Has anyone tried using a Movincool air conditioner in their shop? I'm
thinking about getting something like this:
It is similar to a home portable air conditioners but runs on 240V and is
quite a bit larger. I would imagine the air coming directly out of the
ducts is cold, but does the cold air spread around the room? Or does the
overall room get hotter, with just a very localized area getting colder?
Any comments from those who have used one?
The site says: " ** Exhaust duct required in most cases." So the heat goes
wherever you exhaust it to, typically out a window or a dryer vent.
Note that there are many amall packaged 110V. units on the market these days,
they are used where it is not convenient to have an air conditioner hanging out
a window. Usually cost $500.00 to $800.00 and are typically 10,000 BTU or less.
I'd guess that the two ducts shown on the machine at their web site are
for outside air in and heated air back out. Not possible to "make cold"
out of nothing. You extract the heat and put it somewhere where you
don't mind it being. (outside, into waste water, whatever) but you get
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I have used a home one in a home. I think it's about 1.25HP. It is
almost useless in a 12*15 room. whereas a wall-mounted one would make
quite a difference, even though barely adequate. They are probably
about 1/3 as effective as a wall-mounted one of the same power. Maybe
1/2. The salesman actually tried to stop us buying one, but we were in
a temp situation and did not want to install.
The problems are:
- the exhaust tube. Cooling air needs a lot of air movement, and the
tube restricts that. The tube also gets damned hot. We were forever
mucking about placinf blankets around the tube to insulate it
- Also, of course, all of the unit's own heat generation is inside
the room/shop, not elsewhere on the wall. Although a lot of that is
taken out the pipe, it all adds up.
It's not the milk and honey we hate. It's having it
rammed down our throats.
It works just like a window unit - warm room air goes in the front
and cool air out the two top holes, where the flexy hoses direct it.
Where it's different is it takes in room air for the condenser coils
too, and pumps the hot air out another hole in the back. The
condensate that they can't evaporate off in the hot air exhaust goes
into the tank at the bottom. (Unless you rig a drain hose, that will
have to be dealt with daily.)
Normally you pipe the hot air exhaust from the back out a window or
roof vent of some sort, and they provide a hose and a window fitting
to do it with - if you don't send the heat outside somehow you're just
moving it around the room, and adding the compressor load to it... Or
you put the whole unit outside and pump the cold air into a small
cooled space or room.
These portables are good for specialized uses, where portability is
paramount (movie sets, jobsites that change weekly, rented spaces
where if you bolt something down it's now the landlord's) or you can't
use a window unit (no windows) or central air.
Those "Movin' Cool" units are very expensive for what you get - if
you can use a window unit or build in a wall sleeve for a larger
Packaged Terminal AC or Heat Pump, that will be cheaper in the long
Even a "Mini-Split" ductless like Hitachi and Mitsubishi make
http://www.mini-split.com/ would be a better deal - that's the same
idea as a Central Air, the refrigerant lineset can go through a 2"
hole in the wall. Perfect for brick and block structures, you just
core drill one hole.
And evaporative "swamp" coolers are an excellent alternative to
refrigerated AC (and dirt cheap to run) that are good for large
garage, workshop or warehouse spaces located in dry climates where the
higher indoor humidity doesn't cause problems.
--<< Bruce >>--
Bruce L. Bergman, Woodland Hills (Los Angeles) CA - Desktop
Electrician for Westend Electric - CA726700
We've used similar units at work on a temporary basis. On those units the
flex tubes were the intake and exhaust for the condenser (the hot part) and
were ducted to the outside. The cool air came out the grating on the front of
the unit. The tank on the bottom collects the condensation.
Buffalo, NY - USA
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We used some units like that in the computer room when the main A/C
crapped out(frequent) at the navy yard. You had to open the outside
doors to vent the hot air from them and they really didn't do a lot.
Cold air only immediately in front of the units and we used fans to
spread it around, but we frequently had to take the mainframe down
because of the heat buildup. About all it did was allow jobs to
complete before having to take stuff down. A/C maintenance was
contracted out and it frequently took several hours for the guys to
show up and fix whatever it was, then sometimes an hour or better to
get the temperature down to where we could start the box again. The
portables really weren't worth the bucks that were spent on them.
Fans in the open doors did about as much good.
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