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Although the Philippines is as diverse as its seven thousand islands, there are some experiences that are universal. No matter where you go in the Philippines, one thing is for certain: summers can get hot. While living in a tropical country definitely has its advantages, this is one thing that many Filipinos definitely struggle with. So how do you keep cool in a tropical country? With air conditioning, of course. You’ll find out more in this Dowell PA-312K18 air conditioner review below.
Summer in the Philippines can quickly get unbearable if you don’t know how to keep yourself cool. Ordinarily, once temperatures rise Filipinos head to the beach or the mountains, but that isn’t always possible. Plus, many want the comfort of cooling in their own homes.
It makes sense that a tropical country makes a great market for air conditioner units of all kinds. Aircon sales in the Philippines have been climbing steadily over the last few years as the Filipino middle class grows. Around 955,000 units were sold in 2018, with year on year increases over the past decade or so. That’s a lot of air conditioners, and with temperatures climbing thanks to climate change, those numbers look likely to grow.
Given the Philippine context and the growing demand for air conditioners every year, the air conditioning market in the country is quite diverse. There are over 50 players, with five vendors holding around 45% of the market share. These five companies— Carrier, Koppel, Panasonic, Kolin, and Condura— are widely available in stores nationwide, with smaller players to a lesser degree.
While centralized aircon systems are certainly an option, Filipinos tend to go for individual units. In this country, you’ll find a wide variety of options available to almost every kind of consumer. There are several types of aircon available to Filipino buyers. Need easy installation? Go for a window type aircon. Looking for a unit that’s quieter without losing power? Try a split type aircon. Energy saving? Look for inverter options.
Picking an air conditioner isn’t an easy decision. Since it’s such a huge investment, choices are determined by a host of different factors. One of these factors, which can be a concern for many Filipinos, is space. For households with smaller living areas, investing in a large unit might not always be the smartest decision. Many younger households are also more transient, and might prefer an option that’s easier to pack up and bring elsewhere.
Enter the portable air conditioner. A portable aircon isn’t always every buyer’s first choice, but it’s certainly one that’s best suited for a specific kind of consumer. Portable units are much easier to set up, and don’t usually require assistance from an installation team. This cuts down on extra fees and waiting time, which can often be a concern.
A portable air conditioning unit is also, as the name suggests, portable. This allows for greater flexibility in use, as the unit can be positioned in different areas depending on the user’s need. The downside to this portability is, unfortunately, energy efficiency. While window type aircons and split type aircons have compressors that are located outside the cooling area, portable aircons’ compressors are inside. The waste heat can be managed through the exhaust pipe included in the unit’s installation kit, but it’s certainly something to keep in mind.
If you’ve decided, however, that a portable air conditioner is for you, the next step is figuring out which one. Although there are certainly major players in the air conditioner market in the Philippines, not all of these brands offer portable aircon units. One brand that does, however, is homegrown appliances brand Dowell.
Dowell Philippines was established shortly after the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. Aiming to bring comfort, convenience, and quality to the Philippine home, the company offers a range of household appliances designed for the Filipino. This line of appliances includes, of course, the portable air conditioner.
The Dowell PA 312K18 is a 1.5 HP portable aircon that promises easy and convenient cooling. It’s highly portable, with four wheels that allow you to quickly and easily reposition it for maximum cooling. At 1.5 HP, it’s more powerful than other portable air conditioning units, and can perform well in bigger room sizes.
Features-wise, the PA 312K18 has a range of options that make the overall experience more personalized. It comes with three main modes (Cool, Dry, Fan) that allow you to adjust the type of cooling that you want. While it does suffer from the usual limited cooling area of a portable unit, you can maximize the performance by adjusting its position and removing obstacles that could block airflow.
The PA 312K18 does come with a remote control, you won’t have to worry about getting up from your comfortable position to make temperature adjustments. If you do prefer a more manual approach, you can still make your adjustments on the digital LCD display. It’s also got a 24 hour automatic shut-off timer, which can help you save more energy by turning off the unit during cooler times of the day.
If you’re worried about waste water and drainage, the PA 312K18 makes it easier. It has a float sensor with an LED indicator that lets you know when you should drain out your unit. This makes avoiding leakage and spills so much easier, as it cuts down on guesswork and wasted time. It also comes with a convenient window installation kit, as well as washable pre-filters that help keep you and your unit clean and healthy.
While the PA 312K18 might not have the same rapid cooling time as wall- or window-installed units, it does put in a solid performance. Noise level-wise, it’s not the quietest unit out there. However, it does come with a Sleep Mode Wind Pattern, which can help cut down on sound. The aircon price at Php 20,998 can be a little steep for those who are looking to cut down on costs, but the convenience is what you pay for.
Window or wall installations aren’t always possible, so if you’re struggling with finding a cooling solution for your home, portable might be the way to go. The Dowell PA 312K18 is mobile and adjustable, with a strong fan that keeps you cool even in the summer heat. If you’re looking for a portable aircon with power, this could be your solution.