Air conditioning and cooling when it is hot, I have:

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Rooms have individual window or room a/c
28% (10 votes)
Rooms have individual window or room swamp cooler
0% (0 votes)
Rooms have a ceiling fan only
3% (1 vote)
Rooms have central a/c with the rest of the house
19% (7 votes)
No cooling whatsoever avail in the rooms
6% (2 votes)
A mix of both, depending on the room or cottage
28% (10 votes)
Other
17% (6 votes)
Total votes: 36

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Highlands John's picture
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I ticked the "no cooling" option, but we do have desk fans in the rooms for people to use.

We've had a lovely summer so far (that's me jinxed the rest of it) and we've probably had 5 days where the heat was a bit too much, although I expect nothing by the standards that many of you experience.

One woman arrived on a hot afternoon and said "is there a/c", I nearly slapped her, but instead said "If there was today would be the first time we'd used it since 2006".

 

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Madeleine's picture
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It has been unbearable here for a few weeks. (Lovely right now!) Another innkeeper told me she doesn't have A/C, just fans. Not enough these past few weeks. I figured out why she's not booked!

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I bought the new A/C today (guest lugged it upstairs for me). Told them I will change the units out tomorrow and asked her to keep an eye on the drip pan so they do not have soggy rug, etc. They told me they shut the A/C off in the mornings when they leave for work (I honestly had not paid attention) because if they turn it on when they get home from work, by the time they shower, change, and go have dinner, the room is cool. Dang I love these guests I get!!

Madeleine's picture
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Your new unit may come with a hose you run out the back and it just drips onto the ground.

Generic's picture
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New A/C units don't have drip pans anymore. They use the water as a cooling system. So they usually have water at the bottom. Careful!

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Madeleine's picture
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And when the temp drops about 20 35 degrees? I fall right to sleep! Ahhhh. Lovely. I can put my fleece jacket back on now. A/C is off, windows are open. It's 59 degrees.

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Central A/C in all rooms - separate units for upstairs and downstairs.  Ceiling fans in all rooms.  BUT - there are no a/c vents in the bathrooms.  So, if the bathroom's been shut for a few days or on a hot day, it's warm in there.  And I hate getting ready in a hot bathroom!

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The cottage has a window AC unit in the bedroom but both suites in the main house have individual quiet ductless AC....new this season.  We are sooooo glad we installed these units and so are our guests.  They are quiet, energy efficient and I have a remote control that can over-ride the wall thermostat controls if guests start to abuse them.  So far everyone has cooperated, using them sensibly.  But of course it's early in the season....bound to have some yahoo leave the windows open with the AC on.  

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We have one room with a wall a/c unit. Not window, but installed wall unit. The guests complained about having to hear it all night. It has been 90 degrees, and that drops overnight, but the humidity kicks in! Esp after a big thunderstorm like we had yesterday.  I was thinking they would be grateful to have the room nice and chilled, not wet, not damp, but cool...

Apparently not. I suggested they move inside, I offered 3 different times, they declined, but prefered to complain. I told DH - I am waiting for check out today, if they EVEN suggest a free night of the two due to that I will not agree. What do you get in a hotel room? And it doesn't turn on and off on and off, you can set it to stay on.

I gave them both a three scoop bowl of ice cream yesterday, and the day prior we delivered breakfast to their private patio. (This was done as a special bday treat for them, we had no other guests so thought they would enjoy it). It is a BIG PAIn to haul stuff over and back 6 times, btw for the full breakfast out there (not just dropped at the door).

One room has been taking up quite a bit of time. If anything is wrong, it would be with this room/couple. Bless their hearts...

(rant over, thank you).

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

We have one room with a wall a/c unit. Not window, but installed wall unit. The guests complained about having to hear it all night. It has been 90 degrees, and that drops overnight, but the humidity kicks in! Esp after a big thunderstorm like we had yesterday.  I was thinking they would be grateful to have the room nice and chilled, not wet, not damp, but cool...

Apparently not. I suggested they move inside, I offered 3 different times, they declined, but prefered to complain. I told DH - I am waiting for check out today, if they EVEN suggest a free night of the two due to that I will not agree. What do you get in a hotel room? And it doesn't turn on and off on and off, you can set it to stay on.

