Frigidaire Portable Air Conditioners
Frigidaire manufactures two lines of portable air conditioners.
A standard line that includes
- Frigidaire FHPC082AC1
- Frigidaire FHPC102AC1
- Frigidaire FHPW122AC1
- Frigidaire FHPW142AC1
- Frigidaire FHPH142AC1
And a “smart” line that now only includes
- Frigidaire GHPC132AB1
For both lines, note how it's mostly the numbers that change for each model number.
These numbers reference the BTUs for each model.
For example, the FHPC082AC1 is an 8,000 BTU portable air conditioner.
The Frigidaire FHPW122AC1 is a 12,000 BTU portable air conditioner.
The letter "H" is also meaningful, but only when it follows the letter "P". The "H" in FHPH142AC1 designates Heating functionality. The only major difference between the FHPW142AC1 and FHPH142AC1 is heating functionality.
The letter "G" in GHPC132AB1 stands for "Gallery". Frigidaire "Gallery" appliances have some form of "smart" functionality. This portable air conditioner, for example, can be controlled remotely via a smart device like a mobile phone or tablet.
Before we can compare Frigidaire models to models by other brands, we first need to talk about the two types of specified cooling capacities.
The first type is the standard type that you’re likely already familiar with and the one referenced in Frigidaire model numbers – 8,000, 10,000, etc. BTUs.
The second type involves a more nuanced approach to calculating BTUs:
- outdoor temperature is higher – more indicative of real world conditions
- cooling capacity lost due to the portable AC unit radiating heat back into the room through its exhaust duct is taken into account
- cooling capacity lost due to the addition of outdoor air getting pulled into the room is taken into account. (In short, the portable AC unit exhausts air out of the room without replacing it. This causes an area of low pressure in the room. Higher pressure outdoor air gets pulled into the room.) - more information here
The first type is usually called “ASHRAE cooling capacity”.
The second type is called “seasonally adjusted cooling capacity (SACC)”.
By taking a more nuanced approach to calculating BTUs, the second type – SACC – is much more indicative of the actual BTUs in a real world scenario.
Unlike ASHRAE cooling capacity, it also differs from model to model within the same standard BTU size category.
Let’s take a look.
Frigidaire vs other brands
We’ll start with the 8,000 BTU size class. Here, the Frigidaire FHPC082AC1 has an ASHRAE cooling capacity of 8,000 BTUs but a SACC of only 5,500 BTUs. This means that the FHPC082AC1 loses 2,500 BTUs due to heat added by ducting, heat added by outdoor infiltration air, and accounting for use during higher outdoor temperatures.
The FHPC082AC1 does see a sizable drop in cooling capacity going from ASHRAE cooling capacity to SACC, but it's the smallest drop of any 8,000 BTU portable air conditioner on the market.
The Black + Decker BPP05WTB, for example, has a SACC of only 5,000 BTUs. The SereneLife SLPAC8, a very popular option on Amazon, has a SACC of only 4,000 BTUs.
Because it has such a high SACC for the 8,000 BTU ASHRAE size class (on top of having good energy efficiency and being a good value), the Frigidaire FHPC082AC1 is actually our top recommendation if you're shopping in this size category.
The Frigidaire FHPC102AC1 has a SACC of 6,500 BTUs, which is only 500 BTUs less than the 7,000 SACC BTUs of the model we usually recommend in this size category, the Whynter ARC-102CS.
The Whynter also has a slightly higer CEER (Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio), which accounts for energy efficiency on all modes (cooling AND fan only, dehumidifier modes, etc.). But the Frigidaire has better energy efficiency only on its cooling mode (to calculate this we use SACC/watt ratio).
Both models are a good value (here we use the SACC/retail price ratio), though the Whynter is usually a slightly better value.
The Frigidaire FHPW122AC1 has a SACC of only 8,000 BTUs. The top rated Midea Duo (MAP12S1TBL) has a SACC of 10,000 BTUs. For this size class we strongly recommend the Duo over the Frigidaire.
The Frigidaire FHPW142AC1 and FHPH142AC1 have a SACC of 10,000 BTUs. The top rated Midea Duo (MAP14S1TBL) has a SACC of 12,000 BTUs. For this size class, we again strongly recommend the Duo over the Frigidaire.
However, here, the Frigidaire models are much more viable alternatives.
Our testing showed a massive jump in real world cooling performance in units with over 9,000 SACC BTU compared to units with under 9,000 SACC BTUs. And so we generally recommend that you buy a portable AC unit with at least 9,000 BTUs of seasonally adjusted cooling capacity (SACC).
The Frigidaire FHPW122AC1 with 8,000 SACC BTUs doesn't meet this 9,000 SACC BTU threshold. While the 10,000 SACC BTU Midea Duo (the MAP12S1TBL) does. This makes the Duo an easy recommendation over the Frigidaire FHPW122AC1.
The FHPW142AC1 and FHPH142AC1 with 10,000 SACC BTUs do meet this 9,000 SACC BTU threshold. And so, we do recommend the Duo (the MAP14S1TBL) over the Frigidaire options, but we still think there are certain applications where the Frigidaire options may be viable alternatives.
The Duo (MAP14S1TBL) is the best portable air conditioner we tested. It has the most cooling capacity, the best energy efficiency, and it's a great value.
But it is expensive.
The FHPW142AC1 and FHPH142AC1 are worse portable air conditioners with worse cooling capacity (SACC) and less energy efficiency, but they still cool better and have better energy efficiency than the vast majority of portable air conditioners on the market, and they're usually considerably less expensive than the Duo.
So if you're looking for a more budget friendly alternative to the Duo, these Frigidaire models can be viable options.
The FHPW142AC1 is a good more budget friendly alternative to the MAP14S1TBL.
And the FHPH142AC1 - with heating functionality - is a good more budget friendly alternative to the MAP14HS1TBL - a submodel of the Duo that also offers heating functionality.
Our top pick for the 8,000 BTU ASHRAE size class is a Frigidaire portable air conditioner - the FHPC082AC1.
In the 10,000 and 14,000 BTU ASHRAE size classes, Frigidaires are solid alternatives. The FHPC102AC1 is a good alternative to the Whynter ARC-102CS, and the FHPW142AC1 and FHPH142AC1 are solid cheaper alternatives to the Midea Duo (MAP14S1TBL and MAP14HS1TBL).
The only Frigidaires we don't recommend are the FHPW122AC1 and GHPC132AB1. Both models have substantially less SACC than equivalent models in the same size class.
The FHPW122AC1 is a 12,000 ASHRAE BTU model with only 8,000 SACC BTUs and the GHPC132AB1 is a 13,000 ASHRAE BTU model also with only 8,000 SACC BTUs. The top rated 12,000 ASHRAE BTU model, the Midea Duo (MAP12S1TBL), has 10,000 SACC BTUs.
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