[sdiy] soldering with air conditioner?

Ben Lincoln blincoln at eventualdecline.com
Tue May 26 19:38:47 CEST 2009

Without seeing the actual unit it's hard to say, but that may actually
drop the efficiency of the air conditioner considerably. AFAIK the reason
there is a seal is to maintain the one-way flow of hot and cold air, IE to
avoid recirculating the hot air back through the AC unit again.

I visited a remote location at work where there was a heat problem in the
server room. Someone had stuck a free-standing AC unit inside, without an
external exhaust, thinking "it makes cold air", without realizing that (as
previously explained) it does that by making the interior cold at the
expense of putting out hotter air somewhere else. So of course by not
having external exhaust, they were actually making the server room even
hotter than without the AC unit.

I'm no expert on the subject, but I suspect one of two things will result:

1 - If opening the seals lets solder fumes exhaust from the room, then
you're probably decreasing the effectiveness of the AC unit so much that
you should just use a fan instead.
2 - If the effectiveness *isn't* decreased considerably, then you're
probably not exhausting a significant amount of the solder fumes, so you
should use a fan instead.


If the window is all you've got to work with, I think it's going to be
hard to effectively cool the room *and* provide exhaust for an AC unit.
The first thing that comes to mind is some ductwork to separate the intake
of a fan and the exhaust of the AC, but that's probably more work than
you're looking to do.

Ideally I think you'd want the AC (or just an intake fan) on one side of
the room blowing cold air in, and an exhaust fan on the other side, but
again it doesn't sound like that's an option.

On Tue, May 26, 2009 9:41 am, Dan Snazelle wrote:
> oh i meant open the vents that are on the sides of the window...not the
> vents on the AC itself....
> most AC's have little plastic vents you have to pull across your
> windowsill to make a SEAL..by pulling these back you open up part of your
> window to the outside world

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