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is it worth buying a mobile air conditioner?
In summer, the demand for floor-mounted mobile air conditioners rises sharply: in fact, unlike split systems, they do not require complex installation and allow you to start cooling the room immediately after being plugged into the outlet. The purchase of a mobile air conditioner is often spontaneous, as an ambulance in case of heat or smog, when the buyer does not fully understand the features of the device, operation and selection criteria for these devices. We figure out whether it is worth investing in a mobile air conditioner, how to choose it, and whether everything is so simple with installation and mobility.
What is a mobile air conditioner and how does it differ from a split system
indoor unit with controls and evaporator.
A mobile air conditioner is a monoblock, where the heat exchanger (evaporator), fan, compressor, and condenser are located: that is, everything needed for “cold production” is placed in one housing. Due to this, mobile air conditioners have a rather high noise level compared to split systems.
In split systems, hot air and condensate formed as a result of heat exchange are removed from the outdoor unit, which is located outside the refrigerated room. A mobile air conditioner blows hot air from the side opposite to the cold air outlet. Therefore, hot air must be removed from the room using the hose included in the kit, one end of which is attached to the hot air outlet in the device case, and the other to where the air is removed: into the window sash, into the ventilation shaft. Ways to output the hose will be considered at the end of the review.
Let’s make a reservation that by mobile air conditioners we mean only devices with a compressor and refrigerant, as well as with a corrugated hose (cuff, trunk, sleeve, pipe, branch pipe) for air removal: all kinds of advertised mobile air conditioners without corrugations are a marketing bait for selling modern and good … fans with the function of humidifying the air.
You can put containers with ice in a water tank, write in an advertisement that the air is driven through the cold and this cools the room by 6-7 degrees, call it all a mobile air conditioner, an air cooler and even a climate complex, but this does not make the device ceases to be a humidifier fan.
There are also models to which two air ducts can be connected: one will take air from the street, the other will take it out there, but this is rare. An example is the CoolMobile 24. Hoses are more difficult to install, the appearance of the device is more intricate, and mobility within the premises is reduced to zero, but this solution has the advantage of greater performance and energy efficiency. And yet such air conditioners are more often used in offices.
In fairness, we say that there are mobile split air conditioners, consisting of two units connected by a hose. This is, for example, the Trotec PAC 4600 model: the compressor can be put on the balcony, and the evaporator in the floor housing remains in the room. But in this case, it is necessary to solve the question of where and how to bring the connecting hose out.
Advantages of mobile air conditioners
- No need for professional installation
- Possibility of installation where it is impossible or impractical to install a split system and bring its outdoor unit outside (for example, in a rented apartment, in a historical building, etc.)
- Ability to use one device in the city and at the cottage (loaded – taken – turned on – working)
- An urgent solution to the problem of heat and stuffiness, if you did not have time to install a split system in advance
Disadvantages of mobile air conditioners
There are many disadvantages – and all of them are due to the design of mobile air conditioners.
Due to the need to bring the hose outside, the mobility of the air conditioner within the same room is severely limited. So, if the corrugation is displayed out the window, the air conditioner can only stand next to it and nothing else. In addition, the device can only be connected to a grounded outlet (manufacturers do not recommend using extension cords). That is, mobility means the ability to easily transport the device to another room or to another apartment (house, office).
Sellers’ assurances that a mobile air conditioner, unlike a split system, does not violate the appearance and design of the room is not true. No matter how cute the design of the device, the corrugation is more striking and not only looks alien, but also steals space in the room. In addition, when the air conditioner is running at full power, it can get quite hot.
All portable air conditioners operate with high noise levels. Expensive models that have compressor soundproofing can operate with a minimum noise level of about 45 dB (in night mode), but this is also a lot to, for example, sleep nearby. For comparison: quiet modern refrigerators have a maximum noise level of 39-41 dB, and good split systems in night mode – 21-23-25 dB. If there is no soundproofing of the compressor, then a mobile air conditioner can have a noise level of up to 60 dB or more, which is comparable to the noise of a bag vacuum cleaner at low power. An important nuance: if manufacturers and sellers usually report the maximum noise level of the device (hair dryer, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner), then in the case of mobile air conditioners, the minimum level is usually indicated in a conspicuous place, and the maximum should be sought in the technical documentation of the model.
