The Smartphone Enabled Friedrich Kühl Window Air Conditioner

The Smartphone Enabled Friedrich Kühl Window Air Conditioner

Gregory Han
Jun 1, 2012
"We wanted to get people excited about window air conditioners..."

In other countries, especially in Asia and Europe, window air conditioners come in a variety of sizes and designs. But here in the US, AC units all pretty much look the same, a category of appliance for mid-to-low income renters in population dense city dweller (aka me!). It's good to see a different approach to window units, with a sleeker front and smartphone/tablet control operation...

Kühl by Friedrich is a Smart Grid capable window AC which offers some distinguishing features: first and foremost, the FriedrichLink is a mobile/device app that lets users take control of the unit via smartphone, tablet or computer. It means one less remote control to find when all you want is to turn the AC onto full blast on a hot summer day or turn it off once the sun goes down and you can get by using a fan. Users can use the FriedrichLink to "create schedules, make adjustments, set utility functions and even group multiple units for more centralized control."

As a renter who relies upon window units during summer months, other than capable cooling capability, two other features weight heavy on purchasing new units: operational costs per month and how quiet while on. The Kühl is offered as an Energy Star unit with non-ozone-depleting R-410A refrigerant. It's also constructed using sound absorbing materials to cut down on excess noise and vibration (though some of the reviews on the Friedrich site dispute what "quiet" means, so it's best not to expect miracles), the bane of anyone trying to sleep with a window unit on. Additionally, an optional carbon filter can be added to the dial-stage filtration system if pollution/allergy sensitivity are concerns.

Finally, unlike typical window units, the Kühl can be customized using one of six colored front covers (extra): Deep Red, Cobalt Blue, Pink Diamond, Classic Beige, Black Onyx and Designer White, making it a little less painful to have a large box of metal intruding into the rest of your home decor. Expect to pay between $540-$1600 online (ouch!). I think I'll have to stick with my dependable Sears/LG unit and think of better ways to disguise it...

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