Certain situations and climates may make installing standard air conditioning units impractical, cost-prohibitive, or difficult, and many consumers often turn to portable cooling solutions such as portable air conditioners to beat the summer heat. Portable air conditioners are great alternatives to window or wall air conditioners or even as a supplement to existing central air conditioning systems because they’re mobile and don’t require permanent installation. Therefore, these cooling devices are great for apartment buildings that do not permit window units or homes with windows that cannot properly accommodate permanently installed window air conditioning units, as well as for keeping computer server room temperatures stable.
Overall, portable ACs work very similar to traditional air conditioning systems, but they have the added benefit of being fully portable and mobile. Both the cold and hot sides of the air conditioning cycle are contained in the housing, and the condenser coil is cooled from the air in the room. An exhaust hose then expels heat and water is condensed out of the air. At that point, depending on the unit, the water is either collected in an internal drain bucket or mostly evaporated through the use of auto-evaporative technology. Furthermore, as an added bonus, because portable ACs cool the air via the refrigeration cycle, they remove moisture from the air and are thus great for those living in climates with high levels of humidity.
Because summer’s approaching and a lot of us are already experiencing rising temperatures, our product team has been testing a variety of portable air conditioners and rating them based on their features, power, and ability to cool. One of the most advanced models we found was the NewAir ACP-1400H, and in addition to its powerful motor, what really impressed us was the fact that it was truly a multi-functional appliance and offered a portable air conditioner, heater, and even air purifier in one compact, easy-to-use unit.
We tested the NewAir ACP-1400H portable air conditioner in the 400 square-foot living room of our product editor’s home on a scorching Southern California afternoon. Here are the details of our test:
At First Glance
Upon first glance, we were amazed at the design of this portable air conditioner. It was compact, weighed 77 pounds, and sported a unique, square-shaped design that we’ve never seen before. In fact, it fit in nicely into the corner of the room and wasn’t obtrusive at all. In terms of its portability, it came with wide, rolling casters and we were able to move it from room to room without any trouble.
Many portable air conditioner manufacturers nowadays overstate the cooling capacity of their units, and we’ve been wary of such claims with each portable AC we’ve been testing. Fortunately, we were able to contact NewAir directly and were reassured that the NewAir ACP-1400H portable AC boasted a verified 14,000 BTUs. Moreover, NewAir stated that this unit would be able to adequately cool a 400 square foot room, and we found this to be true. In fact, we think this portable air conditioner would even provide sufficient cooling for a small studio apartment.
The NewAir AC-1400H had a decibel rating of less than 54 decibels, and this was supposed to be quieter than normal conversation. We left the unit operating at high speed with the television on and were not disturbed. Furthermore, this portable AC actually came with three fan speeds and a sleep mode function that would make it great for bedroom use.
Portable air conditioners are easy to maintain, but they do require initial venting and removal of condensate. In older models, the condensate is collected in a drain bucket that has to be periodically emptied, but new models, including the NewAir ACP-1400H, utilize advanced auto-evaporative technology. This eliminates the need to emptying annoying drain buckets, but keep in mind that if you live in an especially humid area, you still may need to occasionally get rid of this excess condensate. However, when we used in this in our Southern California testing location, we really didn’t have to worry about this.
The real standout feature (or features, rather) of the NewAir ACP-1400H is the fact that it combined four different appliances in one. When not in air conditioning mode, this unit also worked as a dehumidifier or air circulator, and for the colder months, it could be used as a space heater. Moreover, this portable air conditioner came with a built-in air purifier complete with a washable air filter for large particles, ionizer for small particles, and an activated carbon filter for pesky odors.
Overall, we were really impressed with the features and performance of the NewAir ACP-1400H. While slightly more expensive than some other units we tested, we felt that because of its multi-functionality, the higher price tag was well worth it.