Mobile air conditioners are quite heavy: from 20 to 45-50 kg. It is quite convenient to move them along the plane on wheels, but not everyone can carry them, for example, up the stairs.
It used to be that mobile air conditioners were an inexpensive option compared to split systems. However, in recent years, many budget Chinese split systems have appeared on the market, which, even with installation, cost about as much as a good expensive mobile air conditioner. But at the same time, the split system makes less noise, cools more efficiently and does not have other disadvantages of a “mobile phone”. And if you add to its cost the cost of an efficient and aesthetic way of removing hot air (for example, ordering and buying an insert to fit the size of your window sash), then it will turn out not so profitable.
Mobile air conditioners have high energy consumption. Since the removal of hot air often becomes a problem and is not organized correctly (the end of the corrugation is often simply put into the window sash), part of the heat gets back into the room, and cold losses are inevitable through the open window. If the hose is stretched too much, then the cooling efficiency also decreases due to the greater air resistance. Accordingly, in these cases, the mobile air conditioner needs more time to significantly lower the air temperature in the room, with the cooling of which the split system would cope faster. In addition, mobile air conditioners are not inverter, so their performance is lower than that of inverter split systems (and there are more and more such models and they are becoming more affordable). True, some mobile air conditioners use motion sensors to determine if there is someone in the room and whether it needs to be cooled more, and switch to the minimum mode if no one is there: this saves energy.
The liquid that condenses as a result of heat exchange, in low-cost models, is drained into a sump in the housing, and this water must be poured out periodically (in split systems, the condenser is brought outside). In modern advanced mobile air conditioners, moisture is removed to the outside along with hot air.
Functions of mobile air conditioners
With all these drawbacks, a mobile air conditioner sometimes remains the only possible solution – and then you need to decide on a model. When choosing, be sure to take into account your own sensitivity to noise and your willingness to endure it (or turn off the device at night, because the night mode most often does not save), think about the output of the corrugations and understand what functions, in addition to air cooling, you need. These can be heating, dehumidification, operation in recirculation mode (in other words, a fan), air purification using dust and catalytic filters, ionization and aromatization of air, air flow direction adjustment, self-diagnosis function, on and off timer, auto-restart on shutdown and recovery power supply and at the end of the work cycle, motion sensor, automatic mode to maintain the set temperature, remote control or remote control – and the price of the model will depend, among other things, on its capabilities.
How to calculate the required power of a mobile air conditioner
Air conditioners consume the most electricity in cooling (not heating) mode, so the required power consumption is calculated for the purpose of cooling the room. The power parameter for air conditioners – both mobile and others – is marked not in kilowatts, but in BTU (British thermal unit, or BTU, British thermal unit) per hour. BTU corresponds to 0.293 Wh (usually rounded up to 0.3 Wh). For example, power 9000 BTU / h (BTU / h) is approximately equal to 2. 7 kW, if translated into the usual system of measures. Household air conditioners have a capacity of 7000, 9000, 10000, 11000, 12000 BTU / h, but this number is usually divided by 1000 – and as a result, the power ratings of the air conditioners were “7”, “9”, “10”, “11”, “12 “. The higher this power rating, the larger the area of \u200b\u200bthe room served by the air conditioner. 1 kW is conditionally calculated for 10 m² of area with a ceiling height of 2.5 m, that is, the “nine” will cope with cooling a room with an area of 20-25 m². The numbers are conditional, since this approximate calculation does not take into account higher ceilings, the direction of the world that the window faces, the number of windows, the temperature outside the window, the number of people in the room – all this affects heat and cold losses. When choosing a split system, a very approximate calculation looks like this:
- “7” – 2.1 kW – up to 20 m²
- “9” – 2.7 kW – up to 25 m²
- “10” – 3 kW – up to 30 m²
It must be understood that the split system excludes the return of hot air blown out by the device into the room (and when using a mobile air conditioner, this can be minimized, but not always completely eliminated) and it does not have a heating corrugation. Therefore, a mobile device should be chosen with a good (30-40 percent) power reserve, and also focus on the brand’s reputation: for inexpensive noname models, anything can be “drawn” in the power marking. By the way, you can find real measurements of the power and noise level of a mobile air conditioner in our review of one of the Electrolux models.
