- Not a Fighter
All have window units, I couldn't live without air. Years ago when the Northeast had the power outage, that was the hardest thing to deal with. Me and daughter slept in the car with the a/c on. We didn't have pets at the time.
I notice that even the most powerful A/C listed (12,000 btu for $440) is only designed to cool 350 sq ft. Our ground floor (with the pigs) is completely open (no walls) and connected to the upstairs via a hallway. So I think we have about 1000 sq ft of connected space; this is where the pigs are.
This suggests that to effectively cool just that area, we'll need 3 of the 12,000 btu portables. That's 3 * $440 = $1320 for that one area. If we want A/C in my office, that's another $440 = $1760. If I want to keep my bedroom music studio cool, that's another $440 = $2200...
So for our house, with its left/right windows and narrow windows, we would need to use portable A/C units. The interior layout requires us to buy at least 3 to cool the pigs, 5 to cool the upstairs too. To fully cool the house with portables, we would need to spend $2200 vs the $3000 for central air. Central air is "resellable" in that it helps boost the price of the house should we sell. Portables are not really resellable. Central air is also (supposedly) more efficient, which I guess translates into lower power bills.
So for us (and other people with an open layout and A/C-unfriendly windows), it seems like central air is the best investment.
Of course, if we had a separate pig-room, a portable A/C would be perfectly fine. Those of you who have that setup are lucky!!!
- I GAVE, dammit!
It seems like total overkill to me to put in central a/c under these conditions!If it's 80 outside (which is as hot as it gets here)
It's frequently 80 degrees in my house in the summer. I don't turn on the a/c until it gets to 85, and that's only because I know that it's going to get up to 110 degrees a little later on.
As I mentioned earlier, you can easily just aim a fan to blow over the top of the cage.
- I GAVE, dammit!
Since we lived in a mobile, the temp inside would easily get to over 100. That unit was too big for a window, so we put it in the wall.
It would cool down my entire living room, kitchen, den and dining room.
I loved it and used it a good portion of the year. The new owners ripped it out and installed a heat pump. I wish I would have known that, I'd have taken it with me!
- Supporter 2004-2019
When we go away for a week in August, we leave the ac on and have a friend check on the pigs every day to make sure the power hasn't blown.
I imagine Bellingham doesn't usually get very hot? (I was there once in August -- what an incredibly beautiful region. And the local fruit--yum!)
My office/computer room gets much hotter (+10 degrees) than the rest of the house. This is where I spend most of the day. Perhaps I am over-sensitive to summertime temps?
However, I want to make sure the guinea pigs are safe.
Perhaps a single 10,000btu portable unit would keep our house cool enough for the pigs during the summer... But what if it doesn't? I would then have to their buy a second portable, or spring for central air (and be out the cost of the first portable). If I buy a second portable, that *might* take care of the downstairs, but the upstairs (with its computer room) would still get toasty, which is no good for the computers. So I would probably need a third...
One thing I know is that when it's 70+ outside, the computer room is too hot to be comfortable. Last summer, it got so hot that my main work computer kept shutting down during work. I need to prevent PC overheating this summer so that I can work, which pays for the pigs! So cooling this computer room is a high priority, second only to keeping the pigs alive.
This means at the very least I need A/C in the computer room. Frozen bottled water or melon rinds won't help my computer room. Neither do fans; I used them last year, and this week, and still the temps creeped up.
But I will think about what you guys said; maybe in Bellingham we don't need as many A/C units as the specs suggest. They need to be portable, though... $400 each... Hmmm...
p.s. I don't understand these portable units. When one says portable, I see something you can move around in the house. In order to cool, they have to be in a window at least so they dump the heat outside.
I called my home inspector (who knows our house) and he recommended that we get central AC instead of portable ACs. He said that only 15-20% of homes in our area have AC, and that AC would be a "selling point".
I've had 2 people recommend a heat pump instead of AC. It costs $600. I have no idea what it would do, though. Anyone have one?
- I GAVE, dammit!
Your pigs should do fine with a window unit in their room.
I bought ice packs from Wal-Mart (the kind you put in children's lunch coolers). I let them freeze, then wrap them in a wash cloth/hand towel and put it in the pig's cage. That way, if they get to warm, they can lie up against them, and move away if they get too cool.
Also, people down here cover there windows with tin foil. It's not really pretty, but it is functional. You may want to do that in the piggy room. It reflects the sun's rays and helps to keep the heat out.
Thanks for the suggestions. However, our "piggy room" is our entire downstairs and part of the upstairs. Except for the bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets, we don't have any doored rooms. It's one big space (living room, kitchen, dining room, foyer, stairway, hallway upstairs).Your pigs should do fine with a window unit in their room. ... You may want to [cover the windows with tin foil] in the piggy room.
I have a hot pigs problem of my own. The loft where some of the rescue pigs are kept is getting pretty darn hot. My father in law is going to install some heat vent/fan type things, but in the meantime I've got two fans and frozen water bottles. My husband suggested putting wet towels in front of the fans. I seem to remember someone mentioning putting wet towels over the cages, too? Does anyone know if that's okay?