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3.0/5
1 review
Delonghi Pinguino AC Reviews
#40 in Misc

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    Recommended? Fugheddaboutit!
    July 15, 2020
    Quebec, Canada

    Strong AC, not great app

    As someone who does not handle heat well, I was thrilled to try out a strong portable A/C unit like this one in the middle of Summer. While I was happy with it in some ways, I was also disappointed with some of the features and found that it wasn’t the right fit for what I wanted.

    This portable A/C unit is pretty standard in terms of size and set-up. There is a hose you can place on the back of the unit to help it drain excess water, though you will probably want to raise if off the ground for that as the drain is at the very bottom of the unit’s back. It also comes with a kit to install it in your window (or sliding door) which has adjustable plastic rectangular pieces to help you fit it into almost any size of window. It also has adhesive foam, which is a big help when you’re trying to make sure the window is sealed tight without any leaks. The plastic pieces are not as adjustable as I would have liked (in my windows the plastic pieces were always either too small or too big for the different adjustable options) but for most windows they will do the trick. If you plan on installing this in a tall window or sliding door, or a non-standard window like mine (casement windows), be prepared to use large pieces of cardboard, wood or plexiglass and a lot of duct tape to cover the gaps.

    The hose that connects the A/C unit to the window is very adjustable and flexible, though it does come out of the back of the unit in a way that prevents it from being flush against the wall. Unfortunately, the connecting between the hose and the window-mounted vent does not have any kind of lock to secure it in place, instead they just slide together. As a result I woke up on at least one occasion to find that the hose had simply slid out of the window and was now on the floor, rendering the entire A/C pointless. After the first time I secured the hose with tape to avoid it happening again.

    There are two reasons this A/C unit ended up being a bad fit for me: it’s too powerful for a small room, and it’s too loud to be used while someone is sleeping. I wanted a portable A/C unit for my small bedroom, but this unit is measured at 14,000 BTU, enough for a room of about 600 square feet. My room was much smaller than that. I’ve actually never had this experience before, but if you have an A/C unit that is much too strong for the room you want to cool down (and the doors are closed), the A/C will actually function very poorly and struggle to maintain a consistent temperature. My A/C unit would blast cold air for a few minutes, then give up and switch to a fan modem even though the room was not very cold at all. After a few minutes on fan, it would switch back to the A/C function and try again. That ties into my second issue: when the A/C switches on or off, it does so with an incredibly loud noise. If you plan on having this unit anywhere near your bedroom, you’ll find it waking you up every time it does this. Even once I moved the A/C to a different room and it was working properly, it would still occasionally turn off the A/C function with a loud clunk, waking me up in the next room. During the daytime this was not an issue, but at night it became a real dealbreaker for me. If you're not sensitive to noise, it'll be fine for you.

    One of the most frustrating and disappointing things about this air conditioner is the app and how it works with this device. When I first set up the air conditioner I noticed that there were several functions that you could not control using the remote, such as the fan speed when using the A/C setting. I eventually figured out that some settings are locked behind the smartphone app, and can only be changed there. This is very disappointing for anyone who wants the remote control to offer them full functionality, and especially for anyone who doesn’t use their smartphone much at home. Even worse though is the fact that the app is extremely unreliable and difficult to use. Setting it up in the first place to connect to my air conditioner took multiple attempts and resets before I finally worked. Once it was connected, the controls in the app are slow to change the air conditioner itself, and in some cases simply refused to work at all. Another big problem was that the connection would frequently disconnect and then take 30-60 seconds to reconnect without ever indicating that it was having trouble. I would simply try to change things in the app and then wait and see if it would ever work. If I left the house and came back and attempted to connect again to the A/C it would take at least a minute each time to connect. Between the connectivity issues and the other issues I had using the app, it became very frustrating trying to adjust basic features like how strong the fan speed was, and eventually I was so sick of trying to make it work that I would avoid adjusting the settings as much as possible.

    On a side note, I never successfully connected Android and had to rely on an Apple device to hook this up.

    Despite some of the issues I had with this unit, it’s still a very strong air conditioner and it does have some interesting features. I like that the cold air comes out of the top of the unit and not the front, allowing you to cool the room rather than just blow cold air in one direction. It also opens by itself, which is pretty cool. I like that you can adjust the specific angle of the vents on top including both left/right and forward/backwards.

    Finally, the ECO Real Feel setting is very interesting, but in my experience has a fatal flaw. It’s meant to automatically determine the ideal conditions for the room, cool it down, and then dehumidifying it until it’s just right. The problem is, you don’t get to decide what the ideal conditions are for your room. They’re automatically built into the device and you cannot adjust them. I quickly found that the “ideal” conditions for any room I tried this in were too hot for my liking, which made the entire feature completely worthless and led me to never use it again.

    Overall I wanted to like this air conditioner more than I did. It’s very powerful, it looks good, and it has some features I really like. But at the end of the day there were too many issues that I could not fix, in particular the app problems, the noise, and the fact that it was simply too strong for what I needed.

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