While it cannot be questioned that summer is a wonderful period to go sailing, one major drawback of this is the reality that the weather would absolutely be scorching hot. Sure you can go swimming or take a shower to relieve yourself from sweaty feeling, the heat while onboard a vessel is painful and can be quite distressing.
Basically, the reason why it is worth-considering to invest in the best marine air conditioner is to ensure that you’ll have a more memorable and enjoyable sailing experience during periods of higher temperatures. Of course, no one would want to suffer from heat stroke while traversing the waters.
In line with this, one great solution to impede this unfortunate incident to take place is to get your vessel a functional air conditioner that would keep you and other passengers cool and able to endure the hot weather during summer or the hottest period of the year. That way, you wouldn’t even need to worry if you have your little ones with you while touring.
There’s a myriad of marine air conditioners sold on the market to date, so choosing what’s going to be right for you could definitely be a tough luck. Luckily, you can cast your worries away for this article would help you end up investing in the most outstanding, tested and proven marine air conditioner for your precise needs.
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Best Marine Air Conditioner Reviews of 2023
1. MarinAire 16000 Btu/h Self-Contained Marine Air Conditioner and Heat Pump
Investing in a boat air conditioner can be a tough job particularly if it is your first time to shop for one or if you are not armed with sufficient information on what essential features to look for. That said, it only proves to say how valuable it is to conduct a research first before going to the store.
This unit is something that would delight you because it can provide the requirements you look for in a top quality air conditioner system. It is designed with built-in pressure gauges that is especially intended to help users experience less burden in the monitoring the AC unit and easily detect how good it is when operating. In the same way, the Integra already includes a sound cover surrounding the compressor compartment once purchased.
In addition to this, this system is manufactured with SS316 stainless steel drain pan; it is also designed with D-Smart control system and low start up current. The Integra is built in the tiniest feasible size to ensure that it could exactly fit small enclosures. Take in mind that this is not recommended to be installed in household areas even if there is water supply.
What make this a great deal that must not be ignored are its outstanding features and unique innovations that could not be found in other similar options sold on the market these days. The sound cover is reliable in lessening the level of noise by up to 60%. It comes with 360-degrees blower outlet that is certified easy-to-rotate in any position within a matter of a few seconds.
2. MarinAire 14000 Btu/h Self-Contained Marine Air Conditioner and Heat Pump
This self-contained marine AC is popular for being a revolutionary system of MarinAire. Many boat owners who have tried installing this AC system in their vessels have attested to its practical features and one of a kind innovation which you could not encounter with other similar brands. While it is a little expensive, considering the many benefits that you can obtain from using it, you’ll realize it’s actually economical in the long run.
The built-in pressure gauges are specifically designed to help keep track of the AC system and easily distinguish how vigorous it is in executing its job. On the other hand, the MSB Integra is built with a sound cover that is situated around the compartment of the compressor and this operates as a standard accessory that is adept at diminishing the level of noise by up to sixty percent.
And, since it is constructed with very state of the art design, this unit is a lot easier to deal with and maintain. It is furnished with easy to rotate 360-degree blower that you could instantly rotate in any arrangement you prefer in no time. Indeed, it is crafted using lightweight materials so it won’t make the vessel bulkier. Also, the best of all, this does not consume more fuel which clearly entails that it does not call for high maintenance.
3. Webasto AC Retrofit Unit
Investing in air conditioning for boats does not need to be extremely burdening primarily if you can afford to invest in premium quality options. Of course, it is for the best to administer exhaustive research first since buying topnotch air conditioning units nowadays can certainly be very vexing and pricey at the same time. You definitely do not wish to end up getting a faulty one.
If you prefer an AC system that is not painful to set up and is capable of offering both cooling and heating for your sailboat in fluctuating temperatures from 45-degrees Fahrenheit by up to 80-degrees Fahrenheit, then this is the best match for the requirements you are currently searching for.
It is good to note that its compressor is not prone to generating irking noise and the unit is sterling at keeping the cabin/s temperature within a couple degrees of the thermostat mode. More than that, the unit is sealed and does not call for a service for the life of the AC unit. Please note that this does not come with gauge ports, for all that, these could be added by a service technician.
