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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:   $680 List | $570 at Amazon
Pros:  Very quiet, decent cooling power
Cons:  High energy consumption, expensive
Manufacturer:   Whynter
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Sep 20, 2018
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56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 8
  • Cooling Power - 40% 6
  • Portability - 25% 5
  • Noise - 20% 8
  • Energy Cost - 15% 2

Our Verdict

Narrowly missing out on the top spot, the Whynter ARC-14SH is one of the better portable air conditioners that we have tested. This 14,000 BTU air conditioner has solid cooling power and is particularly quiet. Additionally, it is also decently easy to move. However, this model consumes tons of energy and is a bit on the expensive side, so you are probably better served by other models if you don't need the BTU's.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Whynter ARC-14SH
This Product
Whynter ARC-14SH
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award  
Price $680 List
$569.99 at Amazon
$515 List$400 List
$359.99 at Amazon
$460 List
$429.50 at Amazon
$800 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Very quiet, decent cooling powerExceptionally portable, fairly quiet, relatively energy-efficientGreat value, highly portable, performed well in our energy-efficiency testVery quiet, decently portable, solid cooling powerQuiet
Cons High energy consumption, expensiveSo-so cooling performance in our testRuns on the louder side, not the most impressive cooling performanceExpensive, bulky window insertExpensive, costly to run
Bottom Line This is the best 14,000 BTU air conditioner we have tested but there are better option out there for most peopleA fantastic option if you plan on moving your A/C from room to roomIf you are hoping to save some cash when shopping for a new A/C and don’t live in the hottest of locations, then we think this very portable option could be the one for youIf you have to deal with triple-digit temperatures on a regular basis, then this might be the perfect A/C unit for youThis is a decent A/C but much less expensive models did quite a bit better
Rating Categories Whynter ARC-14SH Honeywell HL10CESWK SereneLife SLPAC10 Whynter ARC-122DS... Frigidaire...
Cooling Power (40%)
6
5
5
5
5
Portability (25%)
5
8
9
6
6
Noise (20%)
8
6
4
8
7
Energy Cost (15%)
2
7
7
5
3
Specs Whynter ARC-14SH Honeywell HL10CESWK SereneLife SLPAC10 Whynter ARC-122DS... Frigidaire...
Remote Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, there is also an App
Timer Yes Yes Yes Yes App Only
Interface location Front Top Top Front Front
Modes Cool
Dry
Fan
Heat
Cool
Dry
Fan
Cool
Dry
Fan
Cool
Dry
Fan
Cool
Dry
Fan
Eco
Number of Fan Speeds 3 3 3 3 4
Cord Wrap No Yes Yes No Yes
Measured Weight 77.2 lbs 65.4 lbs 54.7 lbs 60.4 lbs 77.9 lbs
Window Kit Length (without modification) Min: 20"
Max: 46"
Min: 33.1"
Max: 49.6"
Min: 37"
Max: 50 1/8"
Min: 20"
Max: 46"
Min: 22.1"
Max: 44.1"
Measured kWh on High (Average) 1.12 kWh 0.82 kWh 0.91 kWh 1.06 kWh 1.06 kWh
Measured dBa on High at 4' 56.5 dBa 57.2 dBa 62 dBa 57 dBa 56.9 dBa
Room Rating 500 sq ft 450 sq ft 350 sq ft 400 sq ft 550 sq ft
BTUs 14,000 10,000 10,000 12,000 12,000
Single or Dual hose Dual Single Single Dual Single
Projected Summer Cost $159.06 $111.72 116.2197 $131.61 $155.28
Measured Temperature Drop After 60 Minutes 11.99°F 9.74ºF 11ºF 10°F 9.93°F

Our Analysis and Test Results

This portable air conditioner finished just a few points behind some of the top models, the Whynter ARC-08WB and the Whynter ARC-122DS Elite. The ARC-14SH is the most expensive of this trio and costs the most to run, but it did perform better in our cooling tests. The ARC-08WB is much louder than both the ARC-122DS Elite and the ARC-14SH, but uses much less energy and is quite a bit more portable.

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

Performance Comparison


In our quest to find the best portable air conditioning unit out there, we did tons of research, then bought the products that showed the most potential and tested them head-to-head. We ranked and rated their performance in four different rating metrics, with our tests and the Whynter ARC-14SH's results described below.

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

Cooling Power


Responsible for the largest portion of the total score for each air conditioner at 40%, our cooling capabilities test is the most important one that we conducted. We essentially heated up 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, earning a 6 out of 10 for its results.

The Whynter ARC-14SH 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 sq. ft. and it has one of the highest BTU ratings of the bunch.

The ARC-14SH is one of the heaviest models we tested with some of...
The ARC-14SH is one of the heaviest models we tested with some of the worst handles.
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, as well as 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, earning it a 5 out of 10 in this metric, 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 do need a screwdriver, but you can tighten the screws down where ever 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, earning an 8 out of 10 for its almost silent operation — one of the highest scores of the group.

We had a group of users rate the tone of the sound of each air conditioner, as well as measuring 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 both one of the quietest units we tested, measuring in at 54.8 dBa.


Additionally, all the judges noted that this 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 2 hours on high to quickly cool the room upon your return and 10 hours on low to keep it cool. The Whynter ARC-14SH is a bit of an energy hog, earning it a 2 out of 10 for this metric.

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 A/C isn't a great value, having a relatively high initial cost, as well as a higher cost to run.

Conclusion


While this A/C is quiet and has solid cooling power, it's a bit expensive and is exceptionally heavy. Overall, we would recommend you stick with another model, unless you absolutely need a 14,000 BTU portable air conditioner.

David Wise and Austin Palmer