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Community and Q&A

Beware the dual-hose portable AC / heat pump

kevin_in_denver | Posted in Mechanicals on

For years I’ve wondered if a dual-hose portable heat pump/air conditioner could be a poor man’s ductless minisplit heat pump. The advantage, as my logic went, was that I didn’t have to drill any holes or charge any refrigerant.

I bought a 14kbtu portable heat pump (Edgestar AP14001HS Portable Air Conditioner) ($400-$700)

I did some primitive temperature and airflow measurements.

I was impressed by the overall quality and the 11.2 EER, but what I found was very disturbing.

There is so much internal leakage, that the heat pump blows almost twice as much air out of the house that it pulls in. That difference in air volume gets sucked from outside into the house. The net effect of that is to reduce the COP in heating mode from the advertised 3.3 to roughly 1.4.

For heating, that makes it hardly worth the extra money over a resistance heater. I might as well have purchased an electric resistance heater with a COP of 1.0. In the air conditioning mode, this problem makes the unit worthless except for spot cooling. A window unit would work three times better at a lower first cost.

Has anyone seen a dual hose unit that actually works?

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  1. SereneGreenLef | | #1

    If it doesn't actually keep the air flow for the condenser and evaporator separate, then the dual hoses are not going to help. If your unit's condenser air flow in and out (hose in and hose out) are not the same, then the unit may be a dud and should be returned.

    Maybe this would work better: Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner (ARC-14S) - a review:

    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #2

      I think Kevin will be right out of luck trying to return the unit. His question is from 2014.

  2. SereneGreenLef | | #3

    @MalcolmTaylor - True. And this post is readable by others now who may be able to return a unit and access the newer models. Just want to encourage other consumers to seek out better, more efficient products, and manufacturers to lift their game.

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