I finally made a new addition to the HT which I had planned to do last year but by the time I got around to it they were out of season and itís not something I feel comfortable ordering over the internet.
The new item is a portable air conditioner for the media room. With all that equipment putting out heat in there it was causing my central air to have to kick on every 5 minutes or so just to keep that one room cool. After firing it up and closing the door the central air was barely running every 30 minutes, big difference so far. Right away I noticed the advantage that sequestered in that room itís much quieter than the central air blower which is in the hallway right off the living room HT so itís already much less distracting.
The problem I ran into last year was that the rest of the house stays very cool since I put up the double cell blinds (dual HT use and energy savings) and the solar reflective film. The blinds alone kept the temperature down significantly. For example my AC is set to bump up from about 80 to 87 at 12:00PM, I leave for work at about 1:15. Before the blinds the temperature would go up from 80 to 87 and the AC would have to kick on about 3 times in just that hour and 15 minutes. After I installed the double cell blinds even in the hottest time of year the temperature only went up to 82 in the same timeframe. I hear they are also effective in holding heat in for those of you in not so warm places.
Iím not sure how good of an investment this will turn out to be especially considering the mixed reviews these types of units get, but Iím operating under the premise that unhappy customers post more reviews than happy ones. Iím hoping I will net some energy savings not having to cool the whole house mostly for one room and save wear and tear on the central air unit. Having a quieter HT is an added bonus I hadnít even considered and have already realized.
I considered a window unit which are much less expensive but I would have to have gotten new screens made for that window, a metal cage to prevent break-ins and possibly deal with the HOA since it would be visible from the front of the house. As it is that window is alarmed so even if I forget the window insert the alarm system will bitch at me to go close the window before arming. Plus this gives me a backup I can wheel into the bedroom should the central air go out and I need to be able to sleep for a couple days until itís fixed.
For when itís cooler outside I just use one of those dual blower window fans to exchange the air with the outside. Which in a little time will no longer be feasible even at night. When itís really mind numbingly cold, you know around 40F outside,
I just open the French doors to the living room and heat the house off my HT equipment. For comparison when I lived in the apartment I had to keep the AC on all year around.