I gave them both a three scoop bowl of ice cream yesterday, and the day prior we delivered breakfast to their private patio. (This was done as a special bday treat for them, we had no other guests so thought they would enjoy it). It is a BIG PAIn to haul stuff over and back 6 times, btw for the full breakfast out there (not just dropped at the door).

One room has been taking up quite a bit of time. If anything is wrong, it would be with this room/couple. Bless their hearts...

(rant over, thank you).

JB you are the TOPS in innkeeping.  These people would have found something else to complain about if it not the a/c.  They should be thankful for being COOL!   

Speaking of complainers and noise, once we had a couple from the city here.  We have always promoted that we are in a quiet area.  Well the next morning these people complained about - the crickets and frogs that 'kept them up all night'.  

I learned you CAN'T WIN with some folks!

Proud Texan's picture
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Our window units are 5 years old.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they make it through this summer.  We plan on replacing them next year with higher BTU units that are a little more energy efficient.

It's so humid in East Texas, that there's a constant stream of water dripping from the back of the units and I've noticed rust starting to form around the drain holes. 

What's really fun, is that the weather report this morning said that the temperatures will be in the triple digits this weekend.angry

Willowpondgj's picture
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84 and 11% humidity here right now...

OnTheShore's picture
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Other: we do not have air conditioning (except that provided naturally by the ocean and the trees), neither in our house nor any of the cottages. We try to provide each of the cottages with at least two fans (box fans and/or table fans). For those with more than one bedroom, we're trying to get to the point of having at least one fan per bedroom/sleeping area.

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Silverspoon's picture
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Sea breeze worked just fine for us for about 20 years, but about 5 years ago things just started heating up. So even though we look out to the Atlantic, that ol' sea breeze can't keep up with the heat and humidity we have had recently. 

Madeleine's picture
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I would love to be where you are! You've got to have a lovely breeze off the water. And all the shade trees. It's already high 70's here.

Willowpondgj's picture
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We have an evaporative cooler for the whole house and individual AC window units and fans in each room, because if they close their door, they get no EC air...If they are the only guests, we tell them- just leave your door open and don't use the AC...

 

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Hot and humid midwest here.  Prior to the remodeling there was just one central air conditioner for the entire house, and the upstairs never seemed to get really cool.  After remodeling to become a B&B there are now 3 air conditioner towers outside (and 2 new furnaces in the attic as well as one in the basement).

Things went well for the first several months of the first summer.  I could turn on the a/c in guest rooms (all upstairs) just a few hours before check-in and everything would get nice and cool.  Then the electric company chopped down six of my mature trees to protect their high voltage lines, and it has become much more difficult to keep the rooms cool unless I set the thermostats for all no warmer than 76 all the time, then turn down the morning of check in.  I really think they chopped down all our trees so they could collect more money from the increase in electricity consumption!

Interestingly, there is a thermostat in each guest room in spite of the fact that each a/c or furnace actually covers two rooms.  There's something that goes on in the ductwork that actually allows for a fairly significant temperature gradient if the individual room thermostats are set several degrees different.

The thermostat allows any room to switch from heat to a/c, and so part of my spiel on check in always includes "don't switch from heat to a/c, just move the temperature up or down"  In 6 years I have only had one guy who can't understand the concept.  He's a frequent flier, and I've caught him messing with the switch twice, which means he turns the heat on another guest's room as well as his own.  Prior to using a high-tech expensive solution I now have a new space heater that he can use.  In addition to the explanations he's had several times in private, public humiliation also seems to be working.

Am I worried that I'll hurt his feelings and he won't come back?  No.  His wife likes to use my white towels and pillow cases as makeup removers, and as we all know, Murphy's Law says they'll come back and back and back.

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You name it we have used it and now finally found the best for us in the deep south!!! 

We opened using a central A/C (and heat) which we controlled.   Due to the issues of 1 room being hot, another cold:

We put in window A/C units for the guest rooms which helped guests have control at least 9 mths of the year.  But they are loud and not energy efficient. In 2 rooms we went with those portable units as the window units would be an eyesore on the front of the house.  The portable units worked well for a while but we did have to make a self draining tube because we had so much condensation. 

