Room Cooling Suggestions

Sucka

Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
536
I wasn't sure if this would be related to cooling or not, but for lack of a better section i'll post here.

I have 4 computers running in my office (1 24/7, the others while i'm in here) and the office faces the sun in the afternoon. It gets about 82-88F here by mid-afternoon and is almost unbarable. I have central air for the house, and keep it at 76F throughout the day, but even closing ALL the vents doesn't help keep this room cool. I really can't put an a/c unit into the wall/window b/c i don't know how, and don't want to pay someone a lot of money to put a hole in my wall. I live in San Diego, so as you can imagine it stays pretty warm year round so a perminant thing would work. What suggestions do you have for cooling a room down besides just a lot of fans? The 2 fans i've got in here are rather worthless atm. Having one blowing directly in my face is about the only way i can keep somewhat cool. Are there any good (meaning cheap) a/c units that do not need mounting? And fans that are better than others? Just looking for a way to bring temps down a bit mainly for comfort, not to mention my CPU temps are significantly higher as well...Thanks.
 

Spleeze

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 15, 2003
Messages
433
Do a little bit of looking around for a portable air conditioner, just wheel it in and stick a vent out the window. Thats all the work you'll have to do. They can be pretty pricey though. You'll be looking to spend like 300-500 for one.

If you're room is has low humidity you might try out a "swamp cooler" Give google a spin on that. They work by evaporative cooling... Kinda cools down the water and then lightly mists it around... Also they're MUCH cheaper than a portable air conditioner.
 

qdemn7

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 2, 2002
Messages
4,378
I agree with Speelze, check out portable A/Cs. Here's a place to start.

As far as installing an window A/C unit. it's really not too hard, and cheaper than a portable A/C if cost is a factor. You can get a small window unit for under $200, under $100 if cost is really a factor. Lowes had a guide on choosing a window A/C. As long as your office isn't on an upper floor, it's easy to install a window unit. If it's on an upper floor and you can climg a ladder then you're OK.

If it were me, I'd got for the in-window unit. They come with instructions, and you only need a few basic tools, one of which is a cordless drill.

EDIT: Download this Goldstar window A/C manual (PDF doc.) it shows you how to install one. This is a pretty typical install.
 

Sucka

Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
536
I'll look into that swamp cooler (very dry in San Diego, i take it you've never been..hehe).

The a/c unit is way out of my price range at this point, maybe i'll have something like that by next summer. One in the wall would be ideal if not for the hassle of installation. Would also save on house cooling since i'm in the office most of the day and wouldn't need the central running.

Thanks. Anymore suggestions welcome.
 

Sucka

Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
536
qdemn7 said:
I agree with Speelze, check out portable A/Cs. Here's a place to start.

As far as installing an window A/C unit. it's really not too hard, and cheaper than a portable A/C if cost is a factor. You can get a small window unit for under $200, under $100 if cost is really a factor.
Lowes had a guide on choosing a window A/C. As long as your office isn't on an upper floor, it's easy to install a window unit. If it's on an upper floor and you can climg a ladder then you're OK.

If it were me, I'd got for the in-window unit. They come with instructions, and you only need a few basic tools, one of which is a cordless drill.
Thanks for the link, the units i've seen (home depot mainly) were all in the $500 range and that was out of the question. Again still a little more than i was hoping to spend, but there is now light at the end of the tunnel for me. We just had our windows replaced, and they are not really condusive to a window unit (custom fitted to an older house). Guess i'll be working a few extra overtime shifts this month, i ilke the portable solution as it can be used throughout my house. Thanks guys.
 

wilson502

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
458
if u have that many computers, id get like a 12000BTU window unit or something, or a portable unit of about the same size.
 

Nazo

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 2, 2002
Messages
3,613
You know, I put swamp cooler in google and got a USATODAY.com article. From how they described it, it sounds like you can just make one yourself... Lol, maybe $30. ^_^

Personally, I'd be a bit worried about using a method that relies on adding water to the air to cool around computers and other sensitive electronics though... Do you live in a high humidity area btw? It says these things will be almost worthless if humidity is too high, but absolutely wonderful if it's really low.

