Best Shinco Portable Air Conditioner Reviews
Perhaps it’s the time of the year when the weather is getting hotter, the sun is shining in the sky and most people are happy…except for you, that is. You are sick and tired of being hot, uncomfortable and sweaty.
You remember the feeling all too well. The heat sapping your energy. Stopping you and your family from having a decent night’s sleep. Feeling grumpy during the day and being unable to appreciate the great weather.
You might have tried digging out some fans, but all they’ve done is to push the warm air about like a fan oven!
Maybe you don’t want all the hassle and cost of installing central wall or window units for them to be used for only 2-3 months of the year, so you’ve decided that a portable air conditioner seems like a great alternative.
You’re now wondering, “which one should I go for?!”.
Alternatively, click on the link below to go directly to the best section for you or continue reading for the full review.
- 1 Shinco YPN214C 14,000 BTU Portable AC – Best for Power
- 2 Shinco YPF1-12C 12000 BTU – Best Rated Model
- 2.1 Not Just a Lump of Plastic – How Does It Look?
- 2.2 A Great Feature – Remote Control
- 2.3 What Are The Noise Levels Like?
- 2.4 Single or Dual Hoses?
- 2.5 How About the Cooling Fans?
- 2.6 Is It Actually Portable?
- 2.7 Is It Easy To Maintain and Service?
- 2.8 Not Just a Portable Air Conditioner
- 2.9 Possible Disadvantages of the YPF1-12C?
- 2.10 Summary of Most Popular Features
- 2.11 What’s The Bottom Line on the YPF1-12C?
- 3 Shinco YPO608C 8,000 BTU Portable AC – Best For Small Rooms
- 3.1 Truly Portable
- 3.2 What are the noise levels like?
- 3.3 Getting rid of hot air – the hose
- 3.4 How Good is it at Cooling?
- 3.5 Is the Design Any Good?
- 3.6 What About Maintenance – Is it Easy?
- 3.7 Reported Issues – Things to Think About
- 3.8 Top 3 Positives – Reasons Why It’s A Good Choice
- 3.9 Verdict – My Final Thoughts
Is the Shinco Portable Air Conditioner Right For You?
Like most people (me included) you’ve probably got a load of questions you want answered whenever you’re searching for something new online. In fact, you wouldn’t be here reading this unless you did. You want to be sure you are spending your hard-earned cash on just the right air conditioning unit for you.
Hopefully this review will help you answer these questions. I’d like you to be confident about which model of Shinco air conditioner is right for you. You can then relax and chill out (excuse the pun!) with the feeling of fresh, cool air streaming across your face, despite the scorching heat outside.
Before we get right into the reviews I’ve found this very interesting article that I thought was worth sharing. It explains how using indoor plants can help improve your indoor air quality.
Which model is best for you?
Shinco is one of the increasing number of companies now offering portable air conditioners as part of their product suite. These have become more and more popular over the past few years. People appear to have been very satisfied by the flexibility provided by portable air conditioners, as opposed to window installed or central air conditioning systems. You should also note that Shinco has been improving the product quality over the last few years, so you can be sure that you’ll be impressed by the products.
Shinco currently offer a number of different models. I’ll review the top 3 to understand which situation each one is the best fit for. By the time you get to the end of this article you’ll be confident about which one is right for you.
Shinco YPN214C 14,000 BTU Portable AC – Best for Power
The YPN214c is rated at 14000 BTU. It the most powerful of the three Shinco models I’m reviewing and has enough cooling power to cover a room which is 500 sq. ft. in area.
This extra coverage might be ideal if you have two smaller rooms and don’t want to buy a unit for each. The extra cost would be much less than the cost of buying and running two separate units.
It is also obviously ideal if your room is bigger. To give you an idea for sizing, 500 sq. ft. is about 22ft by 22ft or 33ft by 15ft for a narrower room.
Do You Think I’m Sexy?
As for looks, the YPN214c certainly looks different when compared to other portable air conditioner models.
First of all it has a rounded, almost cylindrical, sleek silver and black case instead of being white like most other models tend to be. The silver panel on the front extends over the top of the unit and is framed on both sides and the bottom by a black casing. I think it looks cool, although beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
How Well Does It Circulate The Air?
The fan outlet and controls are on the top of the unit. This makes the controls easy to access when standing next to the unit without having to bend down too much to see which button you are pressing.
This is helpful for people with mobility issues such as back pain or sore knees, but it also means you can’t see the digital panel showing the temperature unless you are up right next to it.
