Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

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JHU ALmuni
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Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by JHU ALmuni »

Recently moved to a new apartment (1100 sq ft) that doesn't have AC so I need to get three (?) AC units for two small size bedrooms and a living room. My questions:

1. I'm renting so don't want anything fancy, just simple AC (5000-6000 BTU), any suggestions for a good brand/model to buy? Preferably under $300/unit.

2. If I get it from stores like Lowes/Home Depot, is installation included with the purchase?

3. Any suggestions where to buy the units? If you have experience with specific store/website please share it.

Thanks
123
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by 123 »

Wirecutter has some current model recommendations: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-air-conditioner/

Whatever model you decide I would buy only one to start and if you're satisfied get more.
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windaar
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by windaar »

I was in this situation before and it was enough to just do the bedrooms for sleep at night. Open windows and fans OK for the rest
of the house, depending on where you live.
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F150HD
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by F150HD »

My old home was 1200ish sq ft, 2 floors. If I left the single window AC running upstairs all day, the coolness would drift downstairs too. Helpful to keep blinds closed etc.

Make sure when you install the window AC that you TILT it backwards so all that water runs outside and not inside.

:happy
Kennedy
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by Kennedy »

I know you said window unit, but also consider the free-standing unit that sits in the room and just vents to the outside. We use those, and they work great. They are on sale now at Costco for $400. https://www.costco.com/de'longhi-pingui ... 34788.html

This works better for us since it's not a huge eye-sore from the exterior like a window unit. And there's also the safety factor in that no one from the outside can remove the AC and access the room, a concern if you are on the first floor. In our case, we use a small window lock (a few dollars from amazon) right above the slightly opened window where the vent extends, an area that is too small for someone to crawl through.
curmudgeon
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by curmudgeon »

Kennedy wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:22 pm I know you said window unit, but also consider the free-standing unit that sits in the room and just vents to the outside. We use those, and they work great. They are on sale now at Costco for $400. https://www.costco.com/de'longhi-pingui ... 34788.html

This works better for us since it's not a huge eye-sore from the exterior like a window unit. And there's also the safety factor in that no one from the outside can remove the AC and access the room, a concern if you are on the first floor. In our case, we use a small window lock (a few dollars from amazon) right above the slightly opened window where the vent extends, an area that is too small for someone to crawl through.
Most of the free-standing units (such as the one in the link) will only create a localized cool zone. While having the exhaust vent out the window helps, the unit still has to pull replacement air in to replace that exhaust, which will normally be unconditioned outside air. It's a bit like the heating inefficiency of a fireplace. They do work for keeping one area cooler, but standard window units will be more effective and energy efficient.

Providing for secure mounting of a window unit can definitely be a nuisance, though, so I can understand the preference for a free-standing unit if you don't need it for extensive use.
NewishBog
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by NewishBog »

curmudgeon wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:35 pm
Kennedy wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:22 pm I know you said window unit, but also consider the free-standing unit that sits in the room and just vents to the outside. We use those, and they work great. They are on sale now at Costco for $400. https://www.costco.com/de'longhi-pingui ... 34788.html

This works better for us since it's not a huge eye-sore from the exterior like a window unit. And there's also the safety factor in that no one from the outside can remove the AC and access the room, a concern if you are on the first floor. In our case, we use a small window lock (a few dollars from amazon) right above the slightly opened window where the vent extends, an area that is too small for someone to crawl through.
Most of the free-standing units (such as the one in the link) will only create a localized cool zone. While having the exhaust vent out the window helps, the unit still has to pull replacement air in to replace that exhaust, which will normally be unconditioned outside air. It's a bit like the heating inefficiency of a fireplace. They do work for keeping one area cooler, but standard window units will be more effective and energy efficient.

Providing for secure mounting of a window unit can definitely be a nuisance, though, so I can understand the preference for a free-standing unit if you don't need it for extensive use.
Dual hose would fix that, right?
https://www.costco.com/hisense-700-sq-f ... 82553.html
atikovi
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by atikovi »

Where is this? I can't imagine anywhere outside Alaska or above 8,000 feet that wouldn't have A/C other than some low income areas.
rich126
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by rich126 »

Window units are self install and generally just involves screwing a few screws into the window still. I’m not a fan of the floor models since they still need to vent outside to be effective.

We had them growing up since the house didn’t have AC and had radiator heating so no vents. The installation of central air was going to be $$$. I also used a window unit for my bedroom in MD. While the house had central air it was multistory and the second floor got hot and it seemed wasteful to set the central air at a low temp just to get my bedroom cool. I was the only one living in the house and like it cool when sleeping.
curmudgeon
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by curmudgeon »

NewishBog wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:43 pm
curmudgeon wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:35 pm
Most of the free-standing units (such as the one in the link) will only create a localized cool zone. While having the exhaust vent out the window helps, the unit still has to pull replacement air in to replace that exhaust, which will normally be unconditioned outside air. It's a bit like the heating inefficiency of a fireplace. They do work for keeping one area cooler, but standard window units will be more effective and energy efficient.

