Does not come with a window kit and won’t fit all window types
Confusing manual & remote
Expensive to run
The Midea Comfee is a genuinely powerful appliance that’ll let you cool and dehumidify a room. But in spite of the fact it’s quite energy efficient, it’s still pricey to run and you’ll need the right kind of windows to make use of it.
Best Prices Today: Midea Comfee 9000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner (MPPH7-09CRN7)
There was a time when the idea of buying an air conditioner to make a UK summer bearable might have seemed ludicrous. But not any more.
Between rising temperatures and the greater number of people who work from home and can’t escape to a chilled corporate environment during the day, it’s not surprising that air conditioners are having a moment. Investing in one for your home or home office may well improve your comfort and productivity.
We’re testing the Midea Comfee 9000 BTU (09CRN7). The 9000 BTU part of the appliance’s name refers to British Thermal Units. It’s a measurement of how much energy an air conditioner uses to remove heat from a room. 9000 BTU is quite a lot, so this model is effective in rooms up to 26m2. However, Midea makes various models, suitable for rooms from 20m2 up to 34m2.
This model is fairly energy efficient for an appliance of this kind, with an A rating in the old system and (we think, although we have not been able to confirm with Midea) a D in the new system.
Still, an air conditioner is not a cheap option, either to buy or to run. The model we’re testing – the 09CRN7 – is a 1015W appliance, so depending on your energy tariff, it’ll probably cost you about 36p per hour to run. Run it for five hours a day during the week and it’ll cost you nearly £40 a month, which is something to bear in mind.
If you need something a bit more budget-friendly to stay cool, have a look at our round-up of the best fans we’ve tested.
When setting up the air conditioner, you’ll need to attach the hose to the back and then, using a window kit, feed it out of the window so it vents outside. This obviously means that you’re limited as to where you can place the air conditioner. The hose has a maximum length of 150cm.
In the box, you’ll get the appliance itself, a remote control, a hose and a wall kit. The wall kit is really only useful if you happen to have a venting hole in your wall – but most of us do not.
This model does not come with a window kit, which you’ll need to create a seal. So you’ll need to get one separately, which is a bit of extra hassle and expense. We spotted kits for sliding windows and casement windows on Amazon.
But even with a window kit, the air conditioner still won’t work for everyone. The windows in my flat are factory-style and swing open on a central axis, meaning that even if I had a window kit, there would be a gap on the other side.
There’s another set-up limitation as well. The window kit will work best with low windows. High windows will be a problem as the hose will need to curve more than it should. I have high windows but I was able to vent out of my balcony door for the testing period. It’s not a solution that would work long-term.
Design and build
On-appliance controls are basic
The Comfee 900 is a functional looking, rather than design-led, appliance. But as it’s white, with simple lines, it will blend fairly well into any room with light decor.
It’s large though, at approximately 35 x 35 x 67cm. It stands on casters, so it’s easy to wheel into place but it’s very heavy (28kg/62lbs), so you won’t want to move it up or down stairs.
You control the appliance via the panel on top or using the supplied remote control.
The on-appliance control panel is straightforward – a bit too much so to be ideal. There’s a mode key, which lets you cycle through the three functions: cool, fan and dry (a dehumidifying setting).
Using the + and – keys, you can choose a temperature from 17°C to 30°C (although you can display in °F, if you prefer). And apart from an On/Off key, that is all you get by way of on-appliance controls.
When you set a temperature, the unit will automatically choose a fan speed setting to achieve it.
However, it’s not a heater, so it can’t raise the temperature of the room. Confusingly, there is a heat setting on the remote control but it doesn’t do anything when used with this model.
That is one of the issues with this air conditioner. The not-very-clear manual encompasses several different models – and the remote is designed to work with them all – so it can be hard to figure out exactly what this model does.
The mode and temperature will appear on the LED display, which also shows error modes. To understand these, you’ll need to revert to the manual.
Emma Rowley / Foundry
There are more options on the remote, however, which – in a nice touch – is equipped with glow in the dark buttons.
You can set a sleep mode, which will (in cooling mode) gradually increase the temperature by 1°C every half an hour. You can also set a timer, which will let you set a deferred switching off time of up to 24 hours.
You can also adjust the fan speed setting.
Emma Rowley / Foundry
However, there are still some buttons (like Swing and iSense) that we don’t think did anything at all on this model and we would have liked to see all available settings on the appliance itself.
Looks and a variety of tweakable settings are not where this appliance excels. What the Midea Comfee does well is blow out a terrific amount of cold air. If you’re buying an air conditioner, this is what you’re buying it for and it does make up for the appliance’s limitations in other areas.
It’s also fitted with a HEPA filter that will improve the quality of the air being blown at you. However, we wouldn’t recommend using the appliance as a dedicated air purifier as there’s no carbon layer to trap gases and VOCs and no air quality feedback.
Check out our round-up of the best air purifiers we’ve reviewed for a good dedicated solution.
If it’s muggy as well as hot, you can switch to the ‘Dry’ setting and use it to dehumidify a room. In normal use as a dehumidifier, the water collected is evaporated by the warm air vented outside. But if you want to use it to dry out a very damp room, you’ll need to remove the plug and connect the supplied hose to the back of the appliance and let it empty into a drain.
Emma Rowley / Foundry
You may also need to drain the bottom tray occasionally – but if so, an alert will appear onscreen. Again, you’ll be scrabbling for the manual to decode it.
The air conditioner claims an operating volume of up to 51dB (A) on the manual and up to 63dB on the product page.
What we can confirm is that when running in cool mode, the sound of rushing air is very audible, but it’s white noise and not very distracting. Besides, it’s an air conditioner and this should be expected. However, we did find that sometimes switching from cool to dehumidify ramped up the noise level with some louder mechanical sounds.
The Midea Comfee 9000 is a powerful and effective air conditioner and we have no doubt that it will make your home more comfortable on hot days. But, thanks to its confusing manual and controls, it can be difficult to figure out what it can and can’t do and the appliance itself will give you very little feedback.
Still, if you’re looking for a simple appliance to cool you down, this one will more than do the job.
For an alternative model, have a look at our review of the Russell Hobbs 9000BTU Portable Air Conditioner.