The fan outlet is mounted on the top of the unit, which means the air-conditioned air tends to be blown up into the room rather than across the room like those mounted on the front of the unit. This doesn’t impact the cooling and, in my opinion, actually improves the look of the unit.
There are vertical and horizontal fins on top of the unit that can be set to point the air in a particular direction if you want the air blowing onto you while you sleep or relax. Another option is to automatically circulate the air in four directions if you don’t want the air constantly blowing on you.
As with the model discussed above, there are three fan speeds so in really hot days or when you first switch the unit on increase the speed, then reduce it later when the temperature settles down.
The unit comes complete with a remote control. This sounds like a bonus but is fairly standard and one of the must-have key features of any modern air conditioning unit. It means you can sit and relax or lie comfortably and control the unit without having to get up and walk over to it when you want to change the fan speed or temperature.
The remote control allows you to control the fan speed, blades, and of course set the temperature. The blue backlit LCD display is very clear and easy to read. The symbols are straightforward to understand too, so you should be able to easily tell which features are activated.
How Does The Timer Work?
The YPN2114C has a 24-hour timer that allows you to set the unit to switch on or off at set times of the day. This is ideal if you are out all day at work but want to come home to a nice cool, fully air conditioned room. It also has a sleep mode that switches off the unit automatically after giving you time to nod off to sleep.
This is great for helping you get a great sleep while also keeping the running costs lower. Just remember to leave it plugged in and switched on. This might sound like common sense but some people have asked the question before!
Do I Need To Vent The Unit Outside?
By design, the unit needs to be situated next to a window. This is because they need to vent the hot air outside. This is more or less an unavoidable part of the cooling process of any AC unit.
Like most portable AC units, this one comes with a window vent kit. This consists of a window spacer that fits neatly into a slightly open window. It can fit any window up to 90in (228cm) wide, so installing it should not be a problem for most windows.
The window kits are designed to be easy to fit and remove, which offers you flexibility to move between rooms. For example, you could move it from your living room during the day to a bedroom at night.
How Portable Is It?
In terms of portability, there are wheels on the bottom that allow the unit to be easily wheeled around from room to room, as well as in and out of storage.
At 75 lbs (33kg) it’s not exactly the sort of device you’d naturally want to lift up and down a flight of stairs each day. This might be something to keep in mind if you wanted to perhaps move it between a living room and upstairs bedroom on a regular basis.
Is it Simple to Maintain?
The machine is very light on maintenance and doesn’t need any paid-for services, so that keeps the running cost low.
The unit has washable air filters, which help keep dust and bacteria from getting into the cooling system. This is good in two ways. First of all, it keeps the unit running efficiently, as a build-up of dust reduces efficiency. Second, it stops potentially harmful bacteria from entering the cooling system and circulating with the air in the room. An added benefit for your family’s health!
The unit has a water collection system but this should very rarely need to be emptied as it reuses any excess water taken out of the air in order to cool the air when it’s less humid. This might be the case if you live in a humid environment or you do a lot of cooking (although that’s probably not likely in hot weather!).
The unit has an auto-shutdown feature if the water tank does become full, so you’ll know to empty it through the hose at the back and it’s a straightforward task to do on your own.
1. Damage on delivery – in 2014 there seem to have been some quality issues. There were reports of units being delivered that were damaged or didn’t work correctly.
However, this seems to have been ironed out and most recent reviews online are very positive and report satisfaction with the unit’s performance.
2. Strange noises – It’s also worth noting that there has been one report online at the time of writing of noises coming from the unit. If this is the case it could well be caused by water in the tank causing vibration. Emptying the tanks should sort this out.
Top Reasons To Buy the 214c
1. Powerful – The 14000 BTU rating is the highest among Shinco’s portable AC products.
This high BTU rating, along with the high top fan speed, allows the unit to deliver a fast cooling and a powerful wind of cool, clear air to get you from hot and sticky to cool and comfortable in a matter of minutes, even in super hot weather.
2. Lower Noise – The noise on the unit is comparably low. In fact, it produces a similar or even lower noise that some much smaller and less powerful units. Most people agree that low noise is a key feature that is vital to them when looking to buy a new air con unit.
3. Distinctive Looks – The oval shape and silver panel give this unit a distinctive look. Placing the blades and controls on top at first seemed strange to me, but actually allows it to look clean and uncluttered when viewed from the front. I really like this look as it hides the sometimes-unsightly air output grills that some units have on their front.