2 yrs ago went to the Ductless Split units in each guest room.  Ours are both A/C & heat, but the heat may not be sufficient for northern climates, they do have just A/C units.  They have been the BEST decision we have made.  Not only are they quiet, they are extremely efficient and economical with our electric bill being cut in half or more, which made for a quick pay off of the units.  I STRONGLY recommend  looking into this type of unit especially if you are using window units now. 

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I would love to put in the split systems. But this house is so dang long we'd need 2 of them. And where do I put the noisy condenser part? Either outside my bedroom window or a guest's.

But, this year may just kill me. Starting in early June with the A/C on during breakfast??? Too much.

And, it is still 84 degrees in my space. Windows open, fans running, there is just no air here right now. Maybe after the storm blows thru. And, in about an hour, DH will go thru here and shut every window 'in case it rains during the night'. He will go to bed and I will open them all back up again just so I can breathe.

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We put both suites on the same unit, which worked well for us since the rooms are stacked, one above the other.  The theromostats work independantly for cooling and heat (but the heat is only used to take the chill off during the late spring and early fall).  We had these installed in Dec. 2012 and received a $500 rebate for the units.  We also had one installed for ourselves....and I agree...BEST decision we ever made!

I'm not familiar with your particular set up, Maddie, but if you can swing getting these split systems installed you will love them and so will your guests.

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Silverspoon wrote:

I'm not familiar with your particular set up, Maddie, but if you can swing getting these split systems installed you will love them and so will your guests.

Sitting here melting we talked about it. Can't figure out how much it would cost without calling someone but I can't imagine it's going to be inexpensive with a building that is 3 stories and over 100' long. With 15 rooms to cool. (We'd want it over on our side, too!) Doing it right. With all bedrooms getting a unit (10), the dining room,  kitchen(s), both living rooms. We have no exterior walls in the inn kitchen, living room or dining room that can be used. They're all windows or cabinets.

Then there's the installation of the compressors. They'd run the length of the building to get them where they need to be. Possibly having to install them on the street side which the historic zoning would kick about (because it's permanent, not because it's A/C). I guess what I can't see from the sales catalog is what this looks like on the outside of the building.

But, yes, I know. Quiet. Cool. And I hate A/C because it's noisy. Cannot sleep with an A/C unit running. So, I don't sleep on days like this. I cat nap. A hour here and hour there.

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We installed one large unit in our side of the house, in the peaked great room which also cools the kitchen (we have the same no-wall-space issue as you), 1/2 bath, laundry, dining room, and our bedroom on the second floor which opens to the great room.  We thought we would have to put an additional unit in our bedroom but the big one we had installed works like a charm to cool a large open area and a few adjoining rooms.  

Great Room: Mitsubishi MSZ / MUZ-GE24NA - Variable Cooling Capacity of 8,200 to 31,400 BTU/h with a SEER of 19.0 at its RATED Capacity of 22,500 BTU/h. Total for Above $3,869.00

Madeleine's picture
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Thank you. I will start the process of looking into this for next season.  How many sq ft do you think the area you are cooling is?

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Well I think you need to measure cubic feet since it's the volume of air that counts.  I'll get a rough estimate for you when I get a minute.  Remind me if I forget and get lost in the daily chores.  Smiling  busy time of the year in these parts....you too, I know.

 

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Are you two talking about the same things?  Split system air/heat pumps are not  2 separate heat pump systems.  Terminology you are using is confusing.

These are heat pumps. We have two systems...one for the upstairs and one for downstairs. Here you are talking $15K+

These are split system ones.  Talk about quiet...these are! Friends just put in one of their cottages and it is WONDERFUL! This is more like $2-3K range.

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Mini-split heat pumps - Just like the mini-splits for AC, but also do heating.

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Yes Eric that is what I meant..maybe my link didn't go to the dual system..but these are great

 

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EmptyNest wrote:

Yes Eric that is what I meant..maybe my link didn't go to the dual system..but these are great

 

These are the things people have no clue about when they are dreamy eyed aspiring innkeepers. I know we didn't. Old houses...they think people can share baths or they can add them for a few $ and then people will flock to their door with credit cards in hand.

Someone bought an historic home and property in our town. An out of country backer is paying for it all and they plan to make it into a B&B.  Meanwhile back in dodge, I burn my buns to market this place and pay the bills. They have no idea, they didn't speak to anyone... and the place is a large property, but has not been maintained. They came here and it is ready to roll, guests on the books...licensed, inspected, approved.

