Soleus Air LX-140, 14,000 BTU Evaporative Portable Air Conditioner, 14,200 BTU Heater, Dehumidifier and Fan
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- 14,000 BTU portable air conditioner and 14,200 BTU heater
- 60 pint dehumidifier and 3-speed fan in 1
- Evaporative technology reduces moisture and limits emptying a bucket
- Programmable digital thermostat
- Window kit and exhaust hoses included
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A great choice, this unit offers you a 14,000 BTU portable air conditioner, 14,200 BTU heater, 60 pint dehumidifier, and 3-speed fan in 1 powerful machine. The evaporative technology reduces moisture and limits emptying a bucket. Features a programmable digital thermostat, easy-to-read multi-color display, 24-hour clock timer, LCD remote control and on-board control panel to operate all functions. Includes heavy duty casters for maximum portability and window kit with exhaust hoses. Output 115V (60 Hz), 1390 Watts and 12.5 Amps, with size dimensions 17.5 (W) by 19 (D) by 32.8 (H) inches, weighing 83 pounds. Comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
Top Customer Reviews
Update and RIP: Sadly, in 2011 my Soleus died. The main issue was that the compressor stopped switching on...the fan would blow, but no more cooling. Secondly, the exhaust tubes became brittle and then completely fell apart, unspiraling like some cartoon prop.
The death of the unit prompted me to come in and update the review. I'm knocking the product one star because of how long it lasted. I used it about twenty times per summer over three years, and that's not a great lifespan for a unit that costs this much. Additionally, Soleus still makes machines with the same exhaust hoses, but you can't easily buy replacements (I found some on eBay for $140 per set.) because they're plastic with a metal wire core, they're only going to last so long before cracking and failing. This being the case, I really expect the manufacturer to offer a replacement set for $50 or less.
This is still a good unit for those who have no other alternatives. But in all honesty, any time I used it I found myself brainstorming ways to get something different. Portable ACs are just too huge and costly for the cooling they accomplish, and they don't last long enough. That being said, options are VERY limited in my 2nd story apartment bedroom with weird windows, so another Soleus was ordered.
The Soleus LX-140 is actually the third portable AC we had in the household. The fist, a discontinued Hampton Bay model worked well and is still operating in a second bedroom. The next, the Sunpentown WA-1010e, was terrible, could only cool the room by about 4 degrees, and broke after a year.
On to the Soleus. The most important thing in a portable AC is obviously cooling ability, and the Soleus lives up to its claims of being one of the more powerful units available. At 14,000 BTU, it has proven capable of getting my 150 sq ft bedroom down to 70 degrees on hot nights, and on sweltering summer days when it's in the upper 90's, it can drop the temp around 15 - 20 degrees if we completely shut out any sunlight and leave the unit running on high. It is also capable of cooling our larger 300 sq ft master suite, although it maxes out at about a 15 degree drop when it's hot and sunny. Unlike most of the other portable ACs we have looked at and used, this one does produce a steady stream of pretty cold air, and while it is massively huge and more expensive than window units, it rivals them in cooling capacity.
Features - The unit has three fan speeds on all the settings and includes a dehumidifier and heater mode in addition to AC and fan. There is temperature control on the main unit that allows you to select anywhere between 61 and 95 degrees. If you set the Soleus to 71 degrees, it will run in AC mode until the room cools down, then it will switch to fan mode until the room warms up again. This is a nice feature that not all portable ACs have. There is a timer setting that can be accessed from the main unit, and allows you to run the unit for a specified number of hours. See the remote control section below for info on the 'time of day' timer. It's not the quietest unit in the world, but most of the noise is a result of the air being pushed through the unit rather than the annoying refrigerator noise you get from some. Light sleepers might not like it, but it drowns out the noisy neighbors with its rather non-offensive white noise. It could also stand to have better circulation features. There is a 'swing' mode on the remote that makes the vent rotate in an up and down direction, but it does not move side to side and the up-down differential is not all that huge.
Exhaust and drainage - The unit comes with two 6 ft plastic hoses that need to be stuck out a window so that it can exhaust the hot air. The dual hose method is supposed to make the unit work a lot better, and between the dual hoses and the high power of the unit it seems to perform superior to any other unit we have looked at. The hoses are a bit wide and cumbersome and could stand to be insulated, but they do the job. While the manufacturer claims the unit does not usually need to be drained, I find their statistics a little optimistic. While I don't need to drain it when I am using it at night to drop the temp from 80 to 70, on really hot and humid days the water reservoir will fill up and need to be emptied every 2 days. Unfortunately, a big design flaw is that there is no automatic shut off on the unit. While the 'drain unit' light will come on in plenty of time, if you ignore it for more than a couple hours the water will start to seep out the bottom of the unit and it will just keep running. I did this once overnight and woke up to find about a gallon of watter puddling on the hard wood floor with all the electrical cords lying in it - not the safest of situations. A second design flaw is that the drain is on the very bottom rear of the unit. If you place it on the floor, only a very very shallow pan can catch the water. There is a rubber hose that comes with the unit that can be used to drain the water either out a window or into a bucket, although either option feels a little poor white trash to me.
