Learn About Portable Air Conditioners
There are two types of portable air conditioners:
1. Close Comfort - provides micro-climate around people who need cooling
2. Old-style portable air conditioners that claim to cool the whole room, with a large exhaust hose attached to a window. Unfortunately they suck out more air than they cool. They replace it with hot & humid outside air. Nearly all of the electricity is wasted, and there is only slight room cooling. Click here for more details
Compare Close Comfort with Old-Syle Portables (tap for details):
Close Comfort: 55 cm high x 29 cm x 39 cm, 17.5 kg, easy to carry
Old Style Portable: typically 80 cm high x 40 cm x 45 cm, 32 kg, hard to move
In moderately hot weather, Close Comfort can be used on its own (as shown) or with a normal mosquito net. We recommend the optional Igloo bed tent in really hot conditions with indoor temperatures consistently over 28°C at night. The tent amplifies cooling over the bed and can also reduce energy consumption by about 30-40% which is ideal for battery and off-grid applications.
Old style portables are unsuitable for bedrooms. They are much noisier and have relatively low cooling performance compared with a split AC using the same power. Also humidity builds up in room with time.
Close Comfort: use it anywhere because there is no pipe
Old-style Portable: has to be close to a window to attach the large exhaust pipe with the window kit
Close Comfort: $649 plus $15 - $30 monthly electricity cost, total cost over three years $820
Old-style Portable: $350 - $990 plus $120 - $250 monthly electricity cost (Sydney), total cost over three years $1,000 - $3,300
Close Comfort: 800 – 1,100 Watts cooling, 300 Watts electricity (same as a few light bulbs), 0.25 tonnes CO2 over three years, equivalent to 110 litres of petrol
Old-style Portable: 3,000 - 7,500 Watts cooling, 1,000 - 2,400 Watts electricity, 1 - 2 tonnes CO2 over three years, equivalent to 450 - 900 litres of petrol.
Close Comfort: all cooling directed around people using it
Old-style Portable: mixes air in room, sucks out more air than it cools and sucks in hot air from the roof space outside. Very little room cooling. Click here for more details.
Close Comfort: 47 - 54 dB – quiet, like an electric fan
Old-style Portable: 55 - 63 dB - noisy, can be hard to hear people speak
Close Comfort: Open
Old-style Portable: Closed
Close Comfort has eliminated the exhaust hose: such a wonderful improvement. It is on caster wheels and can easily be moved where you want to use it. At 17 Kg it is easily carried too. Take it anywhere you need cooling, even outside in sheltered places.
The old-style portable comes with a hose and window kit which is fiddly to install, and only works with some windows. That means you cannot easily move it once you have installed it. Plus the exhaust hose is ugly, helps to heat the room, and makes lots of noise.
QUESTIONS and ANSWERS
Answer: Close Comfort releases only 300 Watts, similar to three people in the room. Close Comfort directs its warm air exhaust to the ceiling where the heat is absorbed, just like the warmth from your fridge which you don't notice (warm air rises naturally). Any excess finds its way out of open windows or doors.
Close Comfort works in any room, even outside in sheltered places. It creates a micro-climate, a cool zone, up to 4-5 square metres.
If the temperature inside your bedroom regularly exceeds 28°C at night, the Igloo tent provides extra cooling to keep you comfortable, and also provides chemical-free mosquito protection. The Igloo tent also reduces the air conditioner power consumption to about 180 Watts average, a valuable saving for off-grid battery installations.
The Igloo tent also provides an ideal place for your baby or small child to be cool and comfortable during the day time.
We recommend keeping Close Comfort near you, no more than 1 or 2 metres away. If you need it further away, or want to use while you are standing, we recommend our Cool Focus accessory which extends the range and optionally directs the cool air flow at a higher angle.
If you need to cool a crowded room for 2 – 3 hours, a split AC is effective. Split ACs provide no fresh air exchange and the doors and windows need to be closed to retain the cool air so carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds and body odours build up with time. Prolonged use of split ACs for sleeping can cause dry itchy eyes and skin irritation from dry air and the running cost can be very high. Expect to pay $1,500 or more to install it and $120 - $250 a month for electricity if you use it for sleeping or during the day.
Ceiling fans can be effective in moderate heat.
An electric fan on a table next to a window can draw outside air through the open window and blow it across a bed to provide effective cooling for sleeping. Make sure that there is one other open window or doorway tor air to escape.
Fans provide about 2 degrees of apparent cooling. (Close Comfort provides up to 10 degrees of apparent cooling, sometimes more.)
A large roof exhaust fan installed in ceiling of the highest room in the building can provide cost-effective cooling at night for the entire building, especially for brick buildings. The air flow capacity should be about 3,000 - 4,000 m3/hr with a low speed motor drive to ensure quiet running. Arrange for the fan to be switched on around 10 pm, and let it run until about 7 am. Leave some windows open to ensure that fresh air can be drawn into the building and pass through other rooms before reaching the exhaust fan.
Roof exhaust fans prevent a building from getting hotter every day of a heat-wave: the building cools to a temperature 2°C above the night time minimum temperature. Close Comfort can work well with a roof ventilation fan to provide extra cooling when needed.
In dry weather (up to about 60% relative humidity), evaporative (water) coolers can provide effective cooling. There are many types available, both mobile (not portable) and ducted systems. Avoid small portable models as they require frequent refilling with water, or have limited effectiveness. Indirect evaporative coolers provide cooling with only moderate increases in humidity. Direct evaporative coolers, the more common type, do increase humidity and can cause very high humidity at night. Close Comfort can work well with ducted evaporative cooling systems for homes and offices.
In extremely hot conditions, wet towels draped on your legs can provide effective cooling and sun protection when travelling by car.
Close Comfort is a Perth and Singapore based start-up company founded in 2007. Inventor James Trevelyan created the concept after experiencing summer heat in Pakistan with intermittent electricity for air conditioning. He refined the concept with a series of prototypes, assisted by our manufacturers in China. Our first commercial models went on sale in India and Pakistan in 2016.