I know from the owner at THAT property that she ended up dropping the sale price in half, as she was paying thousands per month to heat it (with herself wearing ten layers to keep warm). So in other words, it is a money pit. But if someone has that sort of money it will end up beautiful. 

(I didn't mention the guests who were telling me how I need to rewire our cottage this week, don't even get me started! That is all NEW out there, we just moved the door and added that deck, we know the wiring well... he was ticked because he turned off the switch by the bed which controlled the ceiling fan. We have the switch by the bed to control the fan so people don't have to get up an go to the main switch. We were actually being considerate. He came in ROOM RAGING telling us the fan is broken. The a/c is fine, they wanted the fan.)

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The cure for idiots...

Madeleine's picture
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Hate to say it...we labeled every light switch in the house so guests would know which switch turned on which lights. They were always turning the switches on the lamps and turning them off then telling us none of the lights worked.

Of course someone approached us one day and said, 'Well I can't see that in the dark now can I?'

We have the parts of the Keurig machine labeled. 'I didn't know where to put the water.' We even labeled where to stop filling so we didn't end up with water all over the counter.

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Madeleine wrote:

Hate to say it...we labeled every light switch in the house so guests would know which switch turned on which lights.

Yep, I did the same, and I look at the labels myself sometimes. Can't always remember which switch turns on what.

Silly us, though. Should have thought to use invent and then use glow in the dark label paper. The answer is, we do what we can.

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Madeleine wrote:

Hate to say it...we labeled every light switch in the house so guests would know which switch turned on which lights. They were always turning the switches on the lamps and turning them off then telling us none of the lights worked.

Of course someone approached us one day and said, 'Well I can't see that in the dark now can I?'

We have the parts of the Keurig machine labeled. 'I didn't know where to put the water.' We even labeled where to stop filling so we didn't end up with water all over the counter.

At a recent cabin stay there were 6 light switches side by side in the bathroom, and three more near the sink. They had glow in the dark labels on them, so they do make them, but I stood there and stared at them each time and felt like a bozo. So after that I would just switch them on and be done with it. (After I learned to not switch on the hEAT lamp!)

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I am getting this AM that the WiFi doesn't work. We JUST installed a second extender because guests were saying they couldn't connect again. (This is, I am sure, a problem with the incoming signal from Fairpoint and not with our equip. I sit right next to the router and my laptop is hardwired to it and there are days I can make myself a sandwich waiting for a page to load.)

Anyhoo. There are at least 3 other people sitting right next to them happily using the WiFi to plan their day. This person has FOUR gadgets on the table and he's telling me this one works, but that one doesn't so you should...

Buzz off.

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to him i say DUMBASS!!!!

Madeleine's picture
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I'm only looking for A/C because electricity rates are too high to use this even for partial heating. I found them for about $4k per system, which would do 4 small rooms.

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Madeleine wrote:

I would love to put in the split systems. But this house is so dang long we'd need 2 of them. And where do I put the noisy condenser part? Either outside my bedroom window or a guest's.

But, this year may just kill me. Starting in early June with the A/C on during breakfast??? Too much.

And, it is still 84 degrees in my space. Windows open, fans running, there is just no air here right now. Maybe after the storm blows thru. And, in about an hour, DH will go thru here and shut every window 'in case it rains during the night'. He will go to bed and I will open them all back up again just so I can breathe.

Maddie, you would need more than 2.  And there are those that have dual split and those with single units. After reading up on the units we went with individual units, the dual units are for a large room that just needs more air flow.  The outside unit is like a purr compared to window units.  My guests are amazed by them & I know we have 'sold' many units for the company we direct people to.   Here is a link to one online dealer just so you can read up on - I am not promoting this company as I know nothing about them. 

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You can have up to 4 units on a split. You can put them on the roof, but that needs a pump. But they don't need to be near a window. You can put it half way between your window and the guests. Just don't give them the remote, because if one turns on the heat and the other AC the unit goes into "error" mode. 

Madeleine's picture
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So I'd need 3-4 of the systems to cover the whole house. Well, that's not happening anytime soon. If it's anything like 2 new furnaces for the heat it'll be another 10 years to save up for it!

