Air conditioner first look reviews Homebase WAP-267EI first look review
The Homebase WAP-267EI is the kind of typical mass-market air conditioner that might catch your eye if you’re visiting the DIY store on a hot day. We’re not lab testing air conditioners this year, so a panel of Which? testers has explored what it’s like to use this popular model, alongside the De'Longhi PAC AN110 instead.
At £230, the WAP-267EI is at modestly priced, in line with other similar own-brand models such as Comet’s Proline CL220, which we’ve tested previously.
Visually, the air conditioner is a simple, creamy-beige unit which stands about 78.5cm high. Like most freestanding air conditioners, it’s a bulky appliance which, with its 45.5cm width and 38cm depth is unlikely to fit unobtrusively into your room. Our panel was split on its styling: some liked its simplicity and praised it as ‘inoffensive’ and ‘stylish’ but others felt its control panel was a little old-fashioned.
Simple controls and displays
Everyone found this model easy to use. Its controls are extremely simple with options clearly marked with words rather than symbols. There’s an on-off switch and buttons to designate the function you need, choosing from cooling, fan-only or dehumidifier. An adjacent button controls its high, medium or low speed settings, and all these settings are illuminated so it’s really easy to see which mode is selected.
There’s also an LCD window which displays the current room temperature. If you’re using air-conditioner mode you can use the arrow buttons to set your target room temperature between 16 and 32°C. The air conditioner will switch off and on as necessary to reach and maintain your chosen temperature, and the display panel reverts to current room temperature once you've set it.
The same panel controls the timer. Using the same arrow buttons you can program the air conditioner to switch on or off in units between one and 12 hours. This could be handy if you want to start cooling your room before you return home or to control how long you want it to run without having to manually switch it off.
The instruction booklet is a clear and logically organised A4 booklet with helpful diagrams to explain all the parts and functions.
This machine claims to be A-rated for efficiency and offer 9,000 BTU per hour (British thermal unit) – so it should be suitable for cooling large rooms: (the instructions state up to 20m2).
The cooled air flows out through a front vent. This can feel quite forceful if you’re sitting in its path when it’s running at full force. While this could be a bonus if you want to cool yourself down very quickly, some testers preferred the DeLonghi PAC AN110 model’s air flow, which heads upwards and feels less intrusive. You can adjust the direction of the air stream left or right on the Homebase model, but not up and down.
This Homebase model also suffers a drawback shared by most freestanding air conditioners: it’s incredibly noisy in operation. We used a decibel monitor and found readings of about 68dB when using its fan on low; this increases to about 70dB in air-conditioning mode.
There are few accessories for this model: only an exhaust hose, connector and nozzle for expelling hot air. There’s no remote control or fixture to plug a window gap around the exhaust hose.
Pros: Very easy to use, simple control panel
Cons: No remote control, very noisy