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1,140 of 1,162 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2011
Color Name: OFFWHITEVerified Purchase
The current Amazon description does NOT do this unit justice! What it tells you is the following:

Energy star Window Air Conditioner
12000 BTU cooling Capacity
3 fan speed
Washable Filter
Temperature Range from 62-86 F

Now, let me tell you what this unit REALLY offers!

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PROS:

First, it has a remote control. This is a big thing for us... we don't like to have to keep getting up and down whenever we want to change a setting... and settings it has! With the remote, you can not only change the temperature, but also set the timer, fan speed, sleep mode, and operating mode (cooling, fan, "drying" - which I'll get into in a moment..., or AUTO)

It has a timer! You can set your air conditioner to shut off after a certain amount of time - up to 24 hours in half-hour increments (one-hour increments after 10 hours). This is great for those of us who "accidentally" fall asleep while watching a movie or something with the air conditioner on... it saves a ton on electricity!

The vent is adjustable so you can direct the air. Pretty standard, but Amazon doesn't mention it.

Digital temperature display - again, probably seems obvious, but again, Amazon doesn't mention it.

About that 3-speed fan they mention... that would be Low, Medium, or High... but you can also choose "AUTO", which will alter the fan's intensity for you depending on demand.

The filter is not only washable, the unit actually tells you when it needs cleaned, so you don't forget to check it.

It has this thing called "SLEEP" mode... where it apparently slowly rises the designated temperature by 4 degrees over a 1 hour period, then runs at that temperature for six hours before returing to the original temp. I suppose this would make it quieter when you're sleeping, but we don't intentionally sleep in the room we have this in, so it's not such a big deal to us.

Lots of other modes! Here's a description:

FAN mode - works like a fan by bringing air in from the outside.

AUTO mode - a "smart" air conditioner! Instead of just flooding your room with constant cold air until icicles form, this allows you to set a temperature and stick to it. This may be a standard function in newer air conditioners, but the one we've been using in our bedroom for years didn't have this, so you'd wake up freezing in the middle of the night. In AUTO mode, the AC starts cooling whenever the temperature in your room hits 4 degrees above your desired temperature, and it switches to FAN mode when the temp drops 2 degrees below that. This seven-degree range may seem broad, but it keeps your air conditioner from constantly turning on-and-off-and-on-and-off, like my grandma's nursing home AC used to do.

COOL mode - standard air conditioner mode. This is similar to AUTO, except that you only have a two-degree range. The booklet offered this example:

Assume you set your temperature to 70 degrees.
- in AUTO mode, it will COOL to 68 degrees, then FAN to 74 degrees, then COOL again...
- in COOL mode, it will COOL to 70 degrees, then FAN to 72 degrees, then COOL again...

Basically COOL is the same as AUTO except it'll switch more often.

Then there's DRY mode - now this is neat... your air conditioner acts as a dehumidifier, removing moisture from your home, which can make it seem drier without having to spend as much on electricity.

Finally, there's an ENERGY SAVER mode, which can be selected from COOL mode. When your desired temperature is reached, it stops cooling, the fan runs for another couple of minutes, then it "cycles" for two minutes every 10 minutes until the room temperature gets above the set temperature, at which point it COOLs again.

Oh, and it plugs into a regular outlet. This is great, because at the time we needed an AC, all the stores in our city were sold out of everything but 220s, which (I recently learned) do not fit normal outlets.

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CONS:

It's heavy. The UPS guy dropped it off and I couldn't get it inside until my husband got home. Also, the instructions tell you to screw it into your windows. My windows aren't made of wood, and I don't really want to drill into them anyway, so we chose not to do that. I'll let you know if it slides out or anything, but I think it'll be fine. We might prop it up outside with a 4x4, we'll have to see.

Installing it was really pretty easy, given that we didn't really follow the instructions. If you follow the instructions, best of luck to you.

---

Please comment if you have any questions! I was leery about purchasing this unit when there weren't ANY reviews ANYWHERE, but we did... and I'm glad we did!

---

UPDATE: ONE YEAR LATER.

A couple of comments have suggested this review sounded a lot like a manual. It probably does. We wrote this the day after we got the air conditioner, and wanted to help out anyone else considering buying the unit with as much information as possible. When you get the manual, you probably will not have to read it if you've read this review!

