DeLonghi Portable Air Conditioner Reviews and Buying Guide 2020

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DeLonghi portable air conditioners give you cooling options from 6,500 to 14,000 BTUs, a slightly wider range than most.

At this writing, 10 DeLonghi portable ACs are produced.

Up front, we’ll tell you that DeLonghi literature about its various models fails to give efficiency ratings or, for most models, their dehumidifying capacity. We’ve discussed this with DeLonghi and are awaiting further information from the company. We’ll update this guide if we learn more.

Pinguino is the brand name of DeLonghi portable air conditioners. Actually DeLonghi Pinguino.

DeLonghi Propane Air Conditioner Features

These units are solid when it comes to features. All or most offer:

  • AC mode
  • Dehumidify mode that dries the air without cooling it (explained below)
  • Timer and Remote for convenience and energy efficiency
  • R410A refrigerant – Better than the R22 predecessor but with a higher global warming potential (GWP of 2088) than R32 refrigerant (GWP of 675) which is now being used in some portable air conditioners
  • Caster wheels for easier moving
  • Window kits for snug installation

Here’s an overview chart with key specifications and features. Details below.

Model

Sizes / BTUs

MSRP

Key Features

Room Size

Pints/Hr (1)

Refrigerant

PACEL290HLWKC

14,000

$650

Heat, LCD remote, Timer

700 s.f.

Unknown

R410A

PACAN280G1W3ALG

14,000

$630

Antibacterial filter

700 s.f.

Unknown

R410A

PACAN280G1W3ALG

12,000

$650

LCD remote, 24hr timer

600 s.f.

Unknown

R410A

PACN135EC

12,000

$550

LCD remote

600 s.f.

3.7

R410A

PACN140E

12,000

$530

LCD remote, 12hr timer

600 s.f.

3.7

R410A

PACN270GN

11,500

$400

LCD remote, 12hr timer

400 s.f.

Unknown

R410A

PACEL276HGRFK

10,000

$700

Heat, WiFi, 24hr timer

500 s.f.

Unknown

R410A

PACAN125HPEKC

10,000

$480

Heat, LCD remote

500 s.f.

5.1

R410A

PACN250GN

8,000

$350

LCD remote, 12hr timer

350 s.f.

Unknown

R410A

PACN100E

6,500

$350

LCD remote, 12hr timer

300 s.f.

Unknown

R410A

*(1) This is dehumidification - The amount of moisture removed per hour in cooling or dehumidification mode

1. Heat Mode

On the other hand, if you live in a cool or cold climate and sometimes need supplemental heat in a room, then a unit with Heat Mode is ideal.

Three of the current DeLonghi models have heat options. In cold weather, switch to Heat, and the refrigerant will gather heat from outdoors using the hose and dump it in your home.

Benefit: Supplemental heat from a heat pump/air conditioner is cheaper than heat from a space heater. This is because the heat pump doesn’t create heat, it just captures it outside (even in cold weather) and pumps it inside where it is released.

Note: This technology isn’t effective when outside temperatures are below freezing. Secondly, you shouldn’t expect a portable air conditioner with Heat mode to supply all the heat you need in very cold weather. You’ll need a central source of heat such as a split system heat pump or mini split ductless system.

2. Dehumidify Mode

In many climates, the air can be cool and humid during one season or another.

In AC mode, heat and humidity is pulled from the air and exhausted to the outside. In Dehumidify mode, the heat is sent back into your living space; just the humidity is removed.

Benefit: A portable AC with Dehumidify Mode is an ideal choice for those cool, clammy days you sometimes get in the North in fall and spring and in the South in winter.

3. WiFi & App

The DeLonghi PACEL276HGRFK is the only WiFi portable air conditioner, but that’s a start.

Use the App to control the AC from anywhere.

Benefit: This is convenient, for sure. But it will help you save money too. Here’s how.

If you want the room/zone/apartment cool when you get home from work or play, you have two options. Turn on the AC, and waste money while you’re not there.

Or, use the App to turn on the portable air conditioner an hour or so before you get home. Less waste, and you still walk into cooler, drier space.

Features Not Available on DeLonghi Portable ACs

There are no dual-hose portable air conditioners from DeLonghi.

All DeLonghi portable ACs are single-hose models. They are less efficient than dual-hose units.

A single hose exhausts hot air and humidity out the window opening. Pushing air out creates negative pressure in the house. As a result, warm outside air is pulled in through cracks in your home’s exterior – drafty door, gap in the siding or similar. This counteracts the cooling efforts of the air conditioner, making it less efficient.

A dual hose unit pulls warm inside air into the system, cools it and sends it back into your living space. As this happens, the compressor and refrigerant get quite hot – boiling hot, in fact. The two-hose system is used to draw in outside air, cool the compressor and refrigerant and carry heat and humidity out of your home.

