Given the increasing global temperatures, it appears that I'm not alone in contemplating the purchase of an air conditioner. While in Calgary, Canada, such a device used to be considered unnecessary, the escalating heat during the summer has now made it a vital requirement. Initially, my preference was to install a central air conditioning system for the entire house. However, upon discovering that this would entail a substantial cost, including additional expenses to upgrade our ageing electrical panel, this option became impractical and financially burdensome. 

Consequently, I began exploring alternative solutions, such as smaller, room-specific, or portable air conditioners, with the Haier Small Room Air Conditioner catching my attention. Purchasing an air conditioner doesn't seem to be an enjoyable task, primarily due to the challenging process of setting it up and ensuring secure placement, especially when opting for a window-mounted unit. Therefore, I narrowed down my search to a freestanding, mobile unit that could be easily moved around my home.

What Do You Get?

The Haier Small Room Air Conditioner stands at approximately 3 feet in height and comes fully assembled, equipped with caster wheels for effortless mobility. Its dimensions measure approximately 26 1/4 inches in height, 12 inches in width, and 11 1/4 inches in depth. This unit is specifically designed to cool spaces of up to about 150 square feet, making it suitable for individual rooms such as a bedroom or home office. 

Located at the front of the unit, you'll find a small louvred air output, while at the back, there is a connection point for the provided ventilation and exhaust hose. It's important to note that this air conditioner lacks any smart features, such as an app or Wi-Fi connectivity for remote or voice control. However, it compensates for this limitation by including a straightforward physical remote control and buttons positioned along the top of the unit.

Set-Up

The setup process for this air conditioner is quite straightforward and doesn't require much effort. After unpacking the unit, you'll attach the exhaust hose to the back of the air conditioner by sliding it into a plastic bracket.

Next, you'll connect the other end of the hose to the adjustable window mount. The window mount is designed to accommodate various window sizes. However, it might not be a perfect fit for every window. In my case, it wasn't an exact fit, but I managed to make it work.

Here's how it operates: The air conditioner will draw in air from your room and expel the hot air through the window using the exhaust hose. Simultaneously, it will distribute cooled air into your room through the top louvred vent.

Pros and Cons of Haier Air Conditioners

Pros

  • Increased energy efficiency

  • Lower electricity bill

  • Improved cooling

  • Quieter operation

  • Solar power compatibility

  • Stable voltage level

  • Lower carbon footprint

 

Cons

  • Poor insulation costs

  • High humidity

  • High-priced investment

  • Repair and maintenance

  • Limited options

Differences between Haier and Midea Air Conditioners

Haier

The Haier UV Cool R32 Inverter Air Conditioner Aircon stands out as a rapid-cooling air conditioner with robust airflow. Notably, it incorporates a built-in UV light sterilisation feature.

In comparison to the other two brands, Haier boasts the longest warranty period for its air conditioners. They provide a generous 3-year general warranty along with an impressive 10-year compressor warranty, offering peace of mind to consumers.

Midea

The Midea AirStill air conditioner shines with its remarkable 5-star energy efficiency rating, ensuring cost-effective and eco-friendly operation. Notably, it offers a gentle and soothing airflow experience.

One of its standout features is the world's first TwinFlap, equipped with tiny holes for enhanced comfort during cooling. Additionally, it boasts three air dispersion outlets, ensuring uniform cooling in all directions for optimal comfort.

Alternative to Haier Portable Air Conditioner

Hisense

The closest alternative to Haier portable air conditioners is the Hisense R32 Inverter Air Conditioner. 

The Hisense R32 Inverter Air Conditioner (TUGS) boasts a 5-star energy rating certified by Suruhanjaya Tenaga. It features an integrated Plasma Generator designed to eradicate bacteria and formaldehyde. The air conditioning unit utilises golden fins in both its blower and compressor components, ensuring optimal cooling efficiency. 

Furthermore, it operates with minimal noise and offers precise temperature regulation. Additionally, this particular model includes a 3-year general warranty and a 10-year warranty for the compressor.

Moreover, the use of gold fins in the cooling coil, as opposed to the standard blue ones, enhances durability and longevity.

In terms of warranty, this model provides a 2-year general warranty along with a commendable 5-year warranty for the compressor, assuring consumers of its reliability and performance.

How to Place a Portable Air Conditioner

Let me touch on the placement of this unit, which is essential for its effective operation. It should be positioned in close proximity to a window to ensure that the ventilation hose can reach it. When it comes to portable air conditioners, it's advisable to minimise the number of bends in the hose for optimal performance. In my particular situation, I faced a challenge as I couldn't place the unit on the floor and have it reach the window satisfactorily. This was due to the window in our bedroom being situated high up on the wall and relatively narrow. 

In my case, I had to resort to placing the air conditioning unit on a small table and then routing the hose out of the window situated above our bed. Admittedly, it's not the most aesthetically pleasing setup, but it does effectively cool the room. It's crucial to ensure that the length of the hose and its distance to your window align with the specific layout of your space to make it work seamlessly.

What Are The Different Cooling Modes?

The Haier Small Room Air Conditioner offers a temperature range that allows you to adjust it as low as 64°F (17.77°C) or as high as 86°F (30°C). However, it's important to note that the remote control does not provide customizable presets beyond Sleep mode, limiting your options to modifying the fan speed and temperature.

The Haier instruction manual discloses three distinct cooling modes that you can achieve by combining specific fan speed and temperature settings. For example, setting the fan to "High" and reducing the temperature falls under the "Maximum Cooling" mode. Opting for a "Low" fan speed and selecting a moderate temperature activates the "Quiet" or "Nighttime Cooling" mode. To revert to the "Normal Cooling" mode, keep the temperature at a medium level and set the fan speed to "Medium" or "High."