I'm using a window cooler. It works wonder and this ancient thing was here with the house, so they seem to last a long time. You don't even need to cool such a room TOO much, just enough to keep the computers in a safe region.
 

Sucka

Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
536
Nazo said:
You know, I put swamp cooler in google and got a USATODAY.com article. From how they described it, it sounds like you can just make one yourself... Lol, maybe $30. ^_^

Personally, I'd be a bit worried about using a method that relies on adding water to the air to cool around computers and other sensitive electronics though... Do you live in a high humidity area btw? It says these things will be almost worthless if humidity is too high, but absolutely wonderful if it's really low.

I'm using a window cooler. It works wonder and this ancient thing was here with the house, so they seem to last a long time. You don't even need to cool such a room TOO much, just enough to keep the computers in a safe region.
I guess you haven't been to Southern California, but it's pretty dry unless you're in the mountains/near the coast which i am neither. San Diego is considered a desert, so that's a non-issue. I just did a little research on them though, they seem to require a LOT of water, like being refilled 2 times a day. And you're right, i don't want to be lugging in gallons of water around my systems (esspecially knowing me :p). I'm really liking some of those units in that link ^^. $400~ doesn't seem that bad in the long run. My electric bill this month was over $200 (thanks Grey Davis) and i think cooling one room when needed would be better than trying to cool the whole house when i'm not even in the other rooms. So maybe in the long run it could be better.
 

NewBlackDak

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2003
Messages
1,322
Sucka said:
I guess you haven't been to Southern California, but it's pretty dry unless you're in the mountains/near the coast which i am neither. San Diego is considered a desert, so that's a non-issue. I just did a little research on them though, they seem to require a LOT of water, like being refilled 2 times a day. And you're right, i don't want to be lugging in gallons of water around my systems (esspecially knowing me :p). I'm really liking some of those units in that link ^^. $400~ doesn't seem that bad in the long run. My electric bill this month was over $200 (thanks Grey Davis) and i think cooling one room when needed would be better than trying to cool the whole house when i'm not even in the other rooms. So maybe in the long run it could be better.
If you own, you might think about upgrading your central air to a bigger setup. If you're paying $200 electric bill it won't take 2 yrs to pay for itself. Is it expensive? Yes. It will keep you cooler though, and over 5 years will probably SAVE you money.
 

Sucka

Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
536
NewBlackDak said:
If you own, you might think about upgrading your central air to a bigger setup. If you're paying $200 electric bill it won't take 2 yrs to pay for itself. Is it expensive? Yes. It will keep you cooler though, and over 5 years will probably SAVE you money.
The unit is only 2 years old, that's out of the question. The air and the 4 computers + fans + california energy crisis is why it's so high. The house stays really cool, esspecially with the new windows, just not this room. Good suggestion though, just not really an option this year.
 

Nazo

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 2, 2002
Messages
3,613
Lol, I still say you could build a swamp cooler yourself. You just need a container, that wood they use (I figure just float it on the top of some water or something) and a fan. Make it big enough and you may not have to refill too often. Well, you don't get cheaper than these things. Heh. ^_^ The most power consumption would be the pump as fans usually don't need more than a few watts of energy. Mainly I just worry that putting too much water into the air around sensitive electronics could eventually lead to water damage or something.

Anyway, window ACs will often use in the area of 700-1500 watts sometimes. However, it sure can be a lot more comfortable in a room cooled with this. The humidity thing could begin to get unpleasant. Plus the AC should be a lot safer provided you keep it on a seperate circuit. (Same circuit could wreak havok on those PSUs, besides, that's a lot of power.)
 