4. MarinAire 11000 Btu/h Self Contained Marine Air Conditioner and Heat Pump
Whether you are in search of a large or small marine air conditioner, the thing that matters the most is ensuring that it is built with premium quality to allow its users to be guaranteed with superior performance.
This unit is crafted with low and high pressure gauges, the 360-degree blower can be altered in any position, and it already consists of a compressor sound cover to reduce the level of annoying noise. It is built with superior static centrifugal blower and you can always count on its compressor since this guarantees superior efficiency made possible by Toshiba R410A.
Surprisingly, as compared to other costly options, this package has it all. There is no need to spend extra on remote temperature sensor, display, sound shield and the like. While of course, it is not that less expensive, if you’re going to carefully observe its A1 features, you will realize the fact that it is actually very cost-effective equipment that you could for your vessel.
Having it installed in your boat is beneficial in that you can take pleasure in thrilling and exciting sailing experience without the need to feeling easily exhausted due to the scorching heat of the sun on the warmest season of the year.
5. DOMETIC EnviroComfort ECD16K-HV AC Retrofit Kit 410A
AC for boats are absolutely very costly investments; however, it cannot be denied that these are must-haves particularly when traversing the waters on very hot summer days or during the hottest season of the year. If you do not want to ruin your sailing experience, then you’ve got to ensure that you are making a worthwhile investment in terms of air conditioning systems to cool down your vessel.
This product is worth a try. Looking at its unique and very innovative design and features, there is no reason for you to hesitate getting it for your vessel. You can possibly take pleasure in ideal temperatures on your watercraft all through the year and this is all thanks to this AC’s BTU climate control feature.
This unit is built with eco-friendly design R-410A refrigerant that is highly recognized for being environmentally safe gas. It comes with 16,000 BTU per hour reverse-heating and cooling capacities which conveys that users could size the system to perfectly fit their watercraft for maximum comfort in different climates.
The Retrofit kit already comes with digital control and it is reliable in replacing a current self-contained AC system. The return air filter is pre-installed and is not difficult to lift and tidy up. This unit guarantees easy and convenient installation procedures unlike other units available out there.
What to Look for When Buying a Marine Air Conditioner
Picking the most suitable boat air conditioner seriously calls for a very well-thought-of plan, without a doubt, you hope to invest in the right one considering it is not a cheap price to pay.
Prior to choosing an air conditioner unit and the number of AC units you would need to purchase, first, you will need to carefully mull over the following considerations:
- The current layout and size of your vessel.
Picking the appropriate system implies setting up an air conditioner that could efficiently cool down the entire watercraft. Of course, the bigger the vessel is the more powerful air conditioner unit you would require.
More than that, if your watercraft is large and comes with a number of cabins, you will likely have to set up more than one unit or purchase a unit that is capable of supporting a dual duct system. Consider computing your air conditioner requirements hinged on the dimensions of your vessel- you can do a research on this.
Please be guided that if you wish to go for a split type air conditioning unit, an adequately-sized room or engine room that is close by the engine is necessary in order for you to mount the condensing unit.
- The setup and the size of the vessel air conditioning unit.
Hinging on the kind of unit you opt for, it is critical to ponder on the necessary amount of space and where to mount it. Think about if you have sufficient free storage to accommodate the installation of the AC unit.
- The weight of air conditioning unit.
You would need to contemplate if the performance of your vessel would be affected by the additional weight of the air conditioning unit.
- What about the power requirements of the air conditioning system?
Could you operate the air conditioning system as much as you would prefer? A lot of systems would necessitate more battery banks, more efficient and powerful inverter and a sufficient source of power like large solar panels or generator.
Consider executing some research, or ask users or the manufacturer regarding the power requirements prior to investing in a specific brand.
- Does it generate irking noise?
Marine air conditioners tend to create noise when they work. Moreover, there are a few units that generate noise more than the others. As you know, this could be disturbing particularly if you intend to mount the AC unit below your berth.
