It’s been really hot here lately. A mini heatwave of sorts – up in the early-to-mid 30s (that’s Celsius). Some humidity as well. We live on a top-floor apartment (only the 6th floor, but still), on a floor that has caused at least one other resident to complain enough to break her lease
and move to a lower floor of the building. Our windows aren’t the slidey up-and-down-type contraptions, but rather something that looks more like this:
That’s called a Hopper window. I know, because I had to look it up, which took days, because I had to Google search all kinds of variation of the phrase “window that opens inwards”; “reverse-awning windows”; “windows that don’t slide up and down but inside like a stupid fucking tray” etc etc etc…
These are the kind of windows that fit a window air conditioner:
Now these are called double-hung (shut up) windows. We do have a slidey-up-and-down-type window, but on the top. The bottom window is one of those Hopper things. This makes window air conditioner-shopping difficult, as it’s hard enough to find something that can combat the unusual levels of heat and humidity in my flat, but also find that in a portable air conditioner. Yep, portable. A type of A/C that is so “niche” that review sites don’t even bother to give them a look-in.
They’re also expensive. Expensive to buy, expensive to transport (not getting on a bus home with one of these things), and expensive to run. On top of that, the water collected needs to be emptied regularly (so you can’t leave one running that long), but, luckily for me, I shelled out almost a week’s pay on a unit that self-evaporates, so no water needs collecting/dumping.
My experience was disappointing, and I wanted to post my review on Home Depot, but after careful consideration, I got an automated email a few days after submission, telling me that my review was rejected. Which is odd, because I thought that their whole business model was based on allowing foreigners/immigrants to stand around and offer their services. And in my case, it was free!
I mean, I took out the word “fart” and replaced it with “flatulate”. I refrained from using any swear words (even the bowdlerized favourites “motherfudging” and American censors’ favorite “damn”, so it passed initial review, but the Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt-Random House fascists on THD’s social media team were clearly compelled to banish me to the super-cool-banned arena of Bulgakovs and DH Lawrences). Here’s the review:
LG 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier Function with Remote Control in Gray
Overpriced piece of rubbish. Let me just take apart the entire thing:
Currently, I am sitting in front of a cheap box fan. Why? Because at least the airflow reaches me. This four times a hundred-dollar a/c unit does nothing but occasionally eke out loud sounds and the faintest spit of cold air,but you have to leer over the top of the stupid thing because the vent is peculiarly placed on top of the unit.
Starting to think this is to let the a/c save its own energy but not bloody running properly. This mode (fan-to-compressor mode) is scatty at best. One would think that this means that once the desired temperature is reached, the fan kicks in. Nope! Even if you need to spatula yourself off of your clammy furniture, the unit somehow magically thinks the air is both cool and dry enough to flatulate out the hot air it considers its fan function.
Air conditioner is supposed to cool the air. This thing seems to incubate hot air in its tube (and yes, I’ve used one of these things before) and allow it to throb with the heat of a thousand suns.
My landlord is stingy about pets, and my husband and I are not at the point yet where we are thinking about kids (mostly because we don’t feel like raising them around Dante’s air conditioner), so if we feel like we need a bit of extra noise in the house, we’ll crank on this unit and appreciate the screaming and whirring and gurgling and belching as it provides the ambient background noise we need while we feel ourselves losing weight during this heat wave.
It’s named as portable, but perhaps only if your name is The Hulk. It has wheels, which would have been nice on the bloody box. It did come packaged with strips of plastic we used to lift it. We seem to be the last people in America who do not own a car, because the box contained no other instructions other than a series of hieroglyphics implying that lifting with said strips of plastic would cut all of our fingers off.
—Overall cooling ability—
I’d like to note that many people who gave this a glowing review (and similar products) make mention of the fact that they have CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING (oh, good for *you*!), and are using this as a SUPPLEMENT. Or, they fail to mention the size of their unit.
Shockingy, I do not have central a/c. I also don’t own an island of dinosaurs. Which is a shame, because I’d like to maroon the berk who designed this thing on just such a place.
My living room is 370 sq ft. This unit is supposed to cool up to 400 sq ft. Thus, it should work. It does not. It’s an expensive fan that looks like the Moon Moon of shredders.
I have no other a/c in my apartment. It’s a small apartment. There’s only me and my husband. The room does not have excessive sunlight and the unit wasn’t going in the kitchen. This should have been enough. It isn’t, and now I’m out a hundred times four dollars, at least for the time being, and a heatwave (something very foreign to my country of origin) is upon us.
Oh, I could always rush out and buy a new one?
Yeah, sure! That’s OK. we didn’t need to eat this week.
Eek! Thank you for sharing your review! We have (what, through a similar voyage, I found the name of just before I found your page) hopper windows as well, and a temporary need for cooling, and my money’s on box fans and bowls of ice. I hope you survived the heatwave and are in a cooler spot now. And I won’t be buying any fans or ice or anything else at Home Depot!