Air-conditioners have become an important part of urban living in India. At any given point in time, there is some part of the country that needs an AC to feel comfortable. But not all houses and offices are suited to accommodate window or split ACs. Even in offices that have s good cooling system, there are often conversations that lead to someone thinking of getting their own AC. That’s exactly what you can do with a portable AC.
It was peak summer when I expressed interest to review the portable AC offering from Super General, available via Croma. But by the time it came home, Delhi was in the middle of its blink-and-you-miss monsoon. Anyway, I decided to get this done with because there will be someone somewhere thinking of buying more cooling for his room.
The name portable AC is a bit confusing in this context. While the Super General model is portable, it is not small or light by any stretch of imagination. In fact, the box is the size of a regular window AC and at almost 45kg, it also weighs as much. But the model is a compact unit that will look pretty much in place in your living room and comes with walls to be moved around when needed.
The Super General portable air conditioner can be connected to any power plug and it will be ready to work. It comes with all the general AC controls. So you can adjust the temperature, change mode from cooling to dry. You can also increase the speed of the fan or make it swivel. There is also a timer. The remote that lets you do all this from a distance too, though the control panel and LED on front of the AC is quite neat. However, I could not figure out why it kept making a spectacle of all this.
There is one element to this AC which I had not anticipated. There is a outlet pipe which you need to connect to a window to let all the heat out. Without it, the room will heat up as it cools down and you will not get all round cooling in the room. Now, the pipe though we thought out was a bit of a problem as it is meant to work best with vertical sliding windows, the type that are popular in the West. If I fit this in my window, the panes will still need to be fully open. So I will need to get a permanent fix to let this portable AC work in a house like mine. That might just be defeating the purpose of something portable.
Anyway, the AC offers pretty good cooling and it took just minutes of my living room to become as cool as I wanted it to be. But then everytime the compressor switches on, you should expect to be startled. Usually, in ACs all this happens outside your room, with a portable AC all this happens inside.
At Rs 48,000, the 1.5 ton Super General portable air conditioner costs more than a regular AC of the same power. However, that is the premium you have to pay for the convenience of a portable AC. But then you have to realise there are some inconveniences too that come with the convenience of a portable AC.