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Whynter ARC-1230WN Review

This excellent portable air conditioner is second to none in cooling power and convenient features to keep your space crispy cool throughout the summer
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Whynter ARC-1230WN Review
Credit: Brian Walker
Price:  $633 List
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Manufacturer:   Whynter
By Austin Palmer and Adam Stout  ⋅  Nov 10, 2023
81
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 9
  • Cooling - 35% 8.8
  • Energy Consumption - 15% 6.1
  • Noise - 20% 8.0
  • Portability / Install - 25% 8.2
  • Convenience - 5% 8.9

Our Verdict

Not only did the powerful 14,000 BTU Whynter ARC-1230WN outcool all other portable air conditioners we tested by a mile, but it also outshone much of the competition with a superior feature set, excellent portability, and quiet operation. While it's on the pricier side of the spectrum, this is the one to get if you need the most cooling power possible in a portable AC.
REASONS TO BUY
Dual hose design
Superior cooling capability
Inverter technology
Good mobile app
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Hard-to-read display
Requires larger installation window

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Price $633 List
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Bottom Line This powerful portable air conditioner has more cooling capability and innovative features than any other to help you beat the summer heatThis is a super quiet, feature-dense, portable AC with a great mobile app and convenient onboard accessory storageThis portable AC is easy to install and even easier on the budgetThis portable AC is a breeze to set up and take down and demonstrates excellent energy efficiency, but it's loud and underperforms in coolingThis portable air conditioner is easy to cart or carry around and set up; just don't expect tons of cooling power
Rating Categories Whynter ARC-1230WN LG LP1022FVSM SereneLife SLPAC10 Midea MAP08R1CWT SereneLife SLPAC8
Cooling (35%)
8.8
6.8
6.2
5.8
5.6
Energy Consumption (15%)
6.1
6.7
6.3
7.2
7.4
Noise (20%)
8.0
9.0
5.5
4.5
4.0
Portability / Install (25%)
8.2
7.5
8.8
8.6
8.5
Convenience (5%)
8.9
8.4
6.0
5.0
5.5
Specs Whynter ARC-1230WN LG LP1022FVSM SereneLife SLPAC10 Midea MAP08R1CWT SereneLife SLPAC8
Manufacturer Recommended Cooling Area Up to 600 sq ft Up to 450 sq ft Up to 450 sq ft Up to 350 sq ft Up to 350 sq ft
Single or Dual Hose Dual Single Single Single Single
Wi-Fi / App Enabled Yes Yes No No No
Modes (fan speeds) - Cold (1-3 + Auto)
  • Fan (1-3 + Auto)
  • Dry (Auto)
  • Auto (Auto)
- Cold (1-3)
  • Fan (1-3)
  • Dry (1)
- Cold (1-3)
  • Fan (1-3)
  • Dry (1)
- Cold (Auto)
  • Fan (Auto)
  • Dry (Low)

  • Cannot change fan speed on the A/C unit
- Cool (Low, High)
  • Fan (Low, High)
  • Dry (Low)
Energy Star Certified No No No No No
BTU 14000 BTU (ASHRAE)
12000 BTU (DOE)
14000 BTU (ASHRAE)
10000 BTU (DOE)
10000 BTU (ASHRAE)
6000 BTU (DOE)
8000 BTU (ASHRAE)
5300 BTU (DOE)
8000 BTU (ASHRAE)
4000 BTU (DOE)
24-Hour On/Off Timer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Control Type Button Button Button Button Button
Remote Control Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Washable Dust Filter Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manufacturer Window Width Minimum 26.7" 23" 26.7" 19.4" 26.7" *
Manufacturer Window Width Maximum 49" 60" 50.1" * 62.2" 50.1" *
Measured Window Kit Width 9.8" 6.5" 4" 6.5" 4"
Refrigerant Type R32 R32 R410a R32 R410a
Child Lock Yes, for the remote only No No No No
Manufacturer Dehumidify/Moisture removal 87 pt/day 6.7 pt/hr 3.1 pt/hr Not Specified 2.5 pt/hr
Measured Weight 75 lbs 1 oz 69 lbs 52 lbs 4 oz 50 lbs 14 oz 44 lbs 3 oz
CEER 12.3 7.9 6.6 6.5 5.7
Estimated Summer Cost $216.15 $191.74 $167.34 $132.48 $125.50
Average dBa Reading on High 58.4 56 61 60.2 63.7
Difference of averaged temps 11.9 7.6 6.3 5.4 4.9

