While many welcome the warmth of the summer sun for outdoor recreation, the heat may make being indoors unbearable. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that sweltering summer days and nights causes approximately 700 fatalities each year. Air conditioning provides healthy relief. A portable air conditioning unit is one of the most convenient methods of obtaining indoor comfort. However, there are many factors to consider when trying to decide which is the best portable air conditioner dehumidifier combo to purchase.
Portable air conditioning devices may cost as little as a couple of hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. The size of the unit and the number of features the device offers factor into the initial cost. The amount of energy the AC unit requires during operation is another consideration. Approximately 13 percent of a home’s annual utility costs are attributed to cooling indoor environments. Consider the energy efficiency rating of portable air conditioning units when trying to decide the best option for the buck. The ratings are calculated by dividing the BTU output by the number of watts needed to power the device when the outdoor temperature is 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Units having higher EER numbers are the most cost-efficient. Check to see if the device has an Energy Star label of approval. Filter replacements are an additional consideration. Determine how often the filter requires replacing and the cost of additional filters.
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Some consumers purchase a unit to remain in one specific space. Others may desire to move the unit from the general living area to the bedroom at night. Many units come with wheels or casters that enable users to easily relocate the AC device as needed. However, some do not have the feature. Thus, the physical weight of the unit must be taken into consideration. The measurements of the unit play a role in determining if the space in which a homeowner desires to position the portable air conditioner is adequate.
The BTUs listed on the package determines the size of the room that the air conditioning unit may effectively cool. Consumers must know the square footage of the area in which they plan to use the AC. The greater the BTU number, the larger the room the unit accommodates. Some might believe that buying a larger unit than the space requires is more cost effective. However, the larger device likely also uses more electricity, which negates any savings the homeowner may realize. Therefore, resist the urge to purchase a unit that is more powerful than needed.
Hoping to buy one unit to heat multiple rooms regardless of square footage will prove disappointing, as the air will not circulate sufficiently to keep all of the rooms equally cool. So, moving one unit from room to room as needed, purchasing inexpensive smaller units for each room, or installing central air conditioning is a better option. Also, consider the location of the room. West-facing rooms are likely to remain warmer well into the night. The temperature in kitchens rise when appliances are in use. An air conditioning unit may need slightly higher BTUs when expected to cool and maintain a comfortable temperature.
The larger the unit, the more energy the air conditioner requires to function. Along with bearing an EER number, packaging may display the average cost of running the device. Choose a unit having a programmable thermostat. In this way, once the interior space reaches the temperature desired, the unit automatically turns itself off.
Portable air conditioning units need to be vented to the outdoors through a window using an exhaust hose. The units typically come with kits that span various window sizes that cover the opening while allowing enough space for the hose to exit the residence. Some models come with exhaust hoses that enable the unit to stand further away from a window, which makes it easier to position the device wherever desired. Other models come with shorter hoses that require the unit to stand close to a window, which may limit the options for placement. Check the size and length of the hose, which may be replaced with a longer alternative if needed.
Dual vs. Single Hose
Dual hose units have one hose for capturing indoor air for cooling and another hose to eliminate the unit’s heat from the room via the window. This type of model is more energy-efficient and requires up to 40 percent less time to cool a room to the desired temperature. Single hose models use the same hose to take air in from the outdoors while eliminating the unit’s generated heat. Thus, the device must work harder and is not as cost effective.
All units contain compressors and other components that make noise when functioning. However, some models are quieter than others. During the day, noise may not be a factor. But, at night, when trying to relax and go to sleep, the sound emanating from a portable unit might become annoying. Some model packages provide dB or decibel information. However, other units may not. The majority of devices generate up to 65 dB, which is equated to the noise level of a normal conversation. The ideal way to determine the unit’s noise level, if not listed, is to check customer reviews online.
Ease of Installation and Use
The majority of models come with instruction manuals that provide the consumer with step-by-step directions and illustrations that make installing the unit easy. Most simply require attaching the hose or hoses, installing the window kit and exiting the hoses. The filtration system of the unit may include a reusable, washable filter and one that requires routine replacement. The filters must be properly inserted before using the portable air conditioner.
Some units may require a vessel to collect any condensation. Others may enable users to vent the condensation outdoors. A portable air conditioner may contain a vessel that collects condensation and regularly requires emptying. Certain models are considered as being no drip, as the machine recycles any moisture created back through the unit to aid in the cooling process.
The unit is then simply plugged in, turned on and programmed to the desired temperature for the specified length of time. If desiring to use the device in more than one room, purchase or create an additional window kit.
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Manufacturer Highlight: Along with portable air conditioners, Whynter also manufactures deep freezers, portable ice cream makers and portable ice makers. Thus the company is well-acquainted with the science and mechanics of cooling.
The model measures 16 inches deep x 19 inches wide x 35.5 inches tall. The black and platinum, portable unit weighs 80 pounds and has rolling casters. The unit is rated to produce up to 14,000 BTU, which is sufficient to cool a space of up to 500 square feet. Cooling capability is provided by environmentally-friendly CFC-freeR-410A refrigerant. The components are also lead-free. The package also includes the unit’s remote control, an activated carbon filter and a washable pre-filter. The system uses the ARC-14S ARC-14H replacement filter.