That said, we used this air conditioner for the lower story of our 1940s-era brick home, which does not have working central air. It was used for an area of probably around 650-ish square feet. Our home is not insulated, and any argon gas that may once have been in our windows is no longer there, so this is definitely not the "optimal home", but this unit worked for us. It is sort of noisy, but no more so than the 5000 BTU air conditioner we had from the 1990s. I love the different cooling modes that help us save money on electricity. We usually turn it off at night unless it's an especially hot Ohio night.

One more note - it came with foam padding to put around the window opening to more fully insulate from the outside air. This then stuck when we tried to remove it in the fall. We won't be using that this year.

I'm glad to see this review has been helpful to a lot of you. Please keep the comments coming if you have any more questions! It's really a fantastic value.
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345 of 361 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2013
Color Name: OFFWHITEVerified Purchase
I purchased this AC last May and it worked all summer, which was great.

So today, when it turned 85 degrees in NYC, we powered it up and it does not turn on.
I can hear the compressor turn on but none of the fans turn on.

I get on the call with customer service at Sunpentown, which is based in CA.
Got through, they had to verify with their Amazon rep. My purchase checked out but the warranty requires me to ship the unit all the way to CA. Pay about $100 out of pocket to ship it there.

I'm told turnaround for repair is 2 1/2 weeks. So add that to shipping time and other overhead, I'm waiting nearly a month to get a warranty repair? I wrote back to the rep, who will hopefully get back to me tomorrow, to see what alternatives I have. If this is the only option what would you do?

Lesson learned so far, don't buy large and heavy items online if you need the warranty.
Should have bought local. Will Amazon do anything to help ? Will try once I hear back.
The one star is mostly for having a product that works for one season. Will update once I hear back from their customer support.

*UPDATE* 5/23/13 - I heard back from Sunpentown and they will not make any other accomodations. We called a local repair guy and got it fixed. $60 out of pocket, still cheaper and much much faster than sending it for warranty. After this experience, I doubt I will buy anything from Sunpentown in the future. This experience has left a sour taste. Hope you all found this review helpful. I actually bought this unit because of all the good reviews - never thought I'd be one to write the bad review.
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224 of 238 people found the following review helpful
Color Name: OFFWHITEVerified Purchase
We've all been through the AC Jig ... you buy a fancy name brand, you install it, and the problems begin. Given that this was the year to replace the two window ACs in the house, I decided to "go rogue" and order the SPT instead of a Fedders or Frigidaire or the like.

I'm glad that I did.

This is an amazing AC ... it's actually relatively quiet - both on the compressor side and on the build side. Note that I did not say silent, but compared to other 10k-12k BTU units, it's like listening to ambient trance instead of techno. Nice. No longer do I have to walk over to the AC and slap it on the side to get it to quiet down - the poorly engineered housings of the other, name-brand units rattle and squeak and complain too much - and since I am no longer hitting inanimate objects, we're going to save a lot of money on therapy for me.

I like the remote (which you can use from 90 degrees to the side (apparently a miracle of modern technology that has escaped other makers)), the timer functions, and the dehumidifier mode ... very nice for cool yet humid days here in the backcountry. But what I really like is the QUIET.

PS- if you do the install yourself, it's not a bad idea to caulk all around the unit to really seal it up. This may not be important to urban folks, but living here in the woods, any little beam of light that illuminates a path into the house will attract gnats, skeeters, and those ever-inquisitive sabre-toothed tigers and mastodons. So caulk around it so that you can enjoy refreshingly cool and quiet summer evenings without being disturbed by Mother Nature's little friends.
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111 of 122 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2012
Color Name: OFFWHITEVerified Purchase
My 2nd floor apartment is in a 100 year old brick building and in the summertime it is like living in an oven . . . VERY HOT!!! Ten years ago I bought two 5000BTU ACs and because of the very high electric bills I used fans to save money. I saw this AC on Amazon (with great feedback) during the beginning of the 2012 summer and kept putting off placing the order. I have small windows (22" wide) and feared it would be too big to fit, also I am just a 5'5" -57 year old female and I wasn't sure I could lift it to install. Anyway, the ones Amazon had (with Prime)sold out and I figured I'd just suffer through another very hot summer but Amazon got them back (a little higher price but still on Prime) and they only had 13 left so I ordered it. It was delivered today and the package weight was 75# and it was a physical ordeal to get it in my apartment, and with the sweat dripping off my body I said, "OMG, how am I going to get this in the window???" I got it out of the shipping box and moved it into the livingroom and opened the AC box. It was only 19" wide and could fit into my window but it was still heavy (about 68#.) It took every ounce of strength I had but I put it in the window, put the sliding screens on, got it completely installed and turned it on. Today this AC has made me one very happy person. I feel like I am in heaven, a cool heaven. I didn't really read the manual so I turned it on and set the temp. and the cooling began. I set it on auto and it runs for a while, stops, a few seconds later it turns on again, runs, turns off, runs, and so on. People say it is loud but when you are used to screaming fans I'd say it is not loud at all. It took about 30 minutes to cool my very hot apartment into a comfortable place to live. I greatly recommend buying this AC because it works like a dream.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2013
Color Name: OFFWHITEVerified Purchase
First a word of warning Amazon promised to get it to me by Friday but they didn't ship it for 18 hours after I ordered it so it didn't come until the next Monday so that was two extra days of record breaking heat: moral even if they promise two days count on three to be safe (order Mon or Tue if you don't want to risk it sitting at UPS through the weekend)--this is for prime also they wanted $22 extra for one day shipping not $4.

