Product: NewAir AC-14000E 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
When the box for the NewAir air conditioner arrived a couple of weeks ago, Los Angeles was in the midst of experiencing a serious case of June Gloom extending well into July, so the idea of testing an air conditioner was far from my mind. But now the LA summer has arrived in full pit stain-inducing presence (about 92 degrees today), we've most willingly put the NewAir AC-14000E to duty to see if the portable unit is truly as commendable of a blowhard as advertised.
Upon unpacking the NewAir AC-14000E, we were surprised at how large the unit was in person. About the height of a 5-6 year old child and weighing over 70 lbs., the NewAir's physical presence is not to be ignored (also in other ways, listed below). Fortunately, the design of the device has an ANDROID-like appeal to it, with a sleek gray plastic exterior, topped with a darker gray control panel top and blue illuminated screen; besides the size, it blended well with our modern gray walls inside our living room.
Setup requires just a few charcoal filters be inserted, exhaust tube installed and unit plugged in. [An aside: when will portable air conditioner manufacturers design better exhaust hoses? These huge hoses are extremely unwieldy and require a bit of distance between the unit and the window.]
The window kit was too wide for horizontal installation and would require some window hardware modification for our 1930's inward swinging windows.
We did run into a problem unique to home owners and renters living in older structures, but a problem not specific to the NewAir unit; the standard extendable window kit is designed to work with modern windows, and was not compatible with our 1930's windows that swing inward. Nonetheless, we set it up to exhaust outward, keeping the window open. Just be sure to consider this before purchasing a portable unit, since they require venting, and cooling efficiency is hurt by leaving gaps or openings to the outdoors.
Now here's where the fun begins. Pressing the power button results in this surprise:
Those swinging louvers unleash a gust of Superman cooling proportions. Instantly cooler…no make that icy cold, the NewAir AC-14000E is an extremely powerful air conditioner whose capabilities are not misrepresented. Hold onto small children, pets and toupees before you turn this machine on. Rated at 14,000 BTUs, the unit can quickly bring the temperature down more than several degrees inside medium to large sized rooms up to 450 square feet (though we think it could handle larger spaces easily). For an apartment dweller, this large unit might be overkill. But then again, if and when you want a cooler interior, "instant" is always better than having to wait, and you won't wait very long before the sweat dries and you can put back on your clothing after turning this machine on. In the spirit of Spinal Tap, this baby definitely goes up to "11"!
Operational noise is another reason you'll never ignore the NewAir unit. It's loud. The 14000 BTU compressor is powerful, but the tradeoff is living with an industrial sound that sounds every bit like a large air conditioner inside your home. We'd recommend this as a daytime unit in the living room or home office rather than for the bedroom (or investing in some earplugs).
Other features include a basic remote control (it's a bit temperamental, requiring a very clear line of sight), 3 fan speed settings (no, not even the lowest setting is quiet during cooling operation), 1-24 hour timer, a Sleep Mode which allows for an hourly incremental increase or decrease in temperature, various swing settings to adjust louvre angle, dehumidification and ionization features, alongside a Heater Mode, which recycles ambient warm air for chillier months. But the real appeal of this unit is it chills a room powerfully and quickly, making it a viable option for computer server rooms or offices where keeping your gear cool is required. And of course, this portable unit comes equipped with caster wheels, making it easy to reposition, move to another room, or stow away when not in use.
At $529.00 with free delivery, the NewAir AC-14000E is a fair deal for anyone who can't or prefers not to install a window unit. Its excellent cooling performance outweighs its deficiencies in the noise department, especially if you've got enough space for a large sized unit to tuck it into a corner. The NewAir AC-14000E isn't going to win any design awards, but it does win Unplggd's designation as the coolest temperature device thus tested!
Pros: Powerful and instant cooling, CFC-free refrigerant, self-evaporative system, minimalist design
Cons: Big, very loud at all settings, not Energy Star rated, exhaust tube and window kit best for modern homes/apartments
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.