DeLonghi Portable Air Conditioner Reviews – Which Model Is Best For You?
Perhaps your old Delonghi portable air conditioner has seen better days. Perhaps it’s summer time and the hot weather and sunshine that are supposed to lift your spirits and fill you with joy and happiness, instead fills you with dread from energy sapping heat.
Whatever your reason one thing is clear, you are looking for the best air con unit for you. That might mean quality, value, performance or all three. The question is which of the Delonghi Portable Air Conditioner range is best for you.
Skip to the section you need or read on for the top 3 DeLonghi portable air conditioner reviews.
- 1 DeLonghi Pinguino 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner PACAN140ES – Best Rated / Quietest Noise Levels
- 1.1 How Powerful is a 14,000 BTU PAC?
- 1.2 Cool Design
- 1.3 Is it really portable?
- 1.4 How noisy is it?
- 1.5 3 in 1 – Cooling, Dehumidifying and Blowing
- 1.6 Remote control – Never Lose it Again
- 1.7 Installation – You’ll Be Up and Running in Minutes
- 1.8 Window Kit – Super Easy To Install No Matter What Type and Size of Window
- 1.9 How simple is it to maintain?
- 1.10 Health Benefits of BioSilver Filter
- 1.11 Flexible 24 Hour Timer
- 1.12 The Top 3 Reasons To Buy The Pinguino
- 1.13 Key Things to Consider
- 1.14 My Verdict – Best for Large Rooms
- 2 DeLonghi PACN130HPE Portable Air Conditioner with Heat Pump – Best For All Year Round Use
- 2.1 Solid Design
- 2.2 13000 BTU of Cooling Power
- 2.3 How Portable Is the Unit?
- 2.4 What is a Heat Pump and is it any good?
- 2.5 Is it Easy to Install?
- 2.6 Easy and Low Maintenance
- 2.7 My Final Thoughts – Best For People With Hot and Cold Seasons
- 2.8 Who Is This Best For?
- 2.9 Who Is This Not So Good For?
- 2.10 Buying Options and Warranty
- 3 DeLonghi America PACAN120EW 12000BTU Whisper Cool Portable Air Conditioner – Best For Smaller Rooms
- 3.1 The design of the AN120EW
- 3.2 What Are The Key Features?
- 3.3 3 in 1 Operation Means Value For Money
- 3.4 What’s the Installation and Portability Like?
- 3.5 Is the Remote Control Any Good?
- 3.6 Low Maintenance, Great For Health
- 3.7 My Verdict – Best Model For Smaller Rooms
- 3.8 Buying and Shipping Options
Portable air conditioning units have become a popular alternative to more traditional window based or even fully centralized air conditioning.
This is due to their flexibility and low installation and running costs. This increase in demand has lead to growth in the variety of makes and models available.However with this choice also comes some confusion about which model to go for. My goal with this article is to help you decide.
Of all the ranges the DeLonghi Pinguino range appears to be the best rated, so you know you are buying a quality product when you choose from any of the units below. They all range between 4 and 5 stars on Amazon.com and similar websites.
DeLonghi Pinguino 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner PACAN140ES – Best Rated / Quietest Noise Levels
How Powerful is a 14,000 BTU PAC?
The CAN140ES is the most powerful unit I’ve reviewed. It also happens to be the best rated with impressive reviews on Amazon.com
This power allows it to comfortably cool up to 450 sq ft. If you are thinking about the size of your rooms that’s just over 21 by 21 ft or say 15 by 30 ft for a narrow, longer shape.
Latest News Update (April 2017): DeLonghi has recently released an all-new model, the PACAN140EKF3A. You can take a look the new model here. I’ll be publishing my review in the next few weeks!
The unit has a smart looking design that is functional but not too radical. This means it should easily fit into any room in your home. The white body has a silver panel inset up the right hand side to break up the usual plain white body.
The top of the unit is slightly sloping and houses the LCD control panel and buttons as well as the all-important air outlet vents. This design distributes the air nicely while allowing you to easily see the temperature and set the timer, mode of operation, temperature etc. through the 6 soft touch buttons and smart little backlit LCD screen.
The interface for controlling the timer, temperature, fan speeds etc. is very user-friendly, and even thought there is an excellent manual provided they were logical and easy to figure out. This is ideal for people like me who don’t enjoy reading through manuals and would rather just start using the PAC.
Is it really portable?
