Danby DPA120E1BDB 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner: Ultimate Buyers Guide

The focus of this review is the Danby DPA120E1BDB 12,000 BTU portable air conditioner. This article continues in our series of review of the Danby line of portable air conditioners.  Here we provide you with everything you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

The DPA120E1BDB model number represents one of two identical air conditioners. The other model is the Danby DPA120E1WDB portable air conditioner. The only difference between the two is simply that the colors are different. The DPA120E1BDB is black whereas the DPA120E1WDB is white.

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Both models are 12,000 BTU units with a stated cooling capacity of 550 square feet. If this capacity is larger than what your needs require, you may also like to review one of the smaller models.

The Danby portable air conditioners advertise a good list of features and functions. And the DPA120E1BDB/DPA120E1WDB models are no different.

But are either of these units right for you? Keep reading to find out!

To quickly find the answers you’re looking for, click the link in the table. Otherwise, keep reading the review.

Our other Danby review articles can be found by clicking on the links below.

Danby DPA120E1BDB Portable Air Conditioner Product Specifications

Cooling Capacity 12,000 BTUs
Max Room Size 550 ft²
Dehumidifying Capacity
(every 24 hours)
70 pints
(8.75 gallons)
Temperature Range 64ºF - 90ºF
Air Flow 145.4 - 183.6 CFM
Height (inches) 28.15
Width (inches) 17.13
Depth (inches) 13.78
Weight (lbs) 60.2
Noise Levels 51.5 - 52.4 dBA
Color Options All Black or All White

Danby DPA120E1BDB Portable Air Conditioner List of Features

As stated above, the Danby DPA120E1BDB and the DPA120E1WDB air conditioners are identical except for the color. The DPA120E1BDB version is black and the DPA120E1WDB is white.  Therefore, all features and functions apply to both even though we’ll be focusing on the DPA120E1BDB

The DPA120E1BDB is a mid-to-large-size unit with a stated cooling capability of up to 550 sq ft. Included with this unit is a nice set of features and functions.

These include:

  • 3-in-1 functionality – cooling, dehumidifying, and fan-only modes
  • Adjustable window kit – fit’s almost any window
  • Vibrant LED display/control panel – easy to use and program
  • Foam seal for insulating around the window kit – helps prevent warm air getting into your cool room
  • 24-hour timer – program the unit to turn on and off automatically to save money
  • Remote control – easily change any setting from the comfort of your chair
  • Caster wheels and built in handles – adds to the portability of the air conditioner
  • 6 ft power cord – longer than other brands so reaching an outlet is easier
  • Washable air filter – no added costs to run the unit at top performance
  • R410A refrigerant – environment-friendly
  • Exhaust hose reaching up to 59 1/16 inches – hose is expandable to ease installation
  • 12-month warranty

Danby DPA120E1BDB 3-in-1 Functions

3-in-1 portable air conditioner offers 3 modes of functionality in a single unit. This means you only need this one item to perform the function of three different appliances. The functions you get and which you can run separately are cooling, dehumidifying and fan modes. If you ever need to use a fan or dehumidifier in your home, then you can use this unit to perform those functions. There’s no need to purchase additional appliances. Along with saving you money, these 3-in-1 air conditioners, save on valuable storage space.

Danby DPA120E1BDB Cooling Capacity

For cooling, the Danby DPA120E1 is rated at 12,000 BTUs which the company says can cool rooms up to 550 ft². This coverage is higher than many other popular 12,000 BTU units. For instance, the Honeywell MN12CES is only rated for 450 ft² and the Whynter ARC-12SD is rated at 400 ft² max. (You can read our full reviews by clicking the links.)

If your room measures within 500-550 ft² range, we recommend you save everything which comes with the unit as well as the box. Therefore, if this model does not perform up to your expectations or needs, you can always return it and get a larger model such as the Toyotomi TAD-T40LW 14, 000 BTU portable air conditioner.

Danby DPA120E1BDB Temperature Range

The Danby DPA120E1 12,000 BTU unit has a temperature setting range of 64°F to 90°F. The low end of this range is not as low as other brands for this BTU capacity.  The other models can be set as low as 60°F.

