Air conditioner for narrow windows

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d0gerz
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Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by d0gerz » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:58 am

One of the bedrooms in our place has really narrow windows, the actual opening is less than 14 inches wide. Does anyone know if any window ACs come for that size? The room isn't big so a 5,000 BTU unit should be sufficient. But searching online all of them seem to have a width of 15 inches and above.

Or is my best bet to go with a portable air conditioner? Though I can't find any that are 5,000 BTU.

Carlton
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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by Carlton » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:13 pm

http://www.lg-dfs.com/products.aspx

Don't know if you own or rent, but maybe a ductless mini-split? Very efficient with inverter variable speed compressors and super quiet. On some models one outdoor condenser can handle several indoor evaporators. Considerable more expensive than window units, but worthwhile if you're staying put, and heat pump models can provide supplemental heating. LG and Mitsubishi recommended.

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jimb_fromATL
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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by jimb_fromATL » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:51 pm

d0gerz wrote:One of the bedrooms in our place has really narrow windows, the actual opening is less than 14 inches wide. Does anyone know if any window ACs come for that size? The room isn't big so a 5,000 BTU unit should be sufficient. But searching online all of them seem to have a width of 15 inches and above.

Or is my best bet to go with a portable air conditioner? Though I can't find any that are 5,000 BTU.


Portable units are easy to install, and no doubt the exhaust duct will fit in your window. However, portable air conditioners are not nearly as efficient as window units. So you'll need a bigger unit to get the same amount of cooling anyway.

Window units, split systems, and central air systems circulate outside air through the condenser coil to remove the heat, and recirculate all of the cooled air inside the room.

But most of the readily available portable units have only one exhaust duct. No way to use outside air for absorbing the heat. The heated air being exhausted from the room has to be replaced with a combination of air that has already been cooled and new warm air that is being sucked in from outside the home through infiltration.

In other words, a window unit is like a car AC system that is set to cool better by always recirculating the air inside. But like a car AC in normal vent mode, a home portable AC unit does not cool nearly as well because it's pulling in hot air from outside.

So ... if a 5000 BTU window unit is adequate, you'll probably need a 8000 to 10,000 BTU portable unit to get the same amount of cooling. You'll be paying for the energy for 8K to 10K BTUs, but getting the use of perhaps a little more than half of it. The more air-tight the house, and the hotter the outside air, the less efficiency for the portable unit.

ARTICLE

jimb
Last edited by jimb_fromATL on Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

d0gerz
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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by d0gerz » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:11 pm

Carlton wrote:http://www.lg-dfs.com/products.aspx

Don't know if you own or rent, but maybe a ductless mini-split? Very efficient with inverter variable speed compressors and super quiet. On some models one outdoor condenser can handle several indoor evaporators. Considerable more expensive than window units, but worthwhile if you're staying put, and heat pump models can provide supplemental heating. LG and Mitsubishi recommended.

Thanks. Unfortunately I'm renting so not looking to invest in a split unit.

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jeffyscott
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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by jeffyscott » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:33 pm

jimb_fromATL wrote:But most of the readily available portable units have only one exhaust duct.


FWIW, a search for "Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner" seems to find some (though many that turn up are not actually dual hose, at least some are).

At least one is just over $300 at Walmart after a "pickup discount" and available in 3-5 days at my local store.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

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jimb_fromATL
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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by jimb_fromATL » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:57 pm

jeffyscott wrote:
jimb_fromATL wrote:But most of the readily available portable units have only one exhaust duct.


FWIW, a search for "Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner" seems to find some (though many that turn up are not actually dual hose, at least some are).

At least one is just over $300 at Walmart after a "pickup discount" and available in 3-5 days at my local store.

That might be worth looking into for the OP. That's still around 2 to 3 times the cost of a basic 5000 BTU window unit, but not a hekkuvva lot more than most of the single-hose models.

Is it a brand you ever heard of?
What capacity?
Do you happen to have a link to it?


jimb

d0gerz
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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by d0gerz » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:23 pm

jimb_fromATL wrote:
d0gerz wrote:One of the bedrooms in our place has really narrow windows, the actual opening is less than 14 inches wide. Does anyone know if any window ACs come for that size? The room isn't big so a 5,000 BTU unit should be sufficient. But searching online all of them seem to have a width of 15 inches and above.

