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Honeywell Portable AC Review

Need temporary cooling or cooling on the go? Check out the Honeywell MO Series Compact AC unit. This air conditioner has a wheeled base, variable fan speeds, and function as a 3-in-1 (air conditioner, dehumidifier, and fan.)

Lightweight AC Unit

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Honeywell Portable AC

This Honeywell portable air conditioner is a solid option if you’re looking for a unit with a wheeled base that connects through an exterior window. The install is relatively quick and performance was decent. It has 2 fan speeds and 3 different modes.Check Price

Pros

  • 3-in-1: air conditioner, dehumidifier, and fan
  • More compact size and weight at only 43 pounds
  • Wing-bolt design on the window kit makes installation easier compared to others we’ve tested

Cons

  • Cooling performance was good, but not great. And not as good as others we’ve tested.

Specs

  • 8,000 BTU
  • Area coverage up to 250 sf.
  • 3 operating modes
  • Wheeled base

Honeywell Design

The Honeywell MO Series compact air conditioner is a smaller unit with a wheeled base, front air vent, rear coils, and an exhaust hose that directs out an exterior window.

Honeywell portable AC unit
Honeywell portable AC unit

It has a small washable filter and coils on the back of the unit.

How does it work?

This air conditioner has an exhaust hose that connects to a window kit and pumps hot air out of your home. There is a filter on the unit to also help keep the air clean.

Honeywell portable AC coils
Honeywell portable AC coils

The Controls

All of the Honeywell controls are located at the top of the unit. There are touch buttons for:

  • Power on / off
  • Change mode: air conditioner, dehumidifier, and fan
  • Change target temperature (60° to 90°F)
  • Adjust fan speed (2 speeds)
  • Set a timer (programmable up to 24 hours)
Controls on top of the Honeywell portable air conditioner
Controls on top of the Honeywell portable air conditioner

The temperature can be displayed in Celcius or Fahrenheit. Additional controls are available on the remote control.

To use the remote, you don’t need wifi or any complicated setup. Just plug in the unit and you’re ready to go.

Remote Control

Using the remote control allows you to:

  • Turn the unit on / off
  • Adjust fan speed
  • Change target temperature
  • Activate sleep mode
  • Set a timer
  • Change mode
Honeywell portable AC unit remote control
Honeywell portable AC unit remote control

Operating Modes

As mentioned above, there are three modes on this portable AC unit. The modes are:

  • Cooling
  • Fan
  • Dehumidifying

Other available features include Sleep Mode and Timer, which allows you to set a timer for up to 24 hours.

Size & Dimensions

The Honeywell unit is slightly smaller than most of the other portable AC units we’ve tested. It is not only shorter and smaller, but also quite a bit lighter.

For example, the TOSOT AC unit is 65 pounds and the Black + Decker is 52.9 pounds.

Honeywell is much lighter than both of these units at only 43 pounds.

The exact dimensions are listed below:

  • 14.6″ wide
  • 13.5″ deep
  • 27.7″ tall
  • 43 pounds
Size of the honeywell portable AC unit
Size of the honeywell portable AC unit

Accessories & Parts

This Honeywell AC unit comes with everything you need for an install. You’ll need to select a location adjacent to an exterior window.

The exact contents are listed as:

What’s in the box?

  • Honeywell MO Series unit
  • Remote control
  • Exhaust Hose
  • Window Kit
  • User manual
Parts and accessories for the Honeywell portable AC unit
Parts and accessories for the Honeywell portable AC unit

Honeywell Performance

To really review this Honeywell portable AC unit we needed to put it to the test. We ran a series of two performance tests to see how well this unit could cool a room.

All of these tests took place under the following conditions:

  • Location: Phoenix, Arizona
  • Building: Frame construction, foam roof, fiberglass insulation, stucco exterior, built 2007, renovated 2020, 950 square feet.
  • Room: Testing room is a ~10’ x 14’, vaulted ceilings

With the performance test, we were looking at the folloiwng factors:

  • 4-hour span within the same day
  • Internal & External temperature
  • Internal & External humidity
  • AC Unit running constantly, attempting to achieve a temperature of 72° F

With all of those factors in mind, here is how the Honeywell performed:

Test #1

  • Date: September 3, 2020
  • Time: 4 hours (9:50 am to 1:50 pm )
Honeywell portable air conditioner - performance test
  • 0 Hour – 91.3° F, 32% humidity (inside) | 93F, 38% humidity (outside)
  • 1 Hour – 81.9° F, 42% humidity (inside) | 94F, 35% humidity (outside)
  • 2 Hour – 80.7° F, 45% humidity (inside) | 96F, 32% humidity (outside)
  • 3 Hour – 80.4° F, 42% humidity (inside) | 99 F, 25% humidity (outside)
  • 4 Hour – 80.0 F, 41% humidity (inside) | 102 F, 22% humidity (outside)

Test #2

  • Date: September 4, 2020
  • Time: 4 hours (9:00 am – 1:00 pm)
Honeywell portable AC test #2
  • 0 Hour – 86.8° F, 40% humidity (inside) | 94 F, 26% humidity (outside)
  • 1 Hour – 80.9° F, 40% humidity (inside) | 99 F, 22% humidity (outside)
  • 2 Hour – 80.2° F, 42% humidity (inside) | 102 F, 19% humidity (outside)
  • 3 Hour – 79.3° F, 43% humidity (inside) | 105 F, 17% humidity (outside)
  • 4 Hour – 78.8 F, 43% humidity (inside) | 109 F, 15% humidity (outside)

The Takeaway

Bottom line? The performance of the Honeywell was decent, but not great. After four hours it barely got the inside room temperature under 80 degrees. (80.0° for test #1 and 78.8° for test #2).

