In this article I will introduce you to the portable air conditioner De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 ECO. Currently there are two versions of the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC “98” ECO: the “Pinguino PAC AN98 ECO” (old version) and the “Pinguino PAC EL98 ECO” (new version). In this test I have tested the older version, but I will go into both versions and show the differences.
UPDATE 21.01.2021: The De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 ECO (old version) has been completely replaced by the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC EL98 ECO (new version). The new version has only a few innovations and has almost exclusively improved in design, so many statements of this review can also be used for the new model.
Even though the older version is a bit outdated, it is still one of De’Longhi’s most popular portable air conditioners. The new version has, so much can be said now, only a few innovations and has almost exclusively improved in design – but more about this later. In this context, I would like to thank De’Longhi once again for providing me with the device for the test period. However, De’Longhi has no influence on the results of the review.
Table of Contents
- 1 Main features
- 2 Technical specifications
- 3 Scope of delivery and extras
- 4 Function and design of De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 ECO
- 5 Installation and commissioning De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco
- 6 Usability and features
- 7 Control behaviour
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 De'Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 und EL98 ECO
- 10 Pros
- 11 Cons
The De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 ECO is a portable air conditioner with exhaust air hose (single hose technology) and is suitable for rooms with up to 100 m³ (approx. 25 – 33 m²). Since the retrofitting of air conditioners with outdoor unit (split air conditioner) in rented apartments is not always possible or undesired by the landlord, a portable air conditioner is a welcome alternative.
The De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 ECO is a monoblock air conditioner with direct evaporator system, in which all components for air conditioning are installed. These include the evaporator, compressor, condenser and the expansion valve. For air conditioning, the warm room air is drawn in, cooled and blown into the room by a fan. The waste heat is transported to the outside via the exhaust air hose.
The coefficient of performance “Epsilon” or EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) is 2.6, which gives the portable air conditioner the energy efficiency class A. The used refrigerant is propane (R290) which has a GWP (Global Warming Potential) of 3 and also has good thermodynamic properties.
The De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 ECO has a dehumidifier function and dehumidifies the room air in cooling mode, uses the condensation water produced in the process to cool the evaporator and can thus increase the energy efficiency of the system. Furthermore, the device can be used as a full-fledged room dehumidifier. The Real Feel technology introduced by De’Longhi is designed to create an optimal indoor climate by automatically adjusting the room temperature and humidity.
Both versions of the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC “98” ECO: the “Pinguino PAC AN98 ECO” (old version) and the “Pinguino PAC EL98 ECO” do not have a direct interface for a smart home system or for a voice assistant. If you still want to integrate the portable air conditioner into a smart home system, you can find more information in my review of the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC EX100 Silent. There I have integrated a portable air conditioner into a Smart Home System without its own interface.
Here is an overview of the most important facts before we come to the comparison of the two devices.
- closed refrigerant system
- integrated dust filter and pollen filter
- integrated dehumidification function
- separate ventilation function
- 3 fan speeds
- Remote control
- timer function (24h)
- Window exhaust bracket included in delivery
- Exhaust air hose included in delivery
- no integrated Smart Home interface
- no integrated interface for voice assistants
In the following table the two versions of the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC “98” ECO are once again compared. If you look more closely at the table, the new version has improved only very slightly in energy efficiency, is slightly louder and slightly heavier.
Scope of delivery and extras
In addition to the portable air conditioner (1), the Pinguino PAC AN98 ECO is delivered with two hose adapters (2), an exhaust windows outlet (3), a crosspiece for sliding windows (4) with associated crosspiece grill and cap for crosspiece hole (7), an air exhaust hose of approx. 1.2 meters in length (5), a wall flange connection for attachment to a wall opening (6) with accessories for wall mounting (8), an operating manual (9) and a remote control (10).
The package is quite heavy and weighs almost 35 kg. Therefore I recommend to transport the portable air conditioner by two persons to place it at the desired spot. The parts included in the package are not necessarily all needed, nevertheless, it is praiseworthy that De’Longhi has thought of all possibilities here. A window seal is not included.
Note: The delivery does not include window sealant for portable air conditioners for mounting on doors, windows or skylights. This must be purchased separately. I have chosen the HOOMEE window sealing*, because it is also suitable for roof windows.
In my opinion, a window seal is absolutely necessary because it greatly reduces the backflow of warm outside air into the air-conditioned room and discharges the warm air from the air-conditioning unit via the exhaust air hose to the outside. Below you will find a few suitable window seals.
Hinweis: From my point of view, the supplied exhaust hose with approx. 1.2 meters is a little short and in my case it was not sufficient. I would therefore recommend to buy an additional Exhaust hose* so that both can be connected afterwards. The diameter of the included hose is 125 mm. In the following you will find a small overview of different exhaust air hoses.
Function and design of De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 ECO
In this section I will explain the construction as well as the components of the portable air conditioner so that the commissioning can take place smoothly. In the following figure you see the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 ECO with its components.