The higher minimum setting could be the reason why Danby states this unit cools larger room sizes than comparable BTU size ACs.

But, either way, if you love it cold, you may end up disappointed.

Danby DPA120E1BDB Dehumidifier

The dehumidifier extracts up to 70 pints of water (8.75 gallons) from the air in your room every 24 hours. This is a little more than the smaller DPA100E1BDB 10,000 BTU model. And this should be expected. The bigger the room to cool, the more air there is, and therefore, the more water which needs to be extracted.

The water which gets extracted collects inside a tank within the air conditioner.  One feature all portable air conditioners have is that the cooling stops once the tank is full. This is a safety feature which prevents water from leaking out onto the floor. When this occurs, you’ll need to drain the water. Therefore, in high humidity areas, this can become a frequent occurrence.

You should know that one thing we don’t care for is that when the tank is full, the fan continues to run. Consequently, you may not notice the unit is not producing cool, dry air until the room starts to become warmer.

Danby DPA120E1BDB Fan-only Mode

If you just want to move the air around, you can simply use this unit as a fan. The company’s documentation recommends removing the exhaust hose from the window while using the fan-only mode. This seems a bit troublesome. But since you’ll most likely want to maximize the cross-breeze, you will probably want the window open anyway. Therefore, this is not something we consider as a big negative.

One difference we noticed between this model and most other 12,000 BTU air conditioners is that the fan only supports 2 speeds – high and low. Almost all of the other models we looked at support 3 speeds. Maybe this a cost saving that’s being passed onto you. But, this seems more like an oversight and it is something to consider.

Does the Danby DPA120E1BDB have an Auto-Evaporation feature?

An auto-evaporation feature is found on most of the top brands. But unfortunately, this Danby DPA120E1BDB portable air conditioner does not include it.

If you live in a high humidity are, an auto-evaporation system is one of those must-have features, in out opinion.

With this system, water collected from the room is vented to the outside through the exhaust hose. This means you may never have to drain any water from the air conditioner.

This feature is a huge, time savings. Therefore, we recommend paying for a model which it includes it or waiting for one to go on sale.

Is the Danby DPA120E1BDB Portable Air Conditioner Noisy?

When considering a portable air conditioner, there are a few major features you really need to look out for. The noise output is one of them in our opinion.

Any model which comes close to noise levels of a regular conversation (60 decibels), should probably not be considered.  Otherwise, you can find yourself with pillows over your head when trying to sleep or raising your voice when trying to talk to someone.

Fortunately, you won’t need to do either with the Danby DPA120E1BDB. This unit produces noise level within the very acceptable range of 51.5-52.4 dBA. This is just about as good as you’re going to see from models with 12,000 BTUs.

Danby Customer Service

The documentation on the website and in the manuals is not as informative as you might expect. Therefore, we contacted the Danby customer service department to answer a number of questions.

The people working in the Danby customer service department are top notch. These people were friendly, accommodating, and just as important, extremely knowledgeable.

This is exactly what you expect from a company in this day and age. Especially if you’re trying to build brand loyalty. Therefore, you can expect any questions or other issues to be resolved in a timely manner.

Check the latest prices on the DPA120E1BDB and the DPA120E1WDB models.

Does the Danby DPA120E1BDB Portable Air Conditioner have a Single-Hose Design?

This model comes with a single-hose design. Compared to a similar dual-hose system, this unit will take longer to cool your room and, therefore, be less efficient.

Can I install the Danby Portable Air Conditioner without help?

Single-hose air conditioners are known for their ease of installation. And the DPA120E1BDB is no different. So you should not need any help installing this AC.

This air conditioner weighs a little over 60 lbs (pounds). Therefore, if you have stairs then we recommend finding someone help you carry the unit the appropriate location. But all portable ACs this limitation.

Window Kit

Danby DPA100E1WDB 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

The supplied window kit can only be reduced to 28 5/16th inches at a minimum. If your window is smaller than this, the documentation states that you can modify the kit as needed. This may require you to use a saw. Therefore, this type of modification will require a bit of handy work.

