3 Space-Saving Cooling Solutions for Small Homes and Apartments

Summer heat is miserable without the proper appliances to keep you cool. Compact living quarters often make it hard to find the right appliances for your cooling needs. Unfortunately, if you are renting, you oftentimes do not have the option of installing permanent air-conditioning units. If that’s the case, don’t worry. Here’s a few space-saving cooling solutions that will help keep you comfortable in your apartment all summer long.

Portable Air Conditioners

Portable Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioners are designed to move easily, allowing you to place them wherever they are needed. These air conditioners sit on the floor and they come with a window kit that is placed in the window. The window kit is easy to install and takes up little space in the window. The instructions for the window kit are simple to follow, and the initial installation process takes only minutes.

Consisting of four basic components, portable air conditioners are designed to sit on the floor and be moved rather easily. The window vent fits directly into the window. The exhaust hose attaches to an exhaust hose coupling and allows hot exhaust air to escape outside. To get your air conditioner set up, connect the exhaust hose to the back of the unit, install the window vent and connect the exhaust hose to the window vent. Your air conditioner is then ready to cool.

Portable air conditioners come in different sizes to cool large or small rooms. It’s important to know the differences in BTU ranges. 7,000 BTU air conditioners cool areas up to 250 square feet. 12,000 BTU air conditioners keep a room that is 450 square feet comfortable. A 14,000 BTU air conditioner is the largest one offered and is designed to cool a room that is 600 square feet. Knowing how big your room is will help determine which portable A/C unit is right for you.

Window Air Conditioners

Window Air Conditioner

Another great way to beat the summer heat, is to install a Window air conditioner in your apartment. Unlike the portable units mentioned above, these air conditioners are installed right in your window. Living in an apartment usually means you are limited to air conditioning units that are not permanently attached to the building structure, which is precisely why a window cooling unit is a great solution.

Not only are window air conditioners easy to install, but they fit most types and sizes of windows. To ensure compatibility, be sure to measure the dimensions of both the unit and the window prior. Additionally, window units can be uninstalled just as easily as they were installed. So, whenever your lease is up, you just simply take the unit out and take it with you.

There are plenty of brands to choose from, but Frigidaire and LG are two of the most popular. You can’t go wrong with either brand.

Personal Fans & Air Circulators

Air Circulator

Another popular option to help keep you cool in the summer are air circulators and fans. Just as the name implies, these devices will help cool down your living area by providing better air circulation.

The main benefits of using a fan is the ease of moving it around at your leisure and the lower cost of obtaining it. The downside, however, is that an air circulator is not going to cool you off nearly as fast as a window or portable unit.

Things To Keep In Mind

Portability and ease of installation are important characteristics when it comes to purchasing an air conditioning unit. Whether you’re wanting to cool an extra large room, cut energy costs or other limiting circumstances keep you from installing a window unit, portable air conditioners are practical and simple to use. Instructions booklets, user manuals and help numbers are all included with your portable air conditioning unit to make installing and using your unit as easy as possible.

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Beat the Heat: Choosing the Right Portable Air Conditioner For You

If you’re struggling to stay cool through the summer heat, there are plenty of air conditioning options that can meet your individual needs. If you’re sweating it out in a small enclosed space, portable air conditioners are going to be your best option.

Developed to make the small areas you inhabit cool and comfortable, portable air coolers are designed with either a single hose or a dual hose system. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two types of cooling systems.

Single-Hose Systems

Single-Hose Portable Air Conditioners

The single hose air conditioning system is the most fundamental option available to you. It works by using a compressor to suck air in, and then expels hot air and moisture out of the room. Because the warm air continually tries to seep back into the room to replace the negative air pressure, the single-hose air conditioners have to work harder to keep the room cool.

Depending on your living situation, the single-hose air conditioners are sufficient enough for cooling a small area and may the best option for you. However, the dual-hose system is usually the most efficient cooling system, thus it’s preferred by most people.

Dual-Hose Systems

Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioners

As suggested by the name, the dual-hose air conditioning system implements two hoses. One hose pulls the hot air from the room, cools it within the unit, and then expels it back into the immediate area. Just like the single-hose design, a dual-hose portable air conditioner labors to perform its cooling function, creating heat inside the cooler. However, the difference with this type of system, the second hose pulls the cooled air from the room and uses it to cool the compressor and condenser coils. This allows your air conditioner to work more efficiently, providing better cooling in your small living or working space. While the price may be slightly higher than a single-hose cooling unit, the efficiency it provides is well worth the money.

