Portable air conditioners are rarely the type of home appliance that “looks good” in your home. Well, keep this in mind before judging too harshly the appearance of the Koldfront PAC701W Slim Design 7,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner. As we discuss below, this model delivers lots of performance in a relatively compact and affordable model that is surprisingly efficient. For more information, consumer satisfaction ratings, and our own thoughts on this portable AC unit, please keep reading.
With 7000 BTUs of cooling power, this air conditioner should easily cool down spaces up to 250 square feet, and possibly more if you don’t suffer from additional “heat factors,” including very sunny windows, vaulted ceilings, being next to an active kitchen, for example.
Exhaust Hose Design
This model uses a single hose exhaust system. The big problem with the single hose setups is that they vent some of your cooled air in order to blow heat off of the compressor. In addition, they create a very slight negative pressure in the cooled space, which gets filled by outdoor air that infiltrates door/window cracks and/or areas around the vent installation.
On the upside, single-hose systems are considerably cheaper than dual hose setups. Also, as discussed below, a very high EER can somewhat compensate for the single hose inefficiency.
Condensate Drainage System
Like the majority of new models today, the Koldfront PAC701W uses an auto evaporation system (also called “self-evaporation” draining), which basically leaks water onto the cooling coils that is then blow-dried by exhaust air. As long as your home humidity is not too high, this condensate should evaporate off the coils faster than it can accumulate – and in such case provide additional cooling as a bonus.
Nevertheless, there is always the commenter or two who live in South Florida or some other high-humidity locale that complains this feature is not working. Please take note that high humidity will interfere with or prevent “auto-evaporation” for virtually any portable air conditioner. In these areas, you are going to have to check and drain condensate – sorry!
Size & Portability
Koldfront claims that this model occupies a particularly small footprint in the home. And with dimensions of 26.25″ H x 17.81″ W x 13.31″, we agree. In addition, at just 49 lbs, this is much more portable than the 70+ pound 12K-14K BTU “portable” air conditioners that we often see!
OK, so we said earlier that a single hose is less efficient than a dual hose exhaust system – and it is. But hoses don’t tell the entire story; you need to consider Energy Efficiency Ratio (“EER”) as well. This is the product of the unit’s BTUs divided by its wattage – in other words, a standard measurement of how well each watt of electricity cools your home. EERs normally range from 8.0 to 10.7 or so. Indeed, any EER of 10 or greater is a relatively efficient air conditioner.
In this case, the Koldfront PAC701W scores a 10.8 – a darn impressive EER that means that, despite its single hose inefficiencies, it’s a pretty energy efficient model that may cost you less to operate than some dual hose units that have much lower EERs.
Sound is a big issue with most users, and this is understandable, especially since many people use portable ACs for cooling down the bedroom and therefore want the quietest model they can find. Well, the good news is that the PAC701W is very quiet, with a noise rating of 48 dB on the low setting, and 50 dB on the high fan setting.
Now we know that some people will still be dissatisfied with these low noise levels. In fact, there are some folks that can probably hear a flea’s thoughts if they try hard enough. Regardless, for the vast majority of users, this is a good option for quiet areas, including bedrooms.
- 46 pint/day Dehumidifier
- 3 fan speeds
- Washable air filter
- Auto restart
- 3-year warranty
- LED display
- 24 hour programmable timer
- Remote control
- Window exhaust vent kit
- Eco-friendly refrigerants
- Rolling casters
Koldfront PAC701W Reviews
At the time of this writing, the PAC701W has earned what we consider a solid satisfaction rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars based on 6 reviews on amazon.com. Obviously, we generally like to see many more reviews to gauge how well a product will work in differing environments, but so far we are encouraged. For example, these excerpts from actual reviews typify the feelings of the reviewers:
“The little Koldfront works well and surpassed my expectations on what it can accomplish despite only having half the cooling power of the bigger unit I have.”
“very modern-looking and doesn’t take up a whole lot of space. It gets cooler and runs fairly quiet.”
“It’s very oddly shaped, like an hourglass but not in a nice way at all.”
In general, most of the reviews were very positive, expressing satisfaction for the performance, efficiency and value of the PAC701W. Users also indicated that it ran fairly quietly. There was only one truly negative (1-star) review, in which the reviewer stated that the unit cooled very poorly and was ugly.
Price & Value
Value is the big selling point of the PAC701W in our opinion. At its current sales price of $269, this unit is a pretty darn good deal. Of course, this is in part due to its more simplified single-hose exhaust and rather funky design (we are guessing), but still, this unit offers a lot of cooling power and a very impressive EER for a price that some 5000 BTU models are selling for!
Pros & Cons
- Good overall value at current price
- High EER
- Solid user satisfaction ratings
- Relatively quiet
- Fairly compact and light for a portable AC
- Odd Design
- Single hose model
Concluding Thoughts & Opinions
If this were a beauty contest, we would have sent the Koldfront PAC701W home with a consolation price a long time ago. Fortunately, however, this is about performance and value, and in these respects we feel that the PAC701W is very competitive.
At its current sales price, you get quite a lot of power and functionality from this ugly duckling. You can cool a 250 square foot room effectively and quietly, with a rather small/light unit that can fit in most tight rooms/office spaces. Further, with its 10.8 EER, you can rest assured that you are spending your electricity dollars wisely. Of course, if you really want to get the maximum efficiency for your dollar, you would want an air conditioner with a dual-hose venting system – but be ready to pay substantially more for it, or buy a weaker unit.
As a result, considering price, performance and value, the PAC701W is cost-effective and smart choice that should get the job done well for most consumers.
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