I bought the Sunpentown WA-1220E 12,000-BTU Room Portable Air Conditioner. I've had it about a week now. I bought it to cool a bedroom 14' x 16'. My central air broke down, and the price tag for a new one was about $10,000. My condo association does not allow window units. To me a portable unit seemed like a good solution until I can afford the central air replacement.
Overall, I'm satisfied with this unit. I'll list the good and the bad points.
GOOD: 1. The quality of the unit was better than I expected. It came with panels to install the exhaust hose in a window, and they were made out of good heavy gauge plastic. 2. Installation was pretty easy. 3. The unit is fairly attractive (compared to some of its competitors). 4. It strongly blows cold air, making the room feel cooler immediately even before the temperature goes down. 5. The remote works well even from across the room. 6. Unlike some other units, the condensation from the coils is vented outside, so you only rarely have to empty the internal reservoir.
BAD: 1. It's fairly noisy. I understand this is true of all portable air conditioners, since the compressor is inside. 2. It takes about an hour to cool the room down – but it does cool it down. 3. IMPORTANT – This unit has a quirk that can make you think it's defective. When you first start it up it comes up in what the manufacturer calls "Auto" mode. This mode is totally useless. Even though the temperature setting shows 75, the compressor is deliberately designed not to kick in until the room temperature reaches 80. In this mode there's no way to adjust the temperature – no matter how many times you click the temperature adjustment buttons. At first I couldn't understand what was going on. It was blowing hard but the compressor wasn't kicking in. Then I read the manual more carefully. The solution is this: after starting it up, press the MODE button to change it to the "Cool" mode. Then you can set the temperature to whatever you like. Then it will stay in Cool mode even after turned off unless you unplug it or the house power goes off.
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