The Frigidaire 3-in-1 will keep rooms cool in summer, moisten dry air in winter, and clean indoor air all year round.
Nationwide summers are getting hotter for longer periods of time. An air conditioner is no longer a luxury appliance – it’s a necessity. In particular, families with infants and young children, the elderly, and those with health issues are at a higher risk of overheating and developing a heat-related health concern.
The Frigidaire 3-in-1 portable room air conditioner will not only cool a space up to 450 sq. ft., but during the winter months it will humidify the air, while the built-in ionizer will clean the air all year round.
Made in: Overseas
Warranty: 1 year
The Frigidaire 3-in-1 comes with everything you need to install it in a vertical or horizontal slider window (not a casement of awning window). The user manual has clear instructions on how to mount the window kit and connect the exhaust hose. Anyone with basic DIY experience should have no problem with the installation.
If you do plan on regularly moving the 3-in-1 from one room to another, then you should consider buying a vent kit for each room. It will make it less cumbersome than having to remove the window kit each time you relocate the air conditioner – all you’ll need to do is disconnect and bring along the exhaust hose.
If you have an awning or casement window you can’t use the included window kit. You’ll need to make a screen that covers the window opening and to which you can connect the exhaust hose. The easiest thing to do is have a sheet of 1/8″ to 1/4″ acrylic (aka Plexiglass) cut to the inside dimension of the window. I had mine cut at Industrial Plastics (just search ‘acrylic sheets’ on the internet). At the same time have them cut the opening to attach the exhaust connector. You’ll then need to attach mounting blocks to each corner of the sheet. I made mine out of hardwood and then epoxied them to the acrylic sheet (you could also screw the blocks to the sheet). A hole in each block enables me to screw the sheet to the window frame.
The 3-in-1 is a single hose air conditioner. It uses the same hose for both the intake and exhaust of air. This design is not as efficient and takes a somewhat longer time to cool an area as an equivalent sized dual-hose air unit.
With a footprint of roughly 14″ by 17″ the Frigidaire 3-in-1 doesn’t take up a lot of floor space – an important consideration given that it’s designed for a small room (up to 450 sq ft). Sturdy casters make it easy to move the unit – so you can use it in different locations throughout your house. The handles are at the sides. At 63 pounds the unit is just too heavy to be lifted by a top mounted handle.
The intuitive control panel is easy to use – my only complaint is that the font size used for the text could be larger. There are controls to set the operating temperature – ‘cool’ mode for air conditioning, ‘dry’ mode for dehumidification, and ‘fan’ mode to activate the ionizer only. The sleep mode maintains temperature over an 8-hour period – be aware when setting your initial temperature that the unit increases the initial temperature you set by 4°F during the first hour in sleep mode. There is also an ‘auto’ mode – once you select a temperature level the 3-in-1 will automatically adjust for you. If you prefer, you can control all the 3-in-1 functions via the included remote control.
There are two dust filters located at the back of the unit. For optimal performance you’ll want to keep them clean. An indicator on the control panel lets you know when the filters need to be removed and washed or vacuumed (Frigidaire recommends cleaning them every week of operation).
The 3-in-1 is a drip air conditioner – it deposits all of the condensate to an internal bucket that needs periodic emptying. There is a drain plug in the back of the unit – simply place a tray under the plug and remove the plug. You can tilt the unit forward to assist water removal.
All air conditioners have a CEER rating, which is a measure of the energy efficiency of the unit. The 3-in-1 has a CEER of 6.7, which puts it in the lower range. This might be the reason why it’s not Energy Star certified. The actual cost will be based on the number of hours per day that you use the unit during the summer months and your local hydro rate.
Over the 6 weeks that I used the 3-in-1 it did an effective job of keeping our 18′ by 22′ living room nice and cool. I operated it for about 9 hours a day, on auto mode and found that it cooled the room quickly while the noise it generated is no louder than a refrigerator. I like that the 3-in-1 is simple to install and it offers plenty of thoughtful features that make it easy to live with.
Carl Duguay - [email protected]
Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.
You screwed into your window frame? Hmmm… In my case I found that a snug fit into the frame with a bit of weatherstripping held the plastic in without needing to make holes.
The efficiency of those single-hose portable A/Cs is awful… I don’t know why the two-hose portable ones are so hard to find.
I used 1/4″ acrylic and found that whenever I disconnected the exhaust hose the sheet came loose (I move the AC from room to room). If the weatherstripping holds yours in place so much the better Jim. While dual-hose units cool an area quicker and more efficiently, single-hose units consume less energy and typically cost less to purchase – so I wouldn’t consider them to be awful. It’s a matter of weighing out what’s most important to you. Whynter, Midea, Haier and Honeywell all make dual hose portable ACs.