The unit itself measures up to be 17.8 inches wide, 13.5 long and 30.3 high so will fit easily out of sight under most windows.
With a weight of 72 lbs (33kg) it’s not the sort of device built for lifting too much, however there are a couple of useful handles on the side if you do need to lift it over a door threshold or up and down a few steps. This is a simple design feature that some portable air conditioners simply miss out for some reason. It good to see DeLonghi use some common sense and include handles as part of the design.
The casters are great for rolling the device from room to room and getting it into position when setting it up. They are reported to work well on all but the thickest of carpets so lifting should be kept to a minimum after it’s initially in your house.
How noisy is it?
The level of noise an air con unit produces is always close to the top of features that buyers are interested in. DeLonghi have listened to their customers and have invested in reducing the noise levels considerably. They call it “Whisper Cool Mode”.
The specification for the AN140ES is 45db. This compares to 60db plus for average units. This 15db difference is significant because of way the scale works. For example 50db is the same as a refrigerator.
This means you can use the unit in you bedroom, while watching TV or even in a kids room. All without having the annoying background noise or danger of waking yourself or the kids up. This is a real bonus for new mums and dads who just want themselves and their kids to get a good nights sleep!
3 in 1 – Cooling, Dehumidifying and Blowing
The unit offers 3 fan speeds and a useful auto mode, which adjusts the fan speed to suit the current and required room temperature. This means the fan will crank right up when you initially switch the unit on in a hot room but will reduce its speed as the room temperature matches the set temperature.
This PAC used a DeLonghi developed technology called “RealFeel”. This mode not only maintains the ideal temperature but also the ideal humidity too. It’s very intelligent for a small machine!
This is a really handy feature as it saves money on energy and also means you don’t need to constantly remember to adjust the fan-speed the technology in the unit will do it all for you. Great if you use the unit overnight too.
As a side note I’ve found this interesting article on the best temperature your room should be kept at for getting to a good night’s sleep, it’s well worth a read.
The unit doesn’t allow you to set the direction of the airflow like many other units do. This is no big issue and in fact might be a benefit as often the movable blades that direct the flow can get jammed or stuck.
It addition to being an air con it can also be used in dehumidifying mode or fan only mode.The dehumidifying mode is great if you’ve had a small flood, or during the winter need help drying the clothes indoors. It can really cut down how long it takes to get them dry.
Fan mode is great if the temperature is not too hot but you want a cool breeze in a room to get rid of smells, smoke or just to keep a breeze in the air, although I would say that the lack of control of the direction of the flow means this mode is limited. A standing or desk top fan with an oscillating movement would be a far better choice.
Remote control – Never Lose it Again
I’m sure most remote controls have a mind all of their own, my TV remote certainly does! This portable ac unit has a really handy feature. There is a slot built into it where you can place the remote to prevent it getting lost. Especially useful if you are only using it during hot spells and then store it in basement or closet at other times.
Installation – You’ll Be Up and Running in Minutes
This device is super simple to install. DeLonghi have put a bit of thought into how it’s unpacked. After delivery all you need to do is cut a few cords and the whole top of the box can be lifted off the unit. This is a great idea for such a heavy unit as it means you don’t need to lift it out of the box.You do need to remove the bottom part of the box though but it’s much easier to slightly tip the unit and ease it out.
You need to leave the portable air conditioner in an upright position for 24 hours before using it. This is to let the chemicals inside settle, however, most of the time the units are stored and transported in a upright position anyway. Talk to the delivery driver about this and you should be ok if you can be sure it was upright through the last part of its journey.
Window Kit – Super Easy To Install No Matter What Type and Size of Window
As with all PAC units you’ll need to fit it next to a window unit. This window kit will fit windows up to 50” and has great one page instruction sheet. It can fit be fitted to a horizontal or vertical window in minutes.
How simple is it to maintain?
The PACAN140ES air con is super simple to maintain. There are two main elements that need to be maintained. The first is the filter. It will need to be cleaned from time to time. I’d suggest at least every 1-2 weeks it’s worth giving a it a quick clear by hovering out the dust and grim that have gathered on it or rising it in warm water.
It doesn’t take long and will make the unit run more efficiently, saving you money on running costs.
Health Benefits of BioSilver Filter
Fortunately this top of the range model uses a “BioSilver” air filter. This is an upgraded version of a standard particle filter. As well as removing dust and grim it also removes bacteria and pollen. This is a real plus for those who suffer from hay fever.