DID YOU KNOW? The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language identifies room temperature as around 20–22 °C (68–72 °F).

While that’s more comfortable than the air was without running the unit, I would just expect more from an air conditioner that costs as much as it does.

Honeywell portable air conditioner

That being said, I will say that it did a fantastic job of cooling within the first hour. On both tests, it was able to drop the room temperature approx. 7-10°F from the starting temperature. After the initial hour, it was a lot slower to make noticeable changes, but that rapid change within the first 60 minutes was a great start for the Honeywell.

I will also make a small note about the humidity. The Honeywell boasts that it is a 3-in-1, but it seems unclear how humidity is effected while in cooling mode.

NOTE: We did not extensively test for humidity control beyond the cooling tests as this review is intended to only review the air conditioning capability.

Setup & Usability

For a unit that has an exhaust hose and an in-window installation, I was pleased to see that the setup wasn’t too complicated.

Here’s a quick rundown of all of the steps to get going:

  1. Unbox the air conditioner and throw away all packaging.
  2. Attach the exhaust hose to the unit and route the house out of an exterior window.
  3. Follow the instructions to quickly seal the window kit to the window, without the need for any tools.
  4. Plug it in and turn it on.
  5. Use the remote control or digital controls on top of the unit to adjust the settings until the room is comfortable.

How easy is install?

Install for the Honeywell was pretty quick and only took about 15 minutes. The big difference between the Honeywell and other AC unit installs we’ve tested is the Honeywell’s lack of sealing foam tape.

Honeywell portable AC setup

We already had foam sealing tape on our window from previous portable AC tests. However, for most consumers that lack of foam take I think is only going to further dampen performance.

Also, let’s talk about the window kit.

Honeywell protable AC wingbolt
Wing-bolt adjuster

The Honeywell uses a wingbolt for the window kit instead of screws. That was hugely beneficial considering install, as you just needed to slide the ends into position and then tighten the bolt. No tools required.

Maintenance

Proper maintenance of the Honeywell only takes a few minutes. The main areas to keep an eye on—the filter, the vent, and the exhaust hose.

Dust filter on the Honeywell portable AC unit
Dust filter on the Honeywell portable AC unit
  1. The Filter: It comes with a washable air filter which does keep annual maintenance costs to a minimum.
  2. The Vent: Remember to wipe down the vent and coils on the front and back of the unit with a dry, lint-free cloth. This prevents debris build-up in the unit which could negatively affect performance.
  3. The Exhaust Hose: The exhaust hose of the Honeywell has no grill plate or cover. Because of this, it’s important to check for debris, small animals, or any other thing that could get into the hose.

Is this Honeywell a good value?

I would say that the value of the Honeywell is good, but it’s not great. While this isn’t the most expensive AC unit, it certainly is not cheap. And with the price in mind, I just didn’t think that it had the performance to back up the price tag.

Honeywell portable AC

Granted we did run our tests in the heat of the desert in summer when the ambient outdoor temperature was well over 100°F. Perhaps the performance would have been better in a different climate or simply a different time of day or year.

But by the same token, when else would be a better time for you to need a portable air conditioner?

Honeywell Portable AC Specs

Specifications 
ManufacturerHoneywell
ModelMO08CESWK
Width (inches)14.6"
Depth(inches)13.5"
Height27.7"
Weight43 pounds
Power8,000 BTU
Max AirflowNot listed
Wifi CompatibleNo
Room CoverageUp to 250 sq. ft.
ReturnsVaries by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited
PriceCheck Price

Should You Buy the Portable Honeywell?

I would recommend the Honeywell portable air conditioner if you’re looking for the following:

  • Compact AC: The Honeywell is one of the smallest and lightest portable air conditioners we’ve tested to date. If a small footprint is the most important factor, then this unit could be an excellent choice.
  • Easier Install: The wing-bolt design on the window kit cannot be understated. Having this small design feature makes installation of the window kit significantly faster. If you’re moving the unit several times during a year or you just want the easiest install possible, the Honeywell leads the way.
  • Remote Control: The remote control is a nice feature with this unit as well. It is responsive and easy to use with soft-touch buttons and text under each button to limit any confusion during use.
  • 3-in-1: This AC unit, like many others in its same class, is designed as a 3-in-1, serving the purpose of an air conditioner, dehumidifier, and fan. Considering the larger body of a unit of this scale, it is nice that it can check more than one box.

To learn more or to buy the Honeywell portable air conditioner, check it out here.

Easiest Install We've Tested
  • 96%
    Design - 96%
  • 90%
    Performance - 90%
  • 94%
    Quality - 94%
  • 95%
    Usability - 95%
  • 90%
    Value - 90%
93%

Summary

The Honeywell MO08CESWK is a portable AC on wheels. It has 8,000 BTUs of power and is capable of cooling rooms up to 250 square feet. It’s a 3-in-1 unit that cools, dehumidifies, and is a fan. During our tests, the best performance was the decrease in temperature in hour 1. However, total performance over our two 4 hour tests left something to be desired. The Honeywell seemed to struggle to get much below 80 degrees. Granted, our tests were conducted during the Arizona summer. Nevertheless, we had expected mid 70s based on other tests we’ve conducted with similar units.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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