Anyone know where to get an indoor air conditioner?

I know they probably don’t exist, but, anyone know where to get a good indoor (one that doesn’t hang in the window) air conditioner for a maximum of $250? :wink:

Here’s some, but they’re over your price limit. It should give you an idea, though.

If I inderstand the physics correctly, any air conditioner generates more heat than cold. That’s why at least part of it has to be outside, to dump the heat produced.

Now I’m no expert, but that would seem to me to limit the utility of an “indoor air conditioner”.

I’d really be interested in learning where the waste heat from these things goes.

Can you still vent out a window? I have seen these at Costco and Home Depot (to name a couple of places) but they all still have a vent hose (which, in my case, wont work). Also, they are about double your stated price range.

Typically these units have window vent kits to exhaust the heat outside the conditioned space. One inherent problem is the heat given off by the flexible hose into the space you’re trying to cool.

I don’t remember where I read about these – maybe it was in Consumer Reports. Anyways, the upshot of their testing of these units was that they only lower the temp by about five degrees, and that included a unit with a hose to vent air outside.

Is there some reason you can’t use a window unit? My daughter bought one for about $200. It’s small, easy to install and remove, and she says it makes two rooms liveable.

Well… I can vent out the window… no problem… It’s hard to explain the situation, but let me put it at this: the landlords said we couldn’t have an air conditioner because we’d blow a fuse due to old wiring, yet in their half of the house they have not one, not two, but three air conditioners. I can’t explain why we can’t just go to them and say “you have three, we should be able to have one” – so I either need an indoor air conditioner or a really low voltage normal air conditioner (if any exist… :\ )

Window or floor model, an air conditioner is a compressor, fans, and a control circuit. The difference in electrical load is minimal-what increases draw is larger BTUh capacity.

So comparitively speaking, Off the same electrical outlet I’m running a computer, speakers, a tv, vcr, dvd player, and two fans… would one air conditioner take up more than that in power terms?

Over here in China, all air conditioners(that I’ve seen) are indoor. They have a tube that runs through a whole in the wall, where it has a small unit outside pumping out the heat. You have to drill a hole in your wall, however.

I’ve heard of units that sink the heat into an internal water reservoir, which must be periodically changed/emptied; I’m not sure if such devices actually exist, or if they’d be all that efficient, but I’ve heard people speak of them (as distinct from the drip tray function of ordinary AC units).

Yes. None of those are particularly power hungry. An air conditioner big enough to do you any good is probably going to take 10-15 Amps which means that it’s the only thing that should be on the circuit. What’s more, you have no reason to believe that this outlet is the only one being served by that circuit. If the house is old enough, half the apartment could be on one circuit.

(I did see one air conditioner that only took five Amps but it will only cool 250 square feet which is one largish room or a couple of small ones.)

Short version: indoor air conditioner is not the safe answer to your problem. Getting a dedicated outlet installed that can handle 15 or 20 Amps for an air conditioner is the solution. Depending on the location of the circuit box and the outlet, this could be either very easy or very hard to do.

Those are called Swamp Coolers. Though not because they are used is
swampy areas. Quite the opposite. They are popular in the southwest (US),
and work by blowing dry warm air over a moistened fabric. This lowers the air
temperature and addshumidity to the air. The added humidity is not a problem
in places like Arizona where humidity is like 3%, probably even beneficial!
However this only cools the air somewhat, you can’t set those to meat locker cold!
All you’re talking about is making the temp from unbearable to bearable. They are
the cheap air conditioning of the desert!

If I understand what you are describing, I have never seen such a thing for residential use. Enderway is describing a comon system, but it uses evaporating water to cool dry hot air rather than using the water as a heat sink.

Water can certainly be used as a heat sink for air conditioning, and in fact properly designed, water is more efficient than outdoor air at cooling the hot refrigerant. The problem is then (as you implied) that you have a bucket of hot water in a very short period of time, and once the water heats up it can no longer take heat from the hot refrigerant. So unless you have a constant stream of cool running water, this system would be of little use for space conditioning.

But wait you say! “I don’t pay for water! Free stream of cooling water!” Then you are back to the fact that this wouldn’t use any less electricity to run the compressor than a normal system and you’d be cool until the overloaded old system blows a fuse.

However… if you indeed do not pay for water (as some rental units do not) then you have another option. Hook up a hose to a sink, connect other end of hose to a heat exchange coil you pick up from a junk yard (old radiator from car would be ideal). Water goes in, runs through the coil, and then drains out into your tub or kitchen sink. Set it up on the counter, and set a box fan behind it to blow through the coil. The water will be 55-60F rather than the 40-45F coil of a real air conditioner, but it’s still a cooler breeze than a 90F room.

(Note however that this is not an environmentally sound method, as you are wasting potentially scarce drinking water down the drain.)

I have the same problem so I am watching this thread avidly.

I don’t have a single (insert cursing here) window that can fit any window AC unit. No kidding. Mine are either too big or too small. (insert more cursing here).

Needless to say, that makes us see red. :mad:

There are heat pumps that cool air and heat water flowing by in a pipe to get rid of the heat. A pretty small pipe can carry away enough heat this way. Lots of offices are cooled this way in commercial space.

You can also have a “split” air conditioner, with the condenser and one fan in one box and the evaporator and another fan in the other box. The compressor could be in either one, but is usually in the condensor (its waste heat is added to the hot environment). This also means each box draws less electrical power because the two fans are in separate locations. A small pair of tubes runs between them for the coolant (this might be the Chinese system already described).

No; I’m talking about a device that extracts heat from the room and pumps it into a reservoir of water. I’m not even sure if such devices exist, but I’ve heard people describe them.

Is there some reason you can’t use a “too big” window and then block off the remaining window space? I have a window unit and right in the instructions it talks about using a piece of plywood to block off the unfilled space. I usually end up using a chunk of a cardboard box.

These are often a very good solution for adding AC, but they are a wee bit more than the requested $250. They must be professionally installed due to the license required to charge them with refrigerant after installation, and run $2-3000 installed. Plus they still use more more electricity than remisser likely has available. 90% of the energy for an AC unit is for the compressor, so splitting a fan off into another box really doesn’t change much.