It’s also great if you are using this in towns where there tends to be a bit more pollution in the air.
The second requirement for maintenance is the water tanks. This means that most of the water taken out of the air inside your house is sent down the air outlet hose.
However, in particularly humid areas you might need to drain this tank from time to time. There is a small pipe at the back of the unit to drain the water. It’s a bit awkward to use because of its position at the bottom but it’s not something you have to do often so not a big issue.
Flexible 24 Hour Timer
An easy-to-use 24 hour timer lets you set a delay to turning it on or off. This is means you can leave for work in the morning and set it to come on 8 hours later, just in time for you to walk into a perfectly chilled house.
The Top 3 Reasons To Buy The Pinguino
- Very Quiet and Low Noise – The Whisper Cool mode make this one of the quietest portable air conditioners on the market at the moment.
- Easy of Installation – Taking it out the box, installing the window kit and switching it on takes a matter of minutes and needs no tools at all. The instruction booklet is clear, full of good quality diagrams and well-explained too.
- Reliability – This unit is rock solid when it comes to reliability. This is backed up with no issues (to date) being reported online.
Key Things to Consider
Price – This unit does cost more that some of the other similarly powered 14000 BTU PAC units.
Weight – If you do have to move this unit around then there is a lot of weight to shift. It might not be great if you have a lot of stairs or if you are less physically able to lift heavier objects for some reason.
My Verdict – Best for Large Rooms
With this unit you really do get what you pay for. Some of the lower priced units cost more to run, are less reliable, and make more noise when they are running.
If you have the budget, have a large area that you need to cool and low noise levels are really important to you then I’d suggest the PACAN140ES is a good choice for you.
If the area you want to cool is small and noise is less important than getting a good deal then perhaps you should look elsewhere. There are lots of other lower cost models that are still excellent portable air conditioners.
DeLonghi PACN130HPE Portable Air Conditioner with Heat Pump – Best For All Year Round Use
The next Delonghi portable air conditioner I’m going to take a look at is the PACN130HPE. This model caught my eye because it not only cools the air during the summer months but also heats during the winter too!
This allows you to be able to use it all year round. It’s such great feature because it means that for a little extra up front cost you get a unit that can be used all year round.
The unit has a fairly typical portable air conditioner design, basically like a big box, slightly sloped at the top. This unit however has a mat black casing, instead of the usual white, which I really like. The hose is still white though, which does look a bit odd against the black unit.
Geeky sidebar fact: The hoses do need to be white from an engineering design point of view. This is because black absorbs more heat, meaning the black hose would run far hotter and add more heat back into the room before it has time to escape out of the window, not to mention be much hotter to touch.
The control panel across the top has blister touch buttons below a combination of lights and printed symbols. This allows you to control the fan speed, operating mode, on/off switch, timer etc. A small LED displays the set temperature.
It works really well but does look a bit dated when compared to some units, which have larger LED screen with symbols and on a nice backlit mini screen.
The remote has a bigger screen with the ability to work all the functions while relaxing on the sofa or in your favorite chair.
13000 BTU of Cooling Power
The 130HPE has 13000 BTU. This is enough to cool 500 sq ft of room. To give you quick idea of how big that is it’s about 22ft long by 22ft wide for a square shaped room or about 33ft by 15ft for a longer room.
This size is big enough for most living rooms, bedrooms and den areas. It’s also ideal for small dorm rooms and studio apartments.
How Portable Is the Unit?
It weighs in at 67.5 lbs and is 17 inches long, 16 inches wide and 29.5 inches high. This is not the heaviest portable air conditioner I’ve seen but still a fair weight to be lifting about too often so keep this in mind if you want to move it up and downstairs each night.
The are a couple of handles at the side of the unit to help make it easier to lift and the caster wheels, a bit like you see on most suitcases these days, are really good, even on lightly piled carpets. So rolling it about on one level is a breeze and won’t cause any issues.
What is a Heat Pump and is it any good?
A heat pump is basically the reverse air conditioner. The air con takes heat from inside the room and blows it outside. This leaves you with a cooler room.
A heat pump takes heat from outside (even at low temperatures there is heat in the air) and blows this heat into the room. There is no heating element required which is good for running costs.
The heat pump is rated at just over 3800 watts. This is not enough to replace any central heating but will certainly keep the chill off any room during cooler early spring and autumn months.
