The Top 3 Danby Portable Air Conditioner Reviews
When it comes to effectively cooling a single room or apartment, many people turn to portable air conditioners.
A Danby Portable Air Conditioner unit provides powerful cooling without the need for large window spaces and expensive installation costs. Their designs are often sleek and stylish compared to traditionally cumbersome window AC units.
A portable air conditioner is a small, rectangular appliance that can be transported anywhere you need to keep cool. Most of them come with wheels for easy transportation and only require a window and an outlet to operate. Like traditional window AC units, they come with kits to attach the exhaust hose to any window. They are simple and easy to install, and can be easily used in multiple locations.
- 1 2017 Reviews of the Best Danby Portable Air Conditioners
- 2 Danby DPA140HEAUBD 14,000 BTU 4-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner – Black
- 2.1 How Big and Heavy Is The Unit?
- 2.2 What Does A Heat Pump Do?
- 2.3 Is it Easy to Install?
- 2.4 Are There Alternatives to Connecting to a Window?
- 2.5 Maintenance and Care
- 2.6 What warranty does Danby offer?
- 2.7 Final Verdict
- 3 Danby 12,000 BTU 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier + Remote, Black
- 3.1 How Does it Look?
- 3.2 Easy-To-Use Remote Control
- 3.3 What is the cooling power?
- 3.4 Does it Need to Connect to a Window?
- 3.5 Is the Unit Portable?
- 3.6 Key Features and Benefits
- 3.7 What Warranty Do You Get From Danby?
- 3.8 Final Verdict on the Danby 12,000 3-in-1
- 3.9 Pros –
- 3.10 Cons –
- 4 Danby DPA100E1WDB 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
- 4.1 Unit Design
- 4.2 Portability – How Easy is it to Move Around?
- 4.3 How is the Performance During Operation?
- 4.4 What is Eco Mode?
- 4.5 Is a Warranty Provided?
- 4.6 Summary
- 4.7 ’Show’
- 4.8 Danby DPA140B1WB 14000 BTU Portable AC – Best For Cooling Power
- 4.9 Danby DPA120B1WB 12000 BTU Portable AC
- 4.10 Danby DPAC8KDB Portable Air Conditioner
- 4.11 How Loud Are the Danby Portable Air Conditioners?
- 4.12 Conclusion
Why Use a Portable AC Unit?
Many people have never even heard of a portable air conditioner. Most people think the only option you have when it comes to cooling your home is a central air conditioning, a window air conditioner, or a fan. But there are many situations in which these conventional cooling units will not be the best option, and a fan really just moves air around a room, hardly cooling it at all.
If you do not have the space for a traditional window AC unit, a portable AC unit can be installed anywhere you can open a window at least a few inches. This is perfect for people who live in apartments or high-rises where you cannot install traditional window units.
And if you live in a relatively small space there may be little room for a window unit. Portable AC units are great for tiny houses and small apartments when you need to keep cool but don’t have the window space for traditional cooling methods.
These PAC units are also great if you like to cool more than one room at different times. There is no need to install multiple window AC units all around the house. These portable units can easily be moved to a different room if you need to cool it. This will require moving the window adapters as well, but it will save you the cost of having to buy and run multiple window units.
These units are also cost-effective. Why have your entire central air conditioning running around the clock if you are only spending time in one room? Especially at night, a portable AC unit can be placed in your bedroom to keep you cool so that you can turn off your central air which is running throughout your house. This can potentially save you quite a bit on your monthly electricity bill.
These units are also great for workshops or garages where traditional cooling isn’t available. There’s no need to sweat through your projects with these air conditioners. You just need a place for the exhaust hose and they will keep you cool while you work.
Lastly, these units can be stored when you do not need them. Unlike a window AC unit which is in place year-round, portable AC units can be put away during the cold months. Window AC units may allow heat to escape causing your room to be less than energy efficient. But with a portable unit, you can simply store it away and close your windows completely whenever you do not need the cooling.
What Is a BTU?
One of the things that often confuses people when shopping for a portable AC unit is the way the power of the air conditioner is measured. You need to make sure that your portable air conditioning unit is powerful enough to cool your room effectively, but how much power do you need?
Air conditioning units of all varieties are measured in what’s called a BTU. A BTU is a British Thermal Unit. It is a way of measuring the energy consumed to raise or lower heat. If you have a pound of water, it will take 1 BTU to heat that water one degree Fahrenheit. That’s the standard unit of measurement. To give you an idea of what this means, a standard kitchen match would produce 1 BTU if you let it completely burn out.
So, the more BTUs, the greater a machine’s capacity to either heat up or cool down a given space. As we look at each of the Danby units below, we will look at just how big a room each unit is able to cool, to help you decide which one is right for you.
