Multiple Portables for One Room?

Beach_ManMay 3, 2011

Hey guys, my boss asked me to research air conditioners for the 3rd floor of the office. It is a 2,500 sq. ft. room, with 15' high ceiling. We cannot use window air conditioners because of the street that we are on in San Francisco, CA.

From what I have been reading a 12,000 BTU is good for a 400 to 650 sq.ft. room. Do you think that multiple portables would be a good idea? Or do you have any suggestions?

I have been comparing Sunpentown and Frigidaire online at because that is where I have to buy it from. Do you guys know if one of these companies is more quality than the other?

Thank you for any help you guys can give.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Please read the posts about portables that were made less than a week ago. For sizing, look at a recent post about window units.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 2:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yeah I read those, thanks. So, for sizing I should look at the portables the same way as window units. I will probably go for two of the 11,000 BTU Sunpentowns at first, then add a third if necessary.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 2:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You do understand that portables still must exhaust hot air through the window, correct? That involves a panel inserted into the window where the hose discharges. If your city has issues with ACs in your windows, you'd better make sure they're OK with the appearance of the portables.

The other issue that you may face is the electrical requirements that multiple units will require. You would need to restrict one AC to one circuit, and that circuit had better not have any other heavy energy draws on it. )no coffee pot or copier, etc) Check with your building's maintaince division or electrical engineer if applicable.

Personally, I'd start any investigation with a conversation with my landlord. If the building is too hot, then something needs to be re-engineered in the building's HVAC. If you own the building, the same advice would apply. An expensive bandaid takes money away from the real repairs needed.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 6:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

live_wire_oak, thank you. I no nothing of AC. I was aware that portables have hoses, but I did not know that they blew out hot air and that the hose should go out a window. I suppose I could just slightly hang the hose out a window and try to seal it off on hot days.
The windows open by being pushed out, haven't seen any panels that would really fit because the windows are so big.
Since they have wheels, I thought they could be rolled around anywhere in the office.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 1:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you have running water you could use a water-cooled air conditioner. It will probably cost more, be more efficient (if water use is not calculated in), but I don't know if Amazon will be any help.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 2:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There are 'portables' out there made for the computer industry. They are a bit larger, like a small to medium refrigerator, and also have hoses. They can be moved around, but once set up they stay in place.

YOu might look at these guys. But they might be pricier than you want to pay.

Here is a link that might be useful: portable ac

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 2:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a portable unit that I purchased before seeing the actual hose. Just so you know...the hoses are very rigid, take up a lot of space and only work with certain windows. I have huge slider windows that are too big for the plastic panel that holds the hose, so unless you are prepared to rig the discharge hose, be careful of the type of window you are matching this with. Also, I agree with another poster who said that having 2 AC's on one circuit is too much. In addition, you are not able to move the unit around unless there is a window in close proximity. The hose blows extremely hot air and must be hooked up to the window if it's running. The hose is probably 4 ft or so and you could easily trip on it unless you place the unit beneath the window, even if you have a heavy duty extension cord. That being said, I think they do a pretty good job and it fills a niche for portable air. ps. they do require a bucket or a drain for the drain tube.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 7:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would go to a rental place and rent one before buying multiples or buy one and see what you think. I think multiple units would be a pain in the butt to deal with. I have one and it works great to sit in front of during a garage sale in the 90's in the garage or stand in front of while working on a project outside but if your not careful with the hose situation it will make every other area of the garage hotter except 10 feet in front of it.

I would try to slip a 'space pack' type unit in front of the city and see if they would go for that option. At least it isn't a 'window unit'. I don't know if this is an option at all but it sure would be better than portables.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 11:21PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Moving floor vent to toekick area
Hello. We are renovating our kitchen as well as baths...
Blown in insulation vs spray foam
I am looking for advice. I have a home built in 2000...
Is this HVAC system OK?
Replacing original old ~9 seer unit. House is 2001...
2 HVAC quotes: need to decide
I'm ignorant of HVAC, but willing to do the research...
HVAC design
In determining the HVAC system to use in our new construction,...
Sponsored Products
Start Nightstand - Walnut - 5411201000001
$453.99 | Hayneedle
Contemporary Storage Ottoman with Tray
Align 4 Piece Upholstered Sectional Sofa in Sea
$1,159.00 | LexMod
Jofran 471 Ryder Ash 5 Piece Rectangular Dining Room Set
Beyond Stores
Jasper Bronze Globes Glass Table Lamp
$59.95 | Lamps Plus
Domi Bronze One-Light Halogen Wall Sconce with Red Matte Glass
$157.50 | Bellacor
Montgomery Beige Sham - Euro
Crane and Canopy
Chimney Humidifier - IDEA International
$200.00 | HORNE
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™