Hence, if you are a light sleeper, see to it to inspect the systems you are planning to purchase and check if this is known for producing loud noise.
- Your navigating ground’s climate.
It is essential to note that the weather conditions considerably affect the operation of a vessel AC unit. And, the hotter it is, the tougher the air conditioning unit would need to operate.
The size of the vessel as well as the temperatures that you would be in would figure out the output that you would require from the AC unit. Basically, this is gauged in British Thermal Units.
- The money you are more than willing to pay and maintenance.
As always, your funds would play a very vital role in your AC unit decision making. Apart from this, it is also imperative to consider the needed maintenance to keep the system operating without any trouble. Keep in mind that the more intricate the system, the higher the maintenance it would require.
- Is the air conditioning unit backed up by product warranty?
It is important to check if the boat AC unit of your choice is supported by warranty. As you know, in case you encounter some product defects, or you need product component replacements or need to have your problems resolved immediately, then you can have customer protection to count on.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is a boat air conditioner and how does it work?
Boat air conditioners are generally described as the most sold marine air conditioning units across the globe. They are designed to be energy-efficient, a piece of cake to set up, can ensure silent operation, reverse cycle, works as powerfully cooling unit, and are made to be resilient.
In addition to this, they commonly draw chalet air into a system by means of a return air grill in order to cool it. Afterward, a compressor would work to chill the air down, either by means of refrigerant or cooling water. Then, the chilly air is streamed back out into the vessel and this happens with the aid of distribution ducts.
And, in order to ensure proper circulation, the chilly air must be dispensed high up in the chalet, but this must be remote from the return air grill. What’s more, similar with a home AC unit, you could choose the preferred temperature through the use of a digitally arranged thermostat.
Air conditioners for boats work with 110-V power supply; thus, if you wish to operate it at anchor; sizeable batteries, inverter and generous amount of power are vital to allow it to work accordingly.
What are the different types of marine air conditioners?
Before spending extravagantly, it is advantageous to check out the distinct marine AC systems readily available these days and what type of vessels they are suited for. Fundamentally, it is indispensable that you pick your marine air conditioner hinged on the requirements and the current size of your vessel, or you would turn out getting a type of unit that is not efficient and vigorous enough or a system that would merely drain your batteries.
In order to make the selection process with regards to the marine air conditioning unit a less stressful task for you, it is practical to learn more about the distinct forms of marine air conditioners:
- Self-contained. These systems are generally affixed on one chassis reason why it is deemed as a tiny device. Such unit is ideal for keeping vessels bounded by 25 and 40 feet cool and capable to be affixed in the living area, nearby the waterline, in a compartment, below a settee or even below the bunk.
In like manner, such units especially require thru-hull connections so that it could easily absorb cooling water in from the ocean.
- Hatch-mounted. Such systems are the best pick for vessels that come with tinier cabins such as tiny motorboats and daysailers. These are preferred by many because they are portable.
However, these are a bit bulky and would require at least two persons to lift or move them. Take into account that portable vessel AC units are not powerful enough and a lot of people complained that they are incapable of cooling down a full-size V-berth cabin.
- Chilled water air conditioning. These are highly recommended for super yachts and larger vessels where you specifically necessitate cooling down multiple cabins. Such systems are comprised of chiller that’s affixed in the engine room and is especially meant to help chill freshwater.
The water is then siphoned by means of a piping loop to the air handlers that are typically set up in the foreroom. Not to mention, these air conditioning units require generous amount of energy to operate; on the other hand, they are considered as one of the most efficient options owrht considering.
- Split air-conditioning. Central or split boat air conditioning units are designed with the fundamental components split between a couple of units and are perfect for vessels measuring by up to 80 feet. A condensing unit is found here and this is meant to hold a seawater condenser, compressor and different electrical parts.
Such system is commonly set up in neighboring engine or engine room. There is an evaporating unit that comes with a blower and an evaporator coil as well. It requires being affixed in living spaces. The 2 units are connected by insulated copper tubing where the refrigerant passes through.
Why do you need a boat air conditioner? (Benefits)
Installing an air conditioner in your vessel does not end in cooling down your boat alone. For a fact, if you would dig deeper, you will realize that it absolutely comes with a lot of additional perks that you would be grateful of.
Some of the benefits that you could gain once you install a top quality air conditioning unit in your boat appliances consist of:
- Helps ward off the emergence of mold. Air conditioners do a superb job of ensuring proper air circulation. And, this is a good way to aid keep the watercraft free from mold. In the same way, heat and humidity could bring about mold infestations and this could also result to foul odor. As you can imagine, these are quite tough to get rid of once they prevail.
- Helps you stay cool even on the hottest season of the year. With air conditioner installed in a boat, there is no need for you to suffer from scorching heat of the sun, sweat till you drop and feel that sticky feeling while traversing the waters. You and your companions can enjoy your sailing experience even when it is summer.
- Helps make the vessel remain chilly even when it pours. In many rainy and tropical areas, you would be able to dry and cool even there’s downpour of water. This simply implies that it won’t be necessary to unfastened the windows and allow rain and air to get in – your air conditioner unit would take charge of climate control.
- Helps double up as a heater in the coldest season of the year. There are a few marine air conditioner units that also function as heaters during winter seasons. In other words, there is no need for you to spend more on additional heating system like a diesel stove.
By and large, air conditioning is not solely meant to cool the vessels, but also to dehumidify. Aside from this, if you have reverse cycle, it is possible for you to provide heat in cooler periods. It is worth noting that dry watercrafts are not merely more comfortable, the onboard systems dote on it as well and you would be delighted in experiencing less corrosion concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted marine air conditioner brands?
Without any single doubt, the best boat air conditioners can be tough to find these days given there are lots of manufacturers claiming to be the most preferred and topnotch options for consumers to consider.
And, for beginners who are not that very much insightful of the required or must-have features of a marine AC unit, shopping for the most appropriate system that could precisely fit their vessel seems to be a very nerve-racking task to deal with.
Well, the good news for you today is that there is no need for you to drown yourself in useless worries. The following brands are your best options if you are planning to buy reliable, functional and durable AC unit for your boat:
It is worth mentioning that these brands are a few of the most preferred manufacturers worldwide that have been tried and tested to execute a superb job in cooling various types of vessels. When it comes to installing AC units in your watercraft, the best thing you can do is to invest in a highly trusted and credible brand whose product is designed to be built to last and can perform what it was designed for.
How to install and use?
Setting up an air conditioning unit on your vessel does not need to be troublesome. Even so, you would require strictly adhering to the manufacturer’s directors with regards to properly setting up the system so it could function at its best.
Prior to the installation proper, see to it that you have the thru-hulls necessary to set up the AC unit of your choice. Carefully gauge the space for each of the AC unit’s parts, inspected if there is enough space to operate the hoses and purchase the required tools for affixing the system as well as the additional bits that you may necessitate like hoses or raw water pump.
Besides, there are a few practical YouTube videos for you to check out when installing your boat AC unit. For sure, it is a lot easier to uncover a video on your model or come across with a similar one. Still and all, if you’re opting for intricate unit that comes with multiple parts and the setup process feels slightly dreadful, you can ask professionals to execute the work for you.
If you do, please make it a point that you thoroughly pay attention and follow along with the procedure in the event you require replacing a component in the future and ask them the proper way of troubleshooting common issues. Needless to say, it pays off if you become knowledgeable with the unit so that you can keep it functioning accordingly.
Over and above, there are some additional factors that you need to heedful of when installing your AC unit for your boat:
- Placement is indispensable. It is important to take the following factors into account as you decide the most suitable spot for your situation. You will necessitate storage area or other space where the unit would be contained. So, if you currently do not have one yet, you’ll need to consider doing some carpentry works for that.
- The AC unit must be situated in an easy-to-access area, dry place and well-ventilated spot. It must not be positioned in an engine room, rubbish, or close by flammable vapor source. The location must be in a place that recommended by the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
Now that you have some ideas on how to properly set up an AC unit on your vessel, there is no reason for you to get lost in the process. You only need to make sure that you follow the installation instructions that were recommended by the manufacturer.
In case you find the setup procedure a very complicated process for you to execute alone, then you may ask a professional or someone expert in the field to do the job for you.
What is the warranty?
Marine air conditioners are a little costly investments reason why it is a must to buy only from legit and highly trusted boating and marine supply stores, air conditioner stores and reputable online shopping sites. And, when choosing a product, make sure that it comes with warranty offers.
As you know, there is a very obvious reason for this and that is for you to obtain your right to customer protection. Since air conditioners are not less expensive investments, it is safe to be supported by product warranty. With product warranty, you can be at peace knowing that in the event the product you bought or received is defective or you encounter some issues with it, you can have your problems resolved at once.
You can ask for money refund, product replacement or replacement of defective parts and sometimes you can avail of free repair service too. With product warranty, you can protect your investment and you can be guaranteed that your money won’t be put to waste.
Where to buy?
If you are looking for durable, built to last and high-performing marine air conditioners, then you can start your search in well-stocked boating and marine supply stores, air conditioner stores or online shopping sites like Amazon. Finding one can be a little tricky these days since various stores generally offer lots of options for you to select from.
Sadly, if you did not do your homework, then it would be a little difficult for you to come up with the final decision. Fortunately, you can always rely on Amazon. This is the site where you can see credible marine air conditioner manufacturers that you would not commonly encounter in local stores. You can also look for some options that could specifically meet your requirements for a vessel air conditioner.
How to care and maintain?
Here are some helpful DIY tips on how to take proper care and maintenance for your boat air conditioner:
- Keep your manual for future reference. Essentially, learning more about your AC unit and how it operates would make you better able to guarantee that it functions exceptionally.
The manual could provide solutions to minor issues and it could also assist you easily navigate the unit.
- Clean the filter thoroughly. It is essential to know that the filter is positioned at the rear section of the return air griller and this aids in capturing dirt and dust from re-circulating all the through the vessel’s air.
As the filter gets too filthy and clogged, the flow is air is restricted and this conveys that it could consume longer period of time for the vessel to cool down. Consider adhering to the owner’s manual instructions when it comes to properly tidying up the filter.
- Tidy the sea strainer carefully. Your vessel AC unit especially calls for adequate amount of water for it to effectively operate. The water is utilized in the condenser as this helps cool the refrigerant back into its liquid state.
Please note that water actually originates from the ocean or lake and runs through a sea strainer. And, in order to ensure that you have sufficient water, it is crucial to clean the sea strainer well once a month or consider cleaning it more often in tropical water.
It is also imperative to check your raw water discharge to see if there is adequate water coming out while your AC unit is operating properly. Indeed, there are a few regular maintenance items that must also be performed by professionals.
And, an example of a professional routine maintenance is utilizing a mild acid solution to thoroughly clear out the cooling system. Take in mind that this must be executed every few years mainly because marine and scale growth could make the coil clogged.
Ultimately, taking proper care and maintenance of your vessel’s AC unit certainly pays off since it could have a lifespan of roughly fifteen by up to twenty years.
As what you have explored in this article, investing in the best marine air conditioner is a not a kid’s stuff. This is why it is crucial to do a little research first prior to taking the plunge since the price tag for one can break the bank. Surely, you wouldn’t want to waste your money buying something that would not even last for a few years.
Hence, if you could afford the selling cost and maintenance a marine air conditioner unit involves, then there is no reason to have second thoughts. Having an air conditioner installed in your vessel would enable you to remain cool and comfortable in the hottest seasons and, most importantly, this would also greatly aid ward off the emergence of mold since it does a good job of allowing air to circulate properly in the vessel.
Hopefully, the marine air conditioners exhaustively reviewed in this post would help you come up with detailed knowledge. Be sure to check out the required features that you are looking for in a marine air conditioner and then carefully go over the advantages and disadvantages of each product so it would be less burdening for you to pick the one that would best match your needs and style.
I am Dave, Marine Talk’s content creator. Boating experiences matter when planning a boat trip for your family or going by yourself. Therefore, I am here to tackle all things relevant to boating so even the inexperienced ones can start their boating safely.