Tips For Using Your Portable Air Conditioner

No matter which type of portable air conditioner you choose, here’s a few tips to get the most use out of your cooling system. Whether you’re cooling a bedroom or apartment, your air conditioner will work more effectively when you close all your doors and windows to the area you are cooling. It’s also a good idea to limit the overall amount of heat-producing sources, like electronic equipment and lights.

For optimal performance, turn your portable air cooler on early in the day when it’s still relatively cool. It’s far easier for your air conditioner to maintain a comfortable temperature, than to cool down a room that’s already reached high temperatures. Turning on a ceiling or rotating fan will also help boost the overall effectiveness of your air conditioner.

If you’re looking for a way to keep a small living or working area cool, a portable air cooler is an effective and economical way to do so. Review the pros and cons of the single-hose and dual-hose systems to select the unit that best meets your needs and budget. Follow the tips and recommendations to keep your unit operating at peak efficiency. You’ll soon see that portable air coolers are a great way to stay cool, even in small spaces.

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Win a $250 Visa Gift Card! It’s a Breeze Video Contest!

People hear the words “installation” and “venting” and get the willies. But understandably so. Your mind may conjur up frightening images of heavy equipment, lost parts and complicated instructions. When it comes to portable air conditioners, this is absolutely not the case. Portable air conditioners are easy to set up and easy to vent. So much so, that we go so far as to say “It’s a breeze!”

Have you or someone you know used a portable air conditioner? Send us a video of your set up process and you’ll be entered to win a $250 Visa gift card!

It is completely free to submit. Simply send your video to pacvideo@compactappliance.com and you’re entered! Entries must be submitted by May 8th and a winner will be announced on May 15th. Click on the image below for complete contest details.

portable air conditioner contest

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Portable Air Conditioner Sale

Portable Air Conditioner Sale

The temperatures continue to rise outside, especially on the east coast this week where they’re flirting with 100 degree weather! Now 100 degrees doesn’t seem terrible to those of us living in the south (Texas had a record 100+ degree days in a row last year), but many people in the north east don’t have the luxury of central air conditioning. That’s where our portable air conditioners come in!

For a limited time, we are offering two of our best selling units at deep discounts to help fight off the heat. Use coupon code PACDEAL at checkout to save.

Koldfront AP12000S-KF Extreme Cool Portable Air Conditioner

Regular Price: $524.99
Sale Price: $379.00
You Save: $145.99

Koldfront PAC701W Slim Portable Air Conditioner

Koldfront Portable Air Conditioner

Regular Price: $374.99
Sale Price: $269.00
You Save: $105.99

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Best Appliances for a Boat

Life in a boat can be great, especially if you have the conveniences of home.  Here are some appliances that will help make your boating experience as comfortable as can be.

EdgeStar Portable Ice MakerPortable Ice Maker

While out boating, who doesn’t enjoy a nice tall glass of iced tea?  Well, you need ice for that, and a portable ice maker is a great way to give you the ice you want and need.  These units do not require a drain, and are relatively simple to use.  Just pour water in the reservoir, choose your ice size, and voila, ice appears in about 10 minutes (depending on model).

My favorite is the EdgeStar IP210SS.  This baby will make about 28 pounds of ice per day, holds about 2 pounds, and makes ice in as little as 6 minutes.  Plus, the commercial grade stainless steel means that it will not corrode in the salty sea air.  A quick tip though, if you use bottled water in your machine, you will want to add a tiny pinch of salt.  Most of these ice makers need some type of impurity in the water to make the ice.

Avanti Induction CooktopInduction Cooktop

You gotta eat, right?  I mean, you are out on the boat, you catch some fish, why not cook it up and serve it?  Fish, it’s what’s for dinner!  Anyway, an induction cooktop I think is a better choice than a regular hotplate or portable stove for a boat because they are generally safer and use less energy. An induction cooktop only heats the cooking vessel, so the actual cooking surface is cold to the touch, which helps prevent burns.

I am partial to the Avanti IHP1501.  It’s small and portable, has easy controls, and heats up to 440 degrees.  Best of all, it comes with a skillet, so no trying to hunt down an induction ready piece of cookware.  This unit comes with one.

