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Top-Rated Vertical Air Conditioner Units

A vertical air conditioner is an affordable and practical way of dealing with summer heat.  (If you don’t know what a vertical air conditioner is, click here.)  Before purchasing a unit, you should consider the following issues.  And then take a look at some of the top-rated units below.

Products Discussed in this Article:


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Here are three of the top-rated vertical air conditioners, based on online reviews:

Frigidaire FRA123KT1 12,000 BTU Casement/Slider Room Air Conditioner

Average Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Fast Facts: This 12,000 BTU unit is suitable for rooms up to 640 square feet.

Love It: The reviews for this unit were overall very positive.  People praised its efficiency, features, and ease of installation.

Leave It: Most reviews of this unit were very positive, with many reviewers describing themselves as completely satisfied.  The few who didn’t like it mentioned excessive noise and damage during shipping.

Frigidaire FRA103KT1 Casement/Slider Room Air Conditioner

Average Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Fast Facts:  This 10,000 BTU unit is suitable for rooms up to 500 square feet.

Love It:  The reviews of this unit were very positive.  Users praised its quick cooling, quietness, and features like timer and set temperature.  (One user turned a spare room into a wine cellar and saw a variation of less than one degree inside while the outside temperature changed by up to 40 degrees!)

Leave It:  The users who did not like this unit complained about damage during shipping and difficult installation.

 

Frigidaire FRA084KT7 8,000 BTU Casement/Slider Room Air Conditioner

Average Rating: 4.2 stars (out of 5)

Fast Facts:  This 8,000 BTU unit is suitable for rooms up to 350 square feet.

Love It:  Most users liked this unit, praising its quietness, easy installation, and accuracy in maintaining a set temperature.

Leave It:  Users who didn’t like this unit complained about damage during shipping and a loud fan.

Insider Tip:  Some users said that the installation kit (sold separately) was unnecessary.

 

Installation

Almost all air conditioners are shipped with detailed installation instructions.  For some air conditioners, special installation kits are sold separately.  For more information regarding installation, click here.

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Concerns about Noise

The difference between window air conditioners and a traditional or split unit is that the compressor is right there in the room with you.  So window units always make more noise than central air conditioners.  But, the good news is that new units are much less noisy than old ones.  And the noise created by window unit air conditioners is white noise — it blends into the background.

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Complete Buyer’s Guide to Personal Air Conditioner Units

I grew up in Houston, so I know what air conditioning is.  Between April and October, our air conditioner was off pretty much when it was broken, and at no other time.  In Houston in the summer, the normal routine is to go from your air conditioned house to your air conditioned car to your air conditioned school, office, or shopping mall (OK, it’s not YOUR shopping mall, but you get the point).  Nevertheless, there are still sometimes when we have actually go OUTSIDE, and the only real solution available then is to sweat.

Or so I thought.  It turns out that some clever people have now invented a lifesaving (OK, that’s too dramatic — sweatsaving) device: the personal air conditioner.  These genius devices allow you to take your air conditioning with you always and everywhere, as God intended.  These clever devices go by a lot of names: they can be referred to as a mini personal air conditioner, a personal portable air conditioner, or a personal mini air conditioner.  This variety of names is somewhat ironic when you consider that these things aren’t technically air conditioners.

Yes, that’s right.  Rather than relying on tubes and freon and such things, these “air conditioners” use mist, evaporation, or (sometimes) a big hunk of ice plus a fan to cool you off anywhere.  But, given that the manufacturers claim that these things can reduce the surrounding temperature by up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, we’re betting you don’t care how they work — as long as they work.

Which mini air conditioner personal unit is best for you?  That depends mostly on your budget and your size requirements.  The smallest personal air conditioner units tend to be the cheapest, but they also have the least cooling capacity.  This tiny unit costs just $49.95 and has a nifty camcorder grip on it — but one that is designed to be used to point the thing at yourself rather than anyone else.  It runs on batteries or — get this — USB power.  I mean, is there anything that can be run on USB these days?

This bad boy isn’t hand-held, and looks like it needs to sit on some flat surface, but it is also battery operated, so you can take it anywhere.  This unit, though, uses frozen water rather than just evaporation.  You have to fill up a bottle (included with the unit) and put it in the freezer.  Disappointingly, this one is not USB powered.  When are these people going to join the 21st century?

