air conditioners

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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Today, the electrician is wiring the house so we can add air conditioners.  Every other B&B in town offers them. We do not and we should.  The third floor rooms are beautiful.   But on a hot day, the reveal themselves as what they truly are.....attic rooms.  HOT.

I hate air conditioning and will avoid it when I can.   But these rooms are for lots of other people.  Not for me.   Excited to do the upgrade.

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We are in a prime Tropical location and use Inverter Splits.

The old RAC's ( Box Room Air Cons) we call window rattlers.  We have kept them still in the rooms as a back up.

Portable A/C's and Evaps on wheels are useless.

I would recommend buying a good quality brand.  Some cheapies our tradespersons will not install.  We also have strict regulations regarding refrigerant gas complience so I would check conformity on this.

An upgrade to the electrical switchboard may also be required.

Filters must be regularly cleaned and the coils as well.

The only issue we have is guest education on refigerated air con use.  They automatically will grab the control and put it on the lowest temp and highest cool fan speed.  They Nick off for the day leaving all doors and  louvres open.  !!( even though this is addressed through signage and as part of the check in process).  You can just imagine the dripping water and wetness in the suites. We now use generic controls that only permit a 3 deg C variance to manufacturers recommended temp control. 

Arks's picture
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CR magazine just gave bad reviews to portable A/Cs...

Think of a portable A/C as the air conditioner of last resort, if you can't mount a window or wall model. They're better than a fan, but not much. Even the largest we tested struggled to cool a 250-square-foot space down to the 78 F the government considers minimal for comfort, despite claims of up to 550 square feet right on the box.

The best window A/Cs chill an area quickly and efficiently by cooling and recirculating inside air air and releasing mainly heat to the outdoors. By contrast, portable units must continuously draw in unconditioned air from surrounding areas as they exhaust hot air through a long, ungainly hose that vents through a window. The result is a vacuum effect that keeps room temperatures relatively torrid by constantly pulling warmer air into the room. Indeed, about 20 to 40 percent of portable A/Cs are returned by unhappy customers.

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I always thought those on the floor in room air conditioners were a joke. The mini splits would be the way to go if at all possible especially in the attic area.

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EmptyNest wrote:

I always thought those on the floor in room air conditioners were a joke. The mini splits would be the way to go if at all possible especially in the attic area.

 

They work great.

seashanty's picture
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 my top floor (third floor) rooms on the harbor got unbearably hot.  attic hot.  i think the new owners installed window sills to hold window a/c's as those rooms were brutal. IF they rented at all i had complaint after complaint about the heat in july and august. and requests for refunds. we tried all kinds of a/c's that didn't fit in the window because there was no sill to speak of...  ..we tried all kinds on wheels with big hoses .. nothing worked. waste of money.  looking back, i should have done the big install right from the get go.  i'm sure there are better a/c's now.

 

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I'll point out that a lot of people LIKE the sound of a fan or motor running at night. I guess it's a "white noise" effect. Another example of some people's garbage being other people's treasure.

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We've had people undo the winter batting on the a/c to run the fan.

But, I won't run the a/c in my own bedroom because I hate the noise. I have a window fan.

I totally get the noise thing. The split system is on the list but the roof is first. And the 2 new boilers were more useful as it gets colder here more than hotter.

Plus, the noise from those was bed rattling and now it's quiet.

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We put the cord in with the winter batting. If they can't get the cord, they can't run it Smiling

I really don't understand people sometimes. We had one that complained that she couldn't use the AC in the fall, when it was colder outside than inside. The window... just didn't occur to them!

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Madeleine's picture
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The cord IS inside. They disassemble it! We were supposed to do locking covers this year. Another project uncompleted.

