Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Airconditioning for Renters

Hello long suffering audience. I am very grateful for the continuing patronage of all three of you. As a token of my gratitude, behold! My latest post!

Pointless theatrics aside, we have just invested in a new shiny silver box thing. While the regular reader of this blog may worry that this might cause some jealousy amongst the existing silvery boxes in our house (e.g. our very zealous fridge or our toaster), it's all going to be fine ... This one will reside in a different room. This one is an air conditioner (in case you hadn't managed to deduce this from the title).

We are renting at present, and as a consequence are not in a position to make too many radical changes to the house we are in. Given we have had a couple of months here with the temperatures hovering in the high thirties, we decide we want, nay, needed some aircon. But as we have never met our landlord, we were a bit uncertain as to how he would react to us punching large holes through his walls for a split system. So we opted for a portable air conditioner.

After reading Choice magazines review, we settled on a Electrolux Portable unit with the classy moniker of
EPV12CRA (how do they come up with these? ... so catchy, so fun!). All sarcasm aside, this unit looks awesome in the pictures, but is a little disappointing ensconced in my bedroom. In person, it reminds me of those individuals you meet who look amazing from a distance, but don't look so good in profile. Like all portable air conditioners, it looks a little bit over-weight, as it bulges to accommodate all those fans and coolers and pumps and so on, but somehow the pictures had led me to believe that this unit would be different, all svelte, shiny and slim. Sigh.

And like portable air conditioners, setting it up is a bit of a let down, as you arrange a large hose to vent the hot air out a window, its grey length looking more like an anaconda that has just consumed a hummer than a "decorative feature in the bedroom".

Other than that it seems to work pretty well. It has 5 modes - cool, dehumidify, fan, vent and a turbo mode that just cranks the whole thing up as fast and cold as it can go. It has an internal reservoir to hold the condensation that builds up in all refrigerative aircon units, and while you can run a hose from the unit to a handy receptical (another classy touch ... a hose running into a bucket) or out the window, it run for about 12 hours before needing to be emptied. All the controls are on the remote, so don't lose it, but the controls a relative intuitive and obvious. It also has a thing called a Plasmacluster Ion generator. When this on, a very blue square is illuminated on the front panel, and other than, it smells a little different but seems to run the same.

It ships with a window sash kit to help you permanently install the exhaust air outlet in a window frame, a hose to drain the water, and the exhaust hose, as well as a couple of rolls of insulating foam for use around the window sash. The window sash kit also has a aperture for the condensation hose.

One thing that did surprise me is that warranty seems to indicate that it is covered for 5 years. Don't quote me on this, as mileage may differ, but the generic appliance warranty we got with the air conditioner stated that air conditioners are covered for 5 years.

Cutting to the chase here, this unit does the job of cooling a room, but if you are paying extra because it looks shiny and silver and slim, don't bother. Its a bit on the over weight side, looks bad in profile and has a pet anaconda.

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