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Old 04-20-2018, 10:52 AM   #1
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Considerations regarding venting for a portable AC


Hi, i live in a concrete block 2 story relatively new energy efficient home, in very hot and humid SW Florida.

Cutting a long story short, in my downstairs den, which is at the end of the AC line, gets hot.. I have two sons, who love gaming on their pc's, and i have my own gaming PC in the same den. These computers pump out a lot of heat, and it gets hot in there. I was planning on perhaps buying a mini-split just for that room. Keeping everything nice and clean with the install, but a mini-split is expensive. Yesterday i was in Costco and i saw a Delongi portable AC for only $350, and i thought why not give this a shot ! So i bought it. I quickly came to the realization that the window accessories are basically useless. Aside from the window vent being flimsy, who knows how much extra heat / ac loss will be introduced, from replacing a proper double glazed snug fitted window, with some cheap plastic housing stuck inbetween.

So i'm thinking either take this back or come up with a good way to properly vent this outside..

It really worked well yesterday, just exhausting the heat out of the den, into the main living area and just having the door ajar.. But pumping heat out into the main living area is obviously a no go. But thanks to that experiment i know the portable AC unit is up to the job.. After all, its only working in conjunction with the regular AC

I can't add an extra regular AC intake vent to take the heat to the main AC, cos its a two story home and no access in the ceiling

No my option is either a proper mini-split, or a proper vent to the outside... However drilling a 5" hole through concrete block is raising a lot of concerns.

Like its a big f^#& ! hole in your wall... Which again will not do house / energy efficiency any good, unless there's a way to stop any back draft, and provide a decent amount of seal. Plus living in SW Florida.. Things would just love to crawl up in that nice hole ! I know i can put a grill on there, i'm more worried about losing efficiency when the AC is not needed. How best deal with that. Hole would be at knee height. What do people do for vents / ducts to the outside in very hot humid climates?
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:04 AM   #2
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Re: Considerations regarding venting for a portable AC


I started a thread about a week ago asking questions about portable AC units. The general consensus was go with a window unit.
Sounds like you have a window in the room you want to cool, and the window unit could be removed during your cool months so you efficiency concerns should be addressed.
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:25 AM   #3
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Re: Considerations regarding venting for a portable AC


Might as well go with a window unit if you have a suitable window, as post above addressed. Especially if you aren't looking to move the unit around to other parts of the house.
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Old 04-23-2018, 12:01 PM   #4
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Re: Considerations regarding venting for a portable AC


I ended keeping my Delonghi portable AC, and ended up making a decent vent housing using some 3/4 " thick PVC siding that fitted perfectly into the window frame. Then i drilled a 5" hole and plugged the hole into the provided flange that came with my portable AC.. For security, so no one from the outside can lift the window, i bought a strip of more of that PVC (imitation weather resistant wood) and made them hold down the sash from the inside. To really finish it off, i used some weather stripping on the siding that sits in the frame to really seal things off. Its as perfect of a solution that i could of ever hoped for !

I also am monitoring energy usage of my portable AC. it seems very energy efficient.. I am able to view hour by hour my consumption and if that room is being used all day, its going to cost about $1 per day.. So far i'm over the moon, as things were getting too uncomfortable in that room, between now til Nov, with all three comps on and pumping out heat.

My only concern is that i have a 5" hole on the outside of the home. Anything from a rabbit to a snake could crawl up in there.

I can use a grill housing with a flap to stop a backdraft... Most were 4", but i found a 6" one that can sit over the exhaust. I am concerned that this may cause the compressor to work harder than it needs to, to lift the flap using exhaust air. Maybe i'm overthinking things? I don't know. I can just use mesh to stop creepy crawlies getting in, but i really like the idea of stopping as much backdraft as possible, which will be high humidity high heat air in summer ! I've read that using flaps causes the AC to work harder as it can't move as much air.. but that was because most people can only find a 4" dryer duct with flap.. Which makes sense as to why it would restrict the exhaust.. However i have a 6" flap... but i'm sure it takes a certain level of force to blow open that flap, which may or may not be a problem.

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Old 04-23-2018, 01:14 PM   #5
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Re: Considerations regarding venting for a portable AC


Your cost is slightly higher then you think because it is using your conditioned air to cool the condenser. Then pumping it out the window. Thatís the only real downfall with these units. Itís designed for Temporary use. But if youíre happy with that set up Thatís all that really matters


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Old 04-23-2018, 02:43 PM   #6
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Re: Considerations regarding venting for a portable AC


Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouRunner View Post
Your cost is slightly higher then you think because it is using your conditioned air to cool the condenser. Then pumping it out the window. That’s the only real downfall with these units. It’s designed for Temporary use. But if you’re happy with that set up That’s all that really matters


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It really is only for temporary use. During the hot summer months, and only when we're all on our computers. And it is only ever complimenting the existing home AC system, which just can't keep up with that one particular room.

My electric provider is FPL and it allows you to drill in to consumption hour by hour. I compared with against without, and i'm seeing a small increase... While running in AC mode its like 13cents per hour... Except its never on for more than 10mins here and there. Plus its acting as a dehumidifier. Even tested with my kill-a-watt With what my electric company charges, if i was to leave it on 24/7 every day all month, it would cost $99...

My only concern is the exhaust heat not providing enough force to properly open the flap and therefore cause everything to overwork itself. I guess i could use the kill-a-watt again and see if its pulling more power.

Do wish i didn't have to see some ugly tubing going up to the window.. But again, its only for a few months of the yr, and easily removable should we need to.
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Last edited by TheDoc46; 04-23-2018 at 02:48 PM.
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