We hope this has been a useful guide to the miracle personal air conditioner.

Complete Buyer’s Guide to Mini Air Conditioner Units

There are a number of different kinds of mini air conditioner units available on the market today.  Mini air conditioners include three main kinds:

  • mini ductless air conditioner
  • mini portable air conditioner
  • mini window air conditioner

We’ll take a quick look at all three.

Mini Ductless Air Conditioners

Ductless air conditioners are also called mini split systems.  These are two-part air conditioners, as opposed to vertical air conditioners or casement air conditioners (i.e. window units), which just have a single part.  These air conditioners have a blower inside the house and a cooling unit outside the house.  The two parts are connected by two refrigerant tubes.

Ductless air conditioners are made by a huge variety of manufacturers in a wide range of sizes.  One of the most popular manufacturers seems to be Klimaire and Toshiba.  Klimaire manufactures mini split systems 9000 BTU, 12000 BTU, 18000 BTU, and 24000 BTU sizes.  Toshiba has 12000 BTU, 18000 BTU, and 24000 BTU sizes.

Mini Portable Air Conditioners

Ductless air conditioners are permanently installed in a single location, which is fine for most people.  But, if you want to roll your cooling power from room to room with you, then you need a portable air conditioner.  Portable air conditioners are just what their name implies — wheel-mounted units that can be moved from room to room within your house.  Like all air conditioners, these units remove water from the air as they cool.  Some of the water is evaporated away; the rest is usually maintained in an internal reservoir that has to be emptied occasionally.  That’s the price for the convenience of moving the unit from place to place.

This kind of mini air conditioner is also manufactured in a wide range of sizes by a wide range of manufacturers including Haier, SPT, Edgestar, Soleus, Whynter, and Royal Sovereign.  These units are significantly cheaper than ductless air conditioners on a per-BTU basis.  That means more cooling for less money.  Many of these units can also be permanently mounted in casement or double-hung windows and used as window unit air conditioners.

Mini Window Air Conditioner

A mini window air conditioner is basically just a window air conditioner with a small size and a low capacity.  Also referred to as compact air conditioners, these tend to range from 5000 BTU air conditioners to 6000 BTU air conditioners, though some 8000 BTU air conditioners are also considered compact.  The majority of these are horizontal as opposed to vertical air conditioners, meaning that they are suitable for double-hung sash windows rather than casement or slider windows.

Frigidaire is a very prominent manufacturer in this category.  They offer products in the 5000 BTU — 6000 BTU range for prices between roughly $120 and $300.  Goldstar also offers a 5000 BTU unit.

Mini Personal Air Conditioners

An interesting, fun, new device has recently appeared on the market called a mini personal air conditioner.  These small, hand-held units are actually evaporative cooling fans, which means that they use evaporating water to cool air before blowing it on the user.  They’re not really air conditioners in the true sense of the word, but if your sitting outside on a hot day, you probably won’t complain!

These units cost about $50 and are widely available online.

Your Reviews

Have you used one of the products mentioned above?  Include your review in our comments area below!!

Choosing a Casement Air Conditioner

If you’re looking for a the best casement window air conditioner, you’ve got a lot of choices.  They are available in a wide range of prices from a number of manufacturers, and they can be purchased both online and at stores.

Here are some of the popular models:

8000 BTU Air Conditioner

A number of manufacturers make 8000 BTU casement air conditioners.  This is a relatively small casement air conditioner, but they are still rated for up to 350 square feet (though this varies by model).

1. Frigidaire Window-Mounted Slider/Casement Air Conditioner, 8000 BTUs, FAK085R7V

This unit is priced at about $410-$450 and rated for 350 square feet.  It has a three-speed fan, an antibacterial filter, and a nifty sleep timer that makes the room two degrees cooler after the 30 minutes and another two degrees cooler after the first hour.  This feature may work with the body’s natural tendency to cool off during sleep.

2. Frigidaire FRA084KT7 8,000 BTU Slider/Casement Air Conditioner

This unit is cheaper, at about $370.  It’s also rated for a 350 square foot room.  It also has a variable speed fan and an antimicrobial filter, but no sleep timer.  Sorry folks.

3. Haier 2HDV6 Casement/Slider Window A/C, Cool Only

This is a more expensive unit, at about $610.  No room-size rating is specified, but it should be similar to other 8000 BTU air conditioners.  It also has the standard features, like a multi-speed fan, antibacterial filter, 24-hour timer, etc.