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Actually, if you get the heat pumps, you can cut down on your furnace need. The heat pumps are great for low heat, but the furnace needs to kick in for when the temperature is really low. It will cut down on your heating bill as well.  And you won't need two furnaces. (Though, I have to ask why you need two furnaces, assuming that they are gas or oil, they should be effecient enough to get it all done. We have one giant fuel effecient furnace, saved us about 40% on the bill and it does our hot water as well. One tank for up to 10 apartments and always hot water. High speed air exchange via the chimney, so no extra vents needed. Quiet too.

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We needed two because of poor planning and an emergency. There were 2 of them here already and one of them died in the middle of a busy week. We did not have time to work out how big of a new one we should buy to cover the entire house. Nor did we have the time to replumb. It was a colossol error on our parts to not just shut the damn inn down for a week and do it right. So, we spent double to get a second furnace installed last summer.

There were 2 furnaces because the newer part of the house wasn't in the plans when they bought the first furnace.

The place next door is twice the size of our inn and they run on one furnace. So, yes, I know it can be done with just one.

 

Generic's picture
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A shame. In any case, the heat pumps can provide AC and heating when temperatures aren't too cold, about -5 c or so. When it gets really cold you need the furnace to keep in and it's more effecient at that point.

We use indirect water heating, so our furnace also heats our water tank. A 60 gallon is enough for up to 10 apartments they say, with this size furnace.

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

A shame. In any case, the heat pumps can provide AC and heating when temperatures aren't too cold, about -5 c or so. When it gets really cold you need the furnace to keep in and it's more effecient at that point.

We use indirect water heating, so our furnace also heats our water tank. A 60 gallon is enough for up to 10 apartments they say, with this size furnace.

Heat pumps are super efficient for cooling, not for heating tho...boo hoo hoo.

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They aren't, but there is a temperature cut-off at which they are more effecient than using the furnace. The installer will actually calculate it, based on electricity costs, which are cheaper in the northeast anyway.

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

 based on electricity costs, which are cheaper in the northeast anyway.

Speak for yourself. The rates 'across the border' are horrendous. Altho, coming down a bit. I think we may have dropped 1-2 cents in the past 3 months.

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What's it running where you are? 7c to 9c a kWh? We are 5.4c to 7.8c a kWh. Not exactly giving it away.

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

What's it running where you are? 7c to 9c a kWh? We are 5.4c to 7.8c a kWh. Not exactly giving it away.

That's the price of the electricity, then we also pay a delivery fee that doubles the cost. So, if it's $.08 then we pay $.16. Which is why running the A/C at breakfast and then until 9 PM at night is a killer. It's been running for 15 hours/day with this heat. And we have to run another unit upstairs or the heat would be unbearable, even if no guests are in the house.

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

They aren't, but there is a temperature cut-off at which they are more effecient than using the furnace. The installer will actually calculate it, based on electricity costs, which are cheaper in the northeast anyway.

Right, I understand, totally. We get cold here in the winter, and they are useless. Well let's say they keep running, but go on aux and it costs us an arm and leg. This was a NEW system when we bought the place.  

We can have every room occupied, with a/c since MAY. Lights, TV's, and pay 1/3 or what we pay for no guests, freezing out boodies off and no lights on, outside whatsoever, or any rooms. Would love to have a ground source heat pump. We are for sale though, we don't want to spend any more than we are already pouring out...which means NO DEFERRED maintenance, but we won't upgrade anything, esp when it was new!

A/C is awesome with a heat pump. But, we need to change our filters right now, as it is working too hard, have to go to Lowes tomorrow.  Our attic is 1000 degrees, we have a fan up there and other things to help with that. I don't knwo what anyone did in this house for 115 years before we got here! haha

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What I really wanted was geothermal, but there was no way to dig for it.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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As a guest, I've always loved those split units! They work great and were the only units that did a great job when we've traveled in the tropical areas.

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We have central on the first floor (no duct work upstairs). I got window units for the guest rooms so no one has to exist with anyone else's temp preferences. DH wants it a LOT cooler than I like it so i suffer. I think I am going to get one of those standing A/C units that is on wheels and has a hose that goes out the window - it even has a remote. Does anyone have any experience with them?

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