Update on the A/C

I got the Frigidaire 5000 BTU model and I can’t find the watt usage anywhere, but I have read a couple of places it should be about (unconfirmed source)  500 watts. With my military discount I got it for $113.65 at Lowe’s including tax. I set it up in the bedroom and it cooled that room down very quickly and by using a couple of fans I can move some of the cool air into my computer room and toward the kitchen. I think I could cool the whole house with a set up of two of these small A/C units at opposite ends of the house and few more fans for circulation.

The A/C unit isn’t much louder than a box fan,  so it did not disturb my nap this afternoon.  It also has a fan option so you can switch it if it cools down and just use the fan function.  It was a little difficult for one person to install especially if the window you are using keeps wanting to close while you are setting it up, but it would very simple for two people one inside and one out side to brace it. It weighs just over 40 pounds so it’s not all that heavy which will make it easy to remove and store for winter.

Overall I would recommend this little A/C unit for anyone that has hot weather to deal with and needs to cool a room or two for sleeping that can be powered via a generator. The ability to cool down could be critical for someone that has medical issues or suffered a heat related injury.  Young children and the elderly can be susceptible to high temps so this little unit seems like a good low end, low power compromise. Plus I don’t trust the utilities or the PTBs deciding what power I get to use or becoming a victim of any” electric load balancing” plans they may hatch up.

UPDATE: According to Frigidaire the 5000BTU A/C unit requires 456 watts. I notice a drag on power when it first starts up the compressor so you will want a little extra range of peak power for your generator. but a 1200-1800 watt small gas generator shoeld work fine.


10 Responses to Update on the A/C

  1. That’s a good buy for a Frigidaire. Window units give you a lot of flexibility, and they usually last for a couple of years if you use them a lot. I prefer them to central air.

  2. I have that same little ac. It is quiet, but I have it close to my head in the bedroom. The sound puts me to sleep, keeps me asleep, and keeps birds from disturbing me in the morning. I don’t hear dog barking, cars, car alarms, people. I have to have ac to stay healthy! If I ever have central air, I will still have a window ac so I don’t have to cool the whole house just for one room.

    My ac would be one thing I would want my generator to operate.

    • Jamie says:

      I have tried a few passive cooling systems during the 100 degree heat and none have worked very well. Ever since riverrider went 10 days with no power during after that derrachio hit the east coast I have looked for a solution. Having one of these small units to cool one or two rooms in a summer power outage just like you have a backup heater to heat a room or two during a winter power outage I think is a good idea.

      • Matt says:

        I live near RR, and many people went much longer than that, plus it seems that his area is prone to power outages from what I hear on the local news. Every time the wind blows hard it goes out in those counties around us. It’s one of the reasons I have delayed moving out that way into the country.

        Start up requirements are usually about 20% (check the manual) more than regular power usage one the unit is running. Their was a chart next to the generator I bought when Sandy blew over. It help me pick the unit I needed for the appliances I wanted to put on the generator.

  3. wonderdawg says:

    Jamie, I bought 1 of the same units, my price was $169 plus tax (no discount)…if memory serves right, it pull 6.2 amps which is roughly 800 watts and it does a super job on a couple rooms….also got a 6000 btu and will pick up one more as I’m going to be off grid for awhile,,, installing a 4, 4000 watt inverter setup as I can, plus genie backup..Retired refrig AC tech and convinced this is the way to go over a central unit for way more money and if one fails still have air….and with wood heat, don’t need all the blower, duct work,etc…

  4. Jamie says:

    Matt, The manual sucks as far as telling you the watts and Amps. But Frigidaire did answer about the watts as I updated the post. Even a small 1800 watt generator could handle the A/C.

    dawg, Lowes had the 6000 BTU for 169.00 if you are military, retired or have a VA card you can get a 10% discount anyday. If not take a vet shopping LOL. My Mom is trying to gather funds to get one of these as a backup to her house’s central A/C.

    For my solar generator I want to start with 1 AGM battery, 1100/2200 inverter and 60 wats worth of panels and then add 2 more of the AGM bateries another 200 watts of panels and about a 2500 watt inverter. Power, heat and comfort are my focus for the rest of the year.

  5. riverrider says:

    yeah we do lose power alot. usually its a tree or two on the line, sometimes wildlife in the transformers, at least once it was sabotage. my little ac unit is now installed in my shop and doing a bangup job of cooling and dehumidifying. before it was dampness all over my tools requiring constant attention. even built a nice cabinet for the kitchen in there over the last few hot days. i plan to buy another one when they go on sale. shouldn’t be long now.

    • Jamie says:

      river, I’m impressed what a great job this little a/c unit is doing in my house. I’m only trying to keep my good sized bedroom cool, but by using a couple of fans to push the air I keeping closer to 300 sq. feet fairly cool in 100 degree heat! I think if I had one maybe two more of these units they would take the place of my central a/c and actually be a bit cheaper on power overall.
      I can’t say I’m all that impressed with central air or heat.

  6. Roger says:

    I got one of those little units from Fred Meyer a couple of years back as a spare. Murphy’s law would hit me on July 4th weekend and my central AC goes out. I got through the weekend with that little unit and some fans.

    • Jamie says:

      Roger: I think a good portion of my prepping is protecting myself against the PTBs and that demon named Murphy! If you can protect yourself from those rascals other disasters are usually covered if you aren’t at “ground zero”.

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