Generic's picture
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It is amazing the nonsense that guests will do.

gillumhouse's picture
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You all hate the A/C units but you are not my guests. My guests want to know if there is A/C and they are going to have A/C - but only the A/C I can afford. No A/C - no bookings. The rolling unit from last year is programmable. IF A/C wakes a guest, they are quite able to turn the darn thing off - THEY control it. My windows open for cool air in the evening. Each room controls their own climate. That is why I do not like central air - everyone is locked into the temp determined by the person in control of the thermostat. The guests who were in the room I purchased the rolling unit for last year loved it. They were long-term and kind enough to turn it off when they left in the morning. She said when they got back in the evening, they could turn it on and by the time they got their showers to clean up after work, the room was cool. I do not think I would be able to get a split unit for the two rooms on the same side of the house for the $550 it is going to cost me for 2 more rolling units. I am going to sane my back and get rid of the ugly hanging out the windows. DH liked the look of the house with the rolling unit installed that he is even going to contribute to the cause. Woohoo.

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I just came back from Spain where we experienced the portable unit with the hose that fit into a wall hole. It cooled our room nicely, but it's loud and every time it kicked on, it woke me up.

After experiencing wall units, split units and portable units, my vote is for the split system if at all possible. They work great and are quiet and good for an older house.

 

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BD..I am with you. If I had a choice I would go the splits route for sure...so quiet. I hate noisy AC's

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EmptyNest wrote:

BD..I am with you. If I had a choice I would go the splits route for sure...so quiet. I hate noisy AC's

yes

But I also don't like coming back to a room that is 10,000 degrees and having to wait 3 hours for it to cool down. That is the prob with some units.

I just had two very large women check in, it is warm here and there is nothing else we can do to get it any cooler. The a/c is working full time. I gave them some iced drinks and it is 75 up there. It is warmer down here where I sit. One came down and got two more diet sodas from the guest fridge. They are overheated from nothing else than walking up the stairs, sad to say.

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It also could be from not drinking enough water in the day. Sodas do not help keep you cool. Good cold water with ice is best.

We give our guest ice water with fresh lemon slices   or raspberries floating in the very cold water. No sugar just plain cold ice  water. they also can take the sodas . But nine times out of ten they pick the Ice water .

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

I just came back from Spain where we experienced the portable unit with the hose that fit into a wall hole. It cooled our room nicely, but it's loud and every time it kicked on, it woke me up.

After experiencing wall units, split units and portable units, my vote is for the split system if at all possible. They work great and are quiet and good for an older house.

 

 

You are likely right, but we can't do anymore outside construction right now.  And I'm talking about my stress level.  

I honestly wake up in every hotel I stay in when the air kicks in.  I hate them all.   So I imagine if it keeps the room cool in extreme weather, we're ok.

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Problem is that you won't get repeat guests if they are kept awake by the AC.  Many of the B+Bs here in our area do not have AC because we get the same ocean breeze that you get.  But I have found that the split system pays for itself in returning guest reservations.  Even if they don't use it the second visit, they like having the option in case we get a heat wave.

Check out the tax credits (Fed) and rebates etc for the split system...we got a pretty good deal a couple of years ago between the rebate and tax credit.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

I just came back from Spain where we experienced the portable unit with the hose that fit into a wall hole. It cooled our room nicely, but it's loud and every time it kicked on, it woke me up.

After experiencing wall units, split units and portable units, my vote is for the split system if at all possible. They work great and are quiet and good for an older house.

 

 

You are likely right, but we can't do anymore outside construction right now.  And I'm talking about my stress level.  

I honestly wake up in every hotel I stay in when the air kicks in.  I hate them all.   So I imagine if it keeps the room cool in extreme weather, we're ok.

You've done so much to your place already! It's just something to keep in mind for the future. We are so fortunate here to have weather that doesn't need air conditioning. We provide fans for those few hotter days. A HOT day here is about 82 and it cools down at night. We only have those a few days a year.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

I just came back from Spain where we experienced the portable unit with the hose that fit into a wall hole. It cooled our room nicely, but it's loud and every time it kicked on, it woke me up.

After experiencing wall units, split units and portable units, my vote is for the split system if at all possible. They work great and are quiet and good for an older house.

