We recently reported about an AC (Close Comfort) which uses only 320 Watts and can be used on UPS or solar power. A few days ago we got a chance to test the portable Close Comfort air conditioning unit to see if it stands up to the claims made by its manufacturer.
This review isn’t as extensive as we would have liked but it should be sufficient for anyone who wants to know some more information before ordering the Close Comfort personal AC.
Build Quality and Dimensions of Close Comfort
The portable Close Comfort AC unit is built using glossy plastic. While it may not be something you consider when buying such appliances, but this AC sits in front of you so looks do matter. The body of Close Comfort AC is sleek and looks like a top grade appliance.
Close Comfort’s plastic body seems to be sturdy enough and you won’t feel like it’s something which might break when you try to lift it. The body is firm and there are slots for a better grip when you try to lift the unit.
The flaps — front and back — are of high quality as well. They are not loose and are light as well as easy to adjust. Close Comfort’s whole working depends on the flaps, so attention to detail is definitely commendable.
Close Comfort portable AC weighs 17.4 KGs. Not light by any means, but it can definitely be moved around. If you are young and healthy, it should be easy. If not, than the AC is not as portable as you might have hoped for. However, Close Comfort is still much lighter than any room cooler or other “portable ACs”.
With that weight, the 4 wheels at the bottom are a welcome addition, making adjustments and portability an easier possibility.
- Dimensions: 24”(2 feet) tall x 14” wide x 14” thick
- Weight: 17.4 KGs
The most important aspect of the Close Comfort personal AC is to know how much does it cool. We can assure you it does cool, just not as much as you would think. The reason isn’t the temperature, it’s the air flow.
Close Comfort portable AC chose to have a minimal airflow, possibly to reduce noise and disturbance. In our view, the air flow of Close Comfort was too weak. You can feel it at about 2 to 3 feet away but not any farther. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t cool any farther than this.
Close Comfort AC can cool you even if you are 1 to 2 meters away unless you have a fan on. Because of the weak air flow, the directed cooling (the purpose of this device) gets disrupted if you have a fan operating at high speeds.
For optimal use, we would suggest sitting in front of the unit. When used as an alternative to air cooler, you won’t get the same air throw, but Close Comfort AC will provide you with much more cooling, especially during the monsoon season.
If you intend on using Close Comfort portable AC while sleeping, you should buy the bed tent as well, which is currently included in the price as a special launch package. Unless you have the tent, you won’t be able to get the proper cooling effect of Close Comfort AC because the height of the unit makes it more suitable for people sitting somewhere.
We would have preferred if the manufacturer had included some knobs for controlling the temperature or the air flow (Perhaps in the second version). The lack of control means it won’t be to everyone’s liking.
Making the Close Comfort portable AC work is as easy as it gets. Lift both the front flap and the rear flap, and it will turn on.
You cannot expect anything to be more user-friendly. You can adjust the flaps of Close Comfort AC to control the air direction.
While you don’t get a lot of control over Close Comfort personal AC, it is easy, especially for those people who can’t understand how appliances work. The compressor takes about three minutes to start cooling properly and that’s it.
If you want to use it with the bed-tent, there is a dedicated input section in the tent which fits with the output section of the personal AC. Again plug and play. As far as the tent is concerned, the manufacturer claims it’s very easy to setup but unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to test it out.
In short, you can’t compare Close Comfort’s air flow to a fan or an air cooler. But when used as alternative to a pedestal fan or an air cooler, you will get the added benefits of silent operation and pleasing cooling effect. Close Comfort portable AC doesn’t cause any humidity either, nor does humidity affect its performance.
Power usage isn’t something we can say a lot about, since we couldn’t accurately test it for a longer duration. However, the lack of any knobs and the varying cooling output is something we missed while using the Close Comfort personal AC. The whole thing is automatic but some sort of control on the power consumption would have been appreciated.
We would like to mention here that the Close Comfort unit indeed performs with the 300-350 Watt range. Anyone claiming that it’s higher than that do not understand the technical working of an Air Conditioner as the power ratings on equipment (like the compressor) or the cooling capacity are not electric power ratings. That’s the general power rating which, if you have studied physics, you would understand means the total work done, including the process of condensation (which is not directly linked to the electric power usage).
If we were to give out a rough estimate, we would say the Close Comfort AC consumes about one unit (KWh) in a little over 3 hours if it’s operating at near full capacity and does not turn off or reduce load during that time. It is the same as a couple of old fans or most air coolers. The only difference here is that this portable AC won’t burden the UPS or solar power supply like an air cooler would.
If you were to compare its power usage with a DC Inverter AC, Close Comfort’s Personal Air Conditioner is much less power hungry. A DC Inverter’s power draw reaches its minimum level (slightly higher than Close Comfort AC’s power consumption) when the desired temperature is achieved. However, as rooms aren’t insulated in Pakistan (like Europe or USA) you won’t see DC Inverter ACs reach the minimum level and maintain that level of power draw for a long time. DC inverter ACs can consume 5 to 8 times more power than Close Comfort AC during the initial cooling period.
What this means is, if your UPS can manage a large power draw and your inverter AC has been operating for a few hours, you would be better off staying with it. But if you have a conventional AC or a cooler, the Close Comfort AC would be a far better choice.
- Power Rating: 300 Watts – 350 Watts
- Cooling Capacity: 700 Watts (It’s not electricity consumption)
Price of Close Comfort AC in Pakistan is Rs. 29,000.
Where to Buy Close Comfort
Along side physical outlets in various cities, Close Comfort can be bought online through Daraz for Rs. 29,000.
- Buy from Daraz
- Find Dealers in Your City
Yes, Close Comfort can cool you if you are in front of it. Close Comfort can also do great when you are sleeping and using the provided tent. But don’t expect it to do wonders.
Close Comfort consumes 320 Watts and works on UPS. It’s not a replacement for a room AC but it can most certainly replace air coolers and pedestal fans.
Of course if price is an issue, Close Comfort costs more than an air cooler and much less than a full Air conditioner. The Close Comfort AC costs about the same as some high-end air coolers which have some added features or some cheap portable ACs which require a lot of setup and power. If you can’t afford an AC, even then this personal AC could suit your needs.
When considering the power usage, you only have so many choices. You can use a fan or you can use a DC inverter AC if you have relatively large batteries and a high-end UPS. Other than that, Close Comfort is the best choice for the price and the power consumption.
To sum it up, Close Comfort won’t cool your room enough to make a major difference (unless you have the warm air outlet pointed towards an open window) but it will offer a silent and cozy cooling effect at a close range. It works great at night when used with the tent and could help save a lot on electricity bills. But do remember that Close Comfort is of no use to you if you want to cool 8 people sitting in a large room.