Portable air conditioners tend to be rather clunky things that take up substantial space in the home, but some of the smaller capacity models have a more space-saving design, and can be very affordable. One particular model that is ideal for smaller rooms and has earned high praise from consumers is the SoleusAir KY-80. To learn much more about this unit and what we think about it, please keep reading.
The SoleusAir MobilComfort KY-80E has 8,000 BTUs that are sufficient to cool a room of up to 300 square feet in size, that is if you don’t have any classic “heat factors” like poor insulation, big windows, a southern exposure, high ceilings, proximity to kitchen areas or heat-generating equipment, etc. This makes it a good choice for most average-sized rooms, especially interior spaces that do not suffer from direct sun exposure.
Exhaust Hose Design
This is a single hose system, which is generally a bit less efficient than a dual exhaust hose model. As we’ve discussed elsewhere, the main problem with single hose air conditioners is that they need to use indoor air to cool the unit’s compressor, and because they exhaust this indoor air, warmer outdoor air infiltrates the room from cracks, door jams, and other spaces to takes its place, thereby adding to the load.
Condensate Drain System
The KY-80 uses a self-evaporating – sometimes called auto-evaporation – system that leaks water onto the cooling coils that is then blown (evaporated) off and sent into the exhaust air stream. The intent of this type of system is to dry up condensate faster than it can accumulate, so you don’t need to drain the unit manually. However, because this whole system relies on evaporation, if your ambient humidity is very high, it may not dry up fast enough, requiring you to drain it – just like the good old days before this feature was available.
Size & Portability
One of the big pluses of the KY-80 is it’s tall, slim design, which allows it it nestle between furniture and generally take up little floorspace. This unit’s dimensions are 11.8 by 13.6 by 31 inches and it weighs roughly 50 pounds.
- 38 pint dehumidifier
- washable air filter to clean air as it’s cooled
- LCD remote control
- programmable timer
- sleep mode for quiet, night operation
- 3 fan speeds
- 4-way adjustable louvers
- rolling casters
Price & Value
Currently selling (as of the date of this writing) for about $240, the SoleusAir KY-80 is a very good deal. In fact, value is one of the bigger selling points of this model and makes it a hard model to pass over in the 8000 BTU category. To compare this unit with other similarly rated options, don’t forget to check out our Portable Air Conditioner Comparison Guide.
SoleusAir MobilComfort KY-80E Reviews
The KY-80 boasts a very respectable average consumer satisfaction rating of 4 out of 5 stars based on 29 reviews on amazon.com. This is quite good for any model, particular a budget-minded option like this one. Here are some actual excerpts from the KY-80 reviews that capture the flavor of the comments overall:
- “This air conditioner is working well in a 17 by 19 bedroom, but the window kit could be better.”
- “Small for a portable, works great.”
- “I have no clue why some people give bad review about the noise. I have found that the SoleusAir is less noisier than my window air conditioner that I been using for years (Frigidaire 5000 BTU).”
- “The noise level of the Soleus KY-80 is darned acceptable…much quieter than the old Whytner”
In general, people praised the KY-80’s small footprint, relatively low noise levels, and powerful cooling for an 8,000 BTU portable unit. Some people complained about noise and needing to remove condensate manually – these are grievances that we typically see for just about any model, however.
Pros & Cons
- Compact, slim design
- Very affordable
- Cools well
- Great reviews
- Relatively quiet for most consumers
- Single hose system is less efficient than dual hose
Concluding Thoughts & Opinions
If you need a very compact portable air conditioner for a smaller space that is inexpensive and can do the job, the SoleusAir SoleusAir MobilComfort KY-80E is a very good choice that is also unusually cost-effective. Of course, if you have a more flexible budget, a similarly rated dual hose model would be preferable, but these usually cost more and generally take up a bit more window space as well.
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