Whynter ARC-12SD Review

Whynter ARC-12SD

Whynter ARC-12SD 12000 BTU 

For a high-capacity portable air conditioner that’s loaded with power and features, and is currently selling for a steep discount, check out the Whynter ARC-12SD 12,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner. For more information and our thoughts on this model, please read on.

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Now that summer is quickly bearing down on most us, it’s wise to prepare at least one cool refuge for the heat that is soon to come. One great option that offers an efficient design with lots of power is  the Whynter ARC-12SD 12,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner, rated to cool spaces up to 400 square feet in size.

As far as efficiency, the ARC-12SD is built using the most efficient design – a dual hose setup. Dual hose systems use outside air to cool the compressor condenser and then expel that air back outside. This effectively separate cooling air loop ensures that no cooled home air is used to cool the unit. In contrast, single-hose systems, which are usually less expensive, must use cooled room air to blow over the condenser and then expel it outside. The problem with this is twofold:  (1) by using cooled air to cool the condenser, you are losing cool air that was in the room to begin with; and (2) because air is being sucked out of the room, warm air from outside is pulled between doors/window cracks to replace it, which has to be cooled off again. Of course, this is not to say that single hose systems are bad or ineffective; they’re just not quiet as efficient as a dual hose system (all other things being equal).

In addition, by our calculations, dividing this model’s 12,000 BTUs by it maximum rated power consumption of 1,100 watts means this unit earns a shockingly high 10.9 Energy Efficiency Ratio (“EER”). We view any EER score over 10.0 as very good, so a 10.9 means this is a phenomenally energy efficient air conditioner – the best we’ve seen yet.

Besides lots of BTUs and remarkably high efficiency, the ARC-12SD is simply loaded with high-end features; just some of these include an auto draining mechanism that eliminates manually draining of condensate; dehumidifying capacity of 96 pints/day; precise digital controls; full remote control; three fan speeds; a carbon and washable air filter; 24 hour timer; low operational noise (less than 56 dB); auto restart; premium window kit; and eco-friendly refrigerants.

User satisfaction ratings of the ARC-12SD are predominantly 4-5 stars. Users routinely comment on how powerfully this model cools; how easy it is to move and install; and how well they like the digital and remote controls. They also report that this unit is fairly compact and lightweight considering its BTU rating. The most common negative comments were that it’s vent hoses were ugly and that it tended to make more noise on the high fan setting. One user indicated that condensate did accumulate and was cumbersome to collect and drain.

Overall, we think the ARC-12SD is a 5-star option among 12,000 BTU portable air conditioners:  it cools very well; is extremely efficient; is unusually portable for a high-powered portable unit; and offers a superior dual hose design. Moreover, it’s currently selling for a significant discount – making it reasonably priced, especially for a dual hose system with this much power.

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