Review: Haier Small Room Air Conditioner 8,000btu: meat locker or just cool breeze?

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Erin L

Erin L

Since it seems like the world is only getting hotter and hotter, perhaps I’m not the only one giving more thought to finally buying an air conditioner. While it’s been a very unnecessary appliance where I live in Calgary Canada, hotter and hotter summers now seem like it’s a necessity. My first choice was to add a whole home air conditioner but when I found out that would cost many thousand dollars, plus many more thousand to upgrade our ageing electrical panel, doing so just wasn’t feasible or affordable. That’s when I started looking into smaller, room or portable air conditioners, like the Haier Small Room Air Conditioner.

Haier Small Room Air Conditioner
  • Cooling power
    (3.5)
  • Noise Level
    (3)
  • Design, Portability
    (4.5)
  • Features & options
    (4)
3.8

Summary

I consider this a pretty good device for my first small room air conditioner. I like the upright design, and the fact that it’s on wheels is super helpful. The plain white covering isn’t super distracting and it doesn’t stick out too badly in my space. I’d say the cooling is pretty effective, though it is loud.

Pros

  • Reasonably effective
  • Window mounting kit + hose included
  • Fan option
  • Moveable/on wheels
  • Design isn’t terrible
  • Affordable
  • Auto evaporation technology

Cons

  • Loud
  • Not ultra powerful

Buying an air conditioner is apparently not a fun thing to do because getting the air conditioner all set up and securely mounted or placed can be quite the chore—particularly if you’re choosing a window mounted option. For that reason I limited my search to a freestanding unit that would be mobile around my home.

What do you get?

The Haier Small Room Air Conditioner is about 3 feet tall, and arrives fully assembled and sitting on caster wheels, meaning it’s easy to roll around. This unit is sized at about 26 1/4 H x 12 W x 11 1/4 D and made to cool only up to about 150 square feet, so it’s really only meant for a single room like a bedroom or home office.

Haier Ari Conditionr close up; louvred vents.In the front of the unit is a small louvred air output, and in the back is where you’ll connect to the included ventilation and exhaust hose. This air conditioner is not smart in anyway, in that it does not have any type of app or Wi-Fi connectivity to give you remote or voice control. That’s okay though because it comes with a simplified physical remote control, and buttons along the top of the unit.

Set up

There’s not much in the way of set up to speak of here… And what you do need to set up is fairly straightforward. After unpacking the unit, you’ll attach the exhaust hose to the back of the air conditioner by sliding it into a plastic bracket.

Next you’ll need to click the other end of the hose into the adjustable window mount. The window mount is designed to fit a variety of sizes of window. Even so it was not quite appropriately sized for my window… it didn’t quite fit in, but I was able to make it work.

The air conditioning unit will take in air from your room, and vent the hot air out through the window using the exhaust hose. At the same time it will pump cooled air into your room out that top louvred vent.

How to place a portable air conditioner

I’ll spill a bit of ink here on the placement of this unit. It needs to be close enough to a window so the ventilation hose can reach, and from what I read about portable air conditioners, it’s best to avoid too many bends in the hose. In the case of my specific placement, I was not able to put it on the floor and have it reach the window adequately—the window in our bedroom is high up on the wall and rather narrow.

Haier Air Conditioner placement on a table.

It’s not pretty, but it works.

I ended up having to place the air conditioning unit on a small table, and then running the hose out the window above our bed. Definitely not ideal and it looks a hot mess, but it gets the job done. You’ll want to ensure that the length of hose and distance to your window will work in your space.

What are the Different Cooling Modes?

The Haier small room air conditioner allows you to change the temperature to as low as 64°F (17.77°C) or as high as 86°F (30°C). The remote control does not offer any customizable presets other than a Sleep mode so you are only limited to adjusting the fan speed and temperature.

The Haier instruction manual reveals three different cooling modes which you can achieve by combining a certain fan speed with a certain temperature. For instance, blasting the fan to “High” setting and lowering the temperature counts as the “Maximum Cooling” mode. Applying the “Low” fan speed and setting a medium temperature value activate the “Quiet” or “Nighttime Cooling” mode. Leave the temperature at a medium level and set the fan speed to “Medium” or “High” to fall back to “Normal Cooling” mode.

The Ahier AC remote control.While this feature doesn’t count as a cooling mode, you may also apply the “Dry” mode which locks the fan setting and lets the air conditioner dehumidify the room. For optimal performance, close all doors and windows before switching to this mode.

If you want to maximize energy savings without switching off the air conditioner, try using the “Fan” mode. When you activate this mode, you won’t see the temperature on the unit but the Haier air conditioner can still circulate and filter the air.

The Haier air conditioner has a built-in memory for storing the settings. Through the auto-restart feature, the Haier aircon can recall the settings even after an unexpected power outage.

Using Haier Small Room Air Conditioner

Using the air conditioner is pretty easy, turn it on and set your preferred temperature then let it do its thing. It definitely helps if you close any doors to the room, including to places like closets and bathrooms.

Haier Air Conditioner controls.

Control Panel.

How well does it cool?

I’ll give this air conditioner good marks for cooling. It’s certainly not dropping the bedroom into a deep freeze, but it goes a long way towards taking the edge off the heat. I started using it at a mid-level temperature range of about 18°, and then decided to lower it to 17. Since that’s the maximum cooling that was about as good as it’s going to get. The unit honestly sounded like it was struggling to maintain that temperature and it needed to run constantly, but I suppose that’s part of the deal with a small portable unit like this.