The air outlet (1) is located in the upper part of the portable air conditioner. It cannot be swivelled and therefore always has a constant supply air angle. Above it is the control panel with display (2). Below the unit there are four wheels for easier transport of the unit.
In the upper part of the back we see the air intake for the evaporator (4) with the filter grid (5) behind it. In the middle left is the connection for the air exhaust hose to transport the exhaust air (6). Directly underneath is the air intake for the condenser (7), the power cable (8) and the outlet for the condensation water (9).
The control panel and remote control of the PAC AN98 Eco is clearly arranged. There is an on/standby button (1) to turn the appliance on and off, a button to select the mode (2) air conditioning, ventilation or dehumidification, a timer button (3) to set the timer values, a plus button (4) to increase the temperature or increase the timer value, a minus button (5) to decrease the temperature or decrease the timer value, a button to set the fan speed (6) and a button to activate the REAL FEEL mode (7).
To the left of the Real Feel Mode button is the display for the respective Real Feel status (8). There are three different states, which are displayed in different colors:
- Orange light: room climate not optimal – no feel-good conditions
- Green light: indoor climate satisfactory – OK for most people
- Blue light: Optimal room climate
Depending on the setting, the large display panel in the middle (9) shows symbols such as air conditioning, dehumidification and ventilation, timer, set temperature, active Real Feel mode, temperature unit and fan speed.
In addition to the buttons mentioned above, the remote control has a button to change the temperature unit from Celsius to Fahrenheit and vice versa (10), as well as a button to activate the maximum cooling capacity (11). What I really like here is the additional display on the remote control for a quick overview of the set parameters.
Installation and commissioning De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco
Attaching the window sealing
Before we start using the portable air conditioner, I would like to point out the importance of window sealing. This prevents the warm outside air from flowing into the air-conditioned room and should be used in any case. The Window sealing* is supplied with an adhesive tape which is stuck to the window frame and has a Velcro fastener on the back.
After the tape has been attached to the window frame, the window seal can be attached to the frame using a Velcro fastener. Through a small opening, the exhaust hose can later be inserted and the warm exhaust air can flow outside. In the following figure you can see the attached window sealing in a roof window.
Here you find again a small overview for window sealings:
Preparation of the air exhaust hose
For the preparation of the exhaust air hose, we attach a hose adapter at each end. One end can now be attached to the portable air conditioner. The other end can be hung from the opening of the window seal or extended with another exhaust air hose*. This is especially useful for roof windows or windows at higher levels.
In dem nachfolgenden Bild seht ihr noch einmal, wie ich die beiden Schläuche miteinander verbunden habe.
Here you find a small overview for exhaust air hoses:
Connection and commissioning De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco
After we have prepared everything, the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 ECO can be put into operation. One end of the exhaust air hose is removed with a slight twisting movement on the portable air conditioner. The other end is led through a small opening in the window seal so that the exhaust air is discharged there.
Then try to close the zipper of the window seal as good as possible. Then plug the power cable into a socket and the portable air conditioner can be switched on.
Note: Note from the operating instructions: “After transport, wait at least 1 hour before switching the machine on again.
Integration of the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco into a smart home system
Since the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco does not have its own interface for a smart home system or voice assistant, you have to be a little creative to integrate the portable air conditioner into a smart home system. In my review for the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC EX100 Silent, I went into the topic a bit more detailed and integrated the portable air conditioner into a smart home system.
Basically, it is possible to integrate it into a smart home system or to connect it with a voice control system, but it is not optimal. Therefore, an internal interface for a Smart Home system in the devices would be most useful.
Usability and features
The De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco is very easy to use. After the device is switched on, it starts to chill the room. The temperature setting allows you to select the supply air temperature between 18 °C and 32 °C. Furthermore you have 3 fan speeds and an automatic adjustment of the fan speed.
With the timer function you can set when the unit should be switched on in standby mode or when the unit should be switched off in operation. However, here you only have the choice of 0.5 – 24 h from the time of setting. From my point of view a bit unnecessary, because I never used this function. Also here a Smart Home interface would be a better solution.
The Real Feel mode only makes sense from my point of view if the portable air conditioner is permanently switched on and can therefore monitor the room conditions (for example in a fixed installation). But since the power consumption of the device is very high, I hardly ever used the Real Feel mode. In midsummer the system ran almost exclusively on the highest fan speed with a supply air temperature of 18 °C and the real feel mode was deactivated.
Energy consumption and energy costs
The energy consumption of the portable air conditioner De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco should not be underestimated. Even though the energy label gives the device the energy efficiency class A, the energy consumption of 795 watts per hour (measured) is quite high. According to the energy label, it is even 1,000 watts per hour. Since the system has to run for a longer period of time in midsummer at temperatures above 30°C in order to feel a noticeable cooling effect, the operation of the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco will definitely have an impact on the electricity bill.