2017 Reviews of the Best Danby Portable Air Conditioners
Danby’s most powerful portable and top of the range air conditioner is the 140HEAUBD. This 14,000 BTU unit covers up to 700 sq. ft. But what also makes this unit stand out is that as well as being an air conditioner it’s also a heater!
The casing is well built and solid with clean lines and a large LED on the front of the unit.
The key benefits of the unit include:
- A large, clear display – easy to see at a distance if you (like me) have less than 20/20 vision.
- Built-in handles and a good set of roller wheels for portability – this makes it easy to move the unit around and lift up and down stairs.
- A 3-speed fan so you can choose the level of breeze you want and need in your room.
- A simple to use, well-designed remote control. It also has a neat holder conveniently placed on top of the unit. This gives the remote a home and hopefully helps to reduce the chance that you’ll misplace it.
- Fan or Dehumidifier modes. This allows you to use the unit in fan-only or dehumidifier-only modes. A really useful option if you just need a relaxing flow of cool air around your room or need to remove excessive moisture from the air without cooling it too (a money and energy saver).
- Eco-friendly refrigerant – know you’re playing your part to keep the environment cleaner.
- Night time mode – increase the temperature set point slowly by 2 degrees over the first 2 hours of you going to to sleep. This is a great way so save energy and money on electricity bills without any noticeable impact on your comfort.
How Big and Heavy Is The Unit?
In terms of size, this unit is the largest of the Danby units I’ve reviewed measuring in at 16 inches wide, 29.4 inches high and 17.6 deep. It’s also the heaviest at just under 80lbs (36kg). This is not the largest or the heaviest of the 14,000 BTU units out there, but it will take up a fair amount of space. That said, you will be using the unit in larger rooms so space will be proportional.
What Does A Heat Pump Do?
The heater function works using what is known as a heat pump. This basically does the reverse of an air conditioner. An air conditioner takes the hot air from inside your home and blows it outside, replacing it with chilled air.
However, when it’s colder a heat pump can do the opposite. The unit can take the heat which is in the air outside and blow it into your room. Even when the air outside seems to be cold there is still actually heat in it that can be extracted using a heat pump and used to heat your home. The heat pump will operate as low as 55°F (13°C) and up to to 81°F (27°C), but I can’t think of someone who would still want extra heat when it’s 81 degrees!
The feature is very much designed for taking the chill off a colder room or basement during autumn. spring, or in places where you have milder winters. Remember the unit won’t produce any heat once the temperature drops below 55°F (13°C). This is because there is not enough heat in the air outside to extract at this lower temperature.
Is it Easy to Install?
The Danby Air Con is a single hose design. There are many pros and cons between single and dual hose design units (I discuss those here) but one of the plus points of the single hose unit is that it’s easier to install because you only have one hose to worry about.
There is really no getting way from it: you must have somewhere to blow the hot air that has been taken out of the room to. Most of the time this will be out of a window.
The unit ships complete with a hose (1.5 meters long) and a window kit that you can use for horizontal or vertical sash windows. You open the window a few inches, fit the window kit, attach the hose to between the unit and the window and that’s you in business. It sounds simple and normally it is but some people seem to find this part of the installation process the most frustrating, probably due to the huge number of different types and designs of windows.
The window kit can be used for windows between 52cm and 2 meters wide or tall, so should be good most standard windows.
Are There Alternatives to Connecting to a Window?
If you don’t have a window in the room you want to cool then there are other options. First of all, you can drill a hole in your wall and connect the hose to that. Tip: You could use the window unit to create a secure fitting for the hose if you’re going to drill a hole through the wall of your house.
Note: This option will need a builder or someone who is confident and competent to carry out building works. I don’t recommend you do this yourself unless you fall into that category.
Another option is to move the hot air into a larger space or area where the temperature is less important. For example, you might direct the hose into a garage or basement area. With this option, you need to be sure that the area is large enough to handle the extra hot air and moisture or you run the risk of it simply finding its way back into the room you want to cool. Remember hot air will always look to move towards the cooler air.
Maintenance and Care
Like all the Danby units this model is designed for minimal maintenance but you still need to carry out some basic steps:
1.) Drain excess water from the water tank
During normal air conditioning mode the water extracted from the air is reused in the cooling process. However, during drying (dehumidifier) mode you will need to empty the tank when it fills up. Remember, the aim of a dehumidifier is to remove water from the air, and this water is stored in the unit’s water tank. There is a water outlet plug at the back of the unit near the bottom. There is a shallow tray supplied to empty this water into before tipping it down a drain or outside.
An alternative which will stop you having to worry about emptying the tank is to fix the small direct drain hose to the water outlet’s port. You can then place this hose in a drain or point it outside and the water will drain naturally away. Note: The hose must drain to a point which is lower than the unit to allow the water to flow out.
2.) Do you need to change the air filter?