The installation kit comes with an extendable exhaust hose that expands up to 60 inches and an intake hose. The window kit accommodates windows from 20 to 46 inches. A plastic window adapter kit is included. However, many owners prefer to use plywood and seal the opening around the exhaust hose. A digital readout displays the temperature setting, which ranges from 61 degrees Fahrenheit to 89 degrees Fahrenheit. Power on/off, mode, temperature up/down and timer buttons make the device user-friendly. The unit can be programmed to run for up to 24 hours.
Plug the portable unit into any standard household outlet and the unit does the rest. The ARC-14S has an air conditioning mode, a fan mode and a dehumidifying mode. The fan has three speeds. The dehumidifier removes and recycles up to 101 pints of moisture daily and may function independently of the air conditioning function. However, the room temperature must be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The intake hose is designed to bring exterior air into the unit to cool the compressor and the coil. The warmth generated by the unit is expelled through the exhaust hose. The air conditioner is also designed to recycle the moisture created by the cooling process and uses the moisture for cooling. So, the unit never needs draining, the mechanics of the device do the process automatically.
The energy-efficient model has a rating of 11.2. The number is derived by dividing the 14,000 BTU by the wattage consumption of 1250. The greater the EEF number, the greater the efficiency of the unit. The length of the exhaust hose also enables users to position the device wherever it is most convenient.
When running, the ARC-14S puts out 56 dBA of noise, which some might perceive as a problem. The unit also blows the cold air upward. But, using the air conditioner in a room equipped with a ceiling fan, or a tabletop fan positioned higher than the unit, helps circulate the air more effectively.
The Whynter ARC-14S was deemed by Good Housekeeping as being “Best Overall” in 2019 and additionally received Consumer Report’s highest score in the same year.
Manufacturer Highlight: The hOmeLabs company is another franchise having a great deal of experience in creating kitchen and small home appliances. Along with portable air conditioning units, hOmeLabs also manufactures portable air purifiers, dehumidifiers, ice makers and refrigerators. Thus, the fact that the company combines a portable air conditioner with a dehumidifier is not a surprise.
The appliance measures 19.9 inches in width x 30.7 inches in height x 15 inches deep. The model is white and provides easy portability via four castors. The unit’s 14,000 BTU output enables the device to cool a space encompassing up to 600 square feet.
The package comes with the main unit, an exhaust hose, a drain hose, and a kit that accommodates windows up to 48 inches in width. There is also a washable air filter and a battery-powered remote control. The top/front of the device also has a digital display and function buttons. HOmeLabs also retails the device with a two-year warranty against any defects that affect operation. The air conditioner unit has an indicator light that alerts owners when the air filter requires cleaning.
Attach the exhaust hose, insert the air filter and insert it through the window kit that comes with sliders to snugly enclose the window opening. Attach the drain hose, plug in the device and turn on the unit. All of the settings are started/stopped or changed using the remote control, which comes with batteries.
Set the unit to the desired indoor temperature by pushing the buttons on the device or by using the remote.
The portable air conditioner/dehumidifier has auto, cool, dehumidify and fan modes. The remote control enables users to select the fan speed or set the unit to the eco-friendly sleep mode. When operational, the HME020235N creates 50dB of noise, which is approximately the same noise level as a typical verbal conversation. The airflow is also directed upward, which may necessitate the use of a portable fan positioned higher than the air conditioning unit.
When functioning as a dehumidifier, the unit removes up to 100 pints of moisture daily. However, the drainage hose must be put into a collection container or passed to the exterior of the home. The air filter performs well to remove particles from the air. HOmeLabs recommends washing the filter every two weeks, or as needed, to ensure airflow.
Manufacturer Highlight: The MIDEA company is well-known for manufacturing a number of full-size and portable kitchen, laundry and environmental appliances. The portable air conditioner/dehumidifier could not be easier or more convenient to use. Adjust the device settings and on/off function using the system’s push buttons, the remote control or via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and Alexa.
The main unit is 17.13 inches in width x 13 inches in depth and 29.13 inches tall. The appliance weighs 64 pounds and has four wheels for easy relocation. The device puts out up to 12,000 BTU, which is sufficient to cool a space spanning up to 300 square feet.
The package comes complete with the unit and a window kit that accommodates windows up to 48 inches in width. There is also a washable air filter, a remote control, a 59-inch drainage hose and the 75-inch power cord. MIDEA provides each unit with a one-year warranty that covers parts and labor. Download a user’s manual from the company’s website.
Attach the drainage hose and install the air-tight window bracket. Clip the hose to the bracket and direct it to the exterior of the home. Plug in the unit to a standard power outlet. Turn on the air conditioner/humidifier and adjust the settings or use the auto mode. The LED control panel displays the timer, fan, mode function, temperature and on/off functions. The light may also be altered to prevent sleep disruption. The fan enables users to set the device at three different speeds. The appliance has low, medium and high cooling modes. When running the unit emits up to 55dB of sound.