 

 

You are likely right, but we can't do anymore outside construction right now.  And I'm talking about my stress level.  

I honestly wake up in every hotel I stay in when the air kicks in.  I hate them all.   So I imagine if it keeps the room cool in extreme weather, we're ok.

You've done so much to your place already! It's just something to keep in mind for the future. We are so fortunate here to have weather that doesn't need air conditioning. We provide fans for those few hotter days. A HOT day here is about 82 and it cools down at night. We only have those a few days a year.

 

Totally agree!    I would prefer no ac at all.  They will be tucked into the closets until needed.  We only need them two weeks a year.   But I know there are people who can't live without them.  And if you look at the checklist of amenities of all the inns in our town, we were the only one that said, 'no' next to ac.   So it's an upgrade, but probably not the last word.

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After all the work we've done on the house - outside, inside, plumbing, heating, structural, pretty.....my husband was almost giddy last night showing me the new electrical lines and plugs for the ac.  LOL  I had to laugh.  But he is right.

A couple times over the winter, when two rooms both turned on their electric heaters at the same time, the circut broke.  We can't have that going on.  So it is fixed!!!!  That was a big deal.

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Log cabin so we can't just put in any kind of AC unit.  Have window units with timers.  Although I don't like the look, it's the only thing that works in most rooms and we have as quiet of a unit as we can get.  They also have a great feature - a built-in timer.  When we go in and a guest has left the AC on (and expects it to still be on when they return - WASTEFUL), we put it on the 4-6 hour timer and it turns back on most times just before they return.  If they tell me they'll be gone until dinner time, then I set it for a later restart.  They return to a cool room yet I haven't paid for AC all day.  One room the window is too small so I have a standing AC unit.  Much quieter and it's on the side, the end of the room has huge sliding glass doors so it doesn't take up the view.  Paid $299 for a 12,000 BTU size.  Since the room is huge (24'x36') there isn't an issue as to it being in the corner and taking up space.  I would rather have the quieter, more efficient at cooling stand-alone taking up just a few inches of the window's view than the window units any day.

Just had a guest email yesterday who is coming from New York on Memorial Day.  Wanted to be sure that since Memorial Day is "the official start of summer" that I'd have the AC units in.  Said no, we put the in mid-June up here in the North Country and joked how last year on Memorial Day we got 3" of snow - the golf courses were completely covered and everyone was in shock.  Don't need AC up here but for about 6-10 days a year but they all won't book until they confirm we have it.

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Last year was the first year we didn't need the a/c for memorial day weekend. Every other year that is the week it goes to 90, scares everyone and then retreats to 70 for another month!

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Madeleine wrote:

Last year was the first year we didn't need the a/c for memorial day weekend. Every other year that is the week it goes to 90, scares everyone and then retreats to 70 for another month!

It is supposed to break records and reach 90 degrees here today!

You know our own is our own, but when it comes to guests we have to give them proper heating and cooling, it is the way it is. NO ONE had a/c growing up. If someone had it in a vehicle they were a movie star! Things have changed, we are much more active, we do more, go further and expect to be comfortable.

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We plan a/c installation for the week before memorial day. Windows washed, a/c in, filters cleaned.

I know you hate the window units but it's all we can afford.

gillumhouse's picture
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Mine go in today - it is supposed to go to 87 today and warmer tomorrow. I have a full-house coming in tomorrow - of course the next day it will cool down again.

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You can get it to work. Probably will need an outside unit for each side of the house. You'll have to ask a professional for an estimate. Cost depends on the individual situation, size of the rooms being cooled, etc.

Ballpark for 3 separate rooms with their own temperature control: "a few thousand"

You may have to go to Morgantown, Parkersburg, or farther, to find someone who installs these, but start locally.

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I think this will have to be something for the next innkeeper to tackle. At my stage of life, a few thousand that I cannot recoup (as in something I cannot charge extra for having since this is an expected), is something the next one will be doing. I do not expect DH to go another 20 years (nor me either). Now if I got a lot of elopements to stock up on that elusive item called cash, I may think about it - AFTER I paid off the roof & car loans.