What’s The Bottom Line? – My Verdict
The 214C is the most powerful AC unit in the range reviewed here, so it works quickly even over a large area. This makes it great for those of you who have a large area (500 sq ft) and want it cooled quickly and kept cool for long periods of time.
It looks good too, and even though it’s a heavy unit at 75 lbs the wheels make it quite portable as long as you don’t have to drag it up or down stairs. You will pay a bit extra for this unit but that comes with having the greater cooling power and will most likely work out to be less expensive than buying and running two separate units.
As mentioned above, the quality issues from 2014 seem to have been resolved and most customers reviewing it online are now giving this unit a five-star rating.
Delivery is free and it normally ships within a few weeks, so it shouldn’t be long before you get going and start to beat the heat in your home.
Shinco YPF1-12C 12000 BTU – Best Rated Model
In my opinion, the YPF1-12c is one of the best of the Shinco air conditioners. It has a rating of 12000 BTU. This has enough power to keep the temperature steady at the level you choose in a room up to 400 sq ft (37 sq meters). To make this number more concrete, 400 sq ft is 20ft long by 20ft wide or about 26ft long by 15 ft wide. This easily includes most bedrooms, open plan areas and living rooms.
Not Just a Lump of Plastic – How Does It Look?
In terms of looks, the unit has a very appealing design. You could even say it looks trendy. It has gently contoured edges and a thickset trim. The top part of the unit leans slightly backward, which breaks up the usual straight lines and at the same time makes it slightly easier to see and use the console controls. It definitely looks better than some of the other units on the market.
The controls are placed at the top, making it easy for you to see the temperature at a distance and control the settings when up close to the unit (or the kids have hidden the remote, as often happens in our house!)
The digital temperature output lets you easily see the temperature and has the flexibility to view it in Fahrenheit or Celsius. The light is not too bright either, so it is fine for use in a bedroom at night.
The top section of the unit has the air outlet. It spans the full width for maximum flow and has horizontal and vertical moving blades that give it the four-directional circulation that really helps cool the air evenly. Importantly, you can control the direction of the air outlet if you want it to point it in a specific direction.
A Great Feature – Remote Control
The YPF1-12c comes complete with a remote control, allowing you to relax on your sofa or in bed and still increase or decrease the temperature or turn it off and on until you feel totally comfortable.
What Are The Noise Levels Like?
While noise can be somewhat subjective, most people seem to be comfortable with the levels generated by this model. Of course, you will probably notice it a bit more at night when the house is quiet.
Keep in mind, though, that the noise tends to be constant and our brains are quite good at adapting to this sort of constant low, rhythmic background noise.
Single or Dual Hoses?
The unit is single hose design. This makes it less expensive to buy and simpler for you to install. For those of us who take pride in the look of our homes it looks slightly more discreet than the bulkier products which have two hoses. However, this does come at a cost which is lower higher operating costs when compared to a similar rated 2 hose portable air conditioner unit.
How About the Cooling Fans?
The three-speed fan is a feature that people find really useful. For example, you can put the ac unit on the highest setting when it is first switched on in order to start cooling the area quickly. Then, you can turn it back down again once the room cools down to a comfortable temperature.
Obviously, the higher the fan speed the higher the noise and power consumption, so using the lower setting is probably the best option for night time use, especially if you are sensitive to noise.
Another great feature is the sleep mode. This allows you leave the unit running for a period of time before you nod off to sleep. It means you don’t have to leave it on all night or remember to get up and switch it off. This is a real money saver too!
Is It Actually Portable?
Obviously, one of the main reasons for buying a portable air conditioner is the portability aspect. In this respect this model passes with flying colors.
First of all, it weighs in at 52 lbs (around 23.5kg), which is on the lighter side for a portable air conditioner.
Additionally, it comes with built-in inset handles, which help with lifting and moving. It also has a nice set of hooks for wrapping your cord around to keep it from trailing on the floor.
The wheels on the base of the unit make it easy to roll around, which further increases the portability of the unit. For instance, you could store it in a cabinet and wheel it out only when you need it.
In terms of size, it measures up to be 13.3in (33.8cm) wide, x 14.2in (36cm) long x 24.7in (62.7cm) high. Before you buy you’ll definitely want to do a quick measure to see that it will fit into the storage space you have in mind for it.
Is It Easy To Maintain and Service?
