If you’ve done any significant research, you probably already know that you can’t beat the power and efficiency of a 14000 BTU dual-hose portable air conditioner. Only problem is that they tend to be expensive, very expensive. However, one of the best deals going right now is the Whynter ARC-14S, which, at it’s current price is actually at least $25 under market by our estimates. But what’s the catch, if any? For more details on this portable AC and what we and others think about it, please continue reading our in-depth review.
The ARC-14S portable air conditioner comes with 14000 BTUs of cooling power, which is sufficient to cool a room of up to 700 square feet, assuming optimal conditions of course. For example, if you need to cool a very sunny room, rooms with high ceilings, cooking areas, or a those without insulation, then this estimate will drop considerably depending on how many of these “heat factors” apply to your situation.
This model uses a dual exhaust hose system. These systems are the most efficient because they do not rely on using indoor air to cool the condenser, thereby keeping the condensor air circulation loop separate from the home air space. As a result, the ARC-12S will not suck out cool air or cause any negative pressure (that sucks in outdoor warm air) as it vents, and thus is more efficient than its similarly-rated, single-hose counterparts.
The ARC-12S uses an auto-evaporation system by which condensate is blown/dried off. By doing this, not only do you never need to collect and drain condensate under normal conditions, but the unit’s cooling efficiency is enhanced by recycling this moisture via evaporative cooling.
However, we warn you that virtually any auto-evaporation system can still result in accumulation of condensate in high humidity conditions. Consequently, we always recommend checking the drain periodically to make sure.
Size & Portability
With dimensions of 19 inches wide, 16 inches deep and 36 inches in height – and an overall weight of 80 pounds, this is a big “portable” unit, although this is pretty typical for most 14000 portable ACs. As such, be careful when receiving the package and moving this model up and down stairs!
This model is rated to produce less than 56 decibels of operating noise. This is a pretty standard noise level for most portable air conditioners in its BTU class.
To determine efficiency, we must calculate this model’s Energy Efficiency Ratio (“EER”), which is the standard metric for gauging how well an AC cools for its given wattage consumption.
To do this, we divide BTUs by maximum wattage. Any ratio of 10 or over is very good. However, the ARC-12S scores a phenomenal 11.2 (14,000 BTUs / 1250 max watts). Most EERs fall somewhere between 8 and 10,so this is truly an unusually high EER and means that the ARC-12S will result in significant energy savings over its lifetime compared to most other 14000 BTU models.
The window kit included with this model can expand to fill a space of up to 36 inches.
- 101 pt./day dehumidifier
- full function remote control
- leakage detection and control
- CFC-free refrigerants
- 3 fan speeds
- carbon and washable anti-microbial prefilter
- digital thermostat (61-89F range)
- rolling casters
- auto restart in event of power failure
- 3 year warranty on compressor (1 yr. on rest of unit)
Whynter ARC-14S Reviews
This unit currently averages a 3.7 out of 5 stars on amazon.com – and the reviews are quite mixed. In fact, it’s hard to reconcile them in many ways. Yes, the majority are favorable – in fact, there are (51) 5-star reviews. However, there (22) 1-star reviews as well. These negative reviews mainly complain about the unit not cooling effectively while the 5-star reviews indicate that the ARC-14S performs brilliantly.
In many cases, we suspect complaints of poor cooling performance are a result of underestimating room size or the presence of various additional heat factors influencing cooling power (e.g., high ceilings, sunny exposure, etc.). Further, there are often problems installing the vent kit; or the unit may have arrived in a defective condition. Regardless, you should be aware of the “mixed bag” reviews on this product before making a purchase.
Price & Value
Currently selling for about $500, the ARC-14S is actually quite reasonably-priced for a 14000 BTU portable air conditioner – especially one that uses a dual hose design. In fact, we estimate that it’s about $25 dollars under market price compared to other similarly rated dual hose units. Of course, you don’t have to take our word for it, compare prices on high-powered units for yourself by using our Portable AC Comparison Guide.
Pros & Cons
- lots of power
- reasonably-priced for a 14000 BTU dual hose unit
- outstanding EER of 11.2
- great modern features
- runs quietly
- high-capacity dehumidifier
- 3-year condenser warranty
- fair number of negative reviews
Concluding Thoughts & Opinions
We really like the Whynter ARC-14S – and so do the vast majority of happy purchasers. The reasons for this are several. It’s actually quite fairly-priced for a unit with this much power; its extraordinarily energy efficient and comes with the more optimal dual-hose design; it’s equipped with a great dehumidifier function and various other modern features; and it’s relatively attractive for a portable AC unit, to the extent this matters to you.
Of course, we would like to see it have a higher overall satisfaction score; however, there are many reasons why this product was dinged by reviewers. Some resulted from apparent shipping damage; some from isolated product defects; and some we believe were likely due to user error, or a failure to properly appreciate the size and cooling power needed for the particular space. For example, even if your space is within the technical coverage area (let’s say 500-600 sq. ft.), you cannot expect any 14000 BTU air conditioner to turn such a room into an icebox if it’s got vaulted ceilings!
In sum, for most users with reasonable expectations, we believe the Whynter ARC-14S will most likely meet or exceed them.
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