Goldilocks, hot town, summer in the city...
May 31, 2012 4:09 PM   Subscribe

Are there air conditions that have an excellent fan setting as well? In my experience, ACs serve as poor substitutes to window fans.

I much prefer sleeping with a window fan to an AC, but in my city, AC is required on a regular basis in the summer. But some nights AC is not required, and for those nights I'd like to just use the fan setting. But the fan setting never produces results as good as...a window fan. Are there ACs that also serve as excellent window fans?

(I only have one window in my bedroom so I can't put the window fan in a second window.)
posted by benbenson to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
The reason your AC doesn't work well as a window fan on cooler nights is because the "fan" setting just takes interior air and blows it back into the room without chilling it. You need to find an air conditioner with a vent setting that's the equivalent of a car's "recirculate" button.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:27 PM on May 31, 2012


Sounds like you need an air conditioner with an outside air venting mode. A quick search of the google turns up this model:

LG Window Air Conditioner

The description says there is an outside air function but I don't see that mode on the control panel photo.
posted by zompus at 4:51 PM on May 31, 2012


When I've looked at the innards of window air conditioners, the "outside vent" function is just a small flap that opens or closes to let a bit of air come in from outside. Even with it open, most of the air coming out the front will be recirculated. It doesn't move nearly the amount of air a good window fan does, either. So I don't think there are likely to be window ACs that are anywhere near as good as a window fan for bringing in outside air, unfortunately.
posted by FishBike at 5:01 PM on May 31, 2012


This is very unlikely. Window fans move a lot of air at fairly high velocity. They can do it with their small, inexpensive motors because they are pushing that air through a huge opening which presents very little resistance. With all the innards of a window AC unit, no such large and unobstructed opening is possible. Getting that volume and velocity through a small opening with a lot of mechanical junk in the way would require a more powerful and expensive motor than you see in window AC units, and would also be extremely noisy.
posted by jon1270 at 5:11 PM on May 31, 2012


No. You're basically asking a tractor to run the Indy 500. Two completely different purposes.
posted by notsnot at 5:16 PM on May 31, 2012


What if you got a "portable" air conditioner like this that only takes up 6" of window or so, and then mounted a window fan like this above it?
posted by mendel at 6:58 PM on May 31, 2012


> What if you got a "portable" air conditioner like this that only takes up 6" of window or so, and then mounted a window fan like this above it?
Well, you'd have a hot, inefficient pain in the ass is what you'd have. How you gonna stop your cool air from escaping from those two gaping 30cm holes?

I'm with notsnot, you're asking a machine to do two very different things -- A.) cool air and B.) move large volumes of air -- and the machine that does both well doesn't exist on the scale that you'd like to employ it. But it's simple enough to use two specialist machines (a window ac and a box fan) situationally/alternatingly, or in combination (window ac cooling, box fan on a chair at the foot of your bed -- my blissful setup at the moment, actually). What's the barrier to doing this? Apologies if I'm being dense or not understanding your question.
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 9:47 PM on May 31, 2012


[To make clear the concept that I was envisioning while writing my previous post, but for whatever stupid reason never got around to actually saying out loud: 1.) cut a piece of angle-iron the width of your window frame and mount it across the top of the AC unit. 2.) bolt the AC's top retainer bracket to angle-iron 3.) screw angle-iron to window frame; 4.) you can now pop open window an extra 14" - 20" on cool "no-AC" nights, and 5.) add window fan as needed.]
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 9:57 PM on May 31, 2012


jjjjjjjijjjjjjj, you're assuming a very large window.
posted by jon1270 at 6:19 AM on June 1, 2012


When I've looked at the innards of window air conditioners, the "outside vent" function is just a small flap that opens or closes to let a bit of air come in from outside.

Not only that there isn't a fan pushing/pulling the outside air through the tiny openning. The air is sucked in merely by a venturi effect.

Essentially the fresh air mode of a window A/C is a marketing gimmic.
posted by Mitheral at 8:33 AM on June 1, 2012


> you're assuming a very large window.
True, and good point; viability of my plan would entirely depend on window size (and AC unit height). I don't know if it'd require a "very" large window, though... (then again, I have tall windows, and that might've influenced my advice).

Just saw your first answer in the thread, btw, and it's spot-on.

OP: Seems like the consensus is that you'll not find a window unit that will move as much outside air as you'd like. Measure your windows, and you can see about another workaround, hopefully.
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 10:33 AM on June 1, 2012


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