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jaes 07-03-2008 03:13 AM

Challenging situation, please help.
I'll detail the situation, so, hopefully, you can suggest affordable solutions.
SITUATION: I have a two story, older house, two apartment rental property. One apartment on the 1st floor, one apartment on the 2nd floor. Each apartment has its own electric meter/service (as opposed to one meter for the whole house). This allows tenants of each apartment to use as much, or as little, AC as they want without feeling that the tenants in the other apartment are using too much AC and causing high electric bills. Each of the two apartments have window ACs. Zeroing in on the problem: The 2nd floor apartment has three bedrooms. Two of these bedrooms have 2 windows (one window is for fire egress the other window has a small window AC. The 3rd bedroom has only one window (used for fire egress)---hence, there is no 2nd window to put a small AC. This "3rd bedroom" is only 9'-6" X 11". This bedroom has two walls that are exterior walls (the wall with the window faces the street--another exterior wall (no window) is on the side of the house. EASY SOLUTION: Cut a hole in side of house, slide in a small "through-the-wall" AC (5,500 -6,000 BTU), and for less than $200 (for the AC unit), that's it. BUT WAIT, even though I designed and built much of the front facade of the house (25 yrs. ago), I can no longer do anything, noticable, to the exterior of the house, without historic commission approval ---which is extremely difficult. ---I don't think they would approve of a hole and a AC sticking out of the side of the house. TWO THINGS: (1) There is a good sized, unfinished attic above this bedroom, and (2) The roof & soffit of the house is such that the upper 16" to 18" of the bedroom (near the ceiling) falls below the exterior soffit---so I had a fantasy for cutting a 13" high x 21" wide hole near the ceiling---slipping the small AC unit through ---letting it hang out inside the soffit, and figure some way to drain the AC through the soffit (little or no exterior visual impact)--but, I don't think this would work?? Other options are: (1) Put an "AC air handler" in attic--with outside condenser unit ($4,000+ installed), or (2) a mini-split AC ($4,000 installed). Hey, $4,000+ to cool a 9'-6" X 11' bedroom---please! (Note: I am the type of guy that makes his coffee at home for about 5 cents a coffee--$5.00+ a cup at Starbucks is not of my world). The $200 vs. $4,000 seems a bit similar. ---Can someone out there suggest an affordable solution to my situation? --Any helpful suggests would be most appreciated. ---Jaes.:)

statman 07-03-2008 08:32 AM

Sounds to me like you have pretty much covered all the bases. Too bad about the historical aspect of your place, but when that eliminates your cheapest option, then you haver to consider the more expensive options. Only other thing I could suggest is possibly a portable ac unit, but that is more than likely a last resort. I would not attempt to hack in a window shaker into your soffit area..too many problems and it more than likely will not provide the airflow you need for that room. Not sure what else to do...good luck.

jaes 07-04-2008 09:16 PM

Portable ACs ---tell me more --are there small units?
Your mention of a "portable" AC prompted me to go to several retail stores and home improvement places today--- I checked out various portable ACs. --A portable unit may just be an "ok" solution to my situation (a through the wall would be the best). The small outlet of a portable unit (little more than the size of a dryer vent) would, I believe, not be objectionable to the powers that be. ---However, the units I saw (at several places), were all 9,000 & 10,000 BTU units. An AC unit, that size, in my small bedroom (9.5' X 11'), would be overkill. ---Does any one out there know of a 5,000 BTU portable AC unit (brand & model please). ---Or, getting back to the best solution (a through-the-wall unit)----Does anyone know of a very narrow through-the-wall unit. For example, a unit 14.5" wide or less (something that would fit between 16 inch-on-center wall studs--- so if I did cut through the exterior wall, I wouldn't need to put in a header? (I don't think such a beast exists.) ---Any further suggestion on my problem would be appreciated. ---Jaes. :)

wirenut1110 07-05-2008 08:19 AM

Google PTAC, you'll find all the info on one of those sites.

jaes 07-06-2008 06:48 AM

PTAC Wall Sleeve
The "Wall Sleeve" of any PTAC that I've seen, is LARGER than any through-the-wall hole needed for a 5,500 or 6,000 BTU through-the wall, $200.00 AC. Size of hole through the exterior wall is one of the key factors---affordability is the other (PTAC = $600+). ---Jaes.:)

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