Portable air conditioners/swamp coolers

Can someone give me some info on portable air conditioners please? I’m stuck in an office alone all summer with the a/c not working and it’s driving me insane. I’m too hot and tired to give the whole boring story about how a newly renovated building, i.e. 4 million dollars worth, had installed in it a complex a/c system that just doesn’t seem to work, but suffice it to say that I can’t expect it to be resolved for a potentially looooong time.

So I was looking into portable floor standing air conditioners (I was told I can’t have a window unit) and noticed:

  1. there are few of them
  2. they are considerably more expensive than window units
  3. one that I clicked on mentioned something about the necessity of a window exhaust kit.

Why are they so much more expensive and do all require exhaust through a window?

Also, as I was typing this post I paused for another quick googling and noticed something called “swamp coolers”, which are different from air conditioners. What are they exactly? How effective are they? They are considerably less expensive it seems.

Incidentally, my office is about 22’ x 10’ with fairly large windows, and no direct sun generally. I believe I’d need about 8000-9000 BTUs. Is that correct?

The heat being removed from the room has to go somewhere that is why they need and exhaust out the window.
Swamp coolers work by using the heat in the room to evaporate water thus cooling the room. I had one in Albuquerque NM when I lived there. It worked great but NM is dry. I don’t imagine this working well in NYC.

When I lived in LA we used a swamp cooler in the house. It cooled things down sufficiently but it was bulky and needed a continious supply of water. Plus the filters needed to be changed regulary. It did nothing to decrease the humidity, (except it did add to it) which really didn’t bother me in the area I lived.
Swamp coolers are no good in humid areas.
Portable air conditioners? I’ll leave this to someone with more experience. But they do dehumidify, and you need a drain to get rid of the water.

Forget a swamp cooler-you’re in the wrong climate to use one. They require low relative humidity to be effective, and you don’t have that in New York.

A floor AC unit needs a window exhaust kit because the heat has to go somewhere outside of the space you’re attempting to cool. You’ll also likely have a condensate collection pan which has to be emptied periodically, like a dehumidifier.

There’s far more to be known for an accurate cooling calculation than simple square footage, but you’re in the ballpark, according to a few charts.

Dang! OK, no swamp cooler.

But why the heck are the portable a/c units so expensive? The cheapest I’ve seen is $300. The next one up with a condensor (no need to empty water) is $400. That’s considerably more than window units.

Like most things in commerce-it’s supply and demand. People who are looking at a freestanding likely can’t use a window unit for whatever reason, so they charge what the market will bear.

There are some portable units that don’t need a drain or drip tray for the water. They use the exhaust to expell the condensate as water vapor. The Delonghi Pinguino is one such unit, it also serves as an electrostatic air filter, so it’s a pretty nice all-in one solution. They can be had for around $800.

Also I think some units don’t require a window ‘exhaust’, and just dump the heat into water that goes down a drain. This is not the condensate water, but a seperate water supply (though the consensate water most likely also goes down the same drain).