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|Bottom Line||Performs well across the board and at an exceptional price, though it can run a bit loud||If you have to deal with triple-digit temperatures on a regular basis, this is an excellent option||This unit is incredibly energy efficient but only offers marginal cooling abilities||While this model has decent energy efficiency and is easy to move, it is noisy and has mediocre cooling abilities||It is hard to recommend a product that doesn't do all that well at cooling a room|
|Rating Categories||SereneLife SLPAC10||Whynter ARC-122DS E...||Airo Comfort||Midea 3-in-1||Black+Decker BPACT08WT|
|Cooling Power (40%)|
|Energy Cost (15%)|
|Specs||SereneLife SLPAC10||Whynter ARC-122DS E...||Airo Comfort||Midea 3-in-1||Black+Decker BPACT08WT|
|Timer||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Set up on the remote only|
|Modes||Cool, dry, fan||Cool, dry, fan||Cool, dry, fan||Heat, auto, cool, dry, fan||Cool, dry, fan|
|Number of Fan Speeds||3||3||3||4||4|
|Measured Weight||54.7 lbs||60.4 lbs||51.5 lbs||56.2 lbs||51.3 lbs|
|Window Kit Length (without modification)||Min: 37"
Max: 50 1/8"
|Measured kWh on High (Average)||0.91 kWh||1.06 kWh||0.71 kWh||0.85 kWh||0.8 kWh|
|Measured dBa on High at 4'||62 dBa||57 dBa||58 dBa||60.5 dBa||58.4 dBa|
|Room Rating||350 sq ft||400 sq ft||350 sq ft||200 sq ft||300 sq ft|
|Single or Dual hose||Single||Dual||Single||Single||Single|
|Projected Summer Cost||$116.22||$131.61||$88.17||$122.60||$113.62|
|Measured Temperature Drop After 60 Minutes||11ºF||10°F||6ºF||8ºF||6.4°F|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Our most important set of assessments focused on the relative cooling power of each product. For this test, we used a 161-square-foot room for our side-by-side tests and based scores on the temperature drop each unit could achieve after an hour. We heated the room to 80 degrees Fahrenheit before the test using a space heater and only tested these AC units when the outside temperature was between 80 and 85 degrees.
This AC is rated for rooms up to 350+ square feet and is a 10,000 BTU model. It managed to achieve a temperature drop of 11°F over the course of an hour, with 8.8 of that drop achieved in the first 20 minutes.
However, this unit's performance plateaued at 71°F, and it didn't cool the room any further in our test. Therefore, you'll want to take into account the room you intend to cool and if this temperature range is suitable for your needs.
Our next round of evaluations focused on how easy it is to move around each of these air conditioning units, as they are all allegedly portable. We based scores on how easy it is to roll around, how hard it is to carry, and how difficult it is to move the window insert between rooms. The SereneLife did quite well, earning one of the best showings of the whole group.
This air conditioning unit rolls around fairly effortlessly, smoothly traversing our test room without issues. We also liked that it isn't overly challenging to carry around — at least, compared to the heaviest units we have tested. This appliance still weighs in at over 50 pounds, so it isn't going to be fun to carry up a flight of stairs by any means.
The handles feel fairly ergonomic, but they are on the shallow side and lack any grippy material, so your fingertips may start to get tired after a bit or slip if your hands are sweaty.
The SereneLife's window insert is one of our favorites, and it's a breeze to transfer between windows. It has a lever opposite where you insert the hose that locks it into position, allowing for a tool-free installation and removal.
It can adjust in size from 37" to just over 50," but we wish it came with some foam tape to help seal any gaps.
Our last series of tests looked at how loud each air conditioner is. Unfortunately, the SereneLife was not the highest performer in this metric.
We moved around our sound level meter to find the loudest spot in the machine when at its different operating modes and measuring at a distance of four feet away.
This AC is on the louder side — enough that it might be hard to carry on a conversation with someone in a normal voice if you were standing right next to it.
Our final series of tests looked at the amount of energy each air conditioner consumed. We used a power meter to measure the average consumption for 30 minutes for each unit on both low and high power operating modes, then came up with a projected cost after operating them for 90 days. We assumed that you ran each unit on high power for two hours to start the room cooling off, then kept it on low for another 10 hours to maintain the temperature. Costs were calculated using an average price per kilowatt-hour of $0.1315.
Our projected cost would be a little more than $116 at the end of the 90 days based on our assumed usage profile and average electricity cost.
Should You Buy the SereneLife SLPAC10?
This is a great value for a portable air conditioner. It holds its own with models that cost quite a bit more, and it's not too power-hungry when it comes to energy consumption. It's also one of the more portable options. As a bonus, the SereneLife can operate in a fan-only or dehumidifier mode. If your area isn't prone to routinely hitting triple-digit temps, this model will likely serve you well.
What Other Portable Air Conditioners Should You Consider?
If you're in the hottest of climates, you may need to consider a more powerful unit like the Whynter ARC-14SH. The Whynter performed the best in our cooling tests — although you'll end up paying the cost for that extra cooling power.