Providing for secure mounting of a window unit can definitely be a nuisance, though, so I can understand the preference for a free-standing unit if you don't need it for extensive use.
Dual hose would fix that, right?
https://www.costco.com/hisense-700-sq-f ... 82553.html
I think the dual-hose would work better, especially for more sustained use, though I haven't actually tried one. Probably still not as effective as an equivalent power window unit, and you still have to dump the water. It's probably been 15 years or more since I used one of these units (the single hose type); someone with more recent experience could provide better feedback.
Carson
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by Carson »

I bought two of the Toshiba units from Home Depot last year to replace some old units we had inherited. I was really happy with how they worked and looked.
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curmudgeon
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by curmudgeon »

atikovi wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:59 pm Where is this? I can't imagine anywhere outside Alaska or above 8,000 feet that wouldn't have A/C other than some low income areas.
Large portions of the west coast don't bother much with A/C. I have central A/C in my house, but typically only use it 10-12 days a year (and even then usually just run it for a few hours in the afternoon).
shelanman
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by shelanman »

Kennedy wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:22 pm I know you said window unit, but also consider the free-standing unit that sits in the room and just vents to the outside. We use those, and they work great. They are on sale now at Costco for $400. https://www.costco.com/de'longhi-pingui ... 34788.html

This works better for us since it's not a huge eye-sore from the exterior like a window unit. And there's also the safety factor in that no one from the outside can remove the AC and access the room, a concern if you are on the first floor. In our case, we use a small window lock (a few dollars from amazon) right above the slightly opened window where the vent extends, an area that is too small for someone to crawl through.
Before considering a freestanding/portable unit, watch this (quite entertaining) video about why they suck:
https://youtu.be/_-mBeYC2KGc

Basically, unless you get a "dual-hose" unit, they are horribly inefficient and keep your room under negative air pressure -- and even if you do get a dual-hose, they're terribly loud.
megabad
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by megabad »

I would check with your landlord first if you haven’t already. My leases for my properties specifically forbid window AC units but yours may not. Also make sure you have an empty circuit if you are getting a big unit.

My parents have an LG unit that has phone control and scheduling. Works pretty well and it is quieter than I would have expected. I installed for them. I dont think I have ever heard of installation being included but I would guess they would install anything if you paid them. I would ask them if this is important. I can’t imagine it costing more than 100 bucks or so extra. Took me only a few minutes to install and I am no pro.

The important thing to remember if you have never used one of these before is to lower your expectations. Window AC units are all crap compared to central AC. They are all loud and don’t work well. You just need to find one that is on the quieter and better working side of that scale. Personally I would never be able to survive with one in the bedroom.
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

windaar wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:07 pm I was in this situation before and it was enough to just do the bedrooms for sleep at night. Open windows and fans OK for the rest
of the house, depending on where you live.
If you do this, keep the bedroom door closed always. ACs work by removing moisture from the air. If you have an AC in one room and open windows elsewhere, you're wasting electricity for no real gain. You really should think of AC as a switch. Either all the windows shut and AC on or shut off the AC.
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masteraleph
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by masteraleph »

atikovi wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:59 pm Where is this? I can't imagine anywhere outside Alaska or above 8,000 feet that wouldn't have A/C other than some low income areas.
Any older building in any city? Walk around NY some time and look at how many window units there are (I mean, when the pandemic is over).
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JHU ALmuni
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by JHU ALmuni »

masteraleph wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 7:26 am
atikovi wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:59 pm Where is this? I can't imagine anywhere outside Alaska or above 8,000 feet that wouldn't have A/C other than some low income areas.
Any older building in any city? Walk around NY some time and look at how many window units there are (I mean, when the pandemic is over).
Exactly right, I'm in NY.
bob60014
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by bob60014 »

masteraleph wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 7:26 am
atikovi wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:59 pm Where is this? I can't imagine anywhere outside Alaska or above 8,000 feet that wouldn't have A/C other than some low income areas.
Any older building in any city? Walk around NY some time and look at how many window units there are (I mean, when the pandemic is over).
Chicago too.
musicmom
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by musicmom »

And also most very old single family homes.
We loved our 1790 colonial in NJ. Bought it with no central air and used window units for 30 years.
Occasionally considered installing central air. Major contruction, major money.
Never did it.

When we listed, it was kinda amusing to see potential buyers who professed to be old house lovers but the lack of central AC was a deal breaker.
Ultimately, we had two buyers bidding up and we sold over list.

