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If it weren't for Itzl and Xoco, I wouldn't bother replacing the broken window cooler.  Even with the 100+ days last summer of 100*F+ temps, it wasn't so bad because I spent the worst of the heat at work in an air conditioned building.

Winters aren't so bad, either.  I have electric blankets for the water pipes and hot water heater, and an electric blanket for the sofa.  With sweaters, warm socks, cap, and fingerless gloves, it's possible to be quite cozy during the winter.  Itzl and Xoco wear sweaters and paw socks indoors, and outdoors, they have their winter booties and coats.

Summers, though, are tough on them.  The pavement gets so hot they need to wear "sandals" to keep from sizzling their paws, and even a fan blowing over those re-freezable ice blankets isn't enough to keep them comfy.  They look at me with these "you're supposed to care care of us.  We're hot!  Do Something" looks, so when the window unit broke, I knew I'd have to replace it.

I spent the past week comparison shopping for the least expensive and most suitable window unit, one that would fit the window and provide sufficient cooling to keep Xoco happy during the heat of the day, and Itzl happy on the weekends.

That meant it had to be a 110-115 unit, around 6,000 - 8,000 BTUs.  I can't afford a 220/235 unit that requires special wiring and a special plug, my house just doesn't have that sort of wiring in it.  To get just the wiring needed to support a whole house unit would cost about $1,000 - but, oh, that would be nice but in my search for a suitable unit, I found one for $700 that both heats and cools a house slightly larger than mine, which means it would definitely heat and cool my entire house and not just one room.

That's so far out of my reach that I passed it by without more than a minor sigh.

I have to remove the ice chests from my car so I can return to the store and buy the windo unit I selected, once I make up my mind.  I'm dog-sitting for a friend, and their power went out before they had to leave out of town, so I packed all their freezer/fridge foods into my ice chests and then stored them in my freezer and fridge which were virtually empty waiting for refilling from harvests and hunting.  I usually have them filled with jugs of water to keep the space filled and increase the efficiency of hte freezer, so I had plenty of room.

Their power came back on and I hauled their food back to their house and repacked their freezer and fridge.  

I'm torn between the 6,000 BTU unit for $160 and the 8,000 BTU unit for $220. Because my mechanic bartered with me today for the oil change, brake pads, and tire rotation my car needed so I ended up paying half what I expected to pay, I have just enough extra to be able to afford either unit.  What it comes down to is which one will fit into my car and is easier to install.

I have a dolly I can use to move it around, but the dolly is no help at all when it comes to lifting it up into the window.

I really wish they still made low-profile window units like the one I had for a dozen years. I bought that one at Sears and I used to take it cabin camping with us so we could cool the cabin off.  It had a carry handle for just that purpose. I loved it.  But I haven't seen a low-profile window unit in years.

Well, I guess I've wasted enough time.  Time to haul the ice chests back inside the house and mosy over tothe store and just pick a unit and bring it home.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sometimes bigger isn't necessarily better. (8+ / 0-)

    I was going to suggest that if you had to wait longer to get the units, making a swamp cooler for the poochies temporarily may help.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 10:50:38 AM PDT

  •  The portable floor models can heat and cool and (11+ / 0-)

    vent through a small hole in a window slider.  You could move it from room to room when conditions changed. Both HSN and QVC have them and if you use a credit card, you can break up the payments to very manageable size.

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

    by weck on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 11:12:25 AM PDT

    •  and they deliver, so no driving to HDepot, etc. (5+ / 0-)

      If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

      by weck on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 11:13:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, but the issue (4+ / 0-)

      was not just cooling, but cost.  The portable floor models start at $500 around here.  At least, I didn't see any for less than that and I looked.

      The window unit I bought was $150 and cools more space than the cheapest portable cooler I saw.

      I did seriously consider one, and I looked at them.

      •  also energy-use ratings... my DH, best shopper in (4+ / 0-)

        teh nearby universe, 8-), reminds me that the reason he keeps ignoring the floor units is that they are not very EnergyStar efficient, not nearly as much as the window units he finds. (high numbers are good in that scale; most of the floor units we see here are about 8's; the window units we buy are usually at least 10's)

        that's an issue that will be of varying importance to different folks, of course.

