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Portable Air Conditioners: Moms, Save Your Money

portable air conditioner, air conditioner, air conditioning, summer heat, central air conditioning

The keep-up is more work than it's worth, and toddlers' curious hands pose a problem.

A few years ago when we lived in an apartment, we had one shoddy window in our living room. We had been promised it would be fixed but as the weeks went by, it never was. Summer came and the living room became a hot, sticky heat trap as the morning sun shone in. It was nothing short of stifling.

I love air conditioning but didn’t feel that it was safe to put an air conditioner in a window in disrepair, so I bought a portable air conditioner. What could be better than that, I thought. It would cool off the room and we wouldn’t even have to deal with the broken window.

Little did I realize that a hose had to be fortified to the window so the water could drain out. OK, I could deal with that, I thought since the hose was small. I set it up. Then I noticed that a drain dish had to be set down underneath it at all times to collect the water that dripped down. It was a sizable drain and the A/C was about three feet tall and a foot wide itself so it took up quite a bit of room.

My son was a toddler at the time and he was fascinated by the dripping drain. He couldn’t help but go touch it multiple times a day and “empty it for me.” So the floor became a wet mess real quick. I tried to turn on the TV to turn his attention away from the contraption, but when I tuned into Nickelodeon, I had to turn the volume nearly all the way up to hear it because this A/C was loud.

And guess what? It didn’t even cool off the room! All that emptying the draining dish, stepping over the hose, mopping up spills from a curious toddler, and we were still sweating.

After a few days, I had enough. I harassed the super until the window was fixed, got a small and cheap window A/C and got rid of that portable monster. For parents even considering getting a portable A/C, I’d say don’t waste your money. I’d sooner get a few good waterguns and a fan.

Do you use portable air conditioners? When do you turn on your air conditioning?


Read Danielle’s blog Just Write Mom.

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