hOmeLabs 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Review
Whether you live up North and you’re experiencing an unusual heat wave or you reside down South where summers are always wickedly hot, life is miserable without an air conditioner. If you also happen to reside in an area where the outdoor humidity takes the temperature from hot to sweltering, a simple window unit won’t do. You need an AC/dehumidifier combo.
This portable air conditioner by hOmeLabs cools and dehumidifies large rooms like a champ. It features an oscillating cool-air outlet, multiple operating modes and a timer, all of which are accessible via the remote or touch panel. The reusable filter saves you money, and the caster wheels make the portable AC easy to move.
Installation is a breeze, and it doesn’t take much time to get the air conditioner operational. Here’s the rundown on the efficient, high-BTU hOmeLabs portable AC.
Cool-Air Coverage Area
Open-concept living spaces are popular and work well for big families, but they pose a problem when it comes to zone cooling. However, this hOmeLabs’ portable air conditioner can cool spaces as large as 700 square feet thanks to its 14,000-BTUs capacity.
Coverage is even and consistent – You won’t feel pockets of hot air. The AC unit is equipped with a wide-set air-distribution panel. The panel swings up and down, oscillating cool air to every corner of the room. While you’re unable to manually adjust the louver, you can stop the panel in mid-swing to achieve your desired airflow direction.
hOmeLabs chose a single-hose setup for the heat exhaust system. Hot air flows through the lower and upper air intakes in the rear. After the unit lowers the temperature of the air, the now-cool air is released into the room while the remaining hot air is sent out of the house through an 8-inch-wide outlet. In comparison to dual-hose ACs, the hOmeLabs 14,000-BTU unit is more energy-efficient.
Dehumidification Coverage Area
If you thought 700 square feet was a large coverage area, you’ll be blown away by the AC unit’s dehumidification coverage of 5,500 square feet. In spaces this large, the air conditioner is capable of squeezing 100 pints of moisture from the air each day, which prevents the growth of mildew and boosts the cooling efficiency of the AC.
There is no reservoir to hold the moisture collected by the portable air conditioner, Instead, you must attach a drainage hose to the port in the rear and feed the hose out the window or into the bucket. The upside to the AC’s tankless design is that you don’t have a hefty reservoir with which to contend.
hOmeLabs put an integrated collection tray into the unit to act as an overflow backup. If the tray becomes full, the AC unit will stop dehumidifying until you drain the tray via its dedicated outlet.
You have several cooling-mode options. You can set the AC to cool mode and adjust the temperature anywhere from 62 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, you can put the unit on auto mode and let the air conditioner select the best temperature. If all you want is a nice breeze, activate the dual-speed fan. There is also a sleep/eco mode, which gradually lowers the temperature to save energy while still keeping you comfortable.
The smooth touch-control panel provides access to all of the portable air conditioner’s functions. You can toggle the oscillating door, choose from two fan speeds and adjust the humidity from 35% to 85% RH. An LED display shows the cooling temperature you’ve selected and the current room temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius. You can also start sleep mode or set a 24-hour timer.
Functionality isn’t limited on the remote control. Every cooling and dehumidifying mode on the control panel is also on the remote. Thanks to the inclusion of a large digital display screen, you can even use the remote to adjust the humidity and the temperature. Plus, the buttons are labeled and raised, eliminating the need to squint and struggle just to change a setting.
The solid white portable air conditioner weighs 70 pounds, but it doesn’t feel that heavy when you move it. Four caster wheels allow you to roll, as opposed to lift, the unit, so you can move it without assistance. On either side of the 18 by 15 by 31-inch AC, there are two integrated handles to help you steer as you push.
No need to set aside an entire day to install the portable AC. Installation only takes 10 minutes, and you don’t have to buy additional parts. hOmeLabs includes adapters, adhesive foam, brackets and sliders for windows measuring 26.5 to 48 inches wide. You also get an exhaust hose and a drainage hose. The power cord is 6-feet-long, and the excess can be tucked into a recessed compartment to prevent a tripping hazard.
Maintenance consists of three tasks. Wipe down the housing when necessary, wash the screened filter and clean the filter grille. Every 250 hours of AC use, the unit’s filter-clean indicator will illuminate. When it does, pop off the grille cover and remove the filter. After you clean the filter and grille, reattach both and press the sleep button for 3 seconds to turn off the indicator light.
The Large-Space Cooling Solution
Finally, a reasonably priced portable AC for large spaces that’s actually efficient! We appreciate the large coverage area of the integrated dehumidifier, and we also like that you get to adjust the temperature and choose from among four operating modes, including auto and eco. The remote is fully functional, so you’ll never need to get up to change a setting (unless you misplace the remote, of course).
If you live alone, you won’t need to rely on a friend or neighbor to help you move or install the air conditioner. There’s no need to go out and buy parts to assemble the unit, and you’ll save money on filter replacements. For some, the lack of a reservoir is a downside. To us, that’s one less maintenance task.
Our only real complaint is that you can’t adjust the louver by hand. However, if you time it right, you can turn off the oscillating motion when it opens to the position you want. With the hOmeLabs 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner, you can stay cool in your den, basement or living/kitchen/dining combo without going broke.