount of conditioned air to the room, if you can get to the ducts to install it. It might be a little harder if you have square ducts.
[www.homedepot.com]




Quote
Racer X
I am so glad someone other than myself brings up the EER/SEER ratings about A/C units. Going from a 9.7 up to a 10.7 saves about 9% on the energy use. Going from a 9.7 to an 11.7 is about 17% savings. Those cheap 9.7 in-window units will cost more than the better ones after about a season of use wasting energy. And the better ones are usually quieter too.

I recently got a 11.4 EER unit to supplement/replace a 20+ year old through-wall unit in my apartment. I run the new one exclusively as long as it can control the temp. My last bill was $20 less than the same month last year. At that rate it will pay for itself in just over two years.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2007 01:53PM by Filliam H. Muffman.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: July 11, 2007 03:06PM
And I bet its a fair bit quieter too.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Jp!
Date: July 11, 2007 05:01PM
I have put two booster fans in, and had them wired to the blower motor relay, too.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: July 11, 2007 07:45PM
<sigh>



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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: July 11, 2007 08:49PM
Quote
Jp!
I have mine set at 76...but then again, as stated, that means COLDER than 76 in parts of the house and a lot WARMER in other parts..

Lower ceilings I bet helps keep the temp more even.. I know the great room does not.. plus adds to NOISE.. I hate NOISE.

I'm with you Jp. We keep ours on 76, any cooler and I'd be sleeping under heavy quilts.

We installed a 13 SEER Heat Pump last fall and I believe it's so efficient it's not running
enough to dry my house out properly. We had a 10SEER before and on days like we're
having now in the 90's it ran about all day. We put in a 3 ton(36,000BTU) unit like we had
before. If someone needs to turn it down to 68 I suggest you check the humidity level and
see if it's not fairly high. I can't think any reason to have it on 68. Heck my heat is only set
on 69 in the winter.

As far as the destroying the environment by running a small window, get a life please.
It's a drop in the bucket to what grocery stores waste every minute of the day with open
freezers and open cool storage.

The inline duct fans are also available in 6" and I was told they could be wired into the
low voltage of your system to come on automatically not flip a switch like the Home
Depot site says. Most home systems have 6" lines off of the main trunkline.



Grateful11




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2007 08:55PM by Grateful11.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Jp!
Date: July 12, 2007 05:36AM
grateful..

We noticed the humidity (with have a humidity read-out) has gone UP with our new (2 summers ago) Compressor. I hate the higher humidity.
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: July 12, 2007 05:04PM
We're running into the same thing at work in the offices. A brand new Trane and I believe
they over spec'ed on size and it's just not running enough to dry it out.



Grateful11
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Re: Do any of you supplement your central Air (A/C) with a small window unit?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: August 02, 2007 01:01PM
Quote
Jp!
i have floor vents. I have put fans on them (just normal fans) pointing UP to increase airflow.

I like the duracraft fan, it has a flat back and once pointed UP, the on/off controls are right there.

BUT, I wonder about just getting a small window AC unit, instead.

Quote
Jp!
oh yeah. a large ceiling fan, PLUS I have always kept the Central Air's fan on for 15 years.

The blower is at the NW corner of the house, pushes through ONE duct along the north side of the ground floor ceiling, with two ducts cutting south about 2/3 and 7/8 of the way to the east side. so, it's a big F shape with the tines pointing south.

It would distribute better if it were more centrally located, either the unit OR the duct. But, can't re-design it now.

Quote
Jp!
exactly. I usually get a little warm when it's 82 in my bedroom. The basement can be 74 at the same setting. I don't want to cool the other parts, just be able to sleep. Thanks to boom box cars and harleys ( I live near a Harley dealer and popular riding road it appears), I can't open windows at night.

Quote
Jp!
I have put two booster fans in, and had them wired to the blower motor relay, too.

Quote
Jp!
We noticed the humidity (with have a humidity read-out) has gone UP with our new (2 summers ago) Compressor. I hate the higher humidity.

Did you buy a window unit? Not sure if you search on your name, but for some reason I thought about this thread again. All the info that you posted starts to provide a decent amount of information. That is why I made the comment about opening a can of worms.

If your current system cycles two times an hour on a hot day, then it sounds like it is sized about right. A window unit can be overkill in this case but it might be cheaper/easier than getting the ducting properly set up. If it does not dehumidify as much as you like after the compressor replacement, it could have been a little overcharged. Getting this fixed could be an ordeal unless you get the right tech. Bleeding off a little refrigerant (lowering the charge) will lower the evaporator temperature and increase dehumidification, but it will lower the efficiency a small amount and maybe reduce the compressor reliability. Bleeding off too much can result in the evaporator icing up and causing more problems.



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