Portable Air Conditioner TD8K - product review

 
Make no mistake about it, portable air conditioners are no substitute for central air conditioning, but like conventional window air conditioners, they are good for spot cooling and they dehumidify the air. In addition, they offer some interesting advantages. We tried out one recently in the toughest of conditions; A 90 degree plus week in Boston with the humidity level off the charts. The air conditioner was used in a 350 sq ft bedroom with 8-foot ceilings. It was used in a room which was "centrally air conditioned" but where the temperature was initially 81 degrees and humidity 51%.


Pluses

    Compared to the annual "get down on ones knees and beg one's husband" to install the heavy window air conditioner, we installed the window duct kit with lightening speed, simplicity and convenience. What's more, the usual desecration of the window with endless duct tape, screws and holes just magically disappeared. If for nothing else, in order to avoid our usual annual air conditioning hassles, this unit was worth it.
    We estimated that the cooling ability of this machine was no worse or better than most window air conditioners. It seemed to pull the humidity down in the room about 5-7% and the temperature 3 to 5%. The overall effect was certainly a distinct improvement in comfort level.
    This air conditioner is on castors so it can be stored quite neatly in a closet and wheeled out when needed. What a relief!
    We were amazed at how much water this air conditioner pulled out of the air- about one gallon every 6 hours - which made a huge difference to the comfort level in the room. The plastic container for the water had a convenient handle and was easy to empty.
    The unit was no louder than a regular air conditioner, which is to say, not quiet but at a sound level to be expected. My husband hates noise, so he complained as per usual while I thought it was fine, noise wise.
    Putting the fan onto oscillating mode was one of the best features of this machine. We could pull the unit out away from the wall and receive a nice icy cold blast when desired.
    The connecting venting hose for the duct kit was expandable and contractible, which added to its neatness.

Minuses

    The machine switches itself off when the jug is full of water. It lasted 6 hours and we wished it had lasted for 8 hours.
    Read the manual carefully and be sure to put it on "cool mode". We skipped the manual and then wondered why the air blowing out did not seem cool enough.
    Be careful when reinserting the jug to catch the dehumidified water extracted from the air. The arrow is scarcely visible and for about 3 hours we dehumidified water all over the floor. Our fault for being careless, but it was a mess.
    We did test this machine out in the most adverse of conditions but I personally was a bit disappointed that the temperature could not be brought down further. You need to understand that this is all a matter of personal comfort. My husband said the unit was making him too chilly, while I felt it was still too warm. We both agreed that the decrease in humidity was even more important than temperature.

Summary
After diligently critiquing this air conditioner all week, we initially looked at each other and decided this one was a keeper. We were now spoiled. There was no way we wanted to lug that heavy window air conditioner out of the closet and butcher the window again. The window air conditioner could just languish in the closet for another year! We did end up thinking that for convenience, we might want to try using a hose to drip the water out the window but never got that far.
However, urged by our office to do comparative testing, we reluctantly removed the portable AC unit and put in our conventional window air conditioning unit with the same BTUs. The window unit was much more effective under comparable conditions. It dehumidified much faster and achieved the required "freezing room" feel to our bedroom in less than two hours. I was able to sleep with some covers over me for the first time in two weeks. But we went through the usual hassles of imploring for a little male muscle, lugging it out of the closet, and damaging the window frame. Make your own choice.

The TD 8K Portable Air Conditioner is available at AllergyBuyersClub.com's online store.