Ok I finally installed it in time for the worst day of heat ever (all time record breaking temperatures) it got up to 97.3 here which is unheard of on the slopes of a northern Sierra mountain. The upstairs west facing room it now cools is roughly 12x12 but has a vaulted 15' ceiling and only a bit of cloth partially blocking the doorway and the whole house is oriented for solar heating. A tough job. I was using two air-cons a 5000btu window unit and a very old portable 9000 unit, together they made it tolerable over the weekend when temps both days hit 95 (which was the previous all time high) and they cooled the room to 79 which might sound ok but not when you are used to the bedroom being in the 40's at night and low 60's in the day.

Ok on that record breaking day this unit had no problem keeping the room at a nice 70 and it could have gone lower than that. So one 12,000 btu unit is working way better than the, in theory, 14,000 btus of the two old units combined.

Installation notes:
If you are installing it by yourself it weighs about 65lbs so get a good grip. One problem is all the installation stuff is for wood frame windows. I have double glazed aluminum so there is no way to screw the unit in like in the instructions. Instead of the sash lock I just jammed a wood stick in window to keep the window from being opened by accident. I ignored the screws on the top of the unit since there is no way to use them, but with the sash un-openable it shouldn't be a problem. I did use the two hold downs for the extension wings because the curtain material is so stiff they pull back leaving large gaps unless you secure them (duct/duck tape would work too), I just screwed them straight into the pine window sill, well in from the edge so it wouldn't split (in hardwood you may want to predrill or if you are screwing in near the edge of the sill). It doesn't fit perfectly and came with some sticky foam insulation which I used to fill in the gaps. Still could use a bit of caulk but then I like a little fresh air to come in so I may not bother. The pictures in manual are a bit small, a PDF version is available so you can enlage them a bit, still this is the weakest part of the manual, the operating instructions are pretty good though.

Unlike my old window unit this has a knob to control whether you want outside air to mix in or total recirculation, an important feature. Like in the fall when we have forest fires but still get enough sun to make the house too warm with the windows closed, now I can cool the bedroom down without letting in too much smoke!

The remote control is very handy, it doesn't have the "follow me" feature of some, but I had no problem with setting the unit to make the entire room comfortable it's a feature I don't need in this relatively small room. Main problem is I keep forgetting how much better this works and up with the room colder than I want, a nice problem to have. If you put the unit in fan mode it measures the temp at the air-con and it's always withing a degree of the thermometer across the room. If you have a large room maybe "follow me" would be something you might want (but the remote must be in line of sight and not so far that the air-con can't read the remote so I wouldn't pay extra for the feature). The unit beeps every time you press a button on the remote which might be a problem for some, I find it useful but there is no way to turn it off (short of opening the unit up and breaking the speaker).

As discussed in some reviews it may become necessary to drill some holes in the bottom of the unit to keep the water drained, most new air-cons are designed to retain some water to improve efficiency but this can lead to mold problems if you have allergies. It did get a bit wet the first day I used it, there were some thunderstorms about, but since then it's been dry and that's normal here so we'll see, I'd rather not drill, at least until the warranty period is up.

I plugged it into a surge suppressor since like most modern appliances it has computer components in it. I used a $10 Belkin unit that comes with insurance in case a surge gets through anyway. I recommend everyone do this with any modern appliance that has digital controls.
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72 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2012
Color Name: OFFWHITEVerified Purchase
Update: Thu, 20-Sep-2012

Well, the summer seems to be over here (haven't had a need for the AC for a week and a half or so), and we're still happy with this AC.