On this score, you’ll be glad to know that the Shinco YPF112c is very low maintenance.
The filters can be removed and easily washed with some cool water. It’s probably worth doing this once a week to help keep the running costs as low as possible. If you don’t wash the filters dust can gather on the evaporator coil, reducing the efficiency and making it more expensive to run.
The unit has a condensation collector. This means that water is reused in the air cooling cycle, so it shouldn’t need to be changed that often. This is great news for those of us who don’t want to tinker with things too often.
Check it every month and make sure you empty it before you pack it away for the winter. There is a handy water outlet port at the back of the unit for doing this. It’s close to the ground so you will need something long and thin (like a paint tray) to collect the water when emptying it.
The other option is to lift the unit onto a table or step to make space for a bucket to fit under it.
Not Just a Portable Air Conditioner
Note that the unit can also be used as a stand-alone dehumidifier. This feature will come in handy if you live in a humid climate, or if for example you dry your clothes indoors. Damp houses are breeding grounds for mold, which is unhealthy as well as unsightly. When you take into account the dehumidifying feature it means that you can use the unit all year round, not just in summer. This makes it great value for money.
Possible Disadvantages of the YPF1-12C?
The vast mahority of customers who’ve reviewed this unit online think it’s great. However, a few minor issues have been reported.
- Lack of full control – some of the features can only be managed from the remote. The unit will still work fine but you just won’t have access to some of the more advanced features if your remote is missing. This is not a deal breaker because you can buy replacements, but it is a consideration if you are prone to losing or breaking these things – i.e. if you have kids!
- Fan Blades – some people have reported that the horizontal and vertical blades which direct the air have become stuck in some instances.
- Leaks – A very small sample of people have experienced leaks from the unit. It’s not clear what the cause of these leaks was, but the good news is that the company quickly replaced the units upon being made aware of the issue – great customer service!
Summary of Most Popular Features
- Fast cooling – The 12000 BTU gives it a real kick. This is number one on the list because that’s what an air conditioner is there to do. It cools rooms fast and keeps them at a constant temperature.
- Fan Blades – The option to use the horizontal and vertical blades really helps circulate the air.
- Dehumidifier feature – Extends the use of the air conditioner to also allow it to be used as a dehumidifier. Gives you two functions for the price of one.
What’s The Bottom Line on the YPF1-12C?
A mid-priced unit that really packs a punch. It looks good and is great for small to medium sized apartments or for chronically hot rooms in a bigger home – i.e. those that might be exposed to the sun the whole day.
The design looks great and the single hose makes it simple to install. It’s also easy to move and easy to maintain, so no need to be a ‘do-it-yourself’er’.
Update (September 2016) – I’ve added a new review of Shinco’s newer version of the YPF1-12C it’s called the YPL3-10C and you can read my review here.
Shinco YPO608C 8,000 BTU Portable AC – Best For Small Rooms
This unit is the cheapest of those reviewed and at 8000 BTU it’s the baby of the bunch. This lower power shouldn’t be confused with lower cooling capability, as long as you don’t use in a room that’s too big.
This 8000 BTU Shinco can cool a room that’s about 250 sq. ft. This is about 15.8 ft (4.8 m) by 15.8 ft or for a narrower room about 25×10 ft. (67.6×3 m).
The size and power of the unit means it’s ideally suited for a small bedroom or dorm but it won’t have the power to deal with larger bedrooms and living areas.
In terms of size this unit is smaller than the other two, which is expected given the lower BTU rating.To help you measure how the unit would fit into your living space, the dimensions are 13.9 x 11.8 x 29.8 inches. For those used to metric units, this is equivalent to 35.3 x 30 x 75.7 cm.
The smaller size not only suits a small room but also makes it easier to slide into a small cupboard or storage area when not being used. Great news if you don’t have too much in the way of storage space.
The YPO608C weighs in at 48 pounds (21.7 kg), which makes it almost 50% lighter than its bigger brother, the YPN214C. At this weight it is easy enough for most people to move it from room to room and even up and down the stairs, say from a downstairs study during the day, up to a small bedroom at night.
There are wheels on the bottom, which are ideally suited to tiled or wood flooring but not so good on thick carpeted surfaces.
What are the noise levels like?
Like all PAC units the fan and compressor pump do make a noise – you can’t really get way from that. Reports are mixed for this unit but most people tend to agree that it’s comparable with the noise of a window based unit.