Or is my best bet to go with a portable air conditioner? Though I can't find any that are 5,000 BTU.


Portable units are easy to install, and no doubt the exhaust duct will fit in your window. However, portable air conditioners are not nearly as efficient as window units. So you'll need a bigger unit to get the same amount of cooling anyway.

Window units, split systems, and central air systems circulate outside air through the condenser coil to remove the heat, and recirculate all of the cooled air inside the room.

But most of the readily available portable units have only one exhaust duct. No way to use outside air for absorbing the heat. The heated air being exhausted from the room has to be replaced with a combination of air that has already been cooled and new warm air that is being sucked in from outside the home through infiltration.

In other words, a window unit is like a car AC system that is set to cool better by always recirculating the air inside. But like a car AC in normal vent mode, a home portable AC unit does not cool nearly as well because it's pulling in hot air from outside.

So ... if a 5000 BTU window unit is adequate, you'll probably need a 8000 to 10,000 BTU portable unit to get the same amount of cooling. You'll be paying for the energy for 8K to 10K BTUs, but getting the use of perhaps a little more than half of it. The more air-tight the house, and the hotter the outside air, the less efficiency for the portable unit.

ARTICLE

jimb

Thanks a lot for this detailed post as well as the useful link. So portables aren't very efficient, and a lot more expensive to boot both upfront and in terms of ongoing cost. But I suppose it's the only option at this point, as I can't find any window units small enough.

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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by adamthesmythe » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:38 pm

There used to be air conditioners sized for a standard casement window. Not sure if that is 14 inches. I used to have a couple many years ago. As I recall they were expensive.

Just saw one on the web, it was 14.2 inches wide.

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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by jeffyscott » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:15 pm

jimb_fromATL wrote:
jeffyscott wrote:
jimb_fromATL wrote:But most of the readily available portable units have only one exhaust duct.


FWIW, a search for "Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner" seems to find some (though many that turn up are not actually dual hose, at least some are).

At least one is just over $300 at Walmart after a "pickup discount" and available in 3-5 days at my local store.

That might be worth looking into for the OP. That's still around 2 to 3 times the cost of a basic 5000 BTU window unit, but not a hekkuvva lot more than most of the single-hose models.

Is it a brand you ever heard of?
What capacity?
Do you happen to have a link to it?


jimb


No

12,000 btu

https://www.walmart.com/ip/12-000-BTU-P ... 6/52043363?

It's just the first one that google shopping seach shows.

Narrowest window unit I see is 14.2 inches as someone else noted and ~$400, but OP needs under 14. Cheapest casement unit I see is about $280, in google shopping but 14.6 inches.

I would assume having dual hose makes it close to window unit efficiency, eer is listed at 9.5 by Google for that dual hose portable, lower than some casement window units but actually higher than the 8.9 for the cheapest casement unit.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

d0gerz
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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by d0gerz » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:52 pm

For portable ACs, does the size of the room determine whether you get a single/dual hose unit. This link (found randomly) suggests that for smaller rooms a single hose unit should be okay. The room in question is quite small, around 110 square feet.

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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by jimb_fromATL » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:38 pm

d0gerz wrote:For portable ACs, does the size of the room determine whether you get a single/dual hose unit. This link (found randomly) suggests that for smaller rooms a single hose unit should be okay. The room in question is quite small, around 110 square feet.


What kind of building is it? What part of the country? Which side of the building, and what direction does the window face? N, S, E, W?

For a room that size anywhere but the southwestern desert, a single-hose unit is probably the only thing available -- or at least available at a reasonably cost-effective price. The smallest capacity units I've seen are 8,000 BTU, which would be more than enough for that space in a normally insulated home or apartment.

In most locales, the 12,000 BTU unit linked above would be way over-size for a room that small. A 10K unit probably would be too. Not only would a smaller unit cost less and be easier to move around, a lower-capacity unit running more nearly continuously dehumidifies better in a humid climate, and would be more comfortable with less temperature swings than an oversize unit that cycled on and off a lot.

