Heat and the LG intelloair air conditioner

By Abhijit Menon-Sen <ams@toroid.org>

2010-06-02

We have a 1.5 ton LG "intelloair" window air conditioner in the study. It's been so hot so early this summer that it can't cool effectively at midday, when I want it the most.

The AC displays a number that represents the current indoor temperature (I don't know how accurate it is) and the desired temperature. When the former is higher than the latter, the compressor comes on, and cold air is blown into the room. When one temperature is sufficiently close to the other, the compressor is switched off to maintain equilibrium.

When the estimated indoor temperature is above 30, however, I've noticed that the compressor is switched off long before the desired temperature is reached, and comes on only much later. The result is that the indoor temperature stays consistently high (aside: if it's higher than 39, the display just shows "Hi").

The LG technicians said there was no cure. When it's so hot outside, the compressor overheats and shuts down very quickly if it has to work hard (i.e., when the difference between the current and desired temperatures is high), and is switched on again only after it has cooled down enough, by which time the temperature difference is so high that it has to work very hard, and…

It makes a strange sort of sense, but that is cold comfort when the computers and AC all blow hot air at me. Blocking the drainage outlet and pouring cold water into the chassis (which the technicians did to help the compressor cool down more quickly) is only a partial solution. Setting the desired temperature higher only postpones the inevitable on a hot day: it overheats on the second cycle instead of the first.

Since none of the other ACs I've used in similar temperatures (Carrier, Electrolux, unbranded) has had problems to this extent, I am forced to conclude that the LG intelloair is a lousy air conditioner.

Now I understand why there is a huge hoarding near Pragati Maidan advertising an AC that cools even at 54°C.