Friday, May 30, 2008

New AC-1400H Portable AC by NewAir Offers Design and Value in One Package!


While most people used to turn to their trusty window or central air conditioner to stay cool during the summer, gone are the days when cooling comfort meant unsightly and costly air conditioning systems. Instead, portable air conditioners are now becoming increasingly popular because they allow one to stay cool with just one energy-efficient machine situated in a specific room. Moreover, because portable air conditioners do not require any type of permanent installation and often include built-in casters, they provide convenient spot cooling where you need it and are also ideal for apartments, condominiums, computer server rooms, or any other type of setting that cannot accommodate a window or central air conditioner.

Portable air conditioners are therefore becoming increasingly popular and of course some models cool faster and more efficiently than others. In addition, many of the more advanced portable air conditioners also come with high-tech features such as auto-evaporative technology and even built-in air purifiers and space heaters. With summer almost here, our product team has been busy reviewing some of the newest portable ACs on the market, including the NewAir AC-1400H. We tested this unit in a 250 square foot bedroom on an 85 degree afternoon, and we were overall impressed with its performance.

Designed to fit most average-sized rooms including lounges, living rooms, and offices, the NewAir AC-1400H provided us with superb performance at an affordable price. One of the first things we noticed about the NewAir AC-1400H was the fact that the unit was sleek, modern-looking, and compact. It sported a shiny silver finish with black accents, and the unit also came with large casters for added maneuverability. The backlit LCD control panel was easy to read, and it had full thermostat control and even a remote.

In terms of performance, we found that the NewAir AC-1400H portable air conditioner was one of the most powerful portable air conditioners on the market based on wattage rating. It boasted a 14,000 BTU cooling capacity that was more than enough for our small bedroom, and when rolled out into the living room, it was also able to cool just as well.

Maintenance was also a breeze. Since the NewAir AC-1400E portable AC utilized a patented evaporative booster, we didn’t really have to bother with emptying the inner water tank. Furthermore, due to the fact that it cooled with a refrigerant, it also functioned as a dehumidifier and would be a perfect addition to any home in a humid environment. Also included was a three-layer air purification system with 3M filtrate filter, activated carbon filter, and washable air filter. For year-round use, the NewAir AC-1400H portable air conditioner also had a built-in space heater that boasted 14,000 BTUs of heating power.

Overall, in terms of design and included features, we felt that the NewAir AC-1400E portable was a great buy.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

NewAir AC-1600H: Most Powerful Portable Air Conditioner!

If you live in an apartment or condominium, you may have to rely on your building’s central cooling system to stay comfortable during the scorching summer heat. However, if this proves to be inefficient or if you’re concerned with rising energy costs, you may have to resort to less efficient cooling methods such as ceiling or portable electric fans in order to find respite from rising temperatures. Thankfully, portable air conditioners are the perfect portable cooling solution for areas that cannot accommodate traditional window units such as apartments or even computer server rooms.

Portable air conditioners work similar to traditional central or window air conditioners in that they utilize the refrigeration cycle and a coolant to cool a room or area. However, they are portable, mobile, and do not require any sort of permanent installation. Instead, they consist of a box-like frame that holds both the cold and hot side of the AC along with an exhaust hose to expel heat. Water is removed from the air, and this condensate is either collected in a tray or bucket located within the unit or in more advanced models, even self-evaporated.

When purchasing a portable air conditioner, one of the most common terms you’ll see advertised is a unit’s BTU rating. As an acronym for British Thermal Units, BTUs refer to a portable air conditioner’s cooling capacity, and this can range anywhere from 5,000 BTUs to 18,000 BTUs. The higher the BTU value, the stronger the air conditioner. To get a ballpark estimation of the amount of BTUs you’ll need for your room, simply find the square footage of the room and multiply this number by 35.

However, keep in mind that while BTUs are one of the most important factors to look for in an air conditioner, be aware that many portable AC manufacturers often overstate the BTU rating of their units as a way to market their products. Thankfully, in our quest to find the best portable air conditioners on the market, we found the NewAir AC-1600H to be one of the most powerful portable ACs available.

First Impressions - Style, Size, and Display:
When we first removed the NewAir AC-1600H from its package, we were quite impressed with its design. Its sleek silver finished complemented our 400 square foot living room’s décor, and the unit itself weighed approximately 75 pounds. Rolling casters made maneuverability a snap, while the large, easy-to-read LCD display panel with remote control made operation simple and hassle-free.

BTUs and Cooling Capacity:
As mentioned above, BTU ratings are one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a portable AC. The NewAir AC-1600H provided 16,000 BTUs of cooling power – more than many of the units we tested. NewAir recommends this unit to be used in areas 400 square or smaller, but we found that it may have even had the capacity to cool areas slightly larger in ideal conditions (64° to 90° F).

Dehumidification and Auto-Evaporative Technology:
A portable air conditioner’s use of the refrigeration cycle also allows it to remove moisture from the air, making it especially great for humid areas. In addition to cooling, the NewAir AC-1600H portable air conditioner also had the ability to remove up to 80 pints of water per day. Moreover, because it utilized advanced auto-evaporative technology, this eliminated the need to empty any water tanks (assuming your climate isn’t too humid).

Year-Round Use:
The NewAir AC-1600H also came with a built-in space heater that offered 16,000 BTUs of heating power. Furthermore, the inclusion of a 3M Filtrete filter removed dust, pollen, bacteria, and animal dander from the air, while the activated carbon filter was able to adsorb odors such as smoke.