The window kit can by extended to a little over 80 inches. This is perfect for those of you looking to use your sliding glass doors instead of a window. The window kit size provides much better versatility than many other models on the market, including top brands.

Power Cord and Exhaust Hose

The lengths of both the power cord and the exhaust hose are two things that really stand out for us. The power cord is 6 ft. long and the exhaust hose is nearly 5 ft. Both are longer than many other units have to offer.

These lengths are important since they provide more flexibility in locating the ideal location. Therefore, if your room is oddly shaped or more simply, the outlet is not close to the window, you should consider these important features.

Casters with Wheel Locks

Danby DPA120E1BDB 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner casters

The caster wheels and the built-in handles allow you to push, pull and twist the AC to the perfect spot.  The caster wheels will glide across most floors with ease. Therefore, moving the AC around to different rooms on the same floor in your home should pose no difficulty.

The wheel locks are one small but overlooked addition. We really like this feature since they will secure the AC in place once it’s installed in the perfect location. If you have pets or children, you will appreciate this simple, yet effective addition.

Is Danby Portable Air Conditioner easy to use?

The display feature is simple and easy to read. In addition, the AC comes with a remote control. Both the display and remote perform the same functions. In addition, they are easy to understand and use. Therefore, you won’t need to go through page after page of the product manual to figure how to use it.

Danby DPA120E1BDB 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner remote control


Both the LED display and the remote control allow you to set your ideal room temperature as well as the timer. In addition, you can adjust the fan speed and or change the AC, dehumidifier and fan modes. The buttons are self-explanatory so no need to worry about a steep learning curve.

Is the Danby DPA120E1BDB Portable Air Conditioners Environmentally Friendly?

All the Danby models use the R410A refrigerant which is very environment-friendly.

Although the single-hose design is not the most efficient, you can effectively limit the use of the AC with the programmable timer. The timer allows you to set the AC to turn on and off after a certain number of hours have passed.

For instance, you can turn the unit off before leaving for work and set the timer so it comes back on before you get home. This allows you to only run the AC only when it’s needed.

This will reduce your electricity usage which reduces stress on your local power plant. And less stress on the power plant results in fewer, greenhouse gasses. Very environmentally friendly!

But the most important reason to utilize the timer is that it will save you money.

What type of warranty does the Danby DPA120E1BDB Portable Air Conditioners have?

It’s a 1-year, non-transferable warranty which covers any plastic parts for only the first 30 days. Functional parts such as the compressor and fan are covered for the full, 12 months. This warranty is not the best we’ve seen so this is disappointing.

There is one aspect of the warranty which is really good. If you live within 62 miles (100 Kilometers) of a qualified, Danby service center, fixes covered by the warranty will be serviced in-home.

Color Options

The DPA120E1BDB as previously stated only comes in black. If you prefer the white color, that model number is DPA120E1WDB. Therefore, you’ll need to be careful which you choose before you order and check out.


The Danby DPA120E1BDB/DPA120E1WDB portable air conditioner includes some really nice features which you may not find on other models. These include the longer power cord and exhaust hose along with the castor wheel locks.

More importantly, the noise levels found on this model are very good. The range of 51.5 – 52.4 dBA rivals other better known, brands which are rated at 12,000 BTUs.

One significant drawback we found was that there’s no auto-evaporation system. This will, therefore, require more maintenance during more humid periods or if your region is naturally more humid.

Another thing we didn’t like and discussed above is how the fan keeps running although the compressor has stopped when the water tank is full. If you’re not paying attention, your cool comfortable space may become hot and humid again.

Finally, and this may not apply to everyone, is that the lowest temperature setting on the bigger models is 64ºF. This did not bother us but, if you like it cold, you may be disappointed.

Overall, when you have a limited budget, these models provide the solution to those steamy summer days and nights.

For anyone with slightly more money to spend or if you can wait for a higher-priced model to go on sale, then we recommend upgrading to a unit with an auto-evaporation system.

Check the latest prices on the DPA120E1BDB and the DPA120E1WDB models now.

























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