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www.nathosp.com/‎

has standard units, as well as other basic supplies.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Right.  I would rather be able to open the window and hear the ocean.  But not everyone agrees with me, so AC going in.

 

Anyone know of a place that sells them wholesale?  We need 4 and possible 6.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Right.  I would rather be able to open the window and hear the ocean.  But not everyone agrees with me, so AC going in.

 

Anyone know of a place that sells them wholesale?  We need 4 and possible 6.

It kinda depends on how you will use these units. Do you want them to heat and cool? Or just cool. Are they window units or central heat/cooling blowing through registers? Some units you will need a license to buy them, some you won't. This product http://www.fujitsugeneral.com are extremely good Seer rating. I'm not sure what you need but am willing to help you anyway I can.

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We looked at these unites about 8 years ago. But it does not work if you have multi room suite. As the cool are does not  reach every where. To make it work we would need several wall outlets. We have a split 5 level house  and finding the location to mount the compressor proved too difficult. We looked at using 3 compressor and doing cooling zones. the cost was huge!!!! We sure like how it would of worked if only doing one room. But the cool air just would not bend around walls to cool the other rooms. So we had to go with the window A/C.

 

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Hillbilly wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:

Right.  I would rather be able to open the window and hear the ocean.  But not everyone agrees with me, so AC going in.

 

Anyone know of a place that sells them wholesale?  We need 4 and possible 6.

It kinda depends on how you will use these units. Do you want them to heat and cool? Or just cool. Are they window units or central heat/cooling blowing through registers? Some units you will need a license to buy them, some you won't. This product http://www.fujitsugeneral.com are extremely good Seer rating. I'm not sure what you need but am willing to help you anyway I can.

 

Thanks.   We are in an old home, so looking for portable, free standing.  We don't want to cut walls or install ducts.  And I don't want to block windows.  I know there are units that stand on the floor and only cover a small portion of the window.   They can be removed from the room if they are not wanted.  I hate window air conditioners, especially when we market ourselves by our views. 

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After looking at mini-splits, window and free standing units, we finally put in central air.  Our rooms all have their own thermostats, and dampered runs.  We were concerned with the condensation dripping on the exterior of the building....we are in a humid area, and I know you are, so please take that into consideration as well.  

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The unit I just mentioned in my last post would be perfect then. You can even have mini splits to go to several units and only have one compressor. everything can be run from the outside and not block any views. Very cost effective to run and perfect for what you need it for. Window units and portable units will be VERY EXPENSIVE to run. Plus its not very inviting when you come into a room and see a portable unit in the room. Its kinda like a White Elephant in the room. This is just my opinion.

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Hillbilly wrote:
Plus its not very inviting when you come into a room and see a portable unit in the room. Its kinda like a White Elephant in the room. This is just my opinion.

Agreed. I had one of the portable units a few years ago in my hotel room in Sienna, Italy. It sat on wheels on the floor, had a hose (like comes out of the back of a clothes dryer) that went to the outside via a little hole by the window. I had a small room, and this thing took up a lot of the space.

But it was HOT in Sienna, and this little baby saved my life, so I was happy to accept the ugly look!

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Arks wrote:

Hillbilly wrote:
Plus its not very inviting when you come into a room and see a portable unit in the room. Its kinda like a White Elephant in the room. This is just my opinion.

Agreed. I had one of the portable units a few years ago in my hotel room in Sienna, Italy. It sat on wheels on the floor, had a hose (like comes out of the back of a clothes dryer) that went to the outside via a little hole by the window. I had a small room, and this thing took up a lot of the space.

But it was HOT in Sienna, and this little baby saved my life, so I was happy to accept the ugly look!

 

I will suggest the unit not be hooked up when the weather does not require it.  But we'll see how guests think of it.

We are wired!  The electrician came today on zero days notice.   I guess we are good customers!