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Whynter ARC-1230WN is an excellent all-around portable air conditioner that scored at or near the top of almost every metric we tested in our review. It far out-paced the rest of the field with its cooling capabilities, and it impressed us with extra features like its clever dual hose-inside-a-hose design, feature-rich mobile app, and advanced inverter technology to improve compressor efficiency.

Performance Comparison


The Whynter ARC-1230WN impressed us with its unparalleled cooling capability and this auto-swing vent louver.
Credit: Brian Walker

Cooling


The primary job of a portable air conditioner is to be wheeled in to chill out a space whenever and wherever it is called upon, and that's why the cooling metric makes up the highest percentage of the overall score for the review at 35%. The 14,000 BTU Whynter ARC-1230WN far exceeded all other units we tested in this metric.

When gearing up for cooling tests for portable ACs, we did our best to maintain consistent summertime heat inside and outside of the space that was being cooled. We partitioned off a portion of our warehouse to serve as the “outside” section of the test environment, blocking all the air vents and relying on space heaters to increase the air temps to searing summertime levels. The “inside” section of the test environment was in an adjoining 14' x 10' room with a 12' ceiling (1680 cu ft.), where we dispersed four temperature-sensing data loggers to collect temperature data that we could average for reliable overall room temps at the beginning and end of the test. Next, in a standard home-style window installed between the two spaces, we set up the dual hose window interface kit that comes with the Whynter ARC-1230WN.


When the indoor air settled at 84.2 degrees Fahrenheit, we powered on the Whynter ARC-1230WN and set it to run at its highest cold setting for one hour. By the end of the test, the air temperature dropped to 72.3 degrees Fahrenheit. That's 11.9 degrees of change from beginning to end, by far one of the most impressive temperature drops we saw from any portable air conditioner we tested.

Dual hoses improve performance and the Whynter ARC-1230WN has a unique dual hose-inside-a-hose design that conveniently stows away on the unit when not in use.
Credit: Brian Walker

Portability/Install


This metric grades portable air conditioners based on how much effort it takes to roll them around, carry, and install/remove the exhaust hose window interface. The *Whynter ARC-1230WN scored well above average in this metric.

The Whynter ARC-1230WN weighs in at 75 pounds and can only be carried from the front since so many attachments are in the way on the backside. The weight balance is towards the back right side, and that makes carrying this unit upstairs somewhat tricky. Rolling the ARC-1230WN around on hard floors is easy and smooth, and it does well on short-pile carpets. Pushing it across medium to long pile carpets presents a greater challenge with higher rolling resistance.


Installation of the Whynter ARC-1230WN is better than all other portable air conditioners tested, partly because the hose is preinstalled in the machine. The window kit is easy to install and can be done in five to ten minutes the first time by inserting the panel and foam into your window and sliding everything for a secure fit. There is even a security bracket that can be installed if desired.

The process of packing the unit up for storage and/or reinstalling it in another room is great as well. As we mentioned, the hose is built so it stores away on the AC once disconnected from the window kit. The window kit itself snaps and locks into place with levers, which makes taking it in and out of the window very convenient.

whynter arc-1230wn - the whynter arc-1230wn's hose features tabs that make securing it to...
The Whynter ARC-1230WN's hose features tabs that make securing it to the window interface kit simple and secure.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Noise


Here, we score the noise levels the portable air conditioners produce while running with the compressor kicked on and the fan set to high. The Whynter ARC-1230WN exceeded almost all other units with its quiet operation.


We conducted the noise test by putting our ears near the vents of the units and going back and forth between each one for a subjective test. We also set up an SPL meter four feet away to measure actual decibels with the fan on all levels. However, the scores are based on the high fan mode readings combined with our subjective listening. Some units would have louder fans than compressors and vice versa.