The official noise rating is 56dB(A), which is normal for most AC Units. Some people find this too loud, others are happy with it. I guess it all depends on the individual’s sensitivity and tolerance to noise. We are all different after all.
Getting rid of hot air – the hose
Like the other Shinco portable air con units this one uses a single hose design. The hose needs to be connected to a window and comes with a hose and window adapter kit. A very low number of people have said it was poorly designed but perhaps it was just not well suited for their type of window.
Saying that, most people have found that it’s just fine. It’s easy to adjust and install meaning you don’t need to be a qualified tradesman or DIY buff to get up and running quickly.
There are no two ways about it – with all PAC units you will have to deal with the fact that there will be a hose sticking out the back of into a window somewhere, but after a while we tend to get used to this, especially if we feel the benefits of the nice cool air cooling us down.
How Good is it at Cooling?
This particular unit has 3 modes of operation. These are:
Cool – which is air conditioning mode
Dehumidify – for removing moisture from the air
Fan only – useful if you want to circulate the air round the house. In fan mode you don’t need to connect it to the window either but if you do it basically doubles as an extractor fan.
The unit has only 2 speeds but still cools the air quickly. One customer online mentioned that it was able to cool the air from a toasty 88 degrees to much more comfortable 72 easily and quickly. A timer is included in the unit so you can program it to come on and go off in time for you coming home from being out at work or shopping etc., or once you go to sleep.
Is the Design Any Good?
The YPO608C looks good. It’s not a design classic but is not exactly offensive to look at either – I’d call it a very functional design.
The curved corners break up the fact that it’s basically shaped like a box. The control panel is well laid out and sits neatly on top of the unit. It has membrane type touch controls that provide you with a satisfying feedback sound when you press them. That’s a nice touch.
There is a central LCD which displays the temperature, letting you easily see what you’ve set it at without being too close to the unit.
The remote control is included which allows you the freedom to control the temperature, fan speed, mode etc. This means that if you are relaxing in a chair and enjoying the nice cool climate but want to turn it up or down a notch you don’t even need to get up and do it – ah bliss!
The air outlet grill looks a bit aggressive with the black blades against the white unit shell. But the front mounted design does mean that the air travels horizontally, letting you enjoy a cool, refreshing breeze of wind while you are sitting reading or lying in your bed.
If you don’t like a breeze pointing directly at you then there is also a setting to direct the flow vertically too. This gives the unit flexibility and helps to circulate the air, perhaps even more useful in fan only mode.
What About Maintenance – Is it Easy?
The two main things you need to maintain are the air filters and water tank. It’s recommended that you wash the filters to remove grime and dust particles every couple of weeks. It’s just a 5 minute job and well worth the small effort to keep the machine running efficiently.
The water tank, in common with the other models in this range, shouldn’t normally need emptied as the water is reused in the air conditioning process and expelled through the outlet pipe in the discharged air. However, in humidifier mode or in humid conditions it will fill up faster. The auto cut-off will kick in if it gets too full, so you don’t need to worry about it overflowing and spilling onto your floor or carpet
Reported Issues – Things to Think About
These issues were mostly related to items arriving damaged in the first place. There was one online review that reported the unit stopping working after about a month.
Noise is always a common theme with PACs. In terms of db values this one is on a par with most others. There is no hiding from the fact that as soon as you have moving parts and flowing air you’ve got a certain level of noise.
Top 3 Positives – Reasons Why It’s A Good Choice
This portable air con unit is towards the lower end of the scale in cost, and could be an excellent price if you are on a tight budget.
2. Cooling Power (if used in the right room)
Cools quickly and keeps the temperature well. That is of course based on it being used in the right size of room.
Looks neat and tidy. It’s small and lightweight compared to other units.
Verdict – My Final Thoughts
The Shinco 608c will certainly cool the air for you. Its looks are not anything to write home about but not exactly bad either. It has many of the features that some of the more expensive models have but at a fraction of the cost.
There were some DOA (Damaged On Arrival) issues reported. I’d say it’s unfair to judge a product on what might have been damaged in transit. No one knows how much of a rough time it might have gone through on its journey.
One instance of it failing shortly after purchase is not enough to worry me, particularly as there are plenty of 4 and 5-star reviews raving about it.
The cost is the main selling point for me. It’s one of the cheaper models out there. It has most of the features usually found on larger, more expensive models but at a much more affordable price point.
Overall it’s a great choice for a study, small bedroom or computer room. Its lower cost makes it great for someone on a tight budget such as a student or teenager.