Hot Pigs - Air Conditioning Options

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jaydee6561
Not a Fighter

Post   » Fri May 19, 2006 8:53 am


I have a 4 room apartment - kitchen, living room, bedroom and pig room.

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.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri May 19, 2006 9:59 am


If it never gets any hotter than 80 degrees, I don't think it's a big deal at all. Just put a fan in the room and aim it over the cage (not in the cage).

Be sure to close curtains/blinds so it doesn't get hotter than 80 degrees inside.

tripecac

Post   » Fri May 19, 2006 10:10 am


rpaws, thanks for the link to that A/C article!

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!!!

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri May 19, 2006 10:35 am


If it's 80 outside (which is as hot as it gets here)
It seems like total overkill to me to put in central a/c under these conditions!

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.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri May 19, 2006 10:40 am


Humidity is worse than temperature. Undersized units will dehumidify better.

I use an 8000btu window unit to cool my 2000sq ft house.

kleenmama
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri May 19, 2006 11:08 am


I had an 18,000 BTU one at the old house. It was older than God and I bought it used for $200 out of the Little Nickel. It was the best money I EVER spent.
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!

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mmeadow
Supporter 2004-2017

Post   » Fri May 19, 2006 11:09 am


I'm with Mum--the pigs don't need it THAT cool. I use one small ac to cool the three connected downstairs rooms in my apartment, including the pig room. With strategically placed fans, it takes the edge off the heat enough to be tolerable in the worst weather. (These are smallish rooms; your needs and comfort zone may be different.)

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!)

tripecac

Post   » Fri May 19, 2006 11:33 am


Bellingham is definitely milder than Virginia (where I grew up). Winter temps here hover in the 30s and 40s, and summer temps in the 60s and 70s. 80s are rare, but I think we had 80s a couple days last summer.

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...

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri May 19, 2006 12:45 pm


Consider if you are comfortable. If you are hot and sweaty, it's too hot for the pigs.

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.

tripecac

Post   » Fri May 19, 2006 2:37 pm


The portables don't have to be mounted. They sit on the floor, and dump heat through tubes which stick out the window. They're called "portable" b/c they can be moved from window to window easily. In our case, we'd need portables b/c normal air conditioners don't fit in our windows (due to size and/or sliding direction).

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?

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lisam

Post   » Fri May 19, 2006 2:40 pm


Yup, we have one. They're great.

Heat pumps

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PiggieMamma
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri May 19, 2006 2:50 pm


The temperatures reach 110 degrees here in summer. It's already been 94 degrees this week.

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.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri May 19, 2006 3:45 pm


A heat pump is only $600? You need duct work though, no? If you don't have any, it gets pretty pricy.

Oh, and that's neat about the portable airconditioners. I'd never heard of them.

tripecac

Post   » Fri May 19, 2006 5:02 pm


Sorry, I should have said: A heat pump costs $600 more [than air conditioning], so about $3600 total. Sorry about that!
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.
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).

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lisam

Post   » Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:12 pm


This hot weather made me think of your air conditioning problem, tripecac. What did you decide to do?

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?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:24 pm


If you have low humidity, the wet towels will work. Called evaporative cooling. If you have high humidity, I would not bother.

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lisam

Post   » Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:36 pm


I'm out to buy some thermometers/humidity gauges.

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lisam

Post   » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:37 pm


I couldn't find anything to measure humidity, so I checked online for our local weather. Humidity levels 32%. I have no idea if that's high or low.

The forecast is for cooler days this week, thank goodness.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:45 pm


It's low. That's exactly the same as it is where I live right now - but the temp is 105, and it's 6:15!

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lisam

Post   » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:06 pm


Oops! And here I am complaining about 88!

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