EdgeStar 63 Qt Portable Fridge/FreezerPortable Fridge / Freezer

My coworker and I argued over this point, and since I’m writing this and she’s not, guess who won.  Basically, her point is that a mini fridge would be better.  I say a portable because it has both a 115V and a 12V option.  Plus, you will get more use out of it because it can go in the car with you and you can use it camping, hunting or fishing.

Now, these come in various sizes, but I chose to just go relatively down the middle with the EdgeStar FP630.  I am in love with this unit because it comes with a flash freeze option that will get it down to -8 degrees F in a matter of minutes.  And, it will hold the temperature for several hours if you unplug the unit.  However, you can set the temperature as high as 50 degrees, so you can use it as a refrigerator or a freezer.  This is also a favorite among fishermen (or women, whatever the case may be).

EdgeStar Portable Air ConditionerPortable Air Conditioner

Last summer, while I was vacationing in South Texas, I cruised around the Gulf of Mexico in a rather nice boat.  Not sure if you have ever been in South Texas in August, but it’s like being 3 blocks from the sun.  Enter the wonderful portable air conditioner.  Now, like all air conditioners, these units have to be vented in some way.  You can do it through a wall, ceiling, floor, window, whatever.  You just have to be certain to get the hot air coming off the compressor out of the room you are trying to cool.

My pick is the EdgeStar AP8000W.  This compact unit is powerful, will keep your cabin cool, and only uses 840Watts and 7.9Amps.  Plus, it will dehumidify up to 71 pints per day, and you don’t have to empty condensation from the collection tray.  Trust me, a comfortable cabin makes for a happy boater!

LG Washer Dryer ComboWasher Dryer Combo

Ok, so if you live in a houseboat, or are going to be on the water for an extended period of time, clean underwear, and well, clean clothes in general, are a necessity!  You have several options to help you with this.  A value option is the WonderWash and MiniSpin dryer combo, affectionately called The WonderSpin!  The WonderWash is a hand cranked clothes washer.  You basically put your clothes in, add water and detergent, spin it for about 5 minutes, drain the water into a sink, add more water for a rinse, drain, and you are done.  You then put your wet clothes into the MiniSpin.  This will spin dry your clothes for you to then hang them up.

Now, if you have the room, and the money, then you may want to consider a washer dryer combo.  These units will wash and dry all in the same drum, and most do not need venting because they use condensation drying.  Your best option on these, in my opinion, is the LG WM3455HW.  It has a 15 pound load capacity (2.7 cubic feet), and several washing and drying options.  Because of the condensation drying, most of these machines do not dry effectively.  However, the LG does a better job than most.  Also, you can get the optional portability kit that will allow you to store it in one place, then wheel it out when you need to and hook to a standard sink.  Finally, the great thing about this unit is that it plugs into a standard 115V outlet, so no special wiring is needed.

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What is the Best Portable Air Conditioner?

Question: What is the best portable air conditioner?

This is somewhat of a tough question because there isn’t a single best portable air conditioner. Rather, there is the best portable air conditioner for your needs and requirements.

To determine the best portable air conditioner for you, you should consider the following:

  • How large is the room you are wanting to cool?
  • Is the room upstairs or downstairs?
  • What direction do the windows in the room face?

Each of these questions will help decide how powerful your portable air conditioner should be to keep your room cool. Just because a room is small doesn’t mean the smallest portable air conditioner will be able to get the job done. If the room is upstairs, it will naturally be warmer than downstairs rooms because heat rises. Also, if the room has windows facing west, then it will get warmer in the afternoons because of the direct sunlight coming in. By keeping these things in mind, you are more likely to find the right portable air conditioner for you.

PortableAirShop.com has this handy BTU calculator that will determine the total BTU needed for a portable air conditioner to cool your room. I’d recommend rounding the BTU up instead of down when making your buying decision — better safe than sorry.

Once you know how powerful your portable air conditioner needs to be, look for units in that BTU range and read reviews to see what other shoppers have had to say (i.e. Is it quiet? Does it cool effectively? Is it cost efficient?). Look at reviews for the same portable air conditioner on different sites too if you can. This will help give you a well-rounded picture of how the unit will perform.

 

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