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How many window units per home?


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Posted (edited)

Update 7-20-21

He didn't seem to remember/honor the window unit conversation (wanted me to pay in full for all new units) so I bought one this week and it's on the way. I will keep my purchase history and take it with me if I move out. Maybe get another one next month. I got a flat tire Sunday so I spent money on a tire this week. I have asked a friend to help install it so I don't have to rely on my landlord. 

 

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*update*
I updated in one post but I don’t see post numbers. Landlord agreed to get 2 more small units (so we’ll have one in each bedroom). 
 

I don't know what is normal since I've never lived in a home with a/c units, but this is not cutting it. It'll only get worse as summer comes. There are only two units in the entire home and even when I'm in the living room I don't feel like it adequately cools the whole room. My bedroom has a ceiling fan but I don't do well sleeping with fans on (I get a sore throat). I'm actually getting over a cold so the fan was making things worse. I doubt my landlord will buy more units for the home. I don't know. I might have to get some free standing fans or something. One unit is in a back bedroom and one is in the living room. 

Thoughts? 

Edited by heartlikealion
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Posted (edited)

We moved into a house with no AC a few years ago.  We have 4 window units and 2 of the ones that stand on the floor but vent out the window.  That number does a good job, but we really need one more. Each bedroom has one, the laundry room, kitchen and Living room. 

 

ETA:  We have about 1600 square feet.  Our electric bill isn't crazy high, its cheaper than central AC was I think, its hard to compare though.  This is the first house that I have ever lived in without AC so we're still learning.  If at all possible get programmable ones.  I'm always having to mess with the ones that I have that aren't programmable.  They just run until they are turned off so sometimes rooms gets colder than I would like.  I end up getting up a few times a night to mess with the one in my room, because I get too hot or too cold.

 

Edited by HeartString
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For the free standing ones, are you guys using ones on wheels  -- maybe that way you could move it around the house to the room you're using more? 

I hate to invest the money myself, though. 

One of ours has a remote and one does not. I didn't have anything to do with picking them out.

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087CQVC9G/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is what we just bought, we have no other AC in the house. does well for 1 large room. Does roll around, but you'd have to change the window attachment part for each room -or- get a bunch of the hoses and set it up in the rooms you're using (and close off the unused hoses). Depending on layout, I probably would just leave in one room and point in the general direction of the others, or get it as close to the door as possible.

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The issue in my house is the electrical.  Not all of the rooms have 3 prong grounded outlets, so we can’t put units every where we would like.  

 

Buy an old house, they said. It will be fun, they said. 🙄

 


 

 

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I no longer have it, but I went to the local big box store and got the one for the biggest room capacity I could find when we lived in a house with an attic master bedroom.  It wouldn’t have been easy to move even though it had wheels because the ventilation system was screwed around the open window. 

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The freestanding ones are nice just make sure it isn’t one you have to empty the water from.  Those are crappy and always leak water no matter how well it is put back together.  DH accidentally bought one of those last year for his travel trailer he made.  He now has own that you don’t have to empty. 

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I think you need more. We have a ranch about 1900 square feet. We're in the Atlanta area and our ancient central HVAC quit for it's last time in August a couple of years ago. It was going to be a month before a new unit was available so we used 3 individual units. A large one in the dining room window. A small one in a child's bedroom window (and we put both kids in there). And a $400 mobile unit in our bedroom. We kept all the blinds closed all day and it was livable for the month of August. A 4th unit would have been wonderful but it wasn't practical for a temporary situation. 3 units kept us out of a hotel situation.

Growing up, my grandmother didn't have central air. She was south of Atlanta. And she had 3 units in her one level house. I spent time with her in the summer and it was livable. I remember loving to be in the rooms where a unit was located because it felt luxuriously cool.

Good luck. I hope your landlord will buy some more units.

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1 minute ago, CTVKath said:

I think you need more. We have a ranch about 1900 square feet. We're in the Atlanta area and our ancient central HVAC quit for it's last time in August a couple of years ago. It was going to be a month before a new unit was available so we used 3 individual units. A large one in the dining room window. A small one in a child's bedroom window (and we put both kids in there). And a $400 mobile unit in our bedroom. We kept all the blinds closed all day and it was livable for the month of August. A 4th unit would have been wonderful but it wasn't practical for a temporary situation. 3 units kept us out of a hotel situation.

Growing up, my grandmother didn't have central air. She was south of Atlanta. And she had 3 units in her one level house. I spent time with her in the summer and it was livable. I remember loving to be in the rooms where a unit was located because it felt luxuriously cool.

Good luck. I hope your landlord will buy some more units.