The unit is supplied with a basic air filter. The purpose of this filter is to remove large particles of dust, hair and dirt from being sucked into the unit and onto the cooling system. A build up of these particles over time can reduce the efficiency of the PAC unit or even damage it.
Over time the filter gets clogged up with particles and eventually will stop working effectively. It may also put extra stress on the air intake fan as it has to work harder to pull air through the clogged up filter. At the very least this will mean the unit uses more electricity, and over time it may burn out the motor.
You need to clean the filter every 1-2 weeks. But it’s a simple job of removing it, giving it a quick wash, leaving it to dry and then replacing it. The instruction booklet talks you through it the first time but after doing this a couple of times you’ll be a pro!
3.) Storage out of season
Portable air conditioner units are normally only used during the hotter months of the year. The Danby 14,000 unit may also be used during cooler times because it has a heat pump feature. However, when not in use it’s vital that you store the unit correctly:
The following steps are recommended:
- Drain the water from the tank.
- Run the appliance on fan-only mode for a few hours in a hot room. This will dry the internals of the unit and help prevent mold developing.
- Remove the batteries from the remote.
- Clean and replace the air filter.
- Store in a place which is low in dust and cover with a dust sheet – (Amazon.com link).
These simple steps will help extend the unit’s lifespan and get it ready just to plug in for next season.
What warranty does Danby offer?
The unit comes with a 2-year warranty. This is a year longer that the 10,000 and 12,000 units and reflects what I’d expect from a top-of-the-range model.
This unit is a new Danby Air Conditioner for 2017 and as yet has very little feedback as I write this review in May 2017 to back up my own thoughts and opinions.
With that in mind I’m going to give it a provisional rating of 4 stars. This is based on the features it offers for the price, and also the fact that it comes with a 2-year warranty when most units only come with a year as standard.
Rating:Price check Amazon.com
Looking for a powerful unit with a higher star rating? Check out my top 14,000 recommendation on Amazon.com
The Danby 12,000 3-in-1 is brand new for 2017 so I’m still building up a picture of how the unit performs. Early indications are mixed, with some great 4 and 5 star reviews online but also some lower 1-star feedback. However, this 1-star feedback is mostly due to units that have been defective on delivery. Let’s look at what the unit has to offer…
How Does it Look?
Overall the unit is really well thought out from a design point of view and should fit seamlessly into most rooms. There is a large front-facing LED which clearly shows the set temperature and operating mode so a quick glance from anywhere in the room will allow you to check up on what the temperature is. Note: this unit is also available in white.
The unit measures in at 19 inches wide, 15 inches deep and 34 inches high. It’s not the smallest unit around; however, for the 12,000 BTU cooling capacity, it’s not huge either.
Easy-To-Use Remote Control
The unit has a super easy-to-use remote control that allows you to change the temperature up or down, cycle the top mount air direction blade up and down, increase the fan speed and set the timer. Basically, you can control everything you need to from this smart looking controller with blister type buttons.
What is the cooling power?
The unit has 12,000 BTU of cooling power. On the Amazon description this states that it’ll cover 550 sq. ft. but most other units rated at 12,000 only cover up to 400 sq. ft. so that 550 sq. ft. coverage may be slightly optimistic in the real world. If you have a bigger room I’d look for a 14,000 BTU unit like the Danby DPA140HEAUBD 14,000 BTU 4-in-1 or one of the units in my Top 5 14,000 BTU reviews.
Does it Need to Connect to a Window?
The Danby unit is a single hose design. The unit comes with a window connection kit which must be used to allow the hot air to be expelled from the room. There have been mixed reviews on the build quality of the kits but most people certainly manage to get up and running with them. I’d recommend that you have some duct tape handy though if you have an odd shaped window. This probably won’t be needed but it is useful if you need a bit of extra sticking power.
All portable AC units need to be connected to a window to allow the hot air to be vented out of the room
The exhaust hose length is 150 cm (1 1/2 meters). This should be more than enough for connecting the unit from the floor to your window but it is worth measuring before you buy. If you do have a higher window then it may be better to elevate the unit as most manufacturers won’t recommend fitting an extension and you might invalidate your warranty. Measure the distance between the window and the places you are most likely to put the unit to be sure it’ll fit before you buy it.
Is the Unit Portable?
Portable air conditioner units are normally built for easy installation and portability and the Danby shapes up well in this area. It weighs 75lbs (34kg) so you need to take care when lifting the unit up and down stairs. Built-in handles make the job easier and give you a good holding position if you do need to lift the unit.
Moving the unit from room to room on the same level is simply a case of rolling it on the 4 built-in castors so that should make it easy for people of all ages and abilities.
The window unit is designed to be connected and disconnected quickly, adding to the portability of the unit if you want to move it from room to room.
Key Features and Benefits
3 Speed Fan – Allows you to create a breeze as well as cool the air. Great when you first turn the unit on in a hot room.
