An efficient climate control system that is worth the investment.
For many years, my family has kept a portable air conditioner in our garage. We do this so that in the oppressive heat that we sometimes have during the summer doesn’t make the garage completely unbearable. Even though the rolling A/C unit serves us well, it does not have remote control capabilities. You have to manually turn it on and off by the controls located on the unit itself. It’s a hassle and on more than one occasion, I think we actually just left it off for the day (when it really needed to be on instead) just because we didn’t want to fool with venturing outside. For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been testing out the RolliCool Portable AC, which has a companion app that features basic remote controls. This is the solution we were looking for all those years ago and we are so happy to have it now.
The RolliCool Portable Cool100H is a 14,000 BTU portable air conditioner with dehumidifier and heater. It has multiple functions – cooling, heating, dehumidifying, fan, and sleep – that you can switch between using the remote, built-in controls, or the app. The A/C unit operates at a volume level of approximately 56db and has a temperature range of 61-88 degrees (F). The dehumidifier removes up to 7.9 gallons of moisture per day from the air. It comes equipped with 4-360 degree rotating castors for easy room-to-room movement. At 14,000 BTU, the Cool100H has the power to cool a room up to 700 square feet.
The RolliCool is a ‘smart’ air conditioner. You can control it from anywhere in your home via the app or through Amazon Alexa. The unit also has a built-in timer that allows you to schedule when the A/C turns on and off throughout the day. You can set or modify the schedule in the app or the on-unit controls. Alexa only has the ability to turn the unit on or off and adjusting temperature. If you want to change modes, you’ll have to use the app, remote, or the unit controls. The A/C unit weighs approximately 62 pounds and measures 15.2 x 13.4 x 28.1 inches.
The RolliCool comes packaged in a fairly large box. There aren’t a lot of parts to it and the unit comes pre-assembled. So once you remove the packaging, you can simply plug in the unit after a few installation steps. If you follow the manual’s steps, installation should go smoothly. First, you want to pull together the window kit parts. This is important because it provides a place for the exhaust air to go when the A/C processes it. Two sliding sections of plastic are provided for you to fit into your window frame. The manual illustrates that these pieces can be used to install in either a vertical or horizontal opening window. Our windows open horizontally and I was actually delighted to find that these could be used with either style window.
I ran into a small problem because the vent panels did not fit our frame – one panel was too short while two panels were too long. I ended up sliding the two panels together and securing it with a screw so it would stay the proper length for our frame. As you can see from the photo, this meant that about half of the vent opening was covered. This isn’t recommended but the exhaust air was still able to escape. I also noticed at this point in the installation that there was no insulated wrap provided with the window kit. You can see from the close-up photo of the vent panel that there are some gaps between where the window closes and the actual panel. I’ve owned both window A/C units and the room units (like this one) and they usually have some sort of self-adhesive insulated foam included with the installation kit.
According to the instructions, you should install the vent panels into the window and then attach the exhaust pipe to the panel. This can be quite difficult as the vent panel wants to slip out of place in the window (some of this issue would be alleviated if insulation foam was included because that would secure the panel better). I actually recommend connecting the pipe to the vent panel and then securing it in your window frame. The instructions suggest adding a screw to the end of the exhaust pipe to secure it. I found that this is actually a necessity in my opinion. Even after I locked the pipe in place on the panel, it was a little wobbly. RolliCool does not include a screw for this but I, fortunately, had an extra in my toolbox.
Finally, you connect the piping to the RolliCool and plug it into power. Operation of the unit is actually pretty straightforward. I didn’t have any issues connecting it to the mobile app, operating it from the unit controls, or remote. That said, batteries are required for the remote and none are included with the unit. The unit will communicate through Bluetooth/WiFi. The mobile app is pretty basic but it gives you control over the unit and its modes. I was surprised at how well this worked. I set the unit up in our bedroom, which is at the back of our house and then I moved to the front. I opened up the app and told the unit to turn off. I walked back to the bedroom and found that it had indeed turned off. I also changed the mode from cool to dehumidify from the app. It worked just like it was supposed to. I would like to see a little more graphic design/layout work be put into the app. Like I said, it’s pretty basic-looking and I would just like a little more UI to work with.
After I got the RolliCool set-up and running, I used a temperature sensor from a security camera to measure the room’s temperature. This bedroom is approximately 300 sqft in size. There is an attached half-bathroom, which was included in this test and the central A/C vents were left open. My intent was to supplement the services that were already in place for this space. During the testing period, I shut the door to the room so that the outside air from the house would not be a factor. At the beginning of the test, the temperature was reading approximately 81-degrees. I’m not sure how accurate the internal thermometer is on this camera but since I was just trying to judge whether or not the temperature was going to fall with a dedicated room A/C, I felt this method of testing would work just fine. After one hour with the RolliCool in ‘cool’ mode, I checked the temperature reading again and it had fallen 2 degrees. After another hour with the unit on dehumidifier mode, it had fallen an additional 2 degrees for a 4-degree reduction in 2 hours. At this point, I also observed the humidity level (also from the security camera) and saw that since I had turned on the A/C unit, the humidity level in the room had fallen 5%.
The RolliCool Cool100H Portable Air Conditioner is a valuable asset for anyone who is looking to either supplement their current system or for those who just need to regulate a small space. I can recommend the unit based on its efficient operation but would warn users about the lack of supplies provided in the window kit. Insulated foam can be purchased at most hardware stores to add to the kit and if you have a smaller window frame like I do, I’m sure you can trim the vent panel to customize your install since it’s just made from heavy plastic. All in all, the RolliCool system makes it easier to control the climate in your space and is worth the investment.