If you’re looking for a portable air conditioner unit for the upcoming summer months, then there’s no better place to begin your search than by seeing what popular brands have to offer.
This time, we’re going to compare the hOmeLabs 12,000-BTU unit against the BLACK+DECKER’s own 12,000-BTU BPACT12HWT to see which of the to comes out on top. It’s a real nail-biter, folks, so you may want to pay close attention.
hOmeLabs 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
300 to 450-square-foot Coverage
12,000 BTUs is far from being the highest rating a portable AC can get. This is relatively limiting and makes the hOmeLabs suitable only for rooms of up to 450 square feet.
Any larger and the machine will have to work overtime while also being less efficient. Just something to think about.
Built-in 100-PPD Dehumidifier
Here’s something you don’t need to ponder over. The hOmeLabs is a multi-functional device that not only cools a room by removing warm air but also brings down the mugginess by condensing airborne moisture. It’s rated at 100 pints of water removal daily, making it a super-powerful dehumidifying device by portable AC standards.
You also have the option to adjust how humid the air should be (between 35 and 85% relative humidity).
Because portable air conditioners draw ambient air in a room, it’s essential that they filter the air as its cooled in order to keep your room smelling fresh.
The hOmeLabs uses a standard washable filter that’s easily accessible from the back of the unit. It works pretty well, just like the B+D’s, but it’s no HEPA filter.
hOmeLabs includes a full-feature remote control to let you control it from the comfort of your bed or couch. All programmable and selectable settings can be done through the remote, such as temperature settings, switching between cooling and dehumidifying modes, and programming the 24-hour timer.
This is pretty much standard practice nowadays, but it’s always nice to have the option to control the portable AC without having to get up. hOmeLabs even included batteries with the remote to help get things started! We wish B+D was thoughtful enough to do the same…
It’s important to note that the hOmeLabs and B+D portable AC units are single-hose models. This, compared to dual-hose portable ACs, is easier to install and move around due to there being fewer parts. It’s also considerably less costly to purchase but also less efficient than their dual-hose counterparts at cooling spacious areas, hence their limited reach.
You can read all about the differences between single-hose and dual-hose portable air conditioners here.
BLACK+DECKER BPACT12HWT Portable Air Conditioner
200 to 325-square-foot Coverage
Despite having the same BTU rating as the hOmeLabs, tests find that the B+D works optimally in rooms of only up to 325 square feet. This isn’t to say you can’t push it beyond that—in fact, our tests found that this unit cools at the same efficiency as the hOmeLabs in similarly sized rooms.
Regardless, this unit should only be placed in smaller areas with fewer openings to the outdoors.
Like the hOmeLabs, the B+D comes with a built-in dehumidifier, but it only has a water removal rate of 50 PPD. Whether you need 50 or 100 pints of moisture removal daily depends on where you live and how muggy it can get, though we got to admit that the hOmeLabs’ higher removal rate will make it more suitable for a vastly wider demographic.
Self-Evaporating Bucketless Design
Though both the hOmeLabs and B+D are bucketless dehumidifier—i.e. condensed moisture is not stored in an onboard reservoir—they need to get rid of water somehow. The hOmeLabs relies on a basic drain hose, whereas the B+D’s motor evaporates moisture.
The self-evaporating mechanism eliminates the need to manually toss water out or find a high enough spot to let a drain hose run downward.
Even though portable ACs are used mainly during spring, summer, and the beginning of fall, it seems like a waste to keep the unit in storage during the cold months. But with the B+D’s heater mode, you won’t have to. Just like its cooling function, its heating range is limited so it’s definitely not a replacement for centralized heating systems.
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hOmeLabs vs. BLACK+DECKER: Which Portable AC Should I Get?
After comparing the hOmeLabs and the BLACK+DECKER 12,000-BTU portable AC units, we found that they both cool just as quickly and effectively as each other. However, there are two things customers need to decide before settling.
The first is about the water-removal rate—is 50-PPD enough or should you go double that with the hOmeLabs? Second, do you need a space heater to warm your hands and toes? If so, the BLACK+DECKER is the only suitable option here.