Alicia wrote in about a hot topic issue:
So, considering it was sweltering in my house last week and we haven't even hit June yet, I'm gonna have to get some sort of AC solution. The problem is my windows open left to right, not up and down. Do they make vertical window AC units? Is there another way to get AC into your house besides central air, which I'm guessing is just too cost-prohibitive to get installed? Help!
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By chance, we were at Home Depot last night, picking up some extra air conditioner accessories, so this query was submitted at a most fortuitous time. We were there because we needed wider vinyl panels for the window mounted unit we just purchased. Noted was a large congregation just within the entrance; many were in the process of carting off air conditioners of various sizes and shapes, so you might be doing yourself a big favour by purchasing a unit soon before the heat returns.
But back to your question. A portable air conditioner might be the answer to your dilemma, since you're correct in assuming a central air conditioning system can be expensive (there are various factors involved in cost, so only upon inspection of your home can a quote be figured). Home Depot has a selection of portable AC units that can siphon off excess condensation via a window mounting hose. To illustrate how this works, they happened to have a unit hooked up to a faux horizontal opening window display, complete with a window vent kit that is able to be installed in both a horizontal and vertical position. Cost might be an issue, as these portable units start in the $400 range, but the ability to cart the unit away when unneeded seems like a great option.
There are actually some window mounting AC units specifically made for horizontal opening windows. Frigidaire makes Slider Casement units that provide 8,000 to 12,000 BTU cooling capacity for rooms up to 640 sq. ft. Korean manufacturer LG (who makes many of Sears' Kenmore air conditioners) offers a 10,000 BTU vertical mount unit for $339. And then there is a range from Fedders, which claims to fit windows from 21"-40.5" high and needs 15.5" minimum in width. Just make sure you study up on matching the specifications of the unit with the size and cooling needs of your home; a great resource of reviews and information here.