The heating function doesn’t work so well in cooler spells or winter because of the much lower outside temperatures. But to be fair, DeLonghi do say that so they are not making claims they can’t deliver on.
Is it Easy to Install?
The unit comes with a great quick start guide. Check out the link to see for yourself how you can really be up and running in about 5 minutes. The window adapter can be fitted to vertical or horizontal opening window designs.
The unit can also be used on casement type windows but it won’t be as neat because you can’t create a complete seal to stop warm air coming in.
Easy and Low Maintenance
With a couple of young kids I’m not a fan of spending time doing any more maintenance and DIY than I need to! If you’re the same you won’t be disappointed.
The air filter is the only thing that needs to be dealt with on a regular basis. During the time when you are using the unit it needs to be removed and cleaned out every one or two weeks.
This can be done either with a vacuum cleaner or by washing it in some warm water so it’s simple enough to fit into your regular household routine anyway. The unit will still work if you don’t clean it but it just won’t do as good a job and will cost more to run because the air fans will have to work harder to pull air through the increasingly blocked up filter.
I find it handy to set a reminder on my phone as it’s easy to get carried away with other business and let it go 2, 3 weeks and even longer without cleaning it.
My Final Thoughts – Best For People With Hot and Cold Seasons
The 130HPE portable air conditioner is a solidly built and reliable unit. There are plenty of great online reviews, 5-star ratings and positive testimonials that back this up so you should be buying this unit with some confidence that you are purchasing a quality product.
It is a bit more expensive than other similar air con units but it does have the advantage of being useful during the autumn and spring cooler times of the year to give a bit of extra heat.
Who Is This Best For?
This unit is ideal for those who live in areas where you get distinct seasons. This lets you get the use of the heat pump during the colder months and air conditioner during the hot summer months. The higher cost is offset by a lower cost per use as you are using the product more often.
Who Is This Not So Good For?
If you just want an air conditioner then you should probably look at one which doesn’t include a heat pump. There are plenty on the market and they are on average $100 cheaper.
There is no point in paying for an extra feature that you are not going to use. Also consider that the more parts there are in a device, the greater the chance there is that something can go wrong. So it’s best to keep it simple.
Buying Options and Warranty
You can buy the DeLonghi PACN130HPE at Amazon by clicking here. There are deals on from time-to-time so it’s worth popping over to the site to see what’s on offer.
Don’t shy away from reconditioned models either. These can offer great value if there are any available.
If you like some piece of mind then it’s helpful to know that all the DeLonghi Portable Air Conditioners come with a one-year parts and labor warranty.
They offer a further 4 years parts only warranty on the internal sealed elements of the system.
Amazon does offer additional 1 and 2-year cover options too but you’ll have to pay extra for this cover.
The perceived value of these packages vary from person to person but it might be worth looking into it if you have the budget and don’t like the idea of paying extra for an engineer and parts costs after the first year.
DeLonghi America PACAN120EW 12000BTU Whisper Cool Portable Air Conditioner – Best For Smaller Rooms
The next portable air con unit I’m going to take closer look at is the DeLonghi AN120EW. This unit has the lowest BTU of the 3 portable air conditioners I’ve looked at with a rating of 12000 BTU. This is enough to confidently control the temperature in a room up to 450 sq/ft.
Price check: Visit Amazon.com to discover the latest prices discounts and offers.
To put that into perspective it’s about 21ft by 21ft, or in the case of a longer room 30ft by 15ft. This assumes a standard height internal ceiling.
The design of the AN120EW
This PAC unit returns to a traditional white case design. There is a narrow silver panel inset on right-hand side of the front panel. This helps to make it slightly more interesting on the eye. The top of the unit houses the control panel. The curved outlet fans look a bit more classy than simple straight ones.
As with the other DeLonghi units reviewed this one doesn’t allow you to change the direction of the air. This cuts down on moving parts and increases reliability because there are fewer things that can go wrong.
However, it does mean that you can’t direct the flow if you want to get the air to blow in a particular direction. An example of this could be onto some washing in dehumidifier mode or gently in one direction in fan mode.
The control panel is mounted on top of the unit. It has a blue backlit screen. This screen provides a great overview of the current mode of operation, fan speed, set temperature etc. It also automatically dims and then turns off the backlight. This is a must if you use it in a bedroom at night.
What Are The Key Features?
It has 3 fan speeds so you can get a hot room cooled quickly then reduce it to maintain the condition. The lower fan speed cuts down on the noise and energy bills.
