Finishing at the bottom of the group, the LG LP0817WSR delivered a thoroughly uninspiring showing and is far from our favorite portable air conditioner. This unit earned below-average marks in our cooling test, uses a moderate amount of energy, and creates a non-trivial amount of noise. Its main high points are that it is relatively inexpensive and it is one of the easier models to move between different rooms, but these hardly redeem its otherwise lackluster showing.
LG LP0817WSR Review
Pros: Not a huge pain to move, not terribly expensive
Cons: Lackluster cooling performance, moderate energy usage
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This product finished at the back of the group, right behind the BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT. It did a little better in our cooling test than the BLACK+DECKER, but uses a bit more energy and is a bit louder. These A/C units are both about the same amount of effort to move around and have comparable retail prices.
To determine our ranking and scoring of portable air conditioners, we looked at the most highly regarded models, then picked out the most promising. We then bought them all and tested them against each other to find our winner. Our testing process was split into four components, with our results and the LG LP0817WSR's results discussed below.
Responsible for 40% of the final score, the LG LP0817WSR got off to a disappointing start in this crucial metric, earning a 4 out of 10. To test out the cooling capabilities of each unit, we waited until the hottest time of the day in the summer and sunlight was streaming into our test room. On top of that, we heated up the room with a set of space heaters until it was as hot as we could get it. We gave time for the temperature to stabilize, then ran each portable air conditioner for an hour and measured the temperature drop.
The LG LP0817WSR dropped the temperature by 8.21°F — less than almost every other model.
This A/C unit is rated for 200 sq. ft. rooms — a bit more than the 161 sq. ft. of our test room.
Worth a quarter of the total score, we moved on to assessing how much work it took to both roll these appliances around and carry them. Additionally, we also graded the difficulty with installing and removing the exhaust duct and its window mounting insert. The LG LP0817WSR improved a bit, earning a 6 out of 10.
We felt that this portable AC is rather mediocre when it comes to rolling it around. It doesn't track particularly straight and is a bit harder to maneuver. It also had significantly more rolling resistance on smooth floors than most of the other models.
However, this A/C is one of the easiest of the group to carry. The handles afford a solid and comfortable grip and this unit isn't overly heavy, weighing in at 58.7 lbs.
The window insert has a decent range of adjustment and should fit window openings ranging from 18"-50".
It does require a screwdriver to drive the screws into pre-drilled holes, so you only have set adjustments in that range, but you could always drill your own if absolutely necessary to make the insert fit.
Next, we judged and measured both the level and tone of the sound output. These two tests are responsible for 20% of the total score and were scored by measuring the sound level with an SPL meter and having a panel of testers listen and rate how annoying the sound is. The LG LP0817WSR earned a 5 out of 10 for its middling performance.
This unit isn't the loudest, but also isn't particularly silent, measuring in at 60.3 dBa on our meter. You can compare this to the other portable air conditioners in the chart below.
This was held about 4' away and out of the direct path of the air output. However, this unit did ear a few points for our judges failing to identify any particularly annoying sounds and agreeing that the LG LP0817WSR does a decent job of fading into the background.
For our last rating metric, we awarded scores based on the projected energy cost of running the air conditioner for a 3-month period. The LG's projected cost came out in the middle, earning it a 5 out of 10.
For our cost projection, we went on the assumption that you would use the A/C unit 50% of the time each day of summer, or 12 hours a day. Additionally, we also figured that you would run the A/C on high right when you got home, then drop it to low when the temperature hit a comfortable level. We then measured the power draw of the LG LP0817WSR on both high and low, then calculated the cost of running it for 2 hours on high, 10 on low each day, for 90 days with an average national electricity rate.
Using the above assumptions, we came out to the LG LP0817WSR costing an additional $128.76, which put it about in the middle of the group.
Keep in mind, this is just a projection based on our usage assumptions and measured power draw — it could change significantly depending on the ambient weather, your usage, and local electricity rates, but our relative ranking should remain the same.
This product is inexpensive but scores quite poorly. There are slightly more expensive models that did significantly better, making them much better bargain options in terms of bang for the buck.
Overall, we are reticent to recommend this portable A/C. It didn't do an amazing job at cooling a room that was smaller than its rated size and didn't do well in the bulk of our tests. It is the easiest to carry, so if you need an A/C that you are going to move up and down a flight of stairs all the time AND are only planning on cooling small rooms AND the temperature never really rises into the triple-digit range, it might be an alright pick. However, this is a pretty limited audience, so most people are probably best served by steering clear of this portable air conditioner.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer