Learn about portable air conditioners
Learn why Close Comfort is such a huge improvement over old-style portable air conditioners.
A typical old-style portable with the hose installed at the window.
Close Comfort: just plug it in anywhere and direct cool air where you need it.
Consider these comparison points:
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, difficult to move
Close Comfort: use it anywhere
Old-style Portable: has to be near window
Close Comfort: 800 – 1,100 Watts cooling, 300 Watts electricity (same as a few light bulbs)
Old-style Portable: 2,900 Watts cooling, 1000 Watts electricity (minimum)
Close Comfort: all cooling directed around people using it
Old-style Portable: hose sucks out all cool air, and more: limited cooling
Close Comfort: 47 - 54 dB – quiet
Old-style Portable: 55 - 63 dB – noise an be annoying
Close Comfort: $649 plus $75 annual electricity cost
Old-style Portable: $500 plus $300 annual electricity cost (Sydney)
Close Comfort: Open
Old-style Portable: Closed
Close Comfort has eliminated the exhaust hose: such a wonderful improvement.
The old-style portable comes with a hose and window kit which is fiddly to install, and only works with some windows. Also an old-style portable actually sucks out all the cool air, and more, to cool its condenser. Humidity builds up inside the room because water removal through the hose is inefficient. Tap here for a PDF with more details.
QUESTIONS and ANSWERS
Answer: Close Comfort produces only 300 Watts additional heating, the same as three people sitting in the room. Close Comfort directs its warm air exhaust to the ceiling where the heat is absorbed. 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 that can cool an area of about 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 cooland comfortable during the day time.
How far away can Close Comfort be effective?
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 $75 - $150 a month for electricity if you use it for sleeping or during the day.
Ceiling fans can be very effective in moderate heat.
If it is not feasible to install a ceiling fan, a pedestal fan arranged 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 warmer 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 extremely energy-efficient 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.