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Whynter Elite ARC-122DS portable air conditioner review

The Whynter Elite ARC-122DS is a unique portable AC that not only pumps air outside but cleverly draws it in too.

Whynter Elite ARC-122DS Review
(Image: © Whynter)

Our Verdict

This dual-hose model provides quiet operation and fast, efficient cooling. It’s relatively compact form and lightweight make it easy to move around the house, though once you have the window kit installed, you may not want to move it too far.

For

  • Fast, efficient cooling
  • Compact form
  • Two-hose design

Against

  • No hose provided for water drainage
  • Second hose makes window attachment more hassle
  • Other units are as efficient with one

The Whynter Elite ARC-122DS has one distinct advantage over many portable air conditioner units. While most feature an exhaust hose, which blows the hot air out of the room, this features a second hose to bring in air from outside. Though this might not sound like a big advantage over using air from inside the room, it does make it more efficient.

The Whynter Elite ARC-122DS can also work with just the one hose if needed but will be less efficient. It is designed to cool rooms of up to 400 square feet and features three fan speeds, auto evaporation and both dehumidify and fan only modes.

Is the Whynter Elite ARC-122DS the best portable air conditioner for you? Read on to find out all you need to know.

Whynter Elite ARC-122DS review: Price

The Whynter Elite ARC-122DS has a full list price of $592.99 but can be found in a range of stores for a great deal less. While both Best Buy and Home Depot are selling it for over $150 less, the lowest price is currently Amazon, which is selling it for $424. 

Whynter Elite ARC-122DS review: Features

Whynter Elite ARC-122DS: Key specs

BTU Performance: (ASHRAE 128 STD) 12,000
BTU Performance: (U.S. DOE STD) 6,775
Dehumidify: (Pt/Hr) 3.17
Dry Air Flow: (CFM) 155
dBA Level: (Front) 52
Est. Cooling Area: (SQ. FT.) 400
Remote Controller: Yes
Timer: 24 Hr, On/Off
Fan Speed Cooling: 3
Fan Only Speed: 3
Window Installation Kit: Yes
Watts: 1,080
Product: (WxHxD) 17" x 29.5" x 16"
Net Weight: 60 lbs.

The Whynter Elite ARC-122DS has a 12,000 BTU rating, so it's on par with the likes of the Frigidaire Gallery FGPC1244T1 and a little down on the powerful Honeywell HL14CHESWK. According to the Whynter website, this allows it to cool rooms up to 400 square feet, which is at least what we would suspect from this rating. In its dehumidifying mode, it is able to remove 76 pints of water per day, or around 3.17 per hour. To do so, a hose (purchased separately) must be attached to the water drain port in the rear.

The most notable feature on this unit is its second air hose, used to bring air in from the outside. A single hose unit creates a vacuum by just expelling the hot air, causing warm air to be brought in through any poorly insulated windows or doors. This reduces the efficiency of the cooling. A two-hose system avoids this negative pressure and is therefore able to cool faster or using less power.

The cool air vent on the top of the unit features adjustable controls to direct the air, but this is not automatic as on some models. There’s a remote control and a 24-hour programmable timer to set times for it to turn on and off. It also operates quieter than many of its size, coming in under 52dB when the compressor is working.

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Whynter Elite ARC-122DS Review

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Whynter Elite ARC-122DS review: Performance

The Whynter Elite ARC-122DS has received glowing reviews from professional reviewers as well as from its buyers. However, more recent reviews suggest it is now possible to get similar results without the need of a second hose.

Whynter Elite ARC-122DS review: User reviews

Home Depot users gave the Whynter Elite ARC-122DS a solid four out of five stars overall, with 84 percent of the 98 reviews recommending it. Amazon users gave a slightly more conservative 3.8 out of five from 238 reviews.

Most reviews comment on how quiet the unit is in operation compared to other portable air conditioners. They also note how effective the two hose system is at cooling down a room.

Negative points include the need to use the water drainage port to avoid regular emptying in humid conditions. And that the required water hose is not included. Some users also found the window kit doesn’t fit perfectly and needs additional insulation tape to properly seal it.

Should I buy the Whynter Elite ARC-122DS?

Though not the cheapest model out there, the Whynter Elite ARC-122DS is well priced for the specification and gives a solid performance. If you’re dealing with particularly high temperatures or a poorly insulated room, the two-hose system definitely has advantages.