When you can get the machine to work, it actually cools spaces larger than the advertised 500 sq. feet. The unit blows strong, cold air which minimizes the time it takes to cool down a room. It's also one of the quieter portable air conditioners.
The most frustrating thing about this unit is the fact that the hoses are flimsy and don't stay on properly without help. The instruction manual says that duct tape may be required, which is unsightly and unsafe. And the other challenge is that it's not as energy efficient as it claims to be.
The Koldfront-PAC1401W Ultracool portable air conditioner is a compact 14,000 BTU unit with four caster wheels for easy mobility. The unit comes with one exhaust hose that cools a room and exhausts most or all condensation automatically. In the event of a power outage, the unit features an auto-restart option which means it will start itself back up at its previous settings once the power is restored.
Performance and Features
The unit performs better than expected once you get the hose attached, but the hose is thin and the exhaust on the back only comes out about an inch which makes attaching it difficult. It may be necessary to buy clamps to keep the hose in place because duct tape is not a secure option. As the unit heats up, it melts the adhesive anyway, and the tape falls off. Koldfront could stand to improve its exhaust system.
The features include a self-evaporative system that works surprisingly better than many other units. Condensation is a given with air conditioners, and sometimes they need to be drained. Portable air conditioners don’t typically exhaust condensation well. In other units, a drain tube is necessary. However, with the Koldfront unit, it has an auto-drain feature that takes away the need to constantly drain the unit.
It also includes three settings: air conditioner, dehumidifier, and a fan. The fan has three settings you can choose from, and as mentioned before, once you secure the hose, the fan is pretty powerful. The unit also has the auto-restart feature as well as a remote control to make using the machine easier. And, the shipment of a Koldfront unit includes an easy-to-install window kit.
The unit performs better than expected once you get the hoses attached.
Design and Usability
The unit is white and silver, and looks like a smaller version of a hotel air conditioner. Its color scheme goes well with most home decor, but it’s a matter of personal opinion. As long as you do not use duct tape around the exhaust, the unit looks nice. That said, the manufacturer recommends keeping the unit at least 20 inches away from a wall, so depending on the layout of your room, you may visibly notice the exhaust hose stretching from the unit to the window.
This unit is 32 inches in height, 19 inches in width, and 16 inches in depth. It is one of the smaller options available on the market. However, it’s still 75 pounds, which is about average for a portable air conditioner. The adjustable digital thermostat has a temperature range of 62 – 88 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a larger range than many other units, and it gives you more options for cooling down your space. And, it comes with a 24 hour programmable timer. The unit is designed to cool a room up to 500 sq. feet, and when it works properly, it does even better than that.
Koldfront uses a carbon filter, which is good, but it’s not the best at cleaning the impurities in the air. Carbon filters are great at trapping gases and other odors, but not dirt and dander. Most carbon filters are used in conjunction with other filters for that reason. Although the unit is in compliance, it is behind the competition with its filters.
This compact unit’s design goes well with most home decor.
The noise level varies with the fan settings, but this is one of the quietest machines on the market. The low setting is rated at 47 dB, the medium setting is rated at 50 dB, and the high setting is rated at 53 dB. These ratings are the equivalent of a home dishwasher, and it creates a white noise that is easy to tune out, especially when sleeping. That alone makes this one of the best choices when you want to cool off your bedroom.
This machine makes a white noise that is easy to tune out.
The Energy Efficiency Rating on this unit is kind of low compared to its competition. The EER is 9, which means that using this machine regularly doesn’t save you a lot of money. In fact, central air may cost about the same. However, if you use the programmable timer for the thermostat, you can control your usage and save on energy costs.
The programmable timer can help you save more money.
The Koldfront unit cools down a 500 sq. foot space quickly, but only if you can get the hose to connect properly in the back. The unit doesn’t have all the same features as its competitors, but it is quiet and does the job well. Aside from the flimsy hose that doesn’t always attach properly, the other issue with this unit is that it’s not as energy efficient as it could be. But, if you use the programmable thermostat, you can control your consumption a bit more.
But, the Koldfront is quiet and it’s not as bulky as other units. And, it’s a powerful unit for the cost. At 14,000 BTU’s, it’s comparable to other name brand units. All in all, if you’re willing to do a little work to get the hose to attach, you might find this unit preferable to others due to its compact form, and ability to cool a room quickly.