If we assume an electricity price of about 29 euro cents/kWh (german prices in 2020), we arrive at electricity costs of about 23 euro cents per hour. If we now assume that the portable air conditioner is in operation for approx. 6 – 8 hours on hot days, we arrive at energy costs of approx. 1.38 € – 1.84 € per day.
Noise level of the portable air conditioner
Another point that should not be underestimated is the noise level of portable air conditioners – I am referring here to portable air conditioners in general. These cannot be compared to a television, refrigerator or lighting. For the cooling function, portable monoblock air conditioners have all the components in one device that are responsible for cooling. So when operating a portable air conditioner you have to accept the resulting noise level if you want it to be cool.
According to the energy label a noise level of 63 dB is indicated. An accurate measuring device would be necessary to check the value. Since I don’t have this at hand, I decided to measure the sound pressure level with my smartphone and an app, which gives me a first clue. When measuring the sound pressure level I came up with the following values:
- Directly on the device: 60.3 dB (spl),
- 1 meter away from the device: 54,5 dB (spl)
In the sound level table of acoustic-glossary.co.uk the following values are given:
- 40 dB: “Library”
- 60 dB: “Talking”
- 80 dB: “Street Traffic”
Even though the noise levels in this table are indicated as “Talking”, you must be aware that portable air conditioners are quite loud. I would argue that you cannot watch a movie while the system is running.
Before I go into the control behavior of the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco, I would like to give you a little basic understanding of air conditioning in rooms, because there are many comments on the Internet that put portable air conditioners in a bad light.
When operating air conditioning systems it is important to understand that at high outside temperatures even for complex air conditioning systems it is difficult to cool a room to 18 °C. This is only possible with high technical effort. With a portable air conditioner, a room temperature of 26 °C is a real success from an outside temperature of 32 °C. The higher the outside temperature increases, the higher the room temperature will rise. If you manage to achieve a temperature spread of 5 Kelvin between inside and outside temperatures, your portable air conditioner will work really well. To achieve this, however, some precautions have to be taken.
Therefore, in the following I would like to show you the most important rules for proper air conditioning with a portable air conditioner at high outside temperatures:
- Close all windows during the day so that as little warm outside air as possible can flow into the building.
- Shadow windows facing south in order to reduce the solar radiation (so-called solar gains) as much as possible. Simple rollo blinds* can make a big difference here.
- Start air conditioning in the morning and let it run for a longer period of about 6 – 8 hours.
- Use the cold night hours and open the windows of your apartment or house so that the rooms can cool down overnight.
If you follow these rules, a portable air conditioner can really help to cool down on hot days. For this reason, I am very satisfied with the control or cooling behavior of the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco. After following these rules, it has managed to spread up to 6 Kelvin at high outside temperatures.
De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco is hard to beat in the price-performance ratio. With a lot of luck you can get the system for less than 500 Euro. With high outside temperatures of up to 37 °C and the adherence to the 4 rules for air conditioning (close windows, shade, switch on the system early and airing out at night) I was able to cool my attic apartment to bearable temperatures in midsummer. Therefore I can definitely recommend the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco.
What I didn’t like so much is the comparatively high energy consumption. There are lower-consumption appliances from De’Longhi, but they cost almost 200 – 300 euros more. Nevertheless, energy efficiency is an important issue, so it makes sense to take a look at the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC EX100 Silent, as it has an A++ energy efficiency class. A further negative point is the noise level with just over 60 db (spl) on the device. This shouldn’t be underestimated in any case.
The biggest negative point is the missing Smart Home interface in both the old and the new version. It is possible to integrate the device into a Smart Home system, but only with detours and a lot of creativity. I think there is an enormous potential for improvement for all De’Longhi air conditioners.
For the simple air conditioning of rooms, portable air conditioners have become a real alternative to split air conditioners. The De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco is very well suited for this purpose, cools effectively and impresses with its extremely good price-performance ratio. Nevertheless, it is important to follow the basic rules for air conditioning of rooms.
This means to ventilate the rooms to be air-conditioned overnight, to shade them during the day, to close the windows and to keep the system running for a longer period of time. Then there is nothing to prevent good air conditioning and the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco cools without any problems.
For the air conditioning of rooms on hot summer days the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 ECO is therefore a clear recommendation. This also applies to the current successor model Pinguino PAC EL98 ECO*.
De'Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 und EL98 ECO
For optimal operation I recommend to extend the exhaust hose of the portable air conditioner if necessary and to get a window seal in any case. In the following you will find a few offers for window sealing:
and here a few offers for exhaust air hoses
I hope that this review has provided you with valuable information about the De’Longhi Pinguino PAC AN98 Eco and helped you with your purchase decision. If you have questions, suggestions or criticism, please use the comment function.
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* Affiliate Links / Last updated prices on 2021-02-27 / Picture source: Amazon affiliate program