        "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

        by chimene on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 02:09:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, that's a good reason to not get them. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Noddy, winglion

          Noddy always seems to get just what she needs, and seems to make stuff multi task; I thought being able to have a moveable unit and only cool one room at a time might work for her.

           When I got my last window unit, it was for a sleeping room, so the most important thing for me was quiet, and size; the window was so big that little units would have required carpentry skills. I was able to keep the bigger unit on a slow speed so it wasn't breezy or noisy in the room.

          The price of units has really come down since they got more efficient, I was able to get two big 110 units and cool my whole two story house, but I only needed to run one at a time.  At the fixer I got 3 years ago, the hvac needed replacing, so I got the central air at the same time, and now I cool the rooms I need by opening and closing the dampers in the pipes.

          If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

          by weck on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 02:36:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Frozen Water (9+ / 0-)

    in bottles works for pooties and possibly woozles.

    I live in a mobile home with little insulation. Even with a window cooler (the swamp cooler died several years ago and I hate swamp coolers anyway), I would freeze soda bottles full of water (2 liters and regular individual serving size) and put them out in the hot afternoons.

    My pooties all learned to either curl around the bottles or rest their heads (big hard cold pillows) on them and would wait for me to bring them out each day. When I did, they would all gather and lick the outside (frost was nice and cold) and then use them to cool off.

    It's not quite as good as a good cooler, but it does work nicely.

    I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

    by woolibaar on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 11:18:54 AM PDT

    •  I use the re-freezeable (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weck, RainyDay

      ice chest blankets under a heavy towel.  That works in the car and when we're at festivals and outdoor events in the summer.

      But they don't last long enough when I leave Xoco at home because I work 10 hour shifts 5 days a week.  There's no ice blanket of frozen bottle that will stay cool that long.  

      Since the alternative was carrying Xoco to work with me each day (I wouldn't mind and there's plenty of room for her on the desk and all) but she is not comfortable there, she barks, and she cries, and she gets territorial over the desk space and Itzl.  

      It's worth the $150 to keep her cool in a place she loves and is comfortable.

  •  I hope neither is a Freidrich... (4+ / 0-)

    ...they have to have the noisiest comprssors around!

    We replaced the sleeve unit we had in our upstairs bedroom with one. It's a 220v model, but they also had 110v models as well. Price was right, but, well, the cat parks downstairs when we're running A/C, and enjoys the cool of the central unit, which doesn't sound like the Old Boat Anchor grousing at the world.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 11:41:40 AM PDT

  •  more and better democrats nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, weck, BlackSheep1

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 12:49:15 PM PDT

  •  we gave up and put up one of the window units (4+ / 0-)

    yesterday. a hot-and-humid "snap" hit ... we are definitely NOT hot-weather lovers here (PacNW)!! (I won't even say what the numbers were, so puny compared to Oklahoma, but we were really dragging!)

    so now it's back to overcast and alleged showers, but at least the hard one is in! (hard to get into position, and fill in the window gap, I mean)

    "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

    by chimene on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 02:15:27 PM PDT

    •  I have some friends (3+ / 0-)

      whose whole house A/C went out and they are facing thousands of dollars in costs to either repair or replace ($3,000 in repairs with no guarantee it will keep working or $7,000 to replace with warranties and guarantees).

      In the meantime, they don't even have fans for cooling.  I suggested they get at least one window unit as back up and they may do that when they return from out of state on Monday. If they buy 2 units, they can cool a bedroom and their living room and be comfortable until they can decide what to do about the whole house A/C.

      Last year, they had to repair it because someone stole the copper out of it.

      Keeping cool is tough for those who have never had to worry about it before.  I've never lived anywhere with central cooling or heating, I've always had to use alternatives so it always surprises me when people don't think about other ways to keep cool, they just suffer.

  •  They have free standing A/C units now. (0+ / 0-)

    I saw them at home depot. They don't go in the window.

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 03:14:03 AM PDT

    •  Yes, and (0+ / 0-)

      they cost 3 times as much as a window unit and cool less space and are less energy efficient.

      A number of people have recommended them, and I did look into them and have determined they aren't suitable for me at this time.

      I needed something that was affordable and since my neighbor's roof won't need redoing for at least 15 years (the average lifespan of a quality roof around here), I can  use a window unit without worrying about roofing materials damaging it.

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