Overall, we found the NewAir AC-1600H to be an excellent portable AC that included many advanced features. Best of all, it offers more BTUs than most portable ACs on the market, and its sleek, European design is sure to complement any type of décor in your home.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

NewAir AC-1400E Portable AC - NewAir's Newest Air Conditioner!


Scorching hot summer temperatures are no joke: a massive heat wave in 2006 killed over 200 Americans, and temperatures are still expected to rise this year as well. Interestingly enough, the hotter it gets, the more greenhouse gases are released from the very same power plants that pump out energy from our ACs. Studies have also shown that the average home spends half of its energy bill on home cooling, and for these reasons, many people may be trying to find new ways to beat the heat.

Electric fans may provide cool air, but they do little to actually decrease temperatures. On the other hand, swamp coolers are cost-effective, eco-friendly devices that can provide cooling comfort and temperature reductions, but these are only suitable for hot, arid climates. Therefore, how does one stay cool? The answer lies in a relatively new invention: a portable air conditioner.

Portable air conditioners work very much like traditional central or window ACs as they use the refrigeration cycle to cool. However, they are much simpler in design and have the added benefits of being compact, mobile, as well as not requiring any type of permanent installation. Instead, a hose is vented out a window, drop ceiling, or wall, and when the air conditioner needs to cool another area, it is simply rolled from one room to the next. In terms of energy efficiency, portable air conditioners are second to none. Because they are used for spot cooling certain rooms or personal spaces as opposed to entire homes, they can provide you with significant savings on your energy bill over an entire summer.

Our product team has spent the past few months conducting tests on some of the best portable air conditioners available on the market, and we’ve consistently had good experiences with NewAir’s line of portable air conditioners. As such, we’ve decided to review one of their newest portable ACs: the NewAir ACP-1400E.

At a Glance
When we unpacked the NewAir AC-1400E portable AC out of its carton, we were first impressed by its appearance. The unit weighed approximately 75 pounds but featured a slim, contemporary design with an elegant silver finish. We placed this portable air conditioner in the corner of a 200 square foot bedroom and found that it did not disturb the décor of the environment at all. The large, easy-to-read control panel with backlit LCD was a nice touch, as was the remote control that came with the unit. Rolling casters also made it easy for us to move the NewAir AC-1400E from the bedroom to the living room without hassle.

Cooling Capacity
NewAir stated that the NewAir AC-1400E boasted 14,000 BTUs of cooling power, and we found this to be correct. We were told that this portable air conditioner was suitable for areas up to 400 square feet (the size of our living room), and it provided more than enough cooling for us on a hot, muggy Southern California afternoon. Three speeds were available: 2 fans and 1 turbo.

Auto-Evaporative Technology
Like many better portable air conditioners out there, the NewAir AC-1400E utilized auto-evaporative technology (specifically its own patented Patented Evaporative Booster). In other words, unlike older units which had water buckets that needed to be emptied constantly, the NewAir AC-1400E uses the collected condensate to cool the motor, and the evaporation process then allows this moisture to be directed outdoors via the exhaust hose. However, if the unit is used in an area with especially high humidity levels, condensation will still be collected in an auxiliary tank and emptied later (though much less frequently than with units without auto-evaporative technology).

Air Filters
The NewAir AC-1400E had a washable air filter to collect large dust particles, as well as a 3M Filtrete filter. Moreover, an activated carbon filter was used to remove odors from the air.

Additional Features
Our product team found that the NewAir AC-1400E portable air conditioner had a number of outstanding features, but the ones we were impressed with the most was its 24-hour programmable timer; thermostat range of 64° F to 90° F; low noise level (49 dB); and its limited one year warranty with a five year warranty on the compressor.

Overall, we were impressed by the NewAir AC-1400E portable air conditioner. Stylish, yet full of features, this portable AC will be a great investment for anyone who wants to be able stay cool without having to resort to central or window ACs.

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Common Evaporative Cooler Problems


If you live in the American Southwest or any other hot, arid region in the world, you’ve probably either seen or at least heard of a swamp cooler. Swamp coolers, also known as evaporative coolers, produce effective cooling by combining the natural process of water evaporation with a simple air-moving system. Outside air is pushed through water-soaked pads where it is cooled by evaporation and circulated throughout a room or home by a large fan. When this occurs, the ambient temperature can be lowered by as much as 20° F.

Because these appliances are simple and primarily cool the air via evaporation, they are extremely energy efficient and usually cost only pennies a day to run. In fact, studies have shown that when compared to traditional air conditioning systems, swamp coolers can use up to 75 percent less electricity.

However, when compared to air conditioners, operating a swamp cooler may require a bit more work (though minimal). This usually involves refilling the water reservoir and making sure the cooling pads are clean and in good working order. When proper maintenance steps aren’t followed, problems can arise, but these can be fixed by performing a few simple repairs. Here are some common swamp cooler issues consumers may encounter:

Water drips from the unit.
This is often due to improper end-of-season storage. Be sure to always clean and drain your swamp cooler, as well as remove the pads before storing your unit for an extended period of time.

The evaporative cooler doesn’t provide enough cooling.
Always remember that swamp coolers are only suitable for dry climates because they add moisture to the air. Using a swamp cooler in a humid environment will only further increase humidity levels and also cause corrosion to components and/or damage to furnishings. Furthermore, be sure that you are allowing sufficient airflow by opening doors and windows, as well as checking the cooling pads for dry spots or clogs.

There’s an odor coming from the unit.
Odors can usually be attributed to stagnant water or moldy pads. Regularly drain and clean your swamp cooler’s reservoir and replace the cooling pads regularly.

The unit doesn’t start.
Check the fuse and breaker. If the fuse is broken or if the breaker is tripped, it’s time to consult a professional.

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