Talking of maintaining an ideal condition, there is also technology built into the unit called REEL FEEL. Scientists at DeLonghi have determined what the optimum temperature and humidity range is for humans. It seems there is a sweet spot where most people feel comfortable. You simply press the REEL FEEL button then let the PAC take care of the rest.
The REEL FEEL feature means you don’t need to continually mess with the temperature settings so you can be free to just get on with whatever you want to do, be that working, working out, relaxing or spending time with your family.
WHISPER COOL is another unique feature. This reduces the noise by 50%, while also keeping the same level of cooling. This could mean there is no need to for those earplugs at bedtime to drown out the drone! In fact, some people, myself included, find a low amount of constant background noise somehow soothes them off to sleep.
3 in 1 Operation Means Value For Money
Like the other models in this range, you can choose to run it as a stand-alone fan or dehumidifier (as well as the air con). The dehumidifier is particularly useful in places which are not too hot but have high humidity, making it feel hot because your body can’t use sweat to cool down effectively. Check out this link with cities in the U.S. that have high humidity.
Note that if you run it in dehumidifier mode you will have to empty the water tank far more often. To empty the tank all you need to do is unplug the small cap at back of the unit right at the bottom. Pour the water into a basin or drain.
What’s the Installation and Portability Like?
Most PACs are heavy due to the amount of pumps, compressors and other machinery inside them. This one is on the lighter side of the scale though at slightly over 68 lbs.
I’m happy to say that the manufacturer has thought about this when designing the packaging, and after cutting a couple of retaining straps the box slips nicely off the top of the unit. The base still needs to be taken off but it’s easy enough to tip the unit slightly and pull this out.
There are built-in handles at the side to help with this and any other lifting you need to do. At 68lbs it is light for a portable aircon unit, but still heavy so I wouldn’t advise moving it up and down stairs on a regular basis unless you work out a lot! The casters are good and several people have confirmed they work well on carpets as well as tiled and wooden flooring so wheeling it about is easy enough.
The DeLonghi AN120EW sits about 29.5 inches high, 17.8 inches long and x 15.5 inches deep. Not huge but you big enough so make sure you have space for it, particularly in smaller rooms with loads of furniture.
When considering installation you also need to make sure you have a window to connect. The hose with this model is about 4ft long and the window kit will fit window between about 20 – 47 inches. It’s worth doing a quick measurement to make sure it’ll all fit in place when you order it.
Is the Remote Control Any Good?
The remote lets you control all the features that can be controlled from the main panel. It comes with batteries included, so you don’t need to hunt around for some or steal some out of another remote (yip we’ve all been there!)
It even has its very own neat little housing on top of the unit where you can store it safely when you don’t need it. I find this type of feature a smart touch because it means it has less chance of getting lost down the side of a sofa or put in what our family call a “safe place”. Often so safe that no one can find it again!
Low Maintenance, Great For Health
Like most of the DeLonghi Pinguino PAC range there is a BioSilver air filter as standard with this portable air con. This is an upgrade to a normal filter and is more effective at removing bacteria, dust and pollen from the air. This stops contaminated air being recalculated around unit and around the house and also prevents mold growth within the unit, leading to a healthier environment inside your home for you and your family.
You will need to remove and vacum the filter every couple of weeks. Even a partly blocked filter can reduce the efficiency, so it’s well worth doing. It’s a 2 minute job at most.
My Verdict – Best Model For Smaller Rooms
For a smaller room this is an excellent unit. DeLonghi seem to have smartened up their act with their recent range. The PAC unit has all the features you’d expect but also has some extras that make a real difference.
- The REEL FEEL feature is excellent at maintaining just the right temperature and humidity keeping that air con chill factor away.
- The WHISPER COOL mode seems to be one of the best in the class in terms of keeping the noise under control.
- Some people have mentioned issues with installing the window extension if your windows are of a non-standard design but it’s been fine for the vast majority.
- Maintenance is very simple. Running costs are low compared to a central unit and the unit seems to be reliable.
- The cost is around about $600 so it’s not the cheapest. But a great value for money unit if you can push your budget a bit further.
Buying and Shipping Options
The DeLonghi PAC AN120EW is available from Amazon.com. The price does move up and down a bit depending on which resellers are on the Amazon Market Place so it’s worth checking them out too. Delivery is usually free if you are willing to wait a few days.