As I mentioned, we bought this 12,000 BTU SPT to replace a 7,800 BTU Panasonic (Panasonic CW806TU), and, surprisingly, it seems it may have actually saved money on our AC bill. Our AC bill, which typically cost, at minimum, $100/month in electricity during the summer months, averaged about $80/month with the SPT.

Now, there are many factors which determine how much it costs to run an AC (the most obvious of which is how many hot days you get, how hot it gets on those days, your price per KWH, etc.), but my thinking is that the SPT, having a greater cooling power, did not need to be on as frequently as did the Panasonic. When the outside temperature hit, say, 90° or higher, the Panasonic would basically never turn off, even with the thermostat set relatively high. With the SPT, we'd frequently set the thermostat to 76°, and if the apt. was hot, would stay on a good while until it stabilized the temperature, but would then cycle on/off periodically. Also, the Panasonic, when the outside temperature exceeded about 95°, would struggle to keep the room temperature at even 80°, while the SPT had cooling power to spare.

So, while it was using about 1060 watts while on, as opposed to the Panasonic which used about 680 watts, the SPT wasn't on nearly so often.

At this point, if this AC lasts at least six years, I'll be happy with the price paid for the performance we're getting.
*************************************
We bought this to replace a 14 year old Panasonic 7,800 BTU AC which was underpowered for the space for which it was used, so I'm comparing this SPT WA-1211S to the Panasonic. We've had this SPT for two weeks now.

As you'd expect, with an increase of over 50% BTUs, the SPT cools the room significantly faster. The air certainly feels a lot colder. How much of this lower temperature is due to the increased BTUs, and how much is due to (perhaps) the Panasonic getting weaker over time, I can't say. If the Panasonic did get weaker (needing a recharge of the coolant, as I've read), it happened so gradually as to be unnoticeable.

Also, the fan, on high, moves more air, faster, than did the Panasonic (which also contributes to the faster cooling). The downside though, is that it's also significantly louder; more, it seems to me, than can be explained by the higher CFM (cubic feet per minute). I attribute this to a lower construction quality (more on this below).

The Panasonic had an EER of 10.0, while the SPT is 10.8, not really that much more efficient than a 14 year old AC!

One problem we occasionally had with the Panasonic was that if it was used when the outside temperature was about 70° or below, the unit would ice up. Later, when the ice started to melt, it would fall off in chunks, hit the fan, and make a pretty loud thunk, unexpectedly! The SPT claims to operate in a 64-109° outdoor temperature range, which I presume means it won't ice up like the Panasonic did.

It has a "dry" feature, during which the unit is supposed to act as a dehumidifier. I was puzzled by this feature when I read of it. Did the AC use less electricity when in dry mode? Did the AC sacrifice some cooling in order to dehumidify faster?

Well, now that we own it, I can say that dry mode is a gimmick; all it does is enforce a low fan speed. I'm not sure how it behaves so far as maintaining a set temperature and the thermostat is concerned. The unit draws the same electricity (as measured by the P3 International P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor) in dry mode as in cool mode, approximately 1060 watts. But, no matter to me, since I was skeptical of this "feature" from the start.

More useful, once the situation arises for it, is the timer feature which allows you to program the unit to turn on/off up to 24 hours in advance (for the first 10 hours in ½ hour increments, then in one hour increments).

My impression is that the SPT is built more cheaply than our old Panasonic. One example of this is the styrofoam which separates the exterior components from the interior components: this styrofoam is very thin. When you look at it during a sunny day, it's pretty translucent.

The SPT is better than most ACs I've used in regards to the ability to change the direction of air flow, both horizontally (very good) and vertically (excellent).

A bit of an annoyance is the beep the AC makes when you change the thermostat setting with the remote control: it's very loud! Perhaps, though, the loudness is meant to compensate for the loudness of the AC when set to high.

Overall, though, assuming the SPT continues to perform as it has thus far (we're less than a week into summer, and we've had to use it a number of times already; even a few times before summer started), and considering its cost ($316), I consider this a very good (4 star) purchase.

An AC is a longer term purchase than most things we buy via Amazon. I intend to update this review should any problems arise.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2013
Color Name: OFFWHITEVerified Purchase
As with anything I buy I researched it to death before purchasing. Overall this unit got the most favorable reviews when compared to pretty much every other unit in it's class/price range.

