Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
Responsible for 40% of the overall score for each appliance, our cooling test scores are based on how effectively each portable AC could cool down a warm room in one hour. We heated up our testing room with space heaters until it was as hot as we could possibly get it at the hottest time of day in the middle of summer, then turned the heaters off and gave the room some time to stabilize the temperature.
We then turned on the Frigidaire and let it run for 60 minutes. This portable A/C dropped the temperature by almost 10°F, which put it in the middle to lower portion of the group. Our test room was approximately 161 square feet, with the 550 square feet rated Frigidaire achieving most of the temperature drop right away, lowering the temperature by 7.1°F in about 20 minutes.
For our portability metric, we graded and judged how easy it is to move the exhaust ducting and window insert to another window and the difficulty in carrying or rolling the A/C unit around. The Frigidaire is one of the easier air conditioners to roll around or set up the window insert, but it is not a pleasure to move, which is worth 25% of the overall score. This appliance offers very little rolling resistance once it's in motion, but you can definitely tell that it is one of the heftier units when getting it going. This also makes it much easier to pull than push, but overall it isn't that bad to move around on flat and level ground. However, we absolutely hated carrying this unit up or down a flight of stairs. It weighs in at a whopping 77.9 pounds, making it one of the heaviest units we have seen.
Additionally, the handles are really small and have a handful of sharp edges underneath that bite into your hands when lifting. We usually ended up recruiting help or wearing gloves when lifting and would strongly recommend against this unit if you are planning on moving your A/C up or downstairs on a regular basis. This air conditioner does have one of the easiest to install window inserts, redeeming itself slightly from its abysmal carrying score. This unit uses a handy lever to lock the window insert in place, allowing for a tool-free installation that only takes a matter of seconds. This insert also has a decent amount of adjustability, ranging from 22.1" to 44.1".
Next, we ranked how loud and how annoying the sound produced out of each of these portable A/Cs is. This metric accounts for 20% of the overall score for each product and is based on both the sound level we measured with our meter and the opinion of a handful of judges that ranked the noise level of each AC side-by-side. We measured a sound output of 56.9 dBa on this unit, with the meter about four feet away and the fan running on high, which makes this one of the quietest units of the group. This was one of the least obtrusive machines to run in terms of noise and noted that the fan is surprisingly quiet — even quieter than the compressor, which is the opposite of almost every other air conditioner we tested.
For the residual 15% of the overall score, we awarded points based on the projected energy cost to run each of these units for three months. This A/C is a bit of an energy hog; based on our usage and energy cost assumptions, we project that the Frigidaire would add an additional $155.28 to your power bill over this 90-day period, which is on the higher side compared to the rest of the group. For our calculations, we assumed that you run the A/C for 12 hours a day, every day of summer — two hours on high, 10 on low. This would allow you to rapidly cool the house when you come home, then maintain it at a comfortable temperature. We then used a national average of electricity costs in the summer — 13.5 cents per kilowatt-hour — to calculate the added cost.
The Frigidaire isn't the highest performer when it comes to cooling, but is quiet. However, it's expensive to buy and run, making it a lesser value.
The overall lackluster results and relatively middling performance make it hard to recommend this product. It looks a little sleeker than the rest, but its high upfront cost, inefficient electricity use, uninspiring cooling results, coupled with the intense difficulty associated with carrying this model, made it far from our favorite portable A/C.
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