The Whynter ARC-1230WN produced 58.4 dBa running four feet from the SPL meter with the fan on high. The fan and compressor sounds are far more silent than other units in our lineup, according to our SPL and subjective listening tests, making this one of the quietest units we've tested to date.

whynter arc-1230wn - one of our only complaints about the whynter arc-1230wn is that this...
One of our only complaints about the Whynter ARC-1230WN is that this display is difficult to read in some lighting conditions and from moderate distances.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Energy Consumption


In this metric we rate each air conditioner's power consumption. Lower power consumption is easier on the power grid and the environment and makes the AC unit cheaper to operate throughout the hot summer months. The powerful Whynter ARC-1230WN was above average but came in around the middle of the pack for all units tested in energy efficiency. That said, it beat out most other units with similar BTUs because of its inverter technology.


To get consistent and reliable power consumption data, we tested every AC with the fan on high and the compressor running for one hour while recording the Kilowatt Hours (KWh) consumed with a watt meter. Then, to get an idea of what it would cost to run the AC for 12 hours a day over several months, we projected average electricity costs and KWh consumption over time. However, remember that these figures assume the compressor runs constantly, which uses more power. Some climates may require the compressor to run constantly to maintain cool temperatures, while others won't. Portable AC units with inverter technology are automatically awarded an additional point in this metric because it means they have a more efficient variable speed compressor that doesn't run at full speed at all times. Because of this, the 1230WN should perform even better than our test projects over the long term.

The Whynter ARC-1230WN consumed 1.24 KWh. Over a 90-day period with 12 hours of use per day, it's projected to use 1339.2 kWh of power and run up $216.15 in electricity costs, which isn't half bad compared to all other similar units.

whynter arc-1230wn - this well-designed auto-swing vent louver helps push air evenly...
This well-designed auto-swing vent louver helps push air evenly around the room.
Credit: Brian Walker
]

Convenience


The convenience metric grades each portable AC unit on its modes, display, controls, and extra features. The Whynter ARC-1230WN scored higher than any other in this metric.

We loved the versatility of the directional airflow design on this model. The vent can be adjusted up and down with a lot of latitude and even has a “swing” function that automatically moves the fin in a steady, constant motion to push air around the room more evenly. The remote is fully featured, and the unit's modes were very good, too. There are three cold modes, three fan modes and an auto fan function, a dry mode, and an auto mode. The timer and child lock functions are also well-implemented.


One of our favorite things about the Whynter ARC-1230WN is its capability to connect over Wi-Fi and work with a mobile app. The intuitive app can do anything the remote can do, in addition to a few nifty things like turning the unit on or off and running a preset mode based on your location, up to 10 miles from home, coming or going.

We only had one gripe in this metric. It's tough to see the temp/settings display in the daylight (better in the dark) because of the white-colored lighting it uses, but overall, the ARC-1230WN really impressed us with its programmability and feature set.

whynter arc-1230wn - whynter arc-1230wn comes with a nice app full of advanced features...
Whynter ARC-1230WN comes with a nice app full of advanced features that the remote does not.
Credit: Brian Walker

Should You Buy the Whynter ARC-1230WN?


If you're looking for the most cooling capability possible on the portable AC market, the Whynter ARC-1230WN is the one you seek. Just ensure you have a window big enough to fit its larger-than-average window kit.

whynter arc-1230wn - the whynter arc-1230wn knocks it out of the park for ease of use and...
The Whynter ARC-1230WN knocks it out of the park for ease of use and cooling capability.
Credit: Brian Walker

What Other Portable Air Conditioner Should You Consider?


If you don't require the peak chilling power of the ARC-1230WN and want your unit to be as silent as possible, take a look at the whisper quiet LG LP1022FVSM. Or, if you're on a budget, check out the medium-powered SereneLife SLPAC10 for its super easy installation and excellent portability. See our overview of the best air conditioners to see our favorite window units, too.

Austin Palmer and Adam Stout