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Sunpentown WA-1211S Window A/C Unit Review
A consumer's opinion of the SPT brand window air conditioner model number WA-1211S with an installation guide.

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Box From Amazon
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Interior Packing Styrofoam
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Cardboard Supports

Even though the summers here in coastal Southern California are relatively mild compared to where we used to live in South Florida, I decided to purchase a window A/C unit for the master bedroom in our 1960's home to help us sleep better on those warm and humid nights.

I was a bit leery of buying a Sunpentown (A.K.A. "SPT") brand air conditioner, since I had never heard of the company. But the 100's of great user reviews on Amazon.com convinced me to take a chance and order it for $299.99 plus tax with free Prime shipping.

The unit arrived promptly and undamaged in two days via FedEx. Although it had only traveled from Phoenix, AZ.

I unpacked the A/C from the two boxes and the variety of protective packing material including Styrofoam and multi-layered rigid cardboard panels.

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Included in the box was the WA-1211S 12,000 BTU A/C unit, a remote control, 2 AA batteries, 2 adjustable side panels, some screws with other mounting hardware, a thin adhesive lined insulation strip, a thicker foam insulation strip, and a user manual.
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Instruction Manual
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Side Panels & Insulation
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Remote Control & Batteries
The air conditioner and all of the accessories including the remote control seemed to be made of high quality materials.

The A/C unit felt very solid and didn't squeak or groan when I moved it around the room.

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Some of the features of the WA-1211S include "Energy Star" compliance, 3 fan speeds, a washable panel filter, a temperature range from 62 to 86 degree Fahrenheit, a "dry" only dehumidifier mode, a sleep timer, an energy saving setting, a digital display, a remote control, adjustable vents (left/right & up/down), an "Auto" fan mode, a filter cleaning reminder indicator light, and also a switch for adjusting between recycled air, outside air (vent) and a mixture of both.

Another important feature is that this A/C unit only requires a standard 110 volt household outlet whereas others may require that you have a 220V outlet installed. It also comes equipped with a ground fault interrupter in the power plug for extra safety.

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Delicate Metal Fins On Back
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Side Vents
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$89 Year Operating Cost
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Control Panel & Digital Display
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Adjustable Vents
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Two Foam Insulation Strips
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Slide On Side Panel
The installation process detailed in the instruction manual was easy to follow.

I lined up the two side panels in the correct orientation and pushed them in to place.

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Side Panels Attached
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Checking Out Filter Element
To fully remove the plastic wrapping from the power wire, I had to flip open the filter cover.
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Double Hung Window
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A/C Installed In Window
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Using 3M Adhesive Strips
The only step that I felt required the assistance of another person was when I had to install the "Sash Lock" piece.

This metal piece keeps the window closed tightly against the top rail on the A/C unit.

I had my helper hold the window down to keep the A/C from falling out of the window while I inserted the screws.

Rather than use screws to secure the side panels and create more holes in our window frames, I decided to use some of our 3M Command damage free double sided adhesive tape strips.

They should be easy to remove in the winter when we put the A/C unit in to storage for the coldest months of the year.

My last step was to install the two foam insulation strips to keep outside air from passing through the open areas. I tucked the larger strip below the A/C unit right above the windowsill. The smaller strip went in to the space between the upper and lower window sashes.

I wasn't too concerned about having the spaces around the A/C unit sealed 100% since our area doesn't get hotter than the high 80's or low 90's for a few days of the year. If I was back in South Florida, I'd look into purchasing thick and rigid insulation panels to attach in front of and behind the side panels for better efficiency.

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Instead of Screws
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Side Panels Secured
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Insulation Strips Installed
So far this A/C unit has been very impressive and it is able to cool off our entire 900 square foot 2 bedroom home in about 20-30 minutes on a warm evening.

Our first electricity bill after using the unit almost every night was only about $10-15 higher than the previous month.

I agree with most other reviewers on Amazon that the WA-1211S is very quiet for such a powerful A/C unit. On the "Low" fan setting it is about the same volume as a normal conversation.

But we are also used to sleeping with a Marpac Sleepmate white noise machine turned on from our days of living near the University of Florida.

If I had to complain about something, it would be that the "beep" sound after pushing any button on the control panel or remote control is way too loud and unnecessary most of the time. I've looked through the manual and there doesn't appear to be a way to turn it down or off. I may take off the front panel and see if the speaker can be muffled or disconnected.

For more, check out my other Home Repair & Improvement Guides.
 

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