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We have tried them all: window units, portables and finally, split ductless.  BY FAR and away the split ductless would get my vote.  Beachie, you have the same climate that we have and your guests want quiet, effective cooling on those hot days and nights.  Save your self grief in the long run by getting some split systems installed.  If you get the portables, your guests will complain about the noise...it's like a jet engine in the room.  If you get the window units, they are going to take up window space.  If you can run a few units off of one compressor then you may find that you can recoup the $$$ in electrical savings.  

We ordered a remote master control so we can monitor the temp in the room remotely.  If guests are gone we can raise the temp without going into the room.  Very convenient.

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Silverspoon wrote:

split ductless would get my vote

Mine too, if I had a vote. They are almost as "out of the way" as a central system, quiet, always ready to use, but unobtrusive when they're not in use.

In the photo below, the unit at the top is installed in the room, out of the way up at the ceiling. The outside unit with the fan is installed up to 45 feet away from the inside unit. No ducts between them. Just a flexible pipe. Several inside units can even share one outside unit, I think, keeping equipment costs down.

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And if the rooms are on the second floor???

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gillumhouse wrote:

And if the rooms are on the second floor???

All over the world I've seen the outside units mounted on the wall just outside the room/apartment they serve, or on the roof. Of course, with a historic property you'd want to screen or hide it as best you can, just as people do with the big ground-based outside units on central air systems. But these outside units aren't nearly as big and heavy as on a central system. Much easier to wall mount.

It's the easiest/best/most cost effective way to add A/C to a property that didn't have it originally, and it's perfect for a B&B where each room needs to have independent temperature control. Much better than a central unit where the whole house has to have the same temperature setting.

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We had a compressor installed that services two suites, one on the first floor and one on the second.  The installers ran the unobtrusive white tubing from the second floor unit outside, down along the corner board (which was also painted white).  The compressor is sort of behind a corner shrub so it fades out of view.  

 

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This is directed to both of you. I have 3 rooms - all on second floor. 2 are on one side of the house and the other (big room) is on the other side of the second floor. What is the cost of something like this IF I could get it to work?

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I don't know wholesale, but whatever BTU they suggest, overbuy. And buy bigger for the upper rooms and smaller for the lower rooms. Preferably with a digital system instead of a turn dial. 

You might also have to explain to people to set it to a comfortable temperature and leave it. That setting a lower temperature doesn't change the temperature of the output, but leaving it at 21c (72f, I think) will make it work more efficiently and quieter than by setting it at a lower temperature.

I don't know why, but people think that the temperature isn't like a normal thermostat, that it regulates the temperature of the output.

Oh and make sure the airconditioners are LEVEL. The new system using the water extracted as the cooling system for the engine.

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Last year I bought one of the new stand-up on rollers, programmable A/C units. I love not having to lift the freaking things in and out of the windows but the hose does take up a LOT of space (I am not sure about shortening the exhaust hose). The panel that fits into the window for the exhaust hose allows the window to close onto it - no more gaps that allow bugs and birds to enter (window unit experiences) and no more back aches. It was $249 at Sam's. I saw them at Ollie's (a big lots type store) last week - a different brand but same type - for $249 for the 8000 size and $299 for the 12,000 size. I think they are all going to be in the $249 range. I need to get at least 1 more to replace our original huge units - got 1 new one a couple years ago that is in the window unit.

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Being from a hot, humid state, I love air conditioning. 

I've been to so many places, in the US north, in Hawaii, and in Scandinavia, where they have no A/C and it DOES get hot there in summer. They always say, "but it's only for a few weeks each year, so we don't really need it." Yeah, they do need it! When it's hot, I sure won't be staying at a place without A/C!

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With Summer inquiries, one of the first questions is - do you have A/C? It is Summer so of course the A/C should be on HIGH - even if it is a cool day. The fact that opening the window will give the same temp the A/C is set to is ridiculous - the A/c must be on. It is SUMMER!!

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