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Whynter ARC-14SH Review

This is a solid performer for large rooms and one of the quietest models we tested
Whynter ARC-14SH
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $575 List | $575.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Very quiet, exceptional cooling power
Cons:  High energy consumption, expensive
Manufacturer:   Whynter
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jul 28, 2021
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 9
  • Cooling Power - 40% 8
  • Portability - 25% 5
  • Noise - 20% 8
  • Energy Cost - 15% 2

Our Verdict

The Whynter ARC-14SH is a high-quality A/C unit that performed near the top of the pack in our testing group. Cranking out 14,000 BTUs (British thermal unit), this model is capable of cooling large spaces with ease. Not only is it powerful, but it is also quiet, and its ergonomic design makes it easy to move. The main drawback is both the upfront cost of the unit and how much energy it consumes while in use. If you need a large space cooled and don't mind the extra cost, this A/C unit is for you.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Whynter ARC-14SH
This Product
Whynter ARC-14SH
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $575 List
$576 at Amazon
$380 List
$369.99 at Amazon
$460 List$430 List
$339.99 at Amazon
$400 List
$379.99 at Amazon
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Pros Very quiet, exceptional cooling powerGreat value, highly portable, performed well in our energy-efficiency test, solid cooling performanceVery quiet, decently portable, solid cooling performanceEnergy efficient, easily portableEasy to move, decent energy efficiency
Cons High energy consumption, expensiveRuns on the louder sideExpensive, bulky window insertUnderwhelming cooling abilitiesPoor cooling abilities, noisy
Bottom Line This is a solid performer for large rooms and one of the quietest models we testedYou'll save cash and receive exceptional performance, though it does run a touch louder than othersIf you live in a consistently hot climate, this is our favorite dual-hose portable ACThe lower cooling abilities do not quite make up for the energy-efficient capabilitiesThis is an expensive machine that is easy to move around but ultimately offers poor cooling abilities
Rating Categories Whynter ARC-14SH SereneLife SLPAC10 Whynter ARC-122DS E... Airo Comfort Midea 3-in-1
Cooling Power (40%)
8.0
6.0
6.0
3.0
5.0
Portability (25%)
5.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
8.0
Noise (20%)
8.0
4.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
Energy Cost (15%)
2.0
7.0
5.0
10.0
6.0
Specs Whynter ARC-14SH SereneLife SLPAC10 Whynter ARC-122DS E... Airo Comfort Midea 3-in-1
Remote Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Timer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Interface location Front Top Front Top Top
Modes Cool, dry, fan, heat Cool, dry, fan Cool, dry, fan Cool, dry, fan Heat, auto, cool, dry, fan
Number of Fan Speeds 3 3 3 3 4
Cord Wrap No Yes No Yes Yes
Measured Weight 77.2 lbs 54.7 lbs 60.4 lbs 51.5 lbs 56.2 lbs
Window Kit Length (without modification) Min: 20"
Max: 46"
Min: 37"
Max: 50 1/8"
Min: 20"
Max: 46"
Min: 26.5"
Max: 48"
Min: 26.5"
Max: 48"
Measured kWh on High (Average) 1.12 kWh 0.91 kWh 1.06 kWh 0.71 kWh 0.85 kWh
Measured dBa on High at 4' 56.5 dBa 62 dBa 57 dBa 58 dBa 60.5 dBa
Room Rating 500 sq ft 350 sq ft 400 sq ft 350 sq ft 200 sq ft
BTUs 14,000 10,000 12,000 10,000 10,000
Single or Dual hose Dual Single Dual Single Single
Projected Summer Cost $159.06 $116.22 $131.61 $88.17 $122.60
Measured Temperature Drop After 60 Minutes 11.99°F 11ºF 10°F 6ºF 8ºF

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The ARC-14SH from Whynter.
The ARC-14SH from Whynter.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Cooling Power


Cooling power represents 40% of each portable air conditioner's overall score, making our cooling capabilities test one of the most important ones that we conducted. We essentially heated a room as hot as we could in the middle of summer, then ran each air conditioner for 60 minutes and scored them off of the temperature drop. The ARC-14SH delivered one of the better performances of the group; it dropped the temperature by 11.99°F after 60 minutes — one of the largest drops of the group.


This portable air conditioner dropped the temperature quite quickly, achieving an 8.2°F drop after 20 minutes — expected, as our test room was only 161 square feet and it has one of the highest BTU ratings of the bunch.

The ARC-14SH is one of the heaviest models we tested; its handles...
The ARC-14SH is one of the heaviest models we tested; its handles could be better designed.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Portability


Moving on to how easily moved these portable air conditioners are, we graded and scored how much effort it took to roll these around and carry them and how hard it was to install or remove the exhaust hose and its window insert. The Whynter ARC-14SH is about average overall in these tests, which accounts for 25% of the total score.

This A/C is quite easy to roll around, though there is a tiny bit of weirdness with its steering. It only has a small amount of rolling resistance but will pull to one side every so often. This portable A/C is fine to roll around but is absolutely horrendous to carry. It is one of the heaviest units out of the entire group, weighing in at a little more than 77 lbs.


The handles are also on the small side, creating undue pressure on your hands and easily making this one of our least favorite air conditioners to carry up or down a flight of stairs. However, it is one of the easiest models to move when it comes to installing or removing the window insert. You need a screwdriver, but you can tighten the screws down wherever you want, affording you the entire range between 20" and 46".

The ARC-14SH is very quiet, especially for its size.
The ARC-14SH is very quiet, especially for its size.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Noise


Responsible for 20% of the total score, we next assessed how much noise each of these appliances generated and if any were particularly irritating. The Whynter ARC-14SH did very well in this metric for its almost silent operation — one of the highest scores of the group. We had a group of users rate the tone of each air conditioner and measure the audio level with an SPL meter to determine the scores. This meter was placed about 4' away and out of the direct line of the vents of the A/C. Both our panel of judges and the SPL meter agreed that this was one of the quietest units we tested, measuring in at 54.8 dBa.


Additionally, all the judges noted that this is one of the least intrusive air conditioners soundwise, making it a great option for lighter sleepers.

We found the ARC-14SH to be one of the more costly units to run.
We found the ARC-14SH to be one of the more costly units to run.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Energy Cost


For the final 15% of the total score for each product, we scored each one on how much you can expect it to add to your energy bill with moderate use. We defined moderate use as running the A/C for 12 hours each day of the summer (90 days), with two hours on high to quickly cool the room upon your return and 10 hours on low to keep it cool. The ARC-14SH is a bit of an energy hog.

We measured the power draw of each portable A/C on both low and high power modes, then used an average cost of electricity to project the additional added cost. With this amount of usage, the ARC-14SH would add about $160 to your power bill over that time period — quite a bit higher than most of the products we tested.


Value


This portable air conditioner finished just a few points behind some of the top models. The ARC-14SH is one of the most expensive of this trio and costs the most to run, but it did perform better in our cooling tests. This A/C has a relatively high initial cost and a higher cost to run, but does present value in its performance.

The ARC-14SH is quite powerful.
The ARC-14SH is quite powerful.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


The Whynter ARC-14SH is quiet and has solid cooling power, but it's a bit expensive and is exceptionally heavy, weighing over 77 pounds.

David Wise and Austin Palmer