Many brands only make single-hose units. Haier and Whynter are among those making dual-hose models.

If you live in a warm climate, we’d recommend considering a dual-hose portable air conditioner.

Model Comparison

Like ACs from many brands, DeLonghi portable ACs can be divided into Basic/Better/Best groups.

Basic: PACN

In the list above, models beginning with PACN are basic. They provide cooling, 12-hour timers and remotes. The basics, no bells or upgraded features. Most portable air conditioners have 24-hour timers.

Pros: Lower cost, LCD remotes that allow you to control all the unit’s functions. They offer good value.

Cons: 12-hour rather than 24-hour timers aren’t as useful.

Also, the units aren’t very powerful. You’ll notice, for example, that the PACN270GN, the 11,500 BTU model, is rated for just 400 square feet. That’s less than the 10,000 BTU PACEL model below it.

Better: PACAN and PACEX

The series beginning with PACAN and PACEX are in this group. They have 24-hour times, remotes and features like antibacterial filters – and one unit has Heat Mode (PACAN125HPEC).

Pros: These units have better features but are still reasonably prices. The unit with heat should be considered in chilly climates.

Cons: If you want WiFi, you’ll have to upgrade to the Best series.

Best: PACEL

The two models with the PACEL prefix are the best DeLonghi portable air conditioners. One has heat pump heating, the first on the list. The other is the only WiFi unit DeLonghi Pinguino makes.

Pros: The best features DeLonghi offers. This includes working with Alexa and Google smart speakers.

Cons: Higher cost – and they are still single-hose units.

 Which is best for your needs? We discuss choosing a DeLonghi Pinguino portable AC at the end, but generally, make sure it’s big enough for your space. From there, choose the features you want.

How DeLonghi Portable ACs Compare to Other Brands

DeLonghi is a leading brand with a larger lineup than most. It covers the basics, and the quality is good.

The Good

DeLonghi Pinguino portable air conditioners give you good feature options. Choose a basic unit with few features, and save money. Or opt for the features you want at a higher price.

A portable unit with Dehumidify mode is useful where weather can be cool and damp. Most models from this brand offer this mode, and that’s a plus.

What’s Missing?

You can guess by this point.

Haier and Whynter make dual-hose models. DeLonghi does not.

If you live in a very warm climate, or the room you’ll use the AC in faces south or west regardless of climate, consider a brand that makes dual-hose models.

See our Reviews of Hair Portable ACs and Whynter Portable ACs for more information on dual-hose models.

DeLonghi Portable AC Prices by Size

This chart shows AC size and the area they are designed to serve.

The Room Size is approximate. On really hot, humid days, no AC can cover as much territory as it can on a warm day without extreme conditions.

The next section has tips for choosing the best DeLonghi portable air conditioner for your purposes.

Here are prices by size. We use MSRP / manufacturer suggest retail price. However, most local and online retailers sell them for less.

AC Size

Room Size

MSRP Range

6,500 BTU

125-200

$350

8,000 BTU

200 - 250 s.f.

$350

10,000 BTU

300 - 400 s.f.

$480 & $700

12,000 BTU

400 - 500 s.f.

$400 - $650

14,000 BTU

500 - 650 s.f.

$500 - $750

Choosing the Right DeLonghi Portable AC

We cover unit selection quite a bit in our very complete Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide.

But here’s a quick guide.

There are a few basic steps to choosing a model that will cool the space sufficiently and have features you like.

1. Know what size you need – measure the space, length x width, to find the square feet (s.f. in our tables)

2. If the ceiling is higher than 8 feet, add 10% to room size for 9-foot ceilings and 20% for 10-filter ceilings.

Ex. 400 square feet with 10-foot ceilings:

400 x 1.2 = 480 square feet.

3. Consider a Dehumidify model if you get a lot of damp, chilly air especially during times you’re not running your central heating system.

4. Choose a model with Supplemental Heat if your winters are very cold.

There are two potential benefits. First, it can make an area comfortable that isn’t adequately heated by a central heat source.

Secondly, you can use the unit to provide heat in the area you spend most time, and turn down the thermostat that controls the central heating system. Heat pump heating like that costs less than heat created by a space heater.

 Pro Picks

If you’re looking for a portable air conditioner today, these are our top choices from DeLonghi with a quick option to purchase. Or just choose the links to learn more.

Best Overall Portable AC: PACAN125HPEKC

Best Features on a Portable AC: DeLonghi PACEL276HGRFK

Best Budget Portable AC: DeLonghi PACN250GN

Best Portable AC for Large Rooms: DeLonghi PACEX140ESWH

Best Portable AC for Small Rooms: DeLonghi PACN250GN

WiFi Portable AC: DeLonghi PACEL276HGRFK

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