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My Air conditioned Office

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Posted (edited)

Ok, So I got my retirement job and It Involves a few long 12 hour days outside in the hot humid Florida summer weather.

The heat and humidity turns me Into a 'Walking Rain Forest' :P Cant burn up a half a tank of gas and cook my engine Idling and running the vans AC all day so I fixed the problem,

Ryobi Generator, $550 Powers all my toyz for five and a half hours on one gallon, (After I'm started It runs on Idle all day) more on this later..

I was not about to spend $1000 or more for the Honda, The Ryobi may have a cheaper motor but once broken in and on full synthetic oil It always starts on the first pull when cold or warm, (got to do It right, no mistakes, as It Is sensitive) Smooths out In 30 seconds and then It Purrs like a kitten :P

5,000 btu AC $98 at walmart, cools just fine in 95 degree heat and direct sunlight, I got tinted windows and I do shade the windshield and cover the heat genrating black dashboard, glad I got a white transit. Next, Two HD Properly rated extention cords, a long one (100') for reaching a wall plug when available ($65) and short one (25') for the Generator ($30). Remember,being cheap here causes problems and can be extremely dangerous.

The 100' cord Is heavy, both are rated sustained at 1875 watts and both are 12 guage outdoor rated. I cannot stress this enough ! Your trusty old extention cord, key word Is 'old' can cause real problems. Remember, the longer, the stronger you must have and anything over 50' use even more caution.

I tried the back hatch open/wall mount,(last picture), no good, rain was a problem and It was hard to set up and seal up. My side window set up Is easy. Drop the platform In the window, then drop the small seat back, the cross board Is not needed but makes things sturdy,, Strap the ac down and shove pipe Insulation tubing In the space around the ac, Plug in and done. I bag the shelf so the ac water wont rot the wood........

Starting procedure was Important: Start the generator with auto Idle OFF, so It runs wide open,,, Let It settle, Start the AC with the temp control wide open, leave it on 10 always. as the compressor cycling really loads up the generator and burns the fuel. The generator can handle the 1500 to 1900 watt start drain just fine but still, I control the temp inside by setting the ac fan to low. Shut down to fuel up BUT let the AC remain OFF for at least three minutes to 'Unload the compressor head pressure' If you do not do this the start up wattage can hit 2100 to 2400 watts and hold for a full minute. The generator handles this ok but It's bad for the AC compressor valves, will overheat them and shorten the ac life span.

I power the A/C drawing 515 watts and my Lappy for my work drawing 65-90 Watts and my Ryobi work fan on low drawing,,,not much, The fan equals out the temp by blowing a light breeze from the rear all the way to the front windshield. The generator does all this on Idle and gives smooth pc power, digital ya know..

I am cool and comfy all day for the cost of 2 gallons of NON Ethanol gas, currently at $2.99 a gallon, Generator runs better and I am sure will run longer spending that extra 2 bucks..













Edited by Osco

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3 hours ago, Osco said:

Ok, So I got my retirement job and It Involves a few long 12 hour days outside in the hot humid Florida summer weather.

I can think of several words to describe those sorts of jobs, but 'retirement' sure isn't one!

Nice write-up for everything you did to get comfortable  -  Hope you can really 'retire' one day soon!!


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interesting. I've been waiting for someone to post up their external a/c option. I was looking at floor standing models with flexible tube type duct to pass heat outside. Was that type of machine not an option for you? Seems like it would simplify your setup by not requiring all of the wood framing////?



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All air conditioners 'pass the heat outdoors'  -  The window units are just more efficient at doing it than the ducted units.  Hot air is blown out the window via the hose, which means replacement air must be allowed into the room somewhere and that air is both warm and humid, whereas the window unit doesn't exchange the air in the room  -  It just cools and dehumidifies it.  We all know how much more efficient the A/C is in our vehicles when we use the 'Recirculate' position vs the 'Ventilate' setting.  The window unit recirculates, the ducted unit ventilates

His window unit was $99  -  The ducted one is $349

His 1600 watt generator will start his 5,000 btu window unit with ease, but it probably would not run the 8,000 btu ducted unit

The ducted unit takes up valuable floor space inside the van, which the window unit doesn't

I can't think of one single plus for the ducted unit over the window unit  -  True, he had to build a wooden panel to install it in, but that gets it up and out of the way and doesn't rob him of precious floor space


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