Sucka

Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
536
K1NGDEAD said:
could just try blocking out the sun from the room..
I found these to work great, allthough they look a bit ghetto... if Im comfortable I dont give a damn
http://www.kingdead.myipaska.com/m/kdwindowin.jpg
http://www.kingdead.myipaska.com/m/kdwindowout.jpg

like $2 something each from home depot
I thought about something like that, what kind of difference are you noticing? We just got wood blinds put throughout the house, so i don't know how the old lady would feel about that. She doesn't come into my office much though, hmmm...
 

|MaguS|

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 6, 2004
Messages
1,935
I use a heavy comforter, Keeps the room abit cooler and almost NO light gets through. Great for mid day gaming! No Glare!
 

ManCannon

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 9, 2004
Messages
2,451
Ok, am I missing something here? My AC unit, all I have to do is pick it up, place it in the window, and pull the little side thigns out and it's good to go. I duct taped the little holes because bats live outside my window and they don't need anymore ways to get into my house (we've gotten 7 in my house this summer).
 

ReelMcCoy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 10, 2004
Messages
314
A bit late but Fry's Electronics had a small portable AC under $400 two weeks ago. I missed out on it though so I don't know how effective it was. They had a more expensive unit in this past week's Friday ad. Perhaps they still have the other one around.

I'm in the same boat. Too many systems. South facing wall. San Fernando Valley. I just put up with the higher heat with high velocity fans and lots of noise. I'd try the portable AC but I've got to be getting close to the limits of a 15A breaker shared to three rooms. :p
 

NewBlackDak

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2003
Messages
1,322
ManCannon said:
Ok, am I missing something here? My AC unit, all I have to do is pick it up, place it in the window, and pull the little side thigns out and it's good to go. I duct taped the little holes because bats live outside my window and they don't need anymore ways to get into my house (we've gotten 7 in my house this summer).
Yep. Some come with weatherstrip/foam to line the sides with, but a roll of that is only $2 is it doesn't. Put it in the window, close the window down on it, extend the sides, plug it in, and be :cool:
 

K1NGDEAD

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 1, 2002
Messages
503
Sucka said:
I thought about something like that, what kind of difference are you noticing? We just got wood blinds put throughout the house, so i don't know how the old lady would feel about that. She doesn't come into my office much though, hmmm...
well since without them the sun was on me for X hours of the day I noticed a HUGE difrence
as you can somewhat make out from the second pic it doesnt look as bad as covering the glass with aluminum foil, from the street I cant even make it out
 

sandman78

Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
587
I have a HUGE central air conditioning system, but my office upstairs was always pushing 80F. Needless to say, I HAD to do something. So I bought a 12,000BTU portable (remote controlled :D) Air conditioner. The room stays at a constant 69F, and I can go much lower. My friends think I secretly have pet penguins that I'm trying to keep happy :D Below are links to the website that I ordered my unit from. After talking to a couple of places, I learned that Sunpentown was one of the best brands. Every retailer I talked to told me to go with them. I had not ever heard of them, but I DID go with one of their units. I have to say that the unit is pretty sweet. What made my install even more difficult was the fact that I have windows that "crank" OUT. So what I did was I took one of my screens to a local shop and had a piece of plexiglass cut the exact same size. They also cut a circle in the plexiglass for the fitting that the exhaust hose connects to. Everything works great, and I cannot imagine being without it. If you want to solve your heat problem, go with one of the Sunpentown units.

Here is the unit I went with---> http://www.factorydirect2you.com/suaircowa.html
Air Conditioner Section @ Factorydirect2you.com
http://www.factorydirect2you.com/airconditioner.html
 

sandman78

Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
587
wilson502 said:
how big is ur room where u need a 1 ton portable a/c unit for?
1 ton? What are you talking about?

My room is approx. 20' x 15' . and the ac does great.
 

wilson502

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
458
well if u knew about HVAC 12000BTU= 1 ton of cooling. :D how cool does it keep ur room? How many computers?
 

sandman78

Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
587
wilson502 said:
well if u knew about HVAC 12000BTU= 1 ton of cooling. :D
LOL... I don't. I just pulled up that page and was reading all the specs. trying to figure out what you were talking about.:D I was about to reply back saying that the unit weighs only 68lbs. LOL :D
 

sandman78

Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
587
Oh, I forgot... In the room I have 2 desktops, 2 laptops, 52" Sony Bigscreen and quite a few lights. Plus I always seem to have an extra card table setup, working on somebody else's machine.

