diy portable a/c

Has anyone built a cabinet to convert a cheap window air conditioner into a portable room air conditioner? I live in an apartment and cannot have an air conditioner hanging out of the window.
Thanks
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a
air
Haven't built one, but as long as there's tubing to exhaust and exchange the air, I can't see why it couldn't be done. Have to admit, if it's set up properly, it would be a damned site cheaper than the ones designed to be portable.
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'When I was a youth' my father owned an appliance store.
One manufacturer came up with the novel idea of making a stand for a small {at that time}a/c. The idea being to 'wheel' it into a room, or place it so that the air would cool a specific area - such as a diningroom table for a large family get together.
Basically, it was an open 'pipe-like' affair - sort of an elongated and 'squared off' letter 'C'. A set of wheels at the lower 'curve' and the top 'curve' actually flattened with holes to secure the unit. It was somewhat adjustable for height, by the expedient of a 'tube within a tube' construction and some holes for bolts.
Should be easy enough to make one from Sked 40 PVC pipe. Could then either stain it to look like wood, or cover it with 'wood grain' adhesive backed material.
A heavier weight 'cabinet' could be one of those 'entertainment centers' {as used to 'hide' a TV} without a back.
Just a reminder . . . the original didn't remain in vogue for more than a year or two. The cool air in FRONT of the unit may have felt good, but the 'blast furnace' coming out the back {the physics of HOW an A/C works, folks} didn't feel so nice. Plus, it actually increased the ambient heat within the room, apartment, etc.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

a
air
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In Tokyo, there's a part of town called akihabara. It's sort of an electronics and appliance mecca. When I was there in 85, they used to line up window air conditioners, set them to full-blast, then point them out toward the sidewalks. Tokyo summers are hot and humid, like florida. When you walk by, you would get a blast of arctic air designed to draw you into the store.
brian
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smd wrote:

Never built one--interesting idea though. Just remember that air conditioners work by taking heat out of air in one place and adding it to air somewhere else, so you need to make provision to give it plenty of outside air to put the heat into. If you let it draw from the room for that purpose it will suck all yoru cold air out just like an exhaust fan would. If you let it exhaust into the room then you don't gain anything at all unless you're sitting right in front of it.
Also, if there is any humidity at all in the air, you're going to get condensation that you'll have to dispose of somehow. Even if you live in Death Valley bathing, washing, and cooking will put some moisture into the inside air.
I envision something that would sit in front of your largest window, that has a shell that butts against the window frame, with a cutout and maybe some rails to hold the air conditioner, and a hose going into a bleach bottle or something (one local business does exactly that for the condensation from the air conditioner that cools their office mezzanine) to hold the condensation. Don't forget to check the water level periodically.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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smd wrote:

i have neverr done one, but all you need is some cardboard taped together with some duct tape on the back to get the hot air out...and a pan to catch the water dripping from the bottom....i bet its more about the electric use of the a/c or the draw on the current that will upset the electric service than the a/c unit sticking out the window.....
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smd wrote:

While it can be done (NYC subway token booth units are field adapted to operate in this manner, as were many older A/C units placed in office buildings as backups units... using add-on side scoops), it really depends on the units design. The ones with vents on the top and/or bottom in addition to the back, are not suitable for this purpose.
Having said that, you would be much better off getting one of those "portable" units... where the only item in the window is a plastic do-hickey with a flexible duct attached to the unit. They are more expensive (though getting cheaper), and you must empty the water now and again (they will auto shut-off). But can be rolled from room to room and/or taken with you when you change apartments(flats?) without much worry.
As a FWIW, I just purchased one of those potable unit for my attic area (8000 BTU heating/cooling) for $399 US. I works as advertised!
HTH,
Charlie LegMan (remove 999 for eMail)
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If you have a regular double hung window, the unit could sit on the sill with its back in the plane of the sash. Then all you need do is close the sides. Caution, some units have vents on the sides for taking in the air to cool the condenser coil (outside, hot one). If so, then you must box in the sides to keep that path open. Watch out that these vents don't suck in the hot air going out the back. Wilson

a
air
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Wilson, I think your advice is good. My recollection is that there are some window units designed with both in and out vents on the back - i.e., nothing on the sides - so the back can be set even with the window sash. So, OP could call the local stores that sell a/c units, but they may not be much help, so OP will have to look himself. Or, he/she/it could try the manuf's websites or their 800 numbers -- such as GE's.
If the plan is to adapt an existing window unit that has side vents, I might try getting a plastic tub big enough for the job - including clearance for the side vents - at a local Borg. If the bottom is cut out the right size and the a/c unit is slipped into that opening, then the plastic tub would slant right to drain the water to the outside, if that is OK. FWIW

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On Tue, 22 Jun 2004 07:50:44 GMT, "smd"
......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
HAH! I have a unit that has a tube that you seal into the window. When we bought it, the sales guy (one of those rare ones who probably lose their jobs) told us it was a sucky idea.
We bought the thing _in spite_ of the salesman (customers really _do_ want to hear "NICE" stuff!), and it's useless.
It has a 4" tube about 10' long, and you stick that out the window. The window has to be open 4", so they give you a piece of foam to seal the heat from coming straight back in.
The tube gets very hot. So I used to hang towels over it to stop the heat getting back into the room.
*********************************************************************** Someone actually said that someone sold a unit that moved cooled air around the room. I would string the bastards that sold the thing up by the nuts and teach them the principles by forcing them to piss! A painful waste of time.
hullo! It's called a fridge with the door open folks! It heats the room more than it cools (efficiency). ************************************************************************
OK.
An aircon needs somewhere to get rid of the heat. That's called outside. Outside has to be separated quite violently from inside. But the heat transfer needs to be _very_ rapid for effectiveness. Look at an aircon in a wall or window. It has a 2' by 3' area, and in that area is a _huge_ area of copper-foil exchanger. Not much fan needed, because the radiator does the job. but if you stand near the outside of an aircon, there is a huge draught anyway. Heat transfer involves a lot of transferring.
OK. I have this useless tubed aircon that I am looking converting to a useful one...your exact opposite.
Your problem is heat transfer. In the end, you need to hang a tube out the window that is as big as the aircon you buy, with added air movement (extra fan), to even approach the usefuleness of the cheap aircon you buy but can't install.
I would estimate that the tubed version I have is maybe 1/5th as good as a window or wall-mounted system.

Why not? Seriously.
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