10000 BTU Air Conditioner

1. Frigidaire FRA103KT1 10,000 BTU Window-Mounted Slider/Casement Room Air Conditioner

This air conditioner is priced at $385 and is rated for rooms of up to 500 square feet.  It has a multi-speed fan, an antibacterial filter, and a remote control, so you don’t have to generate heat walking across the room to change the temperature.  It has quiet operation for nighttime use.

12000 BTU Air Conditioner

1. Frigidaire Window-Mounted Slider/Casement Air Conditioner, 12,000 BTUs, FAK124R1V

This unit is priced at $470.  It is rated for a room of up to 640 square feet.  It features energy efficient operation, eight-way air direction, and easy cleaning features.  Like many of the others, it also has a 24-hour timer.  It comes with a full warranty for one year and a “sealed system” warranty for five years.

2. Frigidaire FRA123KT1 12,000 BTU Window-Mounted Slider/Casement Room Air Conditioner

This unit is priced at $495 and is also rated for medium to large rooms up to 640 square feet.  It features a three-speed fan and an antibacterial filter.  It also has electronic controls and a remote control.  It is also an energy efficient unit.

All of these units can be purchased online as well as in many retail stores.  One advantage of online purchase is that the unit will generally be delivered directly to your door.  Given that many of these units weigh in at around 90 pounds, this can be very helpful.

Installation of these units is generally a do-it-yourself project that takes an hour and a half or so.  There are several online guides to installing your casement air conditioner, including this guide from e-how.com:

http://www.ehow.com/how_5984222_install-slider-window-air-conditioners.html

(A casement window air conditioner is also sometimes referred to as slider casement air conditioner.)

Your Reviews

Do you have experience with any of these products?  Put a review in the comments below!

Understanding BTU’s

So, as you’re reading about air conditioners, you see a lot of talk of BTU’s.  What is a BTU?

BTU stands for “British Thermal Unit,” and it is basically a measure of energy.  Specifically, one BTU is the amount of energy required to heat one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit, as you no doubt remember from the last time you and your buddy tossed couple of pounds of water on the grill.  Seriously, the scientific definition of the BTU is not that important; what is important to understand is exactly how much cooling power each one has.

How many BTU’s do you need?

Your particular needs will depend on a number of things, like the climate you live in and how well insulated your home is.  But you can use the following as a general guide:

  • a 5,000 BTU air conditioner will cool 100-150 square feet
  • an 8,000 BTU air conditioner will cool 300-350 square feet
  • a 10,000 BTU air conditioner will cool 400-450 square feet
  • a 12,000 BTU air conditioner will cool 450-550 square feet

Those are the most common air conditioner sizes.  For other sizes, see the helpful chart here.

These are conservative estimates, but it’s good to be conservative, because the last thing you want to do is to go to all of the trouble of buying and installing an air conditioner only to find that it’s not really cooling the area you intended it for.

Doing the math, we can see that, on average, it takes about 24 or 25 BTU to cool one square foot of space.

These sizes are for small air conditioners, like portable air conditioners, and vertical/casement window air conditioners.  Of course, a central air conditioning system would have a much, much higher rating.  An air conditioning system intended for an entire house, for example, might have 60,000 BTU.

When deciding what size air conditioner to get, you should also be aware that manufacturers will give their own rating of the area that they think a particular unit is capable of cooling, and this may be larger than the area that would be indicated based on the BTU rating of the unit.  In those cases, you should consider the manufacturer’s rating along with the BTU rating to determine what size air conditioner you need.  But, as we said previously, it’s probably better to err on the side of having slightly more than you need rather than not quite enough.

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What is a Vertical Air Conditioner?

So what exactly is a vertical air conditioner?

You probably have heard of window air conditioners before, but did you know that there are two kinds of window air conditioning units?  The kind you need depends on the kind of window you have.

A “casement window” is a window that has two halves that open like French doors — they are hung on hinges on the side of the window.  If you have that kind of window, then you need a casement air conditioner, also called a vertical air conditioner.

A “sash window” or “hung sash window” is the more usual window that has two glass panels, one of which slides up behind the other.  If you have that kind of window, you need a horizontal window unit air conditioner.

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