At first glance, the Black+Decker BPACT08WT might be an appealing choice if you're shopping on a budget. However, we'd caution against this unit, given its incredibly mediocre cooling abilities. There are much better portable AC units that don't cost much more. If you're on a tight budget and only need an appliance to cool a small room, this might be adequate; however, we'd suggest looking elsewhere.Editor's Note: This product review was updated on April 21, 2022, to share which other products we recommend.
Black+Decker BPACT08WT Review
Pros: Inexpensive, relatively light
Cons: Poor cooling capabilities
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|Pros||Inexpensive, relatively light||Great value, highly portable, performed well in our energy-efficiency test, solid cooling performance||Very quiet, decently portable, solid cooling performance||Energy efficient, easily portable||Easy to move, decent energy efficiency|
|Cons||Poor cooling capabilities||Runs on the louder side||Expensive, bulky window insert||Underwhelming cooling abilities||Poor cooling abilities, noisy|
|Bottom Line||An affordably priced model that is sufficient for smaller rooms, but has subpar cooling capabilities||You'll save cash and receive exceptional performance, though it does run a touch louder than others||If you live in a consistently hot climate, this is our favorite dual-hose portable AC||The lower cooling abilities do not quite make up for the energy-efficient capabilities||This is an expensive machine that is easy to move around but ultimately offers poor cooling abilities|
|Rating Categories||Black+Decker BPACT08WT||SereneLife SLPAC10||Whynter ARC-122DS E...||Airo Comfort||Midea 3-in-1|
|Cooling Power (40%)|
|Energy Cost (15%)|
|Specs||Black+Decker BPACT08WT||SereneLife SLPAC10||Whynter ARC-122DS E...||Airo Comfort||Midea 3-in-1|
|Timer||Set up on the remote only||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Modes||Cool, dry, fan||Cool, dry, fan||Cool, dry, fan||Cool, dry, fan||Heat, auto, cool, dry, fan|
|Number of Fan Speeds||4||3||3||3||4|
|Measured Weight||51.3 lbs||54.7 lbs||60.4 lbs||51.5 lbs||56.2 lbs|
|Window Kit Length (without modification)||Min: 20.5"
Max: 50 1/8"
|Measured kWh on High (Average)||0.8 kWh||0.91 kWh||1.06 kWh||0.71 kWh||0.85 kWh|
|Measured dBa on High at 4'||58.4 dBa||62 dBa||57 dBa||58 dBa||60.5 dBa|
|Room Rating||300 sq ft||350 sq ft||400 sq ft||350 sq ft||200 sq ft|
|Single or Dual hose||Single||Single||Dual||Single||Single|
|Projected Summer Cost||$113.62||$116.22||$131.61||$88.17||$122.60|
|Measured Temperature Drop After 60 Minutes||6.4°F||11ºF||10°F||6ºF||8ºF|
Our Analysis and Test Results
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. The Black+Decker did quite poorly, meriting a low score for its disappointing performance. This unit only caused a temperature drop of 6.4°F after 60 minutes, which is thoroughly unimpressive. It's rated for rooms up to 300 square feet, so we expected it to do a little better in a 161 square foot room, even if it was excessively warm inside at the start of the test.
The Black+Decker had an above-average showing in our portability tests. We based this score on how easy it is to carry the AC, roll it around, and set up the exhaust ducting. Combined, this trio of tests accounts for 20% of the final score. This unit isn't too difficult to carry, with handles that are decently comfortable to grab.
There is enough contouring to make them relatively ergonomic, though we wish they were a bit bigger. The Black+Decker is one of the lighter AC units we tested, weighing in at 51.3 pounds. 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 requires a screwdriver to complete, but it isn't overly difficult. You use pre-drilled holes 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.
We also evaluated how loud each air conditioner is while running by using an SPL meter and a panel of judges to rate the level and tone of the noise of each AC. The Black+Decker delivered another slightly better than average showing. These two tests account for 20% of the total score for each AC. This model registered a level of 58.4 dBa on the SPL meter. Our judges also did not identify any 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 in this metric, which represents 15% of the score. Based on our model, the Black+Decker would add approximately $113.62 to your power bill over this period, 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, two 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.
Should You Buy the Black+Decker BPACT08WT?
While this is an inexpensive model, you would get much more bang for your buck by saving up for a higher-performing model. The Black+Decker's cooling scores were lackluster, and its main redeeming quality is its low price. However, considering what you can get for just a little bit more money, the low cost hardly feels worth it.
What Other Portable Air Conditioners Should You Consider?
We think the SereneLife SLPAC10 gives you much more for your money, with a similar price tag and energy cost to the Black+Decker, but much better cooling power. If you live in an extremely hot climate, we'd recommend the Whynter models, the Whynter ARC-14SH or ARC-122DS Elite.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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