It came double boxed and undamaged in any way. I opened it up, stuck it in the window, screwed down the curtains, turned it on and it works perfectly. Exactly what should happen. BTW, I installed this in a detached 2+ car garage (approx 600sq ft with a 12" high ceiling) in Northern Virginia where it's been in the high 80's to mid-90's for a couple weeks now and absolutely ridiculous humidity.

I bought it just as much to remove the humidity as for the a/c. It was 88 degrees and I'd estimate about 70% relative humidity when I installed it. It took about 2 1/2 days of continuous operation to bring the humidity down and then another 1/2 day or so to stabilize the temperature - at 68 degrees! It's kept it there ever since. Now I don't open the main door as the garage is used as my "tinkering" shop and for some storage but it's dry as a bone and nice and cool. The "cool" feature keeps it within 2 degrees of 68 while the "auto" feature about 4 degrees over to 2 under.

Some have complained that you have to momentarily set it to "fan" to see the actual temperature. Doesn't bother me. It's maintaining the temperature I want and the couple of seconds it takes to see what the temperature is isn't inconvenient at all. Oh, and the filter sensor light went on with I'd estimate about 30% reduction in capacity. Took 30 seconds with a shop vac to bring it back to 100% and the front cover just tilts out. Couldn't be easier - smart design.

In this day and age it seems harder and harder to find a product that actually works as it should. I'm happy to say this one does.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2013
Color Name: OFFWHITEVerified Purchase
I purchased this A/C unit last year when my old one died. It was in the middle of an August heat wave and no local retailers had any air conditioners left in stock. I turned to Amazon and decided on this one due to its price and features. I was somewhat skeptical because I was unfamiliar with the brand, but I also didn't want to spend a lot for a name brand air conditioner of the same size.

After using this for a year, I'm quite pleased with the purchase. The unit easily keeps the entire downstairs of my home (dining room, living room, and kitchen) cool. I wouldn't say it is whisper quiet, but it isn't obnoxiously loud. The fan makes a lot of noise on high, but the air really circulates. The compressor seems quiet and the unit doesn't vibrate or rattle the window like my other unit did. Installation couldn't be easier. It fits right into the double hung window and seals tight. The remote control is nice. I can adjust settings from the next room without getting out of my chair. Unit seems efficient. The one it replaced put out less BTUs, but I noticed no cost increase on my electric bill.

If I had any negative thing to say, it's that you can tell that it isn't as well constructed as other brands. The foam material used to insulate the inside of the unit is the regular white packing foam and not a high quality dense foam. The plastic parts seem brittle and cheap, so I use extra caution when removing the filter or adjusting the vents. Time will tell how well it holds up, but so far so good.

Overall, it's a good bargain for moderate seasonal use. I'm happy enough that I'm considering buying another one of these to replace the window unit upstairs.
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38 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2011
Color Name: OFFWHITEVerified Purchase
No complaints. Unit works very well and cools down a few rooms in no time flat. The "auto" mode is especially nice. Only complaint is the vent switch. There is no marking to define if you are in the right position or what position you may be in. Other than that it functions well with a minimum of noise.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2013
Color Name: OFFWHITEVerified Purchase
First, I'll start off with the positives. The unit blows ice cold air and easily cools down the room. I like the horizontal and vertical vent adjustments and the ease of operation. The fan blows strong and the noise is not overly loud for this size of unit.

I have two negatives about this unit, one being minor and the other being major. A minor gripe is that while in cooling mode, the display only shows the set temperature. I would rather see the actual room temperature. According to the manual, the display only shows the actual room temperature while in fan only mode. Again, this is only a minor complaint and I can live with it.

My major complaint is water noise. I have a considerable amount of water noise coming from the unit, enough that it keeps me awake at night. It sounds like a small babbling stream, just not as pleasant. In back of the unit, I noticed a considerable amount of standing water in the path of the fan.

From my research, I found that newer AC units tend to use a slinger fan to throw water onto the air conditioner's condenser coil to improve efficiency and life span. But still, the amount of water noise is ridiculous and I can't believe that all newer units will be this annoying. Maybe in less humid climates, it won't be as much a problem?

I will add a few drain holes to eliminate the standing water, even if it means a less efficient unit or shorter life. Plus, I have no desire to host a mosquito or bacteria pool.

If the drain holes fail to alleviate the noise, I will have to look for an older used unit that does not incorporate this obnoxious noise maker.

Because my usage is for a large bedroom where I desire things to be quiet, I would rate this unit as 1 star. However, I try to be fair. If used elsewhere where the noise won't be a concern, I think this unit would be a fine choice.
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