Whynter ARC-131GD Review

3107CuVhRILPortable air conditioners are a perfect antidote to the dog days of summer. But many models are underpowered and/or inefficient. One new unit, however, that promises big time cooling and truly astounding energy efficiency is the brand new Whynter ARC-131GD 13000 BTU Dual Hose Eco-Friendly Portable Air Conditioner. For details on this model and what we think about it, please keep reading.

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When we look for a portable air conditioner that we can strongly recommend, there are four main things on our wish-list, all of which the Whynter ARC-131GD possesses.

Good Power:  We always recommend getting a little bit more cooling power than you think you need, since many times things like sun exposure, poor insulation, proximity to a kitchen, etc., can throw off general cooling guidelines. With the ARC-131GD, however, you have a total of 13,000 BTUs to play around with, which should cover a 400-450 square foot room in typical conditions.

ScreenHunter_01 May. 09 11.30Dual Hose Design:  Another nice feature of this model is the dual hose setup. All portable air conditioner units must cool their condensers with air – air from either inside your room or outdoor air. Single hose units use indoor air to pass over the condenser; then they vent it to the outside. Problem is that this uses some of the cooled room air and, secondarily, creates a very slight vacuum in the room that encourages warm outdoor air (between windows/doors) to rush in to fill the space. Dual hose units pull outdoor air to cool the condenser, and return this air outdoors, without sacrificing any cooled indoor air or creating any pressure imbalance.

Energy Efficiency:  Portable air conditioners are costly enough to buy such that you shouldn’t be paying more than you absolutely have to in terms of electricity. The energy efficiency of ACs are evaluated by an Energy Efficiency Ratio (“EER”), which is just a fancy way to express the product of the unit’s BTUs divided by its wattage. The higher the EER the better, because it means you get more power per watt consumed. Anything over 10 is considered very good, and the highest EERs we typically see are around 10.8. But get this – the ARC-131GD scores an amazing 11.0 EER! Among the models we’ve reviewed this year, this is the best so far, and means that you can feel good knowing that your electric bill each month would be significantly higher for virtually any other 13,000 BTU air conditioner.

ScreenHunter_02 May. 09 11.30Low Noise:  Who wants a loud AC, especially if you want to sleep near one? Well, the good news is that the ARC-131GD also does very well here, coming in at a modest 56 decibels of sound – well under the sound typically produced during human conversation.

Besides delivering in the above key respects. The ARC-131GD also comes with many other very nice features that we’ve come to expect from Whynter models, including:

  • Automatic shutoff
  • Digital controls
  • A 91 pint/day dehumidifier function
  • Full function remote control
  • Timer
  • Self-evaporating (automatic) condensate removal
  • 3 year warranty on compressor

These design features speak for themselves. But if you want our opinion, overall, we think the Whynter ARC-131GD 13000 BTU air conditioner is an outstanding choice that is not only effective at cooling large rooms, but truly exceptionally energy efficient at doing so as well. Further, at its current sale price of approximately $450, it is going for 25% less than its MSRP. A good deal that probably won’t last!

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