EDIT: I am also in the process of building two XP 2500 systems for folding. They won't have monitors or anything, but they will add some heat. But I know by hitting the "minus" button on the remote, if needed, the room temp will stay the same.:D
 

wilson502

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
458
how cool does it keep it, i think a 12000 btu though would be severe overkill for my room, my room is only 11x15, with only 1 computer and 9 ft ceiling, so it would be total overkill. a 8000-9000 btu unit should be fine. So how cool does it keep ur room 75F? 70F?
 

sandman78

Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
587
wilson502 said:
how cool does it keep it, i think a 12000 btu though would be severe overkill for my room, my room is only 11x15, with only 1 computer and 9 ft ceiling, so it would be total overkill. a 8000-9000 btu unit should be fine. So how cool does it keep ur room 75F? 70F?
Oh, I thought I put that in my first post... I keep it right at 69F.
 

sandman78

Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
587
After talking with different sales people (keyword sales), I went with the 12,000 BTU unit because it would easily take care of what I need NOW, yet would be good if I ever used it for something else possibly larger.
 

wilson502

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
458
hmm, whats the outside temp? Does it actually hold 69F? or does it just run continously? Theres a big difference, if it holds it meaning the unit cycles off, if it cant, it will just keep running.
 

sandman78

Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
587
wilson502 said:
hmm, whats the outside temp? Does it actually hold 69F? or does it just run continously? Theres a big difference, if it holds it meaning the unit cycles off, if it cant, it will just keep running.
The outside temp about a week ago was in the high 90s and the heat index was in the 105 range. It does not run continuously, by any means, but keep in mind I also have the central air going.
 

wilson502

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
458
ya that helps a lot. I have central air in this place, actually its not even 2 years old yet. My room just gets warm because of this stupid computer. Its nice in here now, cause its nite, its 79.0F, which is comfortable. But id like some 75F in here! Where i live it gets in the 100s some days, today it got 102F. Considering the size of ur room a 12000BTU unit is about adqueate, but my room is much smaller, and 12000BTU would be counterproductive. a 8000-9000BTU would be plrenty. Wrapping insulation around the exhaust hose helps tremendously as well.
 

sandman78

Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
587
wilson502 said:
ya that helps a lot. I have central air in this place, actually its not even 2 years old yet. My room just gets warm because of this stupid computer. Its nice in here now, cause its nite, its 79.0F, which is comfortable. But id like some 75F in here! Where i live it gets in the 100s some days, today it got 102F. Considering the size of ur room a 12000BTU unit is about adqueate, but my room is much smaller, and 12000BTU would be counterproductive. a 8000-9000BTU would be plrenty. Wrapping insulation around the exhaust hose helps tremendously as well.
Yeah, the exhaust hose can get warm, but I have my unit RIGHT up against the window so the hose has only a short run. Do you have a "normal" type window or do you also have a "crank" out? If you have a normal window, I would say look into the smaller window units. Those little window units can freeze you out of a room pretty quick.:D

The humidity where I live is HORRIBLE. 95 degrees in Florida(which has pretty high humidity also) felt like 85F here. I lived in Irvine, CA for a couple of years when I was young, so I think that California weather permanently spoiled me.:D
 

wilson502

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
458
im not gonna have window unit, nor my father would want a window unit sticking out the front window, sorry thats not happening. The window lifts vertically, so a portable unit will work. If the hose has to make a long run, which might be the case if i buy one next year, wrap the hose in some insulation to keep it from heating the area.
 