In short, it didn’t create an icebox out of my bedroom, but it made it bearable to sleep during some particularly hot and muggy nights.

Is Haier Small Room Air Conditioner noisy?

It’s here where I will mention that this device is indeed extremely loud. As this is my first portable air conditioner I can’t make any claims about whether this is an average level of noise, but it is substantial. I was able to sleep with the air conditioner on for the most part, but my husband struggled with the noise and frequently woke up to turn it off.

Haier Air Conditioner rear view.

Rear of unit.

You can adjust the noise level a little bit by lowering the temperature or fan settings, but the difference is really just nominal. You either need to make peace with a roaring air powered device in the room with you, or you’ll have to turn it off when you’re ready to sleep.

Controls

Controlling the Haier small room aircon is really simple and especially from the unit itself as the top panel has all the most important functions. The plus [+] and minus [-] buttons directly below the screen adjust the temperature in one-degree increments. Pressing both buttons together will change the temperature unit. The “Mode” and “Fan” buttons let you fine tune the cooling methods I mentioned earlier.

Other Features

The Haier portable air conditioner also has a Timer function allowing you to set a schedule for the aircon to switch on and off. To set the timer for switching off, press the “Timer” button while the aircon is running and use the plus [+] and minus [-] buttons to set the hours and minutes. Pressing the “Timer” button while the unit is off lets you configure a time for it to come on.

Moving the air conditioner

Haier Air Conditioner caster wheels close up.

Small caster wheels underneath.

I really like the wheels mounted below the air conditioner. The four casters make moving the aircon unit feel akin to moving an expensive office chair. I also found it easy to access the AC filter which is important because it needs cleaning to maintain top efficiency.

How to Choose a Portable Air Conditioner

You need to make your decision about an air conditioner mainly based on the size of the space you’re trying to cool. Air conditioners can be quite ineffective in spaces larger than they’re designed for, and there is zero point in cheaping out and buying a tiny unit, then trying to expect it to cool a space twice the size. Measure your space, and shop for devices made for it.

In my case I was only hoping to cool our principal bedroom, so I was able to get a smaller unit; the 8,000BTU Haier small room option.

Buying a portable air conditioner is a bit like choosing a computer. You must consider various hardware specifications and evaluate if the specs are a perfect fit for your use case. Always consider the specs over the marketing material because it is impossible for someone to claim that the particular air conditioner can cool a 150 square-foot room. Haier made that claim with their portable air conditioner but it’s not always true since the insulation in your home, height of your ceiling and number of connected appliances could be differentiating factors that might see it perform less effectively.

Haier Air Conditioner winto venting.

The Window kit for exhaust hose.

This leads to my second point; don’t be afraid to explore a model a step-up from what you actually need. Having a slightly overpowered air conditioner is always safer than having an underpowered one. Compare the price differences and see if the extra premium is worth the added horsepower and exclusive features, if any. Plus, you don’t need to necessarily buy a new unit if you suddenly end up in a bigger space.

Like buying a standard air conditioner, don’t let the EER or Energy Efficiency Ratio be your only basis of considering a portable air conditioner. If you let a highly energy efficient air conditioner run on its own in a big room, the air conditioner will continuously run at maximum energy consumption. This is due to the air conditioner struggling to hit the set room temperature due to the size of the room or other factors. On the other hand, those higher-end air conditioners won’t be using peak wattage.

What is Auto Evaporation?

One downside to owning a portable air conditioner is the extra maintenance step you must take which is to drain the water the reservoir collects. How frequent you should perform the maintenance depends on the amount of heat and humidity in your area. While it is normal for some of the collected water to evaporate, do not ignore this responsibility because your air conditioner works harder and may lead to excess water leaking out.

However, the Haier small room air conditioner takes care of this concern on its own thanks to the auto-evaporation technology. The air conditioner achieves this seemingly by utilizing both the condenser and compressor to generate heat thus accelerating the evaporation rate. This should mean you don’t need to worry about emptying a water collection reservoir.

Haier Air Conditioner drain.

The drain, if needed.

Depending if your climate is very humid this might eventually come up. If the air conditioner does collect too much water, it will display FUL on the small LED screen on top of the unit if the tank does fill up.

After running it each night for about two weeks, I have not yet seen this warning light. If it does come on, there is a small outlet in the bottom rear of the unit for it to be drained.

This set up is a bit awkward if I’m being honest in that you will either have to connect some type of hose which does not come with it, or hoist the unit up onto a counter over a sink  or into a bathtub to drain it. A bucket could come in handy too or I guess you could always lift it into a bathtub. Again, since I haven’t had to do this yet I can’t speak to the process, but will update this review when that happens. Calgary is a pretty dry city, so that may be a little while yet.

Overall Review: Haier Small Room Air Conditioner

Overall I’d consider this a pretty good device for my first small room air conditioner. I like the upright design, and the fact that it’s on wheels is super helpful. The plain white covering isn’t super distracting and it doesn’t stick out too badly in my space.

I’d say the cooling is pretty effective, and although I had to hack the placement a bit, having the window installation kit and a decent length of hose made it a bit easier.

Downsides? It’s extremely loud and light sleepers will find it terribly challenging to sleep near.  This particular unit is also only made to cool spaces of up to 150 square feet, though you can obviously size up. If I have any regrets, it might be not buying a unit that was a bit more powerful. But to be honest I was being cheap for my first AC purchase.

The $335CAD asking price seems like a good deal considering the portability benefits and included mounting kit.

I bought my Haier AC unit at Home Depot.

Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

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