A window air conditioner for a Wal-Mart budget.
Aug 7, 2002
Review by Jeremy Hays
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Most non-campus college housing is cheap and rightfully so is the saying, “You get what you pay for.” What I paid for was a three bedroom apartment with crappy maintenance and an underrated central air conditioning system. The apartment is far from trash but I like for it to be hot outside and frigid inside. Residing on the second floor on the western side of our apartment building causes rooms in our apartment to heat up to 85-87 degrees on a 95 degree day, even with the central A/C on. Keeping the house between 74 and 87 degrees all summer costs us a $150 electricity bill. Not so anymore.
Recommend this product?
One hot day I got fed up and went shopping for an A/C. I checked Lowe’s, the internet, Sears, and several other home-type outlets for a well priced window A/C. Finally I found my A/C no where else but Wal-Mart.
While everyone else was charging extra for A/C’s this hot summer, Wal-Mart had theirs on sale. My choice was the Fedders 5,000 BTU window A/C with remote.
The big yellow sticker on the front gave this A/C a 9.7 Energy Efficiency Rating (EER). I believe the scale was from 1 to 10, 10 being the best, 1 being the worst. The estimated yearly cost to operate was listed as $33—a whole heck of a lot cheaper than my outdated and underrated central A/C.
~Fighting the heat~
How well does this thing work? The A/C is rated to cool 150 square feet of room. My room is 140 square feet not including the walk in closet and the bathroom (which I leave open all the time). Also, I leave my computer running all the time and have a TV and refrigerator in the room—all of which generate heat. Without the help of the central A/C, my Fedders Window A/C has kept my room between 68 and 71 degrees F on days as hot as 95F. This keeps me very happy.
~Fans, fans and more fans~
I have a window A/C back home and it is one of the noisiest things in the world. When I brought this A/C home I expected the same. Boy was I surprised. As far as window A/C’s go, this thing is quiet. It generates less noise then an oscillating floor fan on a high setting. The fan can be set to low or high or auto. Low is very quiet, high is a little noisier but you can still watch TV and listen to music without turning the volume up any. Auto will cause the unit to switch between high and low depending on the temperature in the room it is cooling. I leave mine on high for maximum cooling.
I have a complaint about the high fan setting. The high setting should be called medium and a faster fan speed should be added and called “high.” The lack of a real high speed setting causes the unit to not cool as efficiently. The air is not blown out far enough. This causes it to be sucked back in and re-circulated leaving hotter air out in the room. I have found that if I tape a box level with the output vent it causes the air to go further out into the room. This helps a lot, especially on really hot days. The built-in vent can be adjusted left and right but not up and down, another flaw but easily overcome with an open room or my box-method.
Fan output according to the manual is 160 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) Max.
~To Remote or not to Remote~
Do you really need a remote? Yep. With the remote you get a digital display on the unit which gives you more control over the temperature and a timer. Originally I bought the remote because I expected the fan to be loud. Having a remote would allow me to turn the unit on and off without walking across the room. This would have came in handy when watching TV or trying to talk to one of my roommates with the door shut. Since the unit is so quiet, I really don’t use the remote that much but I do use it.
To save money and lots of it use the timer. The timer can be set to turn the unit on or off anytime during a 24 hour period. Usually I turn the unit off manually and have it turn on automatically about 1 ½ hours before I come home so my room will be cool. This saves me 6-10 hours of electricity for cooling. Excellent feature.
Use an up or down arrow on the remote or unit to change the output temperature anywhere from 66 to 82F. The output temperature you choose will not necessarily cool your room to that temperature but close to it. I leave mine on 66 and my room stays between 68 and 72F.
The unit will fit most standard windows. The minimum height requirement is 19”. The minimum width requirement is 19” with a maximum of 36”. To install simply snap on the expandable side panels, set the unit in your window and close it. Next adjust the side panels to the size of the window and secure with the provided screws. For added stability you can nail a board to your window seal and then attach two of the provided anchors for stability. The A/C sits fine in my window gutter and the only thing I added was an expanding clamp to the top of my window to ensure that my window cannot be opened. A weather seal is also provided to slide between the sliding window and stationary window. It took me less than 5 minutes to install. The unit weighs approximately 40lbs.
The manual says the unit will not cool if it is 70F or less outside. I find that it stops cooling around 68F. If you find yourself in this situation you can turn the unit to “fan” instead of “cool.” This will keep the energy hungry compressor from turning on and just pull in colder air from outside. Also if you allow the compressor to run when it’s too cold outside the coils could freeze.
The warranty on this unit is great. One full year of in-home service and five years of parts and labor service.
~Cleaning and filtering~
I have bad allergies and this thing helps a lot. It has a fine mesh filter on the intake which filters out dust, pollen, and other small particles. To clean the filter simply turn the unit off, pull up on the two tabs with both hands, wash, dry and reinsert. Great feature.
I got mine on sale at Wal-Mart for $124. Normal price is $135-139. I paid $10 extra for the remote which gave me the money saving timer and digital display. Well worth it.
~Power requirements and usage~
One standard American 115V outlet. The unit will use 5 amps cooling (less than your vacuum cleaner) and 515 watts cooling. The unit is not energy star compliant when its not cooling; however, it uses significantly less energy when just the fan is running. The compressor runs once every three minutes (built in unchangeable setting) for about 30 seconds and the fan runs the rest of the time. This produces about 1.4 pints of water an hour.
The power button is located with all of the controls on the front of the unit and on the remote.
The cabinet is made out of painted, galvanized steel which will resist corrosion. The rear grill is very sturdy and designed to prevent coil damage. The unit is beige in color.
An excellent quiet window air condition for those on a budget. It will keep your room cool on the hottest days while saving you money in electricity, parts, and labor. Easy to install, easy to use and very efficient. What else can you ask for?
Please rate my review honestly! Thanks!
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Amount Paid (US$): 124
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