Power - At 1500 watts, the unit is a bit of a power hog. All AC units are, and when it's 110 degrees outside the electricity expense is well worth it. However, it should be noted that many circuit breakers and fuse boxes can be overloaded when you throw this unit on with a bunch of other stuff. We had to find a plug on a breaker that was separate from our other main electronics, because running this unit, a tv, stereo and computer all on one breaker was not going to work.
Portability - The unit is moderately heavy, although it does have wheels to make portability a little easier. The photos in the ads hide that it is a little deeper than you might think, and it's foot print is a rather large 20 x 20 inches. There are two exhaust hoses that reach about 6 ft in length, so it needs to be right under or right next to a window. We purchased a small table at Ikea for it to sit on so that the hoses extend straight into the window, which helps cooling capacity greatly since the primary exhaust hose is where all the heat from the room goes, and it can get rather warm. Extanding it to its full 6 feet greatly reduces the colling capacity of the unit, since that's like having a long tubular heater in the room. Better insulated exhaust hoses should be at the top of every portable AC designers list, but none of them seem to have them.
The remote that comes with the unit is so-so. It allows you to access most of the functions, although you need to point it straight at the unit or it will not pick up the signal. Even when the unit does communicate with the remote, it doesn't function 100% properly. For example, if I press 'mode' to switch from AC to fan, the unit will beep to tell me it received the signal. However, it may switch from AC to fan like I asked, or it may stay on AC, or it may switch to heater. Unfortunately you can't tell without looking at the top of the unit. There is also a timer setting on the remote that supposedly lets you program what time of day you want the unit to switch on, probably so you can come home to a cool room after work. This does not work all that well, since you have to remember to point the remote at the unit before leaving and hope it actually turns the unit on when it's supposed to. There is no clock or time of day setting on the main unit at all, so for this feature you have to depend on the remote 100%. The remote is not backlit, so it is hard to see at night.
Overall, the unit gets an A for cooling, a B+ for features, and a C- for remote control. Since my primary objective was to cool a room and getting around the difficulties with the remote is relatively simple, I would indeed recommend this to anyone looking to cool a 200 - 400 sq ft room.
I have owned 4 of these and three different brands. My condo has three separate major spaces, 2 smaller for bedroom suite and office/den. The main living space is larger than the max recommended for any 120 volt unit, and that is where I now have the Soleus LX140.
The two smaller spaces are cooled with GE 10,000 BTU units that I have had for 5 years. HE quit making these units the year after I bought them They are quiet and have held up and keep the spaces in the upper 70s when the ambient temperature is in the mid 90s.
I used to have and Edgestar in the main space. I live in the Seattle area so only need the cooling about 2 months a year, and then not every day. The Edgestar was the worst unit I have ever owned. It was the noisiest unit and it quit in the middle of the second season. I called the manufacturer in Texas and they said it only had a 90 day warranty. They also said they had no service reps in the Pacific NW and couldn't help. After lengthy searching, I found one person who said they fixed them. After spending over $300, it still didn't work. The service tech said he would take it to the shop and return it in "New Condition." That was a year ago and I have never seen him or the unit again.
So I bought the Soleus. I found a dealer in Portland where I knew I could get to if needed. The manufacturer is in California, I can get there pretty easily too. Also, the Soleus has a 1 year warranty. I ordered the unit and it was delivered in 7 days. I set it up immediately but found that you had to use the remote to turn on the fan oscillator. It had to be the receiver or the transmitter, but I didn't know how to tell. I called the dealer, and within a few hours I got a call back from the manufacturer. They said they would send a new remote. If it still didn't work, they would send a label and an RMA. I got the remote in three days and everything worked.
The Soleus runs about 10 db quieter than the Edgstar. My main living space is oversizrd with 594 square feet and with partial cathedral ceilings giving about 5565 cubic feet. I am on the top floor, facing southwest with ceiling to floor glass across the entire space. Without any AC, the space has reached 110 degrees when it was 95 outside in the late afternoon. Also, there are no opening windows or sliding doors, so I am venting the unit up the fire place flu.
This week we had three days in the 90's. When it reached 98 degrees outside, the Soleus maintained the space at 81. When the temperature reached 85 today, the Soleus maintained the space in the mid 70s.
CONS: The only con I have at this point is that the fan oscillation is vertical instead of side to side. I'm not sure I understand the reasoning for that. Cold air settles and hot air rises so a constant upward blast that oscillated die to side makes better sense to me. My GEs do that very effectively.
As for evaporation, I have had it running for fiv continuous days without a drop of water coming from the drain. Of course the Seattle area has relatively low dew points. In areas like the midwest, east coast or south east, there may be more of a problem.
The next test will be longevity as to how long it will hold up. However, at this time, the Soleus LX140 has proven to be the best unit of its type that I have used and I am very impressed with the technical service assistance of the manufacturer.