Are portable air conditioners any good for cooling a baby's room
May 20, 2004 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Portable Air Con: My flat (apartment) is too hot when the weather's like this, and I'm looking to do something about it for the comfort of our new baby who's been a nightmare since the warm spell started. Anyone know if these things are any good? I here to avoid "air coolers", any other advice (and what is a 'mechanical air conditioner'?)... btw fitting proper a\c is out of the question because of planning regs).....
posted by brettski to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
ceiling fans over the bed/crib are the bomb
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:40 AM on May 20, 2004

Do you mean you can't install window air conditioners, and you're looking for advice on the portable floor units?

If so, keep in mind that these will pee on the floor unless you set up something to deal with the water. Probably there's a built in pan which you will have to empty frequently, or a hose that you will have to run to a drain, or out the window.

If you can put in a window unit, do so. They're a lot cheaper and are pretty much hassle free.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:49 AM on May 20, 2004

Response by poster: Our flat's a Victorian conversion, so trying hanging anything off the hundred year old ceilings is asking for trouble (or rubble!)
posted by brettski at 7:51 AM on May 20, 2004

You might find some ideas in this thread.

Amongst other posts, I linked to this how-to for a DIY air conditioner.
posted by o2b at 8:10 AM on May 20, 2004

(I'm not calling double post, just an alternative thread.)
posted by o2b at 8:10 AM on May 20, 2004

I have a friend who has a delonghi that works better than my window's expensive tho.

Give your baby frequent cool baths also--they can overheat too.
posted by amberglow at 8:34 AM on May 20, 2004

Friend of mine says that a portable room air conditioner will cool exactly 1 small room by a few degrees. For health reasons, you might want to put one next to baby's crib, but have no illusions about cool breezes flowing through the apartment. Yes, they also piss on the carpet, so invest in a bucket.
posted by Hildago at 11:01 AM on May 20, 2004

Some portable air-conditioners don't produce the pee pool stupidsexyflanders speaks of, but they are less energy-efficient (and generally take longer to cool an area) than those that do.

Every portable a/c requires an exhaust hose and vent. The hose is usually 4-6 feet long (don't count on extending the hose -- you'll lose efficiency very quickly), so you'll have to factor placement of the unit into your plan.

Would a dehumidifier be a substitute? Your baby might be reacting to the humidity more than the heat.

Here's a comparison of some brands of portable a/c's.
posted by joaquim at 11:14 AM on May 20, 2004

We have a portable air conditioner. It's a GE, but from what I hear, our experience will apply to other brands.

First, the unit vents through a hose about the size of a clothes dryer hose, and needs minimal window space to the outside world. In our case the piece that goes out the window is about 4 inches high by 24 inches wide (102mm x 610mm). The hose is venting heat out of the unit, so it is warm to the touch. It's also probably pretty dang inefficient because you're actually warming with the exhaust hose the space you're trying to cool.

There is a built-in container that holds about a gallon of the condensation it pulls out of the air. In our bedroom we need to empty this at least once a night when it's pretty humid. That said, it makes a small room a bit more comfy and is better than nothing.

If what you feel is more humid than heat (hmmm, London could go either way, I guess), you might want to go the dehumidifier/fan route.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:06 PM on May 20, 2004

Ah, ixnay on the air-conditioning the infant idea. Those things are nasty bacteria-breeders (the air conditioner, not the... er, scratch that disclaimer). IMO, your baby will be at significantly more risk of Bad Things if you use that thing.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:58 PM on May 20, 2004

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