I'm in Mississippi and since he owns other properties I figured he knew what he was doing. Maybe his other units had units already or central air. This house was redone and the window units were put in just before I moved in. Both units are what I'd consider small. I'm mostly working from home so I'm just camped out next to one, but it,s hot in the kitchen, bathroom, etc. 

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Before we got central air in our antique house with radiators we had 5 units.   1 large unit for our main living space.   A unit in the kitchen.  Then 3 small units for each bedroom upstairs.  About 2000 square feet.  We’d rarely run all at the same time.  

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So much depends on the home design. 1 unit takes care of our whole first floor and even gets too cold at night on its lowest setting. Most of the time, it helps our 2nd floor, too. (Just a master suite and loft.) We haven’t bothered to reinstall our upstairs window unit fit a few years because it’s so rarely needed. We do put a fan on though.  
But that’s just how *this house works. 

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It really depends on the size of the unit. Our house is 1500 sq feet and when our AC died and we were waiting for the new one to be installed we were running 3 window units - a small one in master bedroom where DH worked during the day - that worked great to keep the room cool and I had to turn it down at night as I was freezing. A small one in DS 21's room, his room is the one that gets the brunt of the sun and gets the hottest, so he got it and again, his room was cool. And a big one in the kitchen window that kept kitchen cool, living/family rooms not too too hot. Other bedroom didn't have a unit, and it got hot, I won't lie. Even iwth a ceiling fan, plus a small desktop fan that was aimed to pull air into the room, plus a fan in the hall in front of DS 21's room with that door open to suck the cooler air from there and aim it toward the other bedroom. 

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I don't know how you should measure the size. It's 18"w x 11.5" h and the voltage on the side says 115 volts for the living room one. My landlord just came by to mow and I asked him about it. He said he'll look for two more small units. I said yeah ideally one for each bedroom (there's already one in dd's room). I know that leaves the kitchen and laundry room without one, but I'm less concerned about those. The laundry room does have a fan at least. 

I don't know the square footage of the home. It's a shotgun style layout. The kitchen is very small and has one window above the sink. It gets hot, but if he's offering two more units I think they will be better utilized in the bedrooms so we aren't miserable. 

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I think window units come in different sizes and different cooling capacities so it's hard to say how many you need without knowing how powerful they are. My grandmother had a single window unit that cooled her entire (small) home.  I think window units are cheaper and work better than portable units with the hose.  We own a portable unit, but we're not allowed to have window units in my neighborhood. 🤒 Dh's office is pretty much a server room and it needed a little extra cooling, so we sprung for a portable AC.  At the time we got it, our windows opened the wrong way for a window unit anyway. 

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2 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

I think window units come in different sizes and different cooling capacities so it's hard to say how many you need without knowing how powerful they are. My grandmother had a single window unit that cooled her entire (small) home.  I think window units are cheaper and work better than portable units with the hose.  We own a portable unit, but we're not allowed to have window units in my neighborhood. 🤒 Dh's office is pretty much a server room and it needed a little extra cooling, so we sprung for a portable AC.  At the time we got it, our windows opened the wrong way for a window unit anyway. 

LOL, DS 21 kept the window unit in his window even after we replaced the AC. It only kicks on during a few hours in the afternoon, when the sun bakes his room, but with all his computer equipment it makes a big difference. HIs room is the last one the regular AC hits, so gets the least cool air from it, and the most sun, AND he has all the computer power running. It was like a sauna in there sometimes...one with dirty boy clothes in it that stunk, lol. 

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Have you considered a ductless mini split system? They are fabulous. Very energy efficient. Where we vacation in “old Florida”, many of the old homes had no AC, so ductless mini split systems are installed during renovations. 

My dd lives in a mobile home, and when her central AC dies, we plan to install 2 ductless mini splits. 

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We have a unit per bedroom and office (so five there), plus one for the family room since it has its own door, plus one for the schoolroom. That one is a large unit that also cools the kitchen/dining room. It is generally enough, except in the hottest part of the summer, when cooking is a bit warm. Bathrooms are not cooled. 

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7 hours ago, popmom said:

Have you considered a ductless mini split system? They are fabulous. Very energy efficient. Where we vacation in “old Florida”, many of the old homes had no AC, so ductless mini split systems are installed during renovations. 

My dd lives in a mobile home, and when her central AC dies, we plan to install 2 ductless mini splits. 

I’m not spending any money on this rental if I can avoid it. I’m only living here because the kids go to school in this area. Going through a divorce with limited funds. Those sound cool, though 

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12 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

I’m not spending any money on this rental if I can avoid it. I’m only living here because the kids go to school in this area. Going through a divorce with limited funds. Those sound cool, though 

I totally missed that you were renting. Glad the owner agreed to more units! 