The 24-hour timer enables users to set the device for the desired temperature and function mode for a specific length of time. Setting the timer reduces overall energy consumption. The temperature setting ranges from 62 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The unit also comes equipped with a proximity sensor that automatically adjusts the cooling temperature based on the user’s distance from the appliance. Once programmed to start, the airflow vents automatically open to allow cool air to enter the room.
Unlike comparable devices, the MAP12S1BWT may be turned on/off using a mobile device or by providing Alexa with a voice command. The air filter is easily removed and washed as needed to remove the dust, dirt, pet dander and other debris eliminated from the air.
Manufacturer Highlight: The Italian manufacturer creates a wide range of household devices under the Braun, DeLonghi, Kenwood and Pinguino labels. The wide range of devices that the company creates includes items used for environmental comfort. The Pinguino is one of their appliances.
The white units measure 18.9 inches in width, 17.9 inches in depth and 34.3 inches in height. The air conditioner/dehumidifier weighs 83.8 pounds. But, four wheels enable simple relocation. The device has air vents on top of the appliance along with the digital display, power on/off and function buttons.
Each parcel contains the appliance, a washable air filter, the exhaust hose and the remote control. There is also a window kit that accommodates spaces of up to 48 inches. The kit is narrow enough to enable passage of the exhaust hose but continues allowing visibility through the upper region of the window. The device produces up to 11,500 BTU, which is suitable to treat a medium-sized room having up to 400 square feet.
Installation and setup are quick and easy. Make sure the air filter is inserted into the rear of the device. Install the window kit. Attach the exhaust hose to the rear of the unit. Extend the hose through the window. Turn on the appliance and choose the desired settings. The controls on the unit and buttons on the remote enable users to select the cooling level, fan speed, desired temperature and length of function. The 12-hour timer allows owners to set the unit and forget it.
The fact that the Pinguino recycles condensation for cooling purposes means that there is no fluid collection container to empty. A device manual is available for download on the manufacturer’s website.
Manufacturer Highlight: The New Jersey-based company manufactures small and large appliances for the kitchen, heating and cooling and beverage maintenance. The IVAPAC14BTU model is the largest air conditioner/dehumidifier unit the company produces. A detailed user manual is available on the Ivation website. Ivation covers the device with a limited one-year warranty.
The white air conditioner/dehumidifier unit measures 28.75 inches in height, 17.5 inches in width and 14.5 inches in depth. The overall weight of the device is 65 pounds. The top of the device features a user-friendly layout that illustrates the various function modes along with the thermostat digital display and power on/off buttons. The unit also features a remote control that comes with two AAA batteries.
The package comes with the appliance, exhaust hose and connectors along with the window kit, drain tube, drain stopper, remote control. There is also a washable air filter. The security pack includes L-shaped metal elbows and screws that prevent the window from being opened further or closed after installing the appliance.
The IVAPAC14BTU provides auto, cool, dry, fan and sleep functions. The fan or dehumidifier may be used independently of the air conditioner. The appliance and the remote control also have child lock features to prevent youngsters from altering the settings. The appliance is easily relocated thanks to the four wheels at the bottom of the unit. The device provides up to 14,000 BTU to sufficiently cool a room having up to 500 square feet.
Install the provided window kit. Attach the exhaust hose to the rear of the unit and insert the other end through the window kit hole. Plug the appliance into a wall outlet. Turn the air conditioner/dehumidifier on and program the settings as desired. The thermostat spans 61 degrees to 88 degrees Fahrenheit. The louvers on the unit manually adjust to enable airflow up or down. When running, the unit produces 50dB of noise.
The appliance has an internal moisture collection container. However, if the room temperature is too low and the humidity is too high, the unit cannot adequately eliminate the condensation created by the device. The water then accumulates in the internal collection container, which holds approximately 1.5 liters. When the container becomes full, the unit automatically turns itself off and the “bucket full” indicator light turns on. The drain plug must be removed and the unit drained into a container before reactivating the unit. Users might also opt to attach a garden hose to the drain tube and divert the hose outside for convenience.
Units come with various features that make using the device more versatile and trouble free. Factor in the features that best suit your lifestyle.
- Programmable thermostat – The technology enables users to set the desired temperature and the length of time they require the unit to function. The models are typically set it and forget it devices.
- Auto draining – The system automatically eliminates any condensation or liquid through the external exhaust, which eliminates the need to empty a collection vessel.
- Remote control – The The majority of today’s small heating and cooling devices are equipped with a remote control that enables users to choose the function mode, time and temperature of the device without having to physically approach the unit.
- Dehumidifier – In addition to cooling the air and having a fan with multiple speed selections, units may include a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier removes dampness or humidity from the interior air. The function is handy and may be used any time of year regardless of outdoor temperature.
- Combination air conditioner/heater – The units function year-round to maintain indoor temperatures at a desired level.