While it may not be classified as a cooling mode, the "Dry" mode is another option available. This mode locks the fan settings and allows the air conditioner to dehumidify the room. For optimal performance, it's recommended to close all doors and windows before activating this mode.

If you're looking to enhance energy efficiency without turning off the air conditioner entirely, you can utilise the "Fan" mode. When engaged, this mode will not display the temperature on the unit, but the Haier air conditioner will continue to circulate and filter the air.

Additionally, the Haier air conditioner includes a built-in memory that stores your settings. Thanks to the auto-restart feature, the Haier air conditioner can recall these settings even after an unexpected power outage, ensuring a seamless and convenient user experience.

Using Haier Small Room Air Conditioner

Operating the air conditioner is quite straightforward: simply turn it on, adjust your desired temperature, and then let it do its job. For optimal performance, it's advisable to close all doors leading to the room, including those to areas like closets and bathrooms. This helps the air conditioner effectively cool the intended space.

How Well Does it Cool?

I would give this air conditioner a favourable rating when it comes to its cooling capabilities. While it doesn't turn the bedroom into an icy tundra, it significantly alleviates the discomfort of the heat. Initially, I set it to a mid-level temperature of around 18°C and later lowered it to 17°C, which is the maximum cooling setting. At that point, it seemed like the unit was working hard to maintain that temperature and needed to run continuously. However, this is to be expected with a small, portable unit like this.

In summary, it didn't transform my bedroom into an icebox, but it certainly made it much more comfortable to sleep during those sweltering and humid nights.

Is Haier Small Room Air Conditioner noisy?

It's worth noting that this device is notably loud. Since this is my first experience with a portable air conditioner, I can't compare it to the average noise level, but it is quite substantial in terms of sound. Personally, I managed to sleep with the air conditioner running most of the time, but my husband had difficulty with the noise and often woke up to turn it off.

While you can make slight adjustments to the noise level by lowering the temperature or fan settings, the difference is relatively minor. Ultimately, you have two options: either accept the presence of a rather loud air-powered device in your room or opt to turn it off when you're ready to sleep if the noise becomes a disturbance. It's important to strike a balance between the cooling comfort it provides and the noise it generates, depending on your personal preferences and sleep tolerance.

Controls

Operating the Haier compact room air conditioner is straightforward, particularly when using the unit's top panel, which conveniently houses essential functions. The temperature can be adjusted in one-degree intervals using the plus [+] and minus [-] buttons located just below the screen. Simultaneously pressing both buttons will switch the temperature unit. Additionally, the "Mode" and "Fan" buttons enable precise customization of the cooling options previously mentioned.

Other Features

The Haier portable air conditioner is equipped with a Timer feature that enables you to establish a programmed schedule for turning the air conditioner on and off. To set the timer for turning off the unit, simply press the "Timer" button while the air conditioner is in operation and utilise the plus [+] and minus [-] buttons to specify the desired hours and minutes. Conversely, if the unit is off, pressing the "Timer" button allows you to set a designated time for it to activate.

Moving The Air conditioner

I greatly appreciate the presence of the wheels positioned beneath the air conditioner. The inclusion of four casters provides a smooth and effortless mobility experience, akin to moving a high-end office chair. Additionally, I found it convenient to access the air conditioner's filter, a crucial aspect as it requires regular cleaning to uphold optimal efficiency.

How to Choose a Portable Air Conditioner

Your decision when selecting an air conditioner should primarily hinge on the size of the space you intend to cool. Air conditioners tend to be less effective in areas larger than their intended capacity, so it's unwise to opt for a smaller unit and expect it to cool a significantly larger space. Measure your room's dimensions and seek out devices designed for that specific size.

In my situation, I aimed to cool only our master bedroom, which allowed me to opt for a smaller unit, such as the 8,000 BTU Haier for small rooms.

Choosing a portable air conditioner can be likened to selecting a computer; you must consider various hardware specifications and assess if they align perfectly with your intended use. Always prioritise the specifications over marketing claims because it's impossible for anyone to guarantee that a particular air conditioner can effectively cool a 150-square-foot room. While Haier may make such claims for their portable air conditioner, variables like home insulation, ceiling height, and the number of connected appliances can significantly affect its performance.

This brings me to my second point: Don't hesitate to explore a model that's a step up from what you actually need. It's always safer to have a slightly more powerful air conditioner than an underpowered one. Compare the price differences and assess whether the extra cost is justified by the additional cooling capacity and exclusive features, if any. Moreover, consider that you may not necessarily need to purchase a new unit if you suddenly find yourself in a larger space.

Similar to when buying a traditional air conditioner, don't let the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) be your sole criterion when evaluating a portable air conditioner. If you allow a highly energy-efficient air conditioner to run in a large room on its own, it will continually operate at maximum energy consumption. This is because the air conditioner struggles to reach the desired room temperature due to the room's size or other factors. In contrast, those higher-end air conditioners won't be using their peak wattage.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, when it comes to selecting the right portable air conditioner, it's essential to base your decision on the specific needs of your space. Sizing matters significantly, and choosing a unit that matches your room's dimensions is crucial for efficient cooling. Additionally, don't shy away from considering a slightly more powerful model than you think you need, as it can provide a margin of safety and versatility.

While energy efficiency is important, it's not the sole factor to rely on. The real-world performance of an air conditioner is influenced by various factors, including room size, insulation, and other environmental conditions. Therefore, evaluating the overall specifications and capabilities of the unit is key.

By carefully assessing your cooling requirements and comparing different models, you can make an informed decision that ensures your comfort and energy efficiency while keeping your space cool and comfortable during those hot summer days.

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