Haier Portable Air Conditioners
Haier currently manufactures six different portable air conditioners:
|HPC12XHR||12,000||comes with added heat functionality|
|HPND14XHT||14,000||dual hose, comes with added heat functionality|
The only model in this list that comes with a SACC rating is the HPC12XCR. Its seasonally adjusted cooling capacity (SACC) is only 6,600 BTUs.
What is SACC?
It’s a new method for measuring cooling capacity.
In the past, portable air conditioner cooling capacity was measured under highly favorable conditions.
The end result was highly inflated BTU numbers.
For example, the HPC12XCR was previously (and still is to a large extent) sold as a “12,000 BTU” portable air conditioner. 12,000 BTUs was its measured cooling capacity according to old standard.
By the new standard – SACC – its capacity drops down to 6,600 BTUs – almost half of the capacity advertised according to the previous standard.
Why such a big drop?
Portable air conditioner cooling capacity is heavily influenced by
- the outdoor temperature – by the old standard units were tested at cooler outdoor temperatures
- cooling capacity is reduced by heat added back into the room by the portable AC unit itself – specifically heat added by the unit’s ducting and the area of low pressure it creates in the conditioned room to cause outdoor air to get pulled into the room (more information here).
The old standard – a standard by which the HPC12XCR is a 12,000 BTU air conditioner – does not account for these sources of heat (heat added by ducting and hot outdoor air getting pulled into the room). It also doesn’t account for higher outdoor temperatures.
The new standard – SACC – very much does take such factors into account.
Hence, the drop from 12,000 BTUs (old standard) to 6,600 BTUs (new standard – SACC) for the HPC12XCR.
All portable AC units have a lower SACC
Note that this drop isn’t unique to this specific Haier portable air conditioner. All portable AC units on the market exhibit the same drop. The difference lies in the extent of the drop.
The Haier HPC12XCR’s drop is 5,400 BTUs (12,000 – 5,400 = 6,600).
The most “efficient” 12,000 BTU units have less of a drop. The Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 has a drop of 4,800 BTUs – from 12,000 BTUs down to a SACC of 7,200 BTUs. The LG LP1217GSR has a drop of 5,000 BTUs – from 12,000 BTUs down to a SACC of 7,000 BTUs.
Note that this drop is also not unique to any specific “size category”. We see it just as much with 14,000, 10,000, and 8,000 BTU units as we do with 12,000 BTU units.
For example, the “14,000 BTU” Honeywell MM14CCS has a SACC of only 7,500 BTUs – a drop of 6,500 BTUs (from 14,000 BTUs).
SACC is the only specification that allows for real comparisons
You can use SACC to distinguish between the actual performance of different models. You could not do this in the past by using BTUs calculated according to the old standard for testing.
For example, both the Haier HPC12XCR and Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 were (and still are) 12,000 BTU models by the old standard.
In the past, you would look at these two models and think that they have exactly the same cooling capacity – 12,000 BTUs.
Today, you can use SACC to see that the Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 actually has a better cooling capacity than the HPC12XCR. The Frigidaire’s SACC is 7,200 BTUs while the Haier’s SACC is only 6,600 BTUs.
All other things being equal (which it is, for the most part – both units have much the same noise output, installation difficulty, etc.), you would choose the Frigidaire over the Haier solely because of its higher SACC. And this would be the correct decision to make, as cooling capacity is by far the most important factor to consider when buying a portable AC unit.
We generally do not recommend the HPC12XCR (compared to other models in the 12,000 BTU category) for this exact reason – it has a low SACC for the category.
Other Haier models lack a SACC specification
A problem arises when you want to make this same type of comparison and analysis for other Haier portable air conditioners:
They don’t come with a SACC specification.
There’s no way to compare the actual cooling capacity of the HPND14XCT to that of other 14,000 BTU portable air conditioners because it doesn’t come with a SACC specification. The same applies to the HPND14XHT (essentially a HPND14XCT with added heating functionality).
What we can tell you is that both Haier models are dual hose units. Most other models on the market are single hose units.
Recall that one of the major portable AC inefficiencies is creating an area of low pressure in the conditioned room and this causing hot outdoor air to get pulled into the room.
The area of low pressure is created because a single hose portable AC unit is constantly exhausting hot air out of the room without replacing it.
The HPND14XCT and HPND14XCT both have two hoses instead of one. The second hose intakes outdoor air at the same approximate rate at which the first hose exhaust air (and, for the most part, keeps it inside of the AC unit). This mostly negates the pressure gradient effect we see with single hose units.
The problem is that by adding a second hose to the system, you now have two hoses (instead of one) radiating heat back into the room. The addition of a second hose (with its accompanying fittings) also creates the potential for there to be more air gaps in the system. These gaps allow for more opportunities for hot air to infiltrate the room – either from the outdoors or the AC unit itself (for more on dual hose units vs single hose units see here).
Thus, we cannot say for sure, just by evaluating their design, that the HPND14XCT and HPND14XCT are more efficient than all of the single hose 14,000 BTU units on the market.
The closest comparison we can make here is to the Whynter ARC-14S which, like the HPND14XCT and HPND14XCT, is also a dual hose unit. The Whynter’s SACC is 8,900 BTUs. There are currently multiple single hose 14,000 BTU units on the market with a SACC over 9,000 BTUs. Thus, dual hose design does not necessarily result in greater efficiency and/or a higher SACC.
Lower BTU Haier models
The same (lack of information) problem applies to the Haier HPP08XCR and HPP10XCT. Neither model comes with a SACC specification so we cannot readily compare it to other models in the same size category.
What we can tell you is that the highest SACC 10,000 BTU models are the LG LP1017WSR and LG LP1018WNR. The highest SACC 8,000 BTU models are the LG LP0817WSR and LG LP0818WNR.
Any one of these models would be our recommendation in each respective size category.
Note that low BTU models (8,000 and 10,000 BTU) should only be used in
- Rooms that are relatively small (less than 150 sq. ft.)
- Rooms that are easy to cool (e.g. outdoor temperatures rarely get above 90° F)
For all other applications we recommend a model with a SACC of at least 9,000 BTUs. There are only two portable air conditioners currently on the market that fit this criteria:
Either one of these models is our recommendation for
- Any room over 150 sq. ft.
- Any room that’s difficult to cool
Haier portable air conditioners are difficult to analyze because most models don’t come with a SACC rating.
We know that the Haier HPC12XCR has a low SACC for the 12,000 BTU category and therefore do not recommend it.
We know that the Haier HPND14XCT and HPND14XCT are dual hose units and that they’re therefore likely to perform very similarly to the only other dual hose 14,000 BTU unit on the market - the Whynter ARC-14S. We do not recommend the Whynter and are therefore unlikely to recommend either Haier dual hose unit.
We know that the HPP08XCR and HPP10XCT are underpowered low BTU models and even if they had a high SACC for their respective size categories, we would not recommend them for most applications.
Otherwise, we can also tell you that most portable air conditioners on the market have a very similar
- Noise output
- Installation difficulty
- Size and weight
- Features and modes
The same applies to all Haier units.
Again, the one defining characteristic that should play the largest role in your purchase decision is cooling capacity – more specifically, seasonally adjusted cooling capacity (SACC).
Without this extra piece of information all models in the same traditional size category (8,000, 10,000, etc. BTU) appear to have much the same performance.
They certainly do not.
And that’s why it’s a shame that Haier currently does not readily give this information to the public.
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