Sucka

Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
536
Good info all around guys, thanks. I think i'm gonna save for a portable unit just for the room, and cut back on my central unit (as i pay all my own bills and am on a budget). I dunno about a 12K unit, but something around 5-8K should do me well. I think in the long run that's what's gonna do me best.
 

sandman78

Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
587
I know having my portable cut back on the central air's use bigtime. I don't have to turn the central air way up (or thermostat down) to get my office cool, thus the saving in energy.:D

I know by how I describe my unit(hoses, plexiglass) it probably sounds like it's tacky looking, etc.. But I'm really picky and I was real careful with everything, and people that come in the room most of the time don't even notice the unit at all. I have pics if anyone is curious how I did the window with the plexiglass in the "crank" type window. People from the outside cannot see the vent hole in the plexiglass either.
 

Sucka

Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
536
sandman78 said:
I know having my portable cut back on the central air's use bigtime. I don't have to turn the central air way up (or thermostat down) to get my office cool, thus the saving in energy.:D

I know by how I describe my unit(hoses, plexiglass) it probably sounds like it's tacky looking, etc.. But I'm really picky and I was real careful with everything, and people that come in the room most of the time don't even notice the unit at all. I have pics if anyone is curious how I did the window with the plexiglass in the "crank" type window. People from the outside cannot see the vent hole in the plexiglass either.
Pics please.. :)
 

tynin

n00b
Joined
Aug 9, 2004
Messages
6
I live in south florida and it stays hot quite often. I have 4 computers running in one room and also was running into some room heating issues. What I did was knocked a 1' x 1' hole out over the door going into my computer room and put a 1' x 1' fan pointing out. Came up the idea off of the basic principle of hot air rises.

I keep my house at a nice cool 70F but that room was getting up to 83F. After I put the fan in I was able to keep the room at a much nicer 76F.

I know it is not the best means of cooling a room, but it was quick, and only cost my $8 for the little 1' square fan. Afterward I was even able to clean it up and make it look halfway professional.
 

Nazo

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 2, 2002
Messages
3,613
Hrm, my dad cut out a rectangular box above the door in my room back when I was in their house and put vent covers over the sides of that hole. I had thought about trying to hook up a fan in there as it doesn't do much like it is. Seems to me like you could kind of combine the ideas, put vent covers and, in side them, a fan. Then it would look pretty professional. The only tricky part is the power. How did you power your fan? Does it just run off of batteries or something? It would be a huge pain to run the electricity to there through the wall, but an extention cord stretching up there would look even more silly. ^_^

Anyway, basically the problem lies in the fact that the air stays in the same room too much. Without enough air flow, it just keeps heating and heating until it reaches a limit where whatever tiny bit of air flow you have is enough to keep it cool. Sometimes that limit is so high it just keeps heating all day until the air around starts cooling more, like the room I used to be in. Heck, out of sheer desperation, I'd use a window fan, but, it can only do so much since Alabama weather outside in the summer is rarely close to what you want it to be inside... Man I love the winter, and back then I loved it 3x as much at least. The window fan worked wonders when it was actually cool outside.
 

wilson502

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
458
tynin it would of been easier to put a normal fan outside ur room with the door open so it brings in that 70F air instead of cutting holes in walls. Thats pretty impressive it can keep ur room that cool sandman, i think a 9000 BTU unit would work, infact might be a little overkill, but i have a computer. It should be able to keep it at 75F thats comfy for me, actually id like to get it to 70F, but thats asking a lot lol.
 

Nazo

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 2, 2002
Messages
3,613
Sometimes one wants to be able to shut the door for more than 5 minutes at a time. That's where a small professional looking hole allowing air flow comes in handy.

Now yeah, undeniably an AC will always do better by far. Just, as far as cost goes, cutting a small box is free, and vent covers are pretty darned cheap. The only fans that are expensive are computer fans at a department store because they can get away with ripping you off.
 

sandman78

Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
587
You can do quite a bit with fans, when used properly. I have been fighting the heat in my office for at least 9 years or so. So I didn't just run out and get an AC the first time I got hot.:D I had some crazy fan setups before I finally spent the money for the AC, and I DO recommend trying fans like Nazo says. They REALLY helped me out. It might really suprise you what the fans could do.
 
Top