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Just as a thought, I'd make sure your desk is close to one of the units. Not just for you but for your computer. We went 2 years without any AC in this house and it completely fried up a desktop system, to the point it had to be replaced. It's the main reason we got a portable AC for this summer (and just for one room). I know AZ is different than your area, where the humidity is a factor and not just straightforward heat, so idk how the factors into computer life, but don't want you to have to find out the hard way like we did, lol.

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  • 1 month later...

Get this, I asked if the landlord had a chance to get the window units because we've been miserable. He responded with a picture (presumably taken at Lowe's) of the price tag and units. It read $159. His caption was you're paying for this, how many you want? I responded that I had offered to chip in but he said he'd get them and I thought no matter who lived here they deserved a cool house. He never replied again. 

He also never addressed the other things. I'm still going to the laundromat because he didn't put the outlet in for the dryer. 

On principle, and due to money, I am not going to shell out money for the window units. What does he think? I will pay for them and when I move out he keeps them? Or he thinks he will keep them because he has the receipt? I'm not stupid. If I'm buying them, I'll do it myself. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/25/2021 at 8:09 PM, Excelsior! Academy said:

You may already know this, but a lot of window units have a higher voltage than a standard outlet.  It can really mess a regular outlet up and potentially catch fire. Make sure that both the window unit and outlet match.

Agree! My FIL's house burned because of a window unit. His house was built in the 50s. I'm not sure what happened--whether it was the outlet, the cord or the AC itself. It was probably a really old unit knowing him. So take my experience with a grain of salt. Make sure you have several good smoke detectors. We lived in an 1100 sq ft house for 5 years, and we got by with 2 window units and strategically placed fans. 🙂

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Posted (edited)

I researched the units/standard outlet situation. These are okay. This is the one I ordered JUST BEFORE the price jumped up to $160. I hope it goes back down or I'll get another brand for the next unit. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Cool-Living-5-000-BTU-Window-Air-Conditioner-with-Installation-Kit/46444962

I do have a fan but it didn't help at all! I tried using it in the kitchen to cool me off but then it wanted to blow the flames of the gas stove lol... I of course moved it where it couldn't point at the stove but then it wasn't reaching me. I tried it in bedrooms, too, but it basically just pushed around hot air. I have a different kind of fan coming in the mail soon. 

 

Edited by heartlikealion
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3 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

I researched the units/standard outlet situation. These are okay. This is the one I ordered JUST BEFORE the price jumped up to $160. I hope it goes back down or I'll get another brand for the next unit. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Cool-Living-5-000-BTU-Window-Air-Conditioner-with-Installation-Kit/46444962

I do have a fan but it didn't help at all! I tried using it in the kitchen to cool me off but then it wanted to blow the flames of the gas stove lol... I of course moved it where it couldn't point at the stove but then it wasn't reaching me. I tried it in bedrooms, too, but it basically just pushed around hot air. I have a different kind of fan coming in the mail soon. 

 

You need to put the fan in a room with an  AC and aim it toward the hotter parts of the house. 

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Posted (edited)

I tried using the large stand up fan next to the window unit last night but it didn't seem to do anything other than push more air directly at me. The rest of the room stayed about the same. I'm actually contemplating returning the upright fan because after like 2 hours of owning it, it started making noise. I've had it a couple weeks now and barely use it. I mainly bought it for the rooms that don't have a window unit but it wasn't really enough to make my room comfortable for sleeping and ds' window unit will arrive tomorrow. 

ETA: I had it on oscillating but could try stationary. 

Edited by heartlikealion
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6 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

I tried using the large stand up fan next to the window unit last night but it didn't seem to do anything other than push more air directly at me. The rest of the room stayed about the same. I'm actually contemplating returning the upright fan because after like 2 hours of owning it, it started making noise. I've had it a couple weeks now and barely use it. I mainly bought it for the rooms that don't have a window unit but it wasn't really enough to make my room comfortable for sleeping and ds' window unit will arrive tomorrow. 

ETA: I had it on oscillating but could try stationary. 

I mostly used fans to pull the air out of the cooled room and push it into other parts of the house. It worked well for us. It was a little bit of a pain to have a box fan sitting in a doorway/hall, but it definitely made the other rooms tolerable.

eta to clarify--you don't want the fan close to the ac unit-- you want it at the door to pull that cool air out and move it into other parts of the house. We actually still do this in our current house with central ac. Our master bedroom is the hottest room in the house. I sit the box fan in the hallway just outside the bedroom to push cooler air from the living room/foyer into my bedroom. 

Edited by popmom
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