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Portable A/C units question
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
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Portable A/C units question

Hi All,

I live in California where I recently learned that if you live in an apartment, you need a permit through the city to install split systems or HVAC.

Looks like im stuck with either window units, or portable units (Ugh!)

Window units as we know, are too loud. My best bet is getting a portable unit with a pipe/duct feeding outside.

Does anyone have good recommendations of silent units? I've researched a few but wanted to see if there was any tried/tested ones on here.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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Jason Foi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
Hi All,

I live in California where I recently learned that if you live in an apartment, you need a permit through the city to install split systems or HVAC.

Looks like im stuck with either window units, or portable units (Ugh!)

Window units as we know, are too loud. My best bet is getting a portable unit with a pipe/duct feeding outside.

Does anyone have good recommendations of silent units? I've researched a few but wanted to see if there was any tried/tested ones on here.
All the ones i've seen in person are as loud as a window unit while cooling
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
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(musician mode) I used a 10,000 btu portable for my small studio, which is a fully-insulated 2-car garage. It would cool the space only in the morning. Most of the day it could only maintain the temperature, and in the afternoons it was useless. I am in Tucson, BTW. 105-110 is not unusual.

In quiet mode, it was far from quiet.

Last year I replaced it with an 18,000btu split, and the difference is astounding. It can QUICKLY cool the area any time of day, any outdoor temperature. Normal operation you can have a conversation in front of it. It has a "silent" mode which is barely perceptible from feet away.

(homeowner mode) It was a great investment. I can turn it on on the hottest part of a hot day, and be comfy in ten minutes. We can use the space for a variety of uses, and it made the garage into practical living space. I installed it myself, so it probably added value to the home several times the cost of the unit.

(Now former landlord mode) Could you make a deal with the landlord to cover the permit issues, you pay for the system, (s)he reduces the rent slightly, and you leave the system when you vacate? You get the good system, and the landlord increases the value of the unit.

Matt B
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmattb View Post
(musician mode) I used a 10,000 btu portable for my small studio, which is a fully-insulated 2-car garage. It would cool the space only in the morning. Most of the day it could only maintain the temperature, and in the afternoons it was useless. I am in Tucson, BTW. 105-110 is not unusual.

In quiet mode, it was far from quiet.

Last year I replaced it with an 18,000btu split, and the difference is astounding. It can QUICKLY cool the area any time of day, any outdoor temperature. Normal operation you can have a conversation in front of it. It has a "silent" mode which is barely perceptible from feet away.

(homeowner mode) It was a great investment. I can turn it on on the hottest part of a hot day, and be comfy in ten minutes. We can use the space for a variety of uses, and it made the garage into practical living space. I installed it myself, so it probably added value to the home several times the cost of the unit.

(Now former landlord mode) Could you make a deal with the landlord to cover the permit issues, you pay for the system, (s)he reduces the rent slightly, and you leave the system when you vacate? You get the good system, and the landlord increases the value of the unit.

Matt B

Split is not an option, thank you Matt. I've had a split before in my previous home and yes, they are the best.

Im currently trying to find a solution with what I have.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
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Jason Foi's Avatar
 

Its the compressors running that make them loud. If you could isolate the portable unit and duct in the cool air youd be ok
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
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Not sure how this worked but it does

This was a temp solution 5 years ago that worked so good it became permanent. Exhaust blows out open door. Cold air runs up t's into booth and main room. I'm in San Diego so it doesn't get super hot out but, on a 90 degree day the studio easily stays at 70.
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Portable A/C units question-20200623_143522.jpg   Portable A/C units question-20200623_143516.jpg  
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jabba Bakes View Post
This was a temp solution 5 years ago that worked so good it became permanent. Exhaust blows out open door. Cold air runs up t's into booth and main room. I'm in San Diego so it doesn't get super hot out but, on a 90 degree day the studio easily stays at 70.
LOVE THIS! Thanks for sharing. I might try and do a similar thing in my apartment.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

My experience with a portable was not good. IME, lot of portables have some fundamental problems. The heat exchanger, instead of being out of the room is inside. so the casing gets hot, Also the tube leading out to the vent gets very hot, and, if it is more than couple of feet long, acts a a big radiant heater in your cooled room. also you have to do something with the humidity it collects as water.

Further, because the heat exchanger is blowing hot air out of the vent, unless it also has a second vent line pulling air form outside into the heat exchanger, it will create a negative pressure in the room causing hot air to seep in through every door and crack.

They are Ok if you want to sit in front of something that blows cold air on you say, at a desk. But they are not so good at reducing the overall temperature of a room.

This is a bit simplistic, but explains much of what I found. I got rid of the portable and got a split.

https://interestingengineering.com/v...r-conditioners

They might work better in a milder climate, bu my studio is an attic conversion In Oklahoma. The temperature of the roof surface exceeds 180F in midsummer
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmattb View Post
Last year I replaced it with an 18,000btu split, and the difference is astounding.
What specifically did you buy? I'm thinking of doing this myself.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShogunOfHarlem View Post
What specifically did you buy? I'm thinking of doing this myself.
In my previous house/studio I bought an "Innova"split system. Check the reviews on Amazon, the most silent unit I've ever come across. Hands down.

It has a "silent mode", most of the time I never knew if the unit was even on. Room was crispy cool and I had the unit running for 2 years without a single problem, until I relocated.

Besides the fact that they are deadly silent, they are also incredibly affordable.

I was sad when I called Innova yesterday to order a new unit for my apartment, when they told me apartments apparently need special permits from the city ?
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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Starlight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
... "Innova"split system. Check the reviews on Amazon, the most silent unit I've ever come across. Hands down.
There are mini-splits that are half the volume of Bosch Innova's 25dBA, such as units from Mitsubishi, for example, that operate as quietly as 19dB and at a comparable price. Do your homework before choosing. Daikin and LG are also worth checking out.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
There are mini-splits that are half the volume of Bosch Innova's 25dBA, such as units from Mitsubishi, for example, that operate as quietly as 19dB and at a comparable price. Do your homework before choosing. Daikin and LG are also worth checking out.
The Innova I'm referring to is not Bosch and is rated at 19db on the 12k BTU
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
In my previous house/studio I bought an "Innova"split system. Check the reviews on Amazon, the most silent unit I've ever come across. Hands down.
Awesome, thanks.

My room isn't even very big, so a small unit would work wonders, I'd imagine.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShogunOfHarlem View Post
Awesome, thanks.

My room isn't even very big, so a small unit would work wonders, I'd imagine.
I had a 9k BTU unit in a small room. Was more than enough, I rarely had it off silent mode.

I searched on Amazon, seems they no longer supply on there. I have the direct contact for the guy if you need it, but he's located in LA. I'm sure there are other products too.
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