Plus the larger 10K to 12K units would be far more likely to cause an electrical overload if there's not a single circuit outlet for it -- which has no other outlets on the same circuit.

jimb

d0gerz
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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by d0gerz » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:24 pm

jimb_fromATL wrote:
d0gerz wrote:For portable ACs, does the size of the room determine whether you get a single/dual hose unit. This link (found randomly) suggests that for smaller rooms a single hose unit should be okay. The room in question is quite small, around 110 square feet.


What kind of building is it? What part of the country? Which side of the building, and what direction does the window face? N, S, E, W?

For a room that size anywhere but the southwestern desert, a single-hose unit is probably the only thing available -- or at least available at a reasonably cost-effective price. The smallest capacity units I've seen are 8,000 BTU, which would be more than enough for that space in a normally insulated home or apartment.

In most locales, the 12,000 BTU unit linked above would be way over-size for a room that small. A 10K unit probably would be too. Not only would a smaller unit cost less and be easier to move around, a lower-capacity unit running more nearly continuously dehumidifies better in a humid climate, and would be more comfortable with less temperature swings than an oversize unit that cycled on and off a lot.

Plus the larger 10K to 12K units would be far more likely to cause an electrical overload if there's not a single circuit outlet for it -- which has no other outlets on the same circuit.

jimb

I'm in the Boston area, building is a semi-detached house. Room is on the 2nd floor with windows facing west.

Realistically we will only need to use the AC for 1-2 months. Sounds like a single hose portable is the way to go?

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dm200
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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by dm200 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:41 pm

I'm in the Boston area, building is a semi-detached house. Room is on the 2nd floor with windows facing west.
Realistically we will only need to use the AC for 1-2 months. Sounds like a single hose portable is the way to go?


Probably. Not like it is 100 degrees and 90% humidity for 9 months.

What about adjacent hallway and/or room? Might that air conditioned space have a fan pull in cooler air from there?

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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by protagonist » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:07 pm

I am in a similar situation.

MY (imperfect) solution is to use the window unit in my adjacent home office and a floor fan that blows the air into the room with the tiny windows.

It is imperfect and inefficient, but I don't generally need to cool the room with the tiny windows for more than a couple of hours per day in the summer. Once cooled it takes quite a while to reheat since it gets little sunlight.

If you have a similar layout or one where you can figure out a creative compromise, it may be a simple solution that also leaves you with unimpeded windows.

d0gerz
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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by d0gerz » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:23 pm

dm200 wrote:Probably. Not like it is 100 degrees and 90% humidity for 9 months.

What about adjacent hallway and/or room? Might that air conditioned space have a fan pull in cooler air from there?

So our house doesn't have central air. Adjacent hallway is not air-conditioned. This room is a middle room on the 2nd floor, with one room to the north and another to the south. Both these other rooms have normal-sized windows so have window AC units, but the middle room has no access to these rooms. It only opens to the hallway, which connects all three rooms but isn't air-conditioned.

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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by Silk McCue » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:27 pm

Single hose portable should be a great solution given your parameters. Used one in a second home in NC during renovation to keep the master BR nice and cool at night and a respite during the day. Money well spent.

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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by jimb_fromATL » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:55 pm

d0gerz wrote: I'm in the Boston area, building is a semi-detached house. Room is on the 2nd floor with windows facing west.

Realistically we will only need to use the AC for 1-2 months. Sounds like a single hose portable is the way to go?


Unless you can find a smaller window unit that any I've seen, it sounds like the only feasible choice. Sounds like 8,000 BTU is the largest you need. There are a couple of 6,000 BTU portables advertised, but since it might not even cool as well as a 5,000 BTU window unit, it might be borderline.

Since you have two other window AC units, and if it's an older home, you probably need to try to find out if the nearest electrical outlet is on a single circuit or if it's shared with something in another room. Two AC units of even the smallest sizes would be too much for one circuit.

By "only 1-2 months" do you mean for this cooling season, or because you'll be moving? I'd guess that a portable unit might be easier to sell for a few bucks more than a window unit, or might be more useful someplace else later if you're not going to be in the current place long.

jimb

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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by VaR » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:56 am

Carefully measure the width of the window. If you're lucky, you will be able to fit a 14.2 inch casement window air conditioner.

