Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 Review
Cons: Expensive, costly to run
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 finished right behind the Whynter ARC-14SH and ahead of the LG LP1215GXR. While the LG got the lowest overall score of these three products, it did do the best in our cooling tests, making it a great choice for those that want maximum cooling capabilities. Unfortunately, it is a pain to move, noisy, and uses a ton of electricity. The Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 didn't score as well as either of these models when it came to cooling, but does use the least amount of energy and is the easiest to move around. Additionally, it is also very quiet — though not quite as silent as the ARC-14SH.
For our review process, we looked at dozens of different portable air conditioners, then picked the most promising candidates and bought them to test side-by-side and see which one is really the best A/C out there. We split our testing methodology into four weighted rating metrics, with the Frigidaire FGPC1244T1's performance outlined below.
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. The Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 didn't do amazingly well, meriting a 5 out of 10 for its middle-of-the-road efforts.
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 FGPC1244T1 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 sq. ft., with the 550 sq. ft. rated Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 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, as well as the difficulty in carrying or rolling the A/C unit around. The Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 is one of the easier air conditioners to roll around or set up the window insert, but is absolutely horrendous to move, which averages out to it earning a 6 out of 10 overall for this metric, 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 when we had to carry this unit up or down a flight of stairs. It weighs in at a whopping 77.9 lbs., 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 down stairs 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/C's 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 4' away and the fan running on high, which makes this one of the quietest units of the group.
Our testers also felt that this is 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, earning it a 3 out of 10.
Based on our usage and energy cost assumptions, we project that the Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 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 — 2 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. Your number might change depending on your utility rate and usage pattern, but you should always expect the Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 to add a non-trivial amount to your power bill.
This A/C is expensive to buy and run, making it a poor 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 costs to run and buy and uninspiring cooling results, coupled with the intense difficulty associated with carrying this model made it far from our favorite portable A/C.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer