I was browsing Facebook this week and found a Kickstarter campaign for a new air conditioning product called Noria. I am actually really excited about the potential for this product to advance the portable cooling market.
For those unfamiliar with Kickstarter, this means that right now the developers of Noria are raising money to take a prototype into production. Those that pledge a certain level of money will receive the actual product in April 2017. The rest of us will have to wait until Noria starts showing up in stores and online.
Without having tested the product, I cannot tell you if it works better or worse than existing portable and window air conditioner units. But, I want to share with you the information we have right now because as I said before, I am pretty excited about some of Noria’s unique features.
You are going to want to read all about Noria but use these links if you have a specific question you need answered right away!
- 1 How does the size and installation of Noria compare to other air conditioners?
- 2 What unique features does Noria have?
- 3 How large of a space can a Noria cool?
- 4 What operating modes does Noria offer?
- 5 Where does any excess water condensation go?
- 6 How much will it cost to operate Noria for the summer?
- 7 Is Noria going to live up to all the hype?
How does the size and installation of Noria compare to other air conditioners?
Noria has similarities to both a window air conditioner and a portable air conditioner, except that it is much smaller than both (5.8”H x 18.25”W x 15”D). The unit is only about 6 inches high, and at approximately 30 pounds. It weighs about 8 pounds less than a comparable window unit. This means that not only is it easy to install and move to other windows in your home but it is also small enough to store under your bed or on a shelf in a closet.
The fact that it is a space saving air conditioner is going to be great for those living in city apartments or dorm rooms without air conditioning. Where people previously had to leave a bulky window unit in their window obstructing their view or had a portable air conditioner taking up valuable floor space in the room, Noria does not use any floor space and is slim enough to minimally block the view.
Also, Noria fits in your window like a window air conditioner but the way it is installed into the window is very similar to the way portable air conditioners’ exhaust hose(s) are connected. The thin, plastic window mounting piece looks almost the same, but the opening to the outside is a different shape and size. Where a portable air conditioner would have its hose connected to the openings in the window kit, the entire Noria air conditioning unit slides into an oblong opening.
Like a traditional window air conditioner, part of the unit is inside of the room and the remaining 8-9 inches hangs outside the window. While this may not be the exterior eye sore that window air conditioner units are, it is not as externally unobtrusive as a portable air conditioner set-up. Thus, if your landlord or HOA does not allow window air conditioners, you may still find that the design of Noria fits into this category.
As a safety feature, Noria cannot be pushed back into the room from the outside. There are spring loaded latches that prevent this from happening. This is important so that someone outside cannot push it into the home causing damage or allowing unwanted entry.
But, the creators of Noria also did this so that children cannot pull it back into the room on top of themselves. Parents everywhere will appreciate this!
The third reason the designers did this is because it allows it to pass the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) structural loading test that places 400 pounds of downward pressure on the outside of the unit. While not a typical user’s concern, it is reassuring to know that Noria can meet these standards.
The feedback that most people are giving about the design of Noria is that it needs to be able to be mounted vertically. Noria can only operate in a horizontal position because of mechanical issues with compressor lubrication and condensate dripping. Currently, it fits single and double hung windows 21-36 inches wide that slide up and down. It will not work for windows and doors that slide left to right.
For now, those with vertically sliding windows and doors will have to wait, though the creators of Noria are exploring ways to make vertical installation possible. In the meantime, portable air conditioners can be adapted to fit sliding doors and windows.
What unique features does Noria have?
Noria has modernized the look and operation of air conditioners. Like the Dyson fan revolutionized box and tower fans, Noria is the sleek and modern answer to the air conditioning units available today. No longer must you decide if being cool is worth an unsightly, bulky machine in your room. Its appearance almost adds a cool vibe to the space.
In another effort to bring window air conditioners into the 21st century, the creators of Noria made sure it is Bluetooth compatible with IOS and Android devices. Basically your device functions as your remote, and you can set up a schedule so Noria can kick-on even when you are not home.
I have written about the convenience of a timer on portable air conditioners so that they will turn on before you get home, so I was really excited when I initially thought the Noria could be controlled from outside your home. Unfortunately, it is not Wi-Fi enabled, so the timer can only be set when you are in your home. It is still functioning like the standard remote and timer set-up but just in a more up-to-date manner.
Noria was created with a single knob operation. A large knob on the front of Noria will turn the unit on and can be turned to adjust the temperature. A weekly schedule for when Noria operates can be set-up by using a Bluetooth enabled device like your smartphone or tablet. You can operate multiple Norias from one device at the same time, which will be useful if you decide to have one in the living room and all the bedrooms.
How large of a space can a Noria cool?
One Noria operates at 5,000 BTU/hour and can cool a 10×16 foot enclosed space or approximately 160 sq. ft. If you have a larger space, two units can work together to cool one 330 sq. ft. room. When Noria is blowing air into the room it does it in an upward motion so that it mixes with the falling warm air. This creates total air circulation and eliminates hot spots in the room. This feature creates a more efficient cooling experience for the user because Noria does not recirculate the air that was previously cooled.
What operating modes does Noria offer?
A really unique feature of Noria is the Fresh Air mode. I have not seen this on other window or portable air conditioners. It works by shutting off the compressor and allowing fresh air into your room without having to remove the unit and leave the window open. What I really like about this mode is that the thermostat will control the temperature in the room so that it doesn’t get too cold while you are asleep.
Noria operates at a quieter level than most portable air conditioners and window units. Its noise level is about 50 decibels. This is a feature that really impacts people’s decision when purchasing an air conditioner. No one wants to have their conversation or television viewing interrupted by an appliance. As long as the final product is as quiet as they are estimating in the prototype phase, then this will be a huge selling point for Noria.
There is not a heat mode on Noria. It would be great if there was but only a few current portable air conditioners offer this feature. It is really only a useful air conditioner feature for a select group of users living in cooler climates. Even then, those living in areas with extreme cold temperatures cannot use a heat pump below about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Where does any excess water condensation go?
Since Noria sits in the window, any extra water condensation will be expelled to the outside through the back of the unit. It was designed so that it would not drip down the side of the building. This is much more convenient than having to empty the tank on a portable air conditioner.
Will Noria have a warranty?
It will have a one year warranty, which is pretty common for air conditioners. It would be nice to have some of the mechanical components covered for an extended period of time which is the industry standard for portable air conditioners.
How much will it cost to operate Noria for the summer?
The designers of Noria estimate that it will cost about $50 per summer to run. This is assuming the unit is run for about three months. Consider this a rough estimate because there are numerous factors that will affect this cost. The cost of electricity in your market, the intensity of the summer heat, and your desired room temperature will impact the final cost to operate Noria.
Is Noria going to live up to all the hype?
Noria falls a little short of expectations in a few areas. For some users with vertical window openings it is not even an option. Let’s hope the creators of Noria hear our pleas and make a vertical model. It also would be really great if it were not only Bluetooth, but also Wi-Fi enabled. Again, this may be something that can be improved.
The only other complaint I have is that it doesn’t seem to cool a very large space. Two Noria’s can be placed in the same room to cool a 330 sq. ft. area, but that seems like it will be a fairly expensive solution.
The best thing about Noria is its compact size. This is going to be great for people in really small places. I am picturing offices, urban apartments, and university dorm rooms. Not only will these users not require that it cool a large area, but the slim design means that it takes up very little space and can be stored conveniently in a closet.
The Fresh Air mode is a feature that will be really nice too. Being able to bring in cool air from outside on nice days but not needing to remove Noria will be convenient and a cost saving option.
I also think that the negatives related to directional placement and Wi-Fi capability could become huge advantages once Noria gets off the ground and running. It is likely that the money acquired during the Kickstarter campaign could make some of these a reality. Or, they may be something that future Noria models offer.
Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing Noria until spring or summer 2017. If you are looking for a portable air conditioner that can be used for small spaces, I recommend Honeywell MF08CESWW. Only time will tell if Noria will revolutionize the air conditioning world.