If you are shopping on a tight budget for a new A/C, then the BLACK+DECKER might seem like a good choice. However, its mediocre cooling capabilities make it quite hard to recommend as a good pick. There are much better A/C's that don't cost that much more, though this might be a passable solution for cooling a small room in more temperate climates if you absolutely can't spend over $300 and also need a unit that doesn't use a ton of energy. It lists for slightly more than that, but can usually be found for less at common retailers.
BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Review
Pros: Inexpensive, relatively light
Cons: Subpar cooling capabilities
Compare to Similar Products
$329.99 at Amazon
|$350 List||$455 List|
$459 at Amazon
|$485 List||$460 List|
|Pros||Inexpensive, relatively light||Incredibly efficient, great value, decently moveable||Very quiet, decently portable, solid cooling power||Very quiet, decent cooling power||Exceptional cooling power, decently portable|
|Cons||Subpar cooling capabilities||Loud||Expensive, bulky window insert||High energy consumption, expensive||Loud, high energy consumption|
|Bottom Line||While this air conditioner is inexpensive, it was quite a disappointment in our cooling tests||If you are shopping on a budget, the ARC-08WB give you the most cooling power dollar for dollar||If you live in the hottest climates, this is our favorite dual-hose portable AC and is a great choice||The ARC-14SH by Whynter is a solid performer but is bit pricey both to run and buy||If you want top-notch cooling power and live in more moderate climates, then this is the A/C for you|
|Rating Categories||BLACK+DECKER...||Whynter ARC-08WB||Whynter ARC-122DS...||Whynter ARC-14SH||LG LP1215GXR|
|Cooling Power (40%)|
|Energy Cost (15%)|
|Specs||BLACK+DECKER...||Whynter ARC-08WB||Whynter ARC-122DS...||Whynter ARC-14SH||LG LP1215GXR|
|Timer||Set up on the remote only||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Number of Fan Speeds||4||3||3||3||3|
|Cord Wrap||Yes||A small plastic loop||No||No||Yes|
|Measured Weight||51.3 lbs||48.3 lbs||60.4 lbs||77.2 lbs||64.5 lbs|
|Window Kit Length (without modification)||Min: 20.5"
|Measured kWh on High (Average)||0.8 kWh||0.56 kWh||1.06 kWh||1.12 kWh||1.22 kWh|
|Measured dBa on High at 4'||58.4 dBa||60.3 dBa||57 dBa||56.5 dBa||60.3 dBa|
|Room Rating||300 sq ft||250 sq ft||400 sq ft||500 sq ft||400 sq ft|
|Single or Dual hose||Single||Single||Dual||Dual||Single|
|Projected Summer Cost||$113.62||$81.90||$131.61||$159.06||$163.80|
|Measured Temperature Drop After 60 Minutes||6.4°F||10°F||10°F||11.99°F||13.81°F|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This appliance finished close to the back of the group, only outperforming the LG LP0817WSR. The LG does do a better job at cooling — the BLACK+DECKER pretty much did the worst of the group in our tests — but it uses more energy and is a bit louder.
For our portable air conditioner testing procedure, we picked out all the A/Cs that had the most potential — after exhaustively researching the market — and purchased them to test head-to-head. Our testing process was split into four components, with the BLACK+DECKER's results in each of them outlined below.
Responsible for 40% of the total score, our cooling capabilities assessment was the most important out of them all. We superheated a room with space heaters in the middle of summer at the warmest time of the day, then ran each air conditioner for an hour and measured the temperature drop to award scores. The BLACK+DECKER did quite poorly, meriting a 3 out of 10 for its disappointing performance.
This unit only caused a temperature drop of 6.4°F after 60 minutes — thoroughly unimpressive as shown below.
The BLACK+DECKER is rated for rooms up to 300 sq. ft., so we would have expected it to do a little better in a 161 sq. ft. room, even if it was excessively warm inside at the start of the test.
The BLACK+DECKER did a bit better in our portability tests, earning a 6 out of 10 for its above-average showing. We based this score on how easy it is to carry the A/C, roll it around, and set up the exhaust ducting. Combined, this trio of tests account for 20% of the final score.
This unit isn't too bad to carry, with handles that are decently comfortable to grab. There is enough contouring to make them relatively ergonomic, though we wish they were just a tiny bit bigger. The BLACK+DECKER is one of the lighter products, weighing in at 51.3 lbs.
This also makes it very easy to roll around, offering only the slightest amount of resistance to rolling. It also maneuvers very easily, tracking straight while pushing, without any pull to one side or the other.
The exhaust duct installation does require a screwdriver to complete, but it isn't overly difficult. There are pre-drilled holes that you use to screw the pieces together, so you don't have total adjustability in its 20.5" to 59" range, but you can always drill your own if you need to make it fit better in your window.
Moving on to evaluating how loud each air conditioner is while running, we used an SPL meter and a panel of judges to rate the level and tone of the noise of each A/C for this metric. The BLACK+DECKER delivered another slightly better than average showing, earning it a 6 out of 10. These two tests account for 20% of the total score for each A/C.
This model of portable air conditioner registered a level of 58.4 dBa on the SPL meter, which you can compare with the rest of the products below.
Our judges also did not identify any particularly annoying tones that would be especially irritating.
For our final test, we projected the additional cost incurred on your power bill to run the BLACK+DECKER for an entire summer, then scored based on the results. This product actually did quite well, meriting a 7 out of 10 in this test, which accounts for the last 15% of the total score.
The BLACK+DECKER would add approximately $113.62 to your power bill over this period, based on our model, which compares quite favorably to the rest of the group.
We went under the assumption that you would use the A/C for 12 hours a day, 2 on high and 10 on low to come to this number, using the power draw for each of those modes that we measured. We also used a national average for the cost of a kilowatt-hour, so the additional cost for you can vary depending on your utility rate and your usage, but this number should at least give you a ballpark estimate of the cost of running these.
While this is an inexpensive model, you would get much more bang for your buck by saving up a bit for a far better model.
If you are on the tightest of tight budgets and live in more temperate climates, then this might be a somewhat passable option. Otherwise, we would strongly recommend a different model.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer