Rising temperatures mean more people will be turning to their trusty air conditioners in order to beat the heat. Generally speaking, air conditioners fall into four different categories: window air conditioners, through-the-wall air conditioners, central air conditioners, and lastly, portable air conditioners. Window air conditioners are installed into the window of a room and designed to cool that particular room. Through-the-wall air conditioners are mounted into a wall and provide a cooling effect by exchanging inside air with outside air, while central air conditioners cool entire homes and buildings. Portable air conditioners, on the other hand, do not require permanent installation such as reconfiguring a window or breaking into a wall and can be moved from one room to the next.
Because of their easy maneuverability, relatively small size, and portability, portable ACs are ideal for a variety of settings, including apartments, rooms, workplaces, computer server rooms, or anywhere else where installing a traditional AC may not be feasible. Although easy to maintain, portable air conditioners will need to be vented out a window, but this is easily accomplished by positioning a flexible hose out through the window opening. Nonetheless, portable air conditioners are still great for supplemental or spot cooling, and many of today's models such as also come with built-in heaters and/or air purifiers. Moreover, because portable room air conditioners utilize a refrigeration cycle to lower temperatures, humidity levels are reduced, therefore making them especially useful for humid climates.
However, when it comes to choosing a portable air conditioner, there seems to be a lack of reviews for such units. Thankfully, for the past few weeks, our product review team has been hard at work testing the most popular portable ACs on the market. For this week, NewAir sent us the sleek and stylish AC-1600E portable air conditioner, and we were especially impressed with its design and cooling ability. We tested the NewAir AC-1600E portable AC in our product editor’s 150 square foot office on a warm afternoon. Here were our findings:Style and Convenient Features
Upon receiving the NewAir AC-1600E and after taking it out of its carton, we saw that the unit sported a sleek silver finish – something hadn’t seen with many other portable ACs we’ve tested. Although it weighed roughly 85 pounds or so, there were built-in, easy to roll casters that allowed us to move the unit from one office to the next with ease. The control panel provided bright contrast and clear visibility, while the included remote allowed us to conveniently control the unit from across the room. The included window kit and large diameter exhaust hose was also easy to install, and within just minutes, we were able to get the NewAir AC-1600E portable air conditioner up and running.Cooling Power
When choosing a portable AC, one of the most common mistakes consumers make is incorrectly sizing their unit. Portable air conditioners are sized according to BTUs, which stands from British Thermal Units. A BTU is a unit of energy that is commonly used in the power, steam generation, and heating and air conditioning industries. A portable air conditioner’s BTU rating describes its power and cooling capacity. Naturally, the higher the BTUs, the stronger the portable AC. However, the one problem we’ve come across is incorrect and insufficient BTU ratings. Some portable air conditioner manufacturers have overstated the cooling capacity of their products, but prior to receiving the AC-1600E, we spoke to NewAir directly and they reassured us that this portable AC featured a verifiable 16,000 BTUs of power with a cooling capacity of up to 500 square feet in optimal conditions. We found this to be true and even at the lowest setting, the NewAir AC-1600E provided more than enough cooling for our needs.Dehumidification Abilities
The NewAir AC-1600E utilized auto-evaporative technology and this dramatically decreased the amount of moisture that was accumulated. Also, this portable air conditioner worked as a dehumidifier with a capacity of 80 pints of moisture per day. Although our environment wasn’t very humid, we noted that this would be a great feature for those living in humid climates.Improves Air Quality
Poor indoor air quality is a problem that can plague most homes, regardless of how immaculate. Furthermore, when using an air conditioner, air is constantly being recirculated, so if you have an air quality issue, turning on the AC won’t help. Thankfully, NewAir has addressed this with the AC-1600E portable air conditioner. This portable air conditioner utilized a three-step filtration system that included a 3M filtrate filter, washable air filter, and an activated carbon filter. All of these filters work together to provide you with cleaner air, which is especially helpful if you have pets in your home.
Overall, we really liked the fact that the NewAir AC-1600E was compact, stylish, and feature-rich. Furthermore, this portable air conditioner offered far more BTUs than many other portable air conditioners in its price range.