We had three 5000 BTU units in the bedrooms and one large unit on the open-ish first floor plan that cooled the living areas.
atikovi
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by atikovi »

masteraleph wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 7:26 am
atikovi wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:59 pm Where is this? I can't imagine anywhere outside Alaska or above 8,000 feet that wouldn't have A/C other than some low income areas.
Any older building in any city? Walk around NY some time and look at how many window units there are (I mean, when the pandemic is over).
Well yes, they already have A/C. OP is talking about an apartment that doesn't. I can't imagine any place in the east even up as far north as Boston without A/C already installed. If the heat doesn't get ya, the humidity certainly will. Try sleeping in such weather.
tibbitts
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by tibbitts »

JHU ALmuni wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 8:20 pm Recently moved to a new apartment (1100 sq ft) that doesn't have AC so I need to get three (?) AC units for two small size bedrooms and a living room. My questions:

1. I'm renting so don't want anything fancy, just simple AC (5000-6000 BTU), any suggestions for a good brand/model to buy? Preferably under $300/unit.

2. If I get it from stores like Lowes/Home Depot, is installation included with the purchase?

3. Any suggestions where to buy the units? If you have experience with specific store/website please share it.

Thanks
Having a similar arrangement in NY I would say you're under capacity on at least the living area. I would get at least 6k for the bedrooms and almost double that for the living area.

Often window units are seasonal - in for summer, out for winter. So "installation" isn't a one-time process. On the other hand if you don't have anywhere to store the unit then sometimes the window is the only place.
Last edited by tibbitts on Mon May 04, 2020 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
tibbitts
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by tibbitts »

masteraleph wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 7:26 am
atikovi wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:59 pm Where is this? I can't imagine anywhere outside Alaska or above 8,000 feet that wouldn't have A/C other than some low income areas.
Any older building in any city? Walk around NY some time and look at how many window units there are (I mean, when the pandemic is over).
Why does a window unit depend on the pandemic? You mean people wouldn't install theirs for the summer over concern over bringing contaminated air into the house?
JediMisty
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by JediMisty »

tibbitts wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 8:29 am
masteraleph wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 7:26 am
atikovi wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:59 pm Where is this? I can't imagine anywhere outside Alaska or above 8,000 feet that wouldn't have A/C other than some low income areas.
Any older building in any city? Walk around NY some time and look at how many window units there are (I mean, when the pandemic is over).
Why does a window unit depend on the pandemic? You mean people wouldn't install theirs for the summer over concern over bringing contaminated air into the house?
Perhaps the poster meant to walk around NYC when the pandemic is over.
JediMisty
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by JediMisty »

tibbitts wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 8:29 am
masteraleph wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 7:26 am
atikovi wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:59 pm Where is this? I can't imagine anywhere outside Alaska or above 8,000 feet that wouldn't have A/C other than some low income areas.
Any older building in any city? Walk around NY some time and look at how many window units there are (I mean, when the pandemic is over).
Why does a window unit depend on the pandemic? You mean people wouldn't install theirs for the summer over concern over bringing contaminated air into the house?
Perhaps the poster meant to walk around NYC when the pandemic is over.
adamthesmythe
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by adamthesmythe »

I have had window AC units. They are not very satisfactory but better than nothing.

When renting you will be limited by size, current draw, and maybe landlord rules. For ordinary outlets you may be limited to the smaller sizes available. If there is a dedicated socket for AC you will have more options.

If I had to do this I would probably get name-brand as opposed to no-name from my local Lowe's Depot. Expect to install yourself. I have never heard of hiring someone to install an ordinary window air conditioner.
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lthenderson
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by lthenderson »

JHU ALmuni wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 8:20 pm Recently moved to a new apartment (1100 sq ft) that doesn't have AC so I need to get three (?) AC units for two small size bedrooms and a living room.
No help for your questions but when we had an apartment for several years with only window AC, we found it preferable to put the AC in the bedrooms and to not put one in the living room. The reason had to do with the noise level. With the AC kicking on and off all the time, it made things like listening to music or watching television a chore with your hand on the volume button to adjust accordingly. Perhaps models are a lot quieter but it would be something I would consider again before starting off with one in the living room.
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LilyFleur
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by LilyFleur »

In my condo, our rules prohibited window units. In my previous 2100 square foot two-story home, we could keep it comfortable with a wall unit in the upstairs master and a seasonal window unit in the kitchen. (Coastal California, but a humid microclimate). For the condo, I bought one floor unit for my living room. It was far noisier and produced much less cool air than my previous window units. It also didn't do anything to cool the bedrooms, and my condo is only about 1000 square feet.

I ended up putting a mini-split in each bedroom and in the living/dining/kitchen (whisper quiet and very effective), but the cost would not be practical for a rental. I vote for window units. Also, you can put a high-velocity fan on the floor in a doorway to move cool air from one room to another.
sport
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by sport »

If I were looking for a window AC, I would buy whatever Costco offers. The people who buy for Costco are very fussy about quality.
masteraleph
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Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Post by masteraleph »

tibbitts wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 8:29 am
Why does a window unit depend on the pandemic? You mean people wouldn't install theirs for the summer over concern over bringing contaminated air into the house?
Sorry, the take a walk around piece had to do with walking around, not with installing window AC units.
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