73 degrees? good luck with that.

Portable Air Conditioners: Not So Portable, Don’t Cool The Air

The concept of a portable air conditioner implies that the device is portable, and that you can cool a room with it. They would be a wonderful tool if this were were true, but tests by our breezy and cool colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports show that they compare unfavorably to window-mounted air conditioners in pretty much every way, and you might be better off with no air conditioner at all. [More]

How Many BTUs Of A/C Do I Need For My Home?

How Many BTUs Of A/C Do I Need For My Home?

We don’t need to go outside, look at a thermometer, or even to peek outside the skylights of the Consumerist Bunker: we can tell when temperatures are beginning to climb in much of the United States, because search engine traffic begins to pour in to old posts about how to figure out how many BTUs you need when shopping for a room air conditioner. Fear not, overheated Consumerists: we’re always here to help. [More]

NYC To Retailers: Close The Door, Did You Grow Up In A Barn?

NYC To Retailers: Close The Door, Did You Grow Up In A Barn?

In New York City, if you have a store with more than 4,000 square feet of retail space, or if you own a chain of at least five stores in the city, you’re required by law to keep your cool air inside where it belongs. That means none of this leaving the door open so your cool air will “lure in overheated customers,” reports WNYC. A city councilwoman says she hopes to conduct surveys this week to catch any retailers skirting the law. An employee at French Connection in SoHo said that her store is concerned about the energy crisis, so they only open one door instead of two these days. [More]

Sears: We Can't Replace Your Mom's Air Conditioner, So Cancel Your Vacation

Sears: We Can't Replace Your Mom's Air Conditioner, So Cancel Your Vacation

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and what does summer mean here at The Consumerist? Air conditioner horror stories, of course! Janet, a senior citizen with health problems living in Memphis, Tenn., tells Conumerist that Sears is dragging out the repair of her air conditioning unit in a way that’s unacceptable considering the current weather conditions. When Janet’s daughter explained to a Sears that she couldn’t leave her alone in a roasting house during her planned, non-refundable vacation, she says the rep helpfully suggested that she cancel the vacation. Not helping, Sears. Not helping. [More]

What Do Deal Site Acronyms Like "YMMV" And "AC" Mean?

What Do Deal Site Acronyms Like "YMMV" And "AC" Mean?

If you’re new to hunting for deals online, you’ll start seeing all these funky acronyms used as shorthand. Here’s some of the most common ones and what they mean:

First Air Conditioner Guy Says Replace It For $5,000, Second Air Conditioner Guy Fixes It For $250

First Air Conditioner Guy Says Replace It For $5,000, Second Air Conditioner Guy Fixes It For $250

Reader F.’s air conditioner was broken, so he called the company that installed it when the house was built. They came out, charged him $100, and told him that he could repair the unit for $3,000 or replace it for $5,000. It’s a good thing he got a second opinion, because the second repair guy fixed the problem for $250.

5 Portable Air Conditioners Ranked

5 Portable Air Conditioners Ranked

Portable air conditioners are good when you need to cool only a single room in your home, or when you live in a studio with a crummy wall unit and no central heating/ac, or when you go camping. They also free up the view out your window. On the downside, they recycle “inside air,” require a drainage tube or a bucket, can be noisy, and make it look like you have a dorm fridge in your living room. Slate reviews five mid-range portable units (between 9,000 and 12,000 BTUs, or enough to cool between 350 and 550 square feet).