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Sharp CV-P10MX Portable Air Conditioner
9,500 BTU's of portable cool for your shop!
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted - 7-11-2009
Well, spring has sprung and our woodworking shops are quickly morphing from too cold to "sweat-spots-on-the-cast-iron" hot. Every summer the woodworking world slows to a crawl, in part because of how uncomfortable our shops can be. Three years ago I decided to do something about the heat and bought my Sharp CV-P10MX, 9,500 BTU Portable Air Conditioner. My woodworking shop - and my demeanor in general have been much nicer ever since.
Real Shop Compatibility
One of the first things I liked about the Sharp CV-P10MX was its 18.5"H x 32.3"W x 17"D physical size and the four casters that let me put this 90-some-pound unit where I want with ease. That and the 115V (only) electrical operation meant I did not have to rebuild or re-wire my shop to use it. The Sharp CV-P10MX is remarkably quiet, on the order of 36 dB on low cool. Jack up the performance to high cool and it does get louder but that is mostly fan noise launching the cool air. The noise level is not bad at all, especially considering what I am doing in a woodworking shop.
Like all air conditioners the Sharp CV-P10MX removes moisture from the air while it cools. It does have a pure dehumidifier mode as well. Another point on the plus side is the condensate disposal system that has a drain port to which you can connect a simple hose. No tanks to empty - or forget! I added an almost-flattened length of copper pipe and the water is deposited outside my garage door without having the door open.
A major concern for me was the type of filters an AC unit is equipped with. Regardless of using a good my dust collector and air cleaner are a woodworking shop has some amount of dust in the air that will magically (and quickly) find its way into the AC unit. The Sharp CV-P10MX has two pull-out wire mesh filters that trap the dust but can be hosed off when they become contaminated. This is another very nice, cost-saving feature on the Sharp CV-P10MX.
Single Hose Exhaust
The Sharp CV-P10MX comes with a flexible exhaust hose and a very complete window adapter kit. I "modified" that kit to create a through-the-door exhaust port complete with insect screen and rain hood. All of the parts were included with the exception of the marine silicone adhesive I used to install and seal the outer grillwork. The hose and its shroud snap in and out of the bracket in the door so opening the garage door remains quick and easy.
I have heard lots of rumbling about how a single-hose AC unit "doesn't/can't/won't work" but as all too often the case on the Internet these proclamations it have proven to be largely unfounded. This single hose Sharp CV-P10MX works well. At least three people I know are also using the Sharp CV-P10MX and they are satisfied as well. I have my garage shop insulated and have insulated steel overhead doors, which does help a bunch. If you are going to try cooling an un-insulated space I'm afraid you need to be looking at a much larger unit- and a helicopter to get it on your roof.
Another nice feature of the Sharp CV-10MX is the powered louvers and airflow directors. You can set both to a fixed position or have them automatically sweep through oscillations to more evenly distribute the cool air through the shop. This feature simplifies placing the Sharp CV-P10MX in the shop because you can aim the airflow and keep the unit itself out of the way. This function is controllable through the included remote control.
Handy Remote Control
The Sharp CV-P10MX comes with a full function remote control equipped with a large LCD screen that clearly shows what is going on. You can literally control everything about the Sharp CV-P10MX without having to physically go over to it. It even has a timer so you can "tell" the Sharp CV-P10MX to shut off later if you would like.
The LCD screen uses graphics to show the various modes including fan strength, cooling mode, dehumidification mode, the temperature/thermostat setting, louver/oscillation setting and more. I love this graphical depiction because it makes setting the Sharp CV-P10MX very simple.
In the Shop
When I got the Sharp CV-P10MX by far the biggest chore was adapting the window kit to my garage door. And, that turned out to be way easier than I anticipated. I took the window kit apart and used the screened bezel and frame to mount it in my garage door. The shroud on the end of the flexible exhaust hose snaps into the bezel easily. The rain hood on the outside has done a great job despite several heavy-duty storms complete with high wind downpours. Not a drop of water has found its way in even though the door faces directly towards where most of our storms come from.
On really hot days in the 90-plus-degree range, I turn the Sharp CV-P10MX on half an hour or so before I go into the shop. That and a small floor fan to help circulate the air cools the shop to a comfortable level quickly. I can usually run the Sharp CV-P10MX on the low setting to maintain the temperature in the 72-74-degree range. The sound created by the Sharp CV-P10MX is low enough that I can do video work with it running (low speed) without contaminating the sound track.
The Sharp CV-P10MX Portable Air Conditioner has been a very good value for me. It has made my shop comfortable throughout the tough North Carolina summers and lets me get far more work done and be far more comfortable while doing it!
With a street price of $512.71 (7-10-2009) the Sharp CV-P10MX is far cheaper than a full-on AC unit, plus it can be put away in the winter months easily. Though I use the Sharp CV-10MX frequently during our typically hot summers, now almost three years later, it continues to perform perfectly, keeping my shop, my attitude and me nice and cool when the weather turns hot and ugly outside.
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