AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Shadow Catcher » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:04 pm

Rick no need for the remote, I pulled the thermostat from the AC.
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Socal Tom » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:52 pm

So, I think I'm going to give this a test run. My current plan is to use 5 inch hoses, and put the vents near the cabinets. The supply would be near the roof in front of my cabinets, the return would be below the cabinets near the foot of the bed. For my test run, I'm building my "plenum" from cardboard and duct tape. I picked 5 inch hoses because of this chart. https://resaveguide.lbl.gov/step-6-duct-design

I searched on line, and on high, the A/C unit should put out about 120CFM. The 5 inch hose is capable of 125CFM if the run is under 20ft long ( an elbow =15 ft) 4 inch won't get above 80 cfm and that's only a 3 ft run).

My plan would be to have the supply hose come off the top of the plenum, and the return out the front like yours. Then if I put the A/C unit on a temporary shelf over the fender, I should be able to have just one bend in each line.
For my test run I won't relocate the thermostat, just set it where I had it in my previous trips and put the system on high cool. I'll just unplug it if I want it off. This way I can modify the design of the plenum if I have any flow issues. If I like the setup I'll work on moving the thermostat.

Anyone see any issues with this plan?
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Shadow Catcher » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:29 pm

I went with 4" for a couple of reasons easily available PVC pipe fittings and ultimately 4" seems to be the max size for a bilge blower which I found I needed. I can speculate the internal resistance of flowing through a corrugated hose might have been a factor but I was getting icing due to not enough air flow.
I will be interested in seeing how you make out with the 5" and do post pictures when you get it all set up.
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Socal Tom » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:32 pm

Shadow Catcher wrote:I went with 4" for a couple of reasons easily available PVC pipe fittings and ultimately 4" seems to be the max size for a bilge blower which I found I needed. I can speculate the internal resistance of flowing through a corrugated hose might have been a factor but I was getting icing due to not enough air flow.
I will be interested in seeing how you make out with the 5" and do post pictures when you get it all set up.


I did some searches on the 5 inch hose. Deck plates are readily available, and I can get either insulated HVAC hose, or flexible vacuum hoses and fittings. I'll make sure I post pics once I get it fabbed.
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Socal Tom » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:35 am

I'v'e made my cardboard prototype. The deckplates should come next week. I'm reconsidering the locations for them. Does putting them at the head of the bed create any issues with cold or noise for the person on that side?
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Shadow Catcher » Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:07 pm

Ours are at the foot of the bed and the goes inta the trailer is a louvered RV inlet/outlet, (another reason to stick with 4"). I have the two ceiling fans running on medium to keep the coolth from just sitting on the bottom, this in conjunction with the louvers pointed up seem to do a very good job in distribution.
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Socal Tom » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:34 pm

Ok, that makes sense. I sleep the other direction. I found 5 inch soffit vents that should work, but most of the stuff will be from Home Depot. I'll be dialing in the parts before I cut any holes. If worse comes to worse, a 5 inch hose with 4 inch intake should still have better flow than just a 4 inch hose given all the bends and twists. Based on your results, the return side seems to be the issue, so I could even do a 4 inch supply and a 5 inch return.
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Socal Tom » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:08 am

So Tom,
How noisy/ windy are the vents? I'm going around in circles about where to put the vents, and the head of the bed seem to make the most sense. I was planning on putting the in the side behind the door, but now that I have the deck plates the proximity to the door handle has me worried about security. It would be easy to stick an arm in and open the door. So I'm considering in front of the door like yours however the supply would be above the shelf I have, and the return would be below the shelf and about 6 inches lower. My only concern is about how windy/ noisy it might be.
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Shadow Catcher » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:49 am

Tom, when the trailer was built I had them install a GFI for the purpose of the AC and that is at the front of the trailer, the foot of the bed for us. When I first installed the bilge blower it was quite noisy, once it was slowed down you can barely hear it. It is much quieter than out window AC at home. There are a couple of factors there is no physical connection between the AC and the trailer other than a hose and the hose I am certain absorbs some of the sound and isolates any vibration from the bilge blower. The grill/louvers I chose are movable, can be rotated and removed and vanes are fixed at about 45 degrees so air is directed up and recirculated around the cabin by the vent fans. I had though of having it near the head of the bed but felt it would mean one of us might be cold(er).

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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Socal Tom » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:57 am

That makes me feel better. Having the supply above the shelf and using a vent like yours should distribute the air well I think. Now I just need the guts to cut two big holes......
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Shadow Catcher » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:08 am

It is Scary, I bought a hole saw and had to drill from both sides. After I made sure there was nothing structural in the way.
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Socal Tom » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:35 pm

Ok it's in test mode . It's only supposed to be 68f here with 70% humidity, so not a real tough challenge, but I did put a humidifier inside to try and push the icing. The plenum is cardboard and I borrowed the 5 inch hose for supply from a portable unit we have. The return is currently a 6 inch flex hose I got at the depot. Putting the supply above the shelf makes a big difference. Sitting up the air hits you in the face, but laying down nothing. I can hear the air blowing, but it's not any louder than when it was at our feet in the bulk head. I probably won't hear the compressor cycle now.
Next I need to find a deal on some 5 inch hoses.
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Socal Tom » Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:43 pm

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1428777705.283993.jpg
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Here is the picture . I'll have to wait until it warms up and I source the final hoses before I really test it, but fr a noise standpoint I think it will work
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AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Socal Tom » Sun May 03, 2015 8:19 am

Here is a picture of the system in action. It's still a prototype so the plenum is cardboard. It was about 85 outside when I ran it, but it cooled off by night fall so I didn't run it at night. Though I'm not worried about it being a problem at night. There is the sound of air blowing, but it's not bad, and the supply is high enough that it only blows on you if you are sitting on your knees.

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ImageUploadedByTapatalk1430659254.584684.jpg
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Finding hoses was the most challenging part of the build they end up being 5" OD and about 4.5 ID. With a couple of wraps of duct the the "thread" into the 5 inch deck plates. So fat right think it cost$60 for the mod, but the plenum cost is still to come.
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Shadow Catcher » Sun May 03, 2015 2:34 pm

Tom what are you doing for condensate or are you just going to keep it as a slinger. I am not a fan of the fan getting rid of condensate (noisy and drilled a hole to let it drain).
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