Temperature range – Cools to any temperature between 64 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit so you can set the temperature of the air to the level you feel comfortable in.
Note: Be sure you buy the right BTU rated unit for your room size. If the unit is underpowered for the room size you may not be able to reduce the air temperature to the level you have set. This wastes energy and money.
3 Modes of Operations – The unit can be operated as an air conditioner, a dehumidifier or a fan. This means that even if the weather is not too hot you can still use the unit to circulate the air around the room and create a gentle cooling breeze. There is an air direction blade on top of the unit that you can lock into one of 3 positions if you want the cool air always coming your way, or oscillate through a range of motions to help move the air evenly around the room.
In air con mode the dehumidifier will also be activated. However, if you find you have some extra moisture in the air and just want to remove it without cooling then you can also use the unit as a stand-alone dehumidifier. A good use for this is to speed up the time for drying wet clothes indoors and cutting down on damp and possible mold growth.
Do You Have An Issue With Mold?
What Warranty Do You Get From Danby?
The 12,000 3-in-1 unit comes with a 12-month parts and labour warranty as standard. Amazon.com offer 2 and 3-year protection plans which can extend the 12-month standard warranty if you feel you need some extra peace-of-mind cover.
Final Verdict on the Danby 12,000 3-in-1
- Well thought out design with large bright display
- The build quality of the unit is reported to be very good
- Good portability options with built-in handles and good quality casters
- Low noise operations
- 3 modes of operation offer flexibility of using the unit as a standalone fan or dehumidifier
- Great value for money for a 12,000 unit
- Window kit quality wasn’t excellent
- Some issues with units not working correctly
- Perhaps the 550 sq. ft. coverage is an overstatement for a 12,000 BTU unit. For a larger room a 14,000 unit would be more suitable
Solid, well thought out unit but there are better options on the marketHead over to Amazon.com for the latest price and reviews
Check out my No.1 recommendation in the 12,000 BTU category
The Danby mid-range offering is the 10,000 BTU rated E1WDB model. This model retails towards the lower end of the market for 10,000 units.
Danby E1WDB actually looks really good. It’s well built and looks very similar to the larger 12,000 model. It has a forward-facing LED display in the centre of the front panel which is large and bright and easy to read from a distance.
Like most portable A/C units these days it comes with a handy remote control that allows you to operate the unit. The remote has a neat little home on top so you have less chance of losing it, which is a useful feature.
It weighs 66 lbs (30kg) and measures in at 17 inches wide, 28 inches high and 14 inches deep. This is worth considering if you need to fit it into a tight space beside your window.
Portability – How Easy is it to Move Around?
Moving the unit about is easy. It comes with four casters for rolling it from room to room. There are also two built-in handles on the side which give you strong and stable lifting points should you need to lift the unit up and down a set of steps or over a door threshold. Note: Remember to use a good lifting technique and posture if you do need to lift the unit at any point. This will help to avoid injuries.
How is the Performance During Operation?
The 10,000 unit is rated for rooms up to 450 sq. ft. This is enough to cover a bedroom or small living room. It has 3 fan speeds so you can set the level of air circulation you need. It goes without saying that it is noisier at the higher fan setting so consider using the low setting if you want to keep it quieter during the night. If the sound created by your portable unit is important to you it might be worth checking out my analysis of the quietest units on the market in 2017 to see if any of those units would be more suitable to your needs.
It also has 3 separate operating modes:
- Air conditioner – great for cooling air, removing moisture in the air and creating a cool breeze around your room.
- Fan only – ideal for cooler weather when air conditioning is not necessary but you still want a cool breeze. This will save you money on energy costs when compared to running the unit on full AC mode.
- Dehumidifier only – removes moisture from the air helping to reduce humidity in your home.
What is Eco Mode?
For night-time use the Danby has a neat ‘economy’ feature. Press this button and the unit automatically increases the set temperature by 1 degree after an hour and then another 1 degree after 2 hours. The theory behind this is that you will be asleep by that point and won’t notice the 2 degrees of difference but it will save you on energy costs if the unit is running overnight. This 2-degree difference could really add up over the course of a long, hot summer.
Is a Warranty Provided?
The unit comes with Danby’s 12-month warranty which covers replacement parts and labor costs. The warranty is in line with other manufacturers and is industry average.
Overall the Danby DPA100E1WDB 10,000 Portable Air Con is a good choice of unit. It’s not outstanding by any means but will certainly do a great job for you if cool air in a small to mid-sized room is your goal. Its price point and design are the main reasons I’d buy this unit. It offers a clean design with a good sized, clear LED display panel at a decent price for a 10,000 BTU unit.
Not convinced this unit is for you? Have a look at my No. 1 10,000 BTU pick
Click the arrow to show reviews of additional Danby models
Still not sure if a Danby Portable Air Conditioner is right for you?