How to bring the mobile air conditioner hose out the window
windows are a bad idea. The hose outlet kit included in the kit most often does not fit the dimensions of the window sash. However, if the option with a cover for a window sash offered by manufacturers of mobile air conditioners fundamentally suits you, then you can order such a cover of the right size on marketplaces with the ability to adjust it to your dimensions. It is easy to find it by the keywords “window seal for a mobile air conditioner with a cuff”, when choosing, you need to take into account the diameter of the corrugation and the hatch for it in the seal (duct diameter) and the length of the cover (3 or 4 meters). The kit usually includes a cover made of dense material and Velcro on an adhesive basis. The cover is attached to the frame with adhesive tape and tightened to fit the sash. It is important that this entire structure can be moved to another room, and the cover can be machine washed.
Sometimes the manufacturer offers not a cover, but an insert in the window (this solution was implemented in the Electrolux air conditioner we tested), but it is more suitable for sliding frames, which are not very popular in the Russian Federation. Such an insert (bar) can also be bought separately, choosing the most suitable one in terms of parameters: it is searched in search engines for the words “bar for a mobile air conditioner”.
It is possible to make an insert-frame made of PVC with a hole for the diameter of the air duct to order and precisely to the dimensions of the window sash. The hole provides a hose holder and a check valve that prevents hot air from entering the room. The frame is gently inserted into the window opening and fixed with clips, and if necessary, it can be easily removed. The disadvantages of this design are only the price and the impossibility of using it in a window of other dimensions (plus a decrease in insolation). The window sash itself will be open when the air conditioner is in use, but can be easily closed when the corrugation is detached.
Craftsmen offer their options. It’s good when it’s just an independent frame production, but there are also quite barbaric and applicable solutions only for your own home. For example, a hole for the size of the air duct is cut out in the plastic part of the balcony door, and sometimes the walls are ditched. Both are, in fact, holes on the street.
The simplest and most inexpensive way is to glue Plexiglas with a hole sawn to the diameter of the air duct on the open window frame. You can order plexiglass according to the frame size (with an allowance of 1-1.5 cm on all sides) and a technical hole in any workshop that deals with furniture, advertising structures, etc., or from a private craftsman.
If you put up with the common shortcomings of mobile air conditioners and choose a quality model, it will bring joy and save you from the heat that always comes unexpectedly in summer – like snow in winter. We hope that our review will inspire someone to buy, and someone will save money, effort and nerves.
Residential complex Rustaveli 14, prices for apartments in the new building Rustaveli 14 on the official website of PIK0086 17 min
Deadline 2023 – 2025
8 177 119
28 815 154
About the project
Residential The Rustaveli 14 quarter is being built in the north-east of Moscow, a three-minute walk from the Butyrskaya metro station. It is not long to go from it to the center – only 15 minutes, and you are on Sretensky Boulevard. And by car you can get to the Third Ring Road in 5 minutes. There are many places for walking and recreation nearby: parks and art spaces.
The project includes 16 houses with underground parking and storerooms, two kindergartens and a school. Cozy courtyards-parks without cars will appear between the houses: with green lawns, shrubs and mature trees. It will be possible to leave a bicycle or stroller in safe entrances. Cozy cafes, shops, bakeries and other services will open on the first floors – you can just go down the elevator to get coffee and breakfast.
The area around Rustaveli 14 is well developed: there are schools, kindergartens and a clinic. Nearby are several parks for walking and art space: Flacon design factory and Bakery No. 9″. Walk to them only 15 minutes.
Video about the project
Project features In Rustaveli 14, all apartments have comfortable functional layouts, for example, with laundry and dressing rooms. You can choose a finish – finished or pre-finished. There are apartments with French balconies that make the room brighter and more spacious. For air conditioners, technical loggias or special baskets are provided.
Life in Rustaveli 14
Rustaveli 14 houses form quarters where courtyards are cozy parks. On the territory of the project, you can relax, play sports and even work with a laptop. There is a subway within three minutes walk. Nearby are three parks that are suitable for relaxing and long walks.
The Rustaveli 14 project has many layouts: from compact studios to apartments for large families. You can buy an apartment with a pre-finishing finish – and you will only have to do the pleasant part of the repair: choose colors, materials and interior details.
from 33.4 m²
from 12 758 800 ₽
9000 2 See 3 offers
There are no excursions in this project yet. Familiarize yourself with PIK building standards in other residential areas in your city.
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