If not, you'll have to go with a portable unit. You may be able to pick one up for cheap at the end of the season. I think lots of people buy them thinking they'll work better than they do, but later decide that they are:
1. super noisy
2. inefficient
3. ineffective due to the aforementioned sucking problem - the need to exhaust inside air to the outside. Even the two hose unit I bought vented a not-insignificant amount of air from the inside to the outside.
4. require emptying the condensate water manually

d0gerz
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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by d0gerz » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:55 pm

jimb_fromATL wrote:By "only 1-2 months" do you mean for this cooling season, or because you'll be moving? I'd guess that a portable unit might be easier to sell for a few bucks more than a window unit, or might be more useful someplace else later if you're not going to be in the current place long.

jimb

Yeah I meant just for this summer. That's about as long we'll get really hot/humid weather.

I'm hoping this will work out. Though looks like I may still need to make some modification to the panel in which the hose will fit, as it's too wide for the window. Looking at this one: https://www.amazon.com/LG-LP0817WSR-Por ... 06XBF75QJ/

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dm200
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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:01 pm

d0gerz wrote:
jimb_fromATL wrote:By "only 1-2 months" do you mean for this cooling season, or because you'll be moving? I'd guess that a portable unit might be easier to sell for a few bucks more than a window unit, or might be more useful someplace else later if you're not going to be in the current place long.

jimb

Yeah I meant just for this summer. That's about as long we'll get really hot/humid weather.

I'm hoping this will work out. Though looks like I may still need to make some modification to the panel in which the hose will fit, as it's too wide for the window. Looking at this one: https://www.amazon.com/LG-LP0817WSR-Por ... 06XBF75QJ/


Just saw this on my Facebook page, FWIW http://www.wusa9.com/money/consumer/way ... e=facebook

d0gerz
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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by d0gerz » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:08 pm

VaR wrote:Carefully measure the width of the window. If you're lucky, you will be able to fit a 14.2 inch casement window air conditioner.

If not, you'll have to go with a portable unit. You may be able to pick one up for cheap at the end of the season. I think lots of people buy them thinking they'll work better than they do, but later decide that they are:
1. super noisy
2. inefficient
3. ineffective due to the aforementioned sucking problem - the need to exhaust inside air to the outside. Even the two hose unit I bought vented a not-insignificant amount of air from the inside to the outside.
4. require emptying the condensate water manually

Unfortunately at its narrowest, where the screen is, the width of the window is ~13.5 inches. Haven't found a unit with a width less than that.

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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:44 pm

I don't suppose this will work for you because you are renting, but I could restore mine to original pretty easily.

I own a house with FHW oil heat and thus no duct work. Compounded by the fact that every single window in the house is a casement window. To make matters worse, they are crank out hinged windows that it is impossible to place window air conditioners or even use portable air conditioners.

After several years of suffering and HVAC contractor quotes >= $10K for high velocity systems in the walls and multi-zone mini-split ductless systems. Twenty (20) years ago this month, I purchased and installed a single zone mini-split ductless system in my living room myself for < $1K, which because of airflow keeps the entire 1st floor cool.

Fast-forward to several years ago. I bought a portable AC and with a Rube Goldberg contraption consisting of diagonal Styrofoam sections cut with surgical precision, weatherstripping and lots of duct tape, I had something that marginally worked.

The next season it occurred to me to remove the entire window, build a frame to hold a window air conditioner and use Lexan for the remainder of the window. Works like a charm and can be restored to original state easily.

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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by VaR » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:45 am

d0gerz wrote:I'm hoping this will work out. Though looks like I may still need to make some modification to the panel in which the hose will fit, as it's too wide for the window.

My window was also too narrow for the default panel for the portable I bought, but a hacksaw made short work of it.

d0gerz
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Re: Air conditioner for narrow windows

Post by d0gerz » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:01 pm

Thanks for all the advice. My unit, the LG I linked to above, has been installed and so far so good. I had to cut the window panel to size so that it would fit.

Let me just say I am in complete awe of folks who can build their own windows or install a split AC on their own, etc. For me just figuring out how I would cut the panel was a project. Ended up buying a hacksaw (as VaR suggested) after a trip to Home Depot but that involved first learning what a hacksaw was. As in I'd seen one years ago among my dad's tools but didn't know that's what it was called. Anyway wish I could be as handy as some of you.

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