LAS VEGAS— After last year’s initial unveiling, Chigo USA officially launched its line of portable air conditioners and showcased a line of dehumidifiers, all set to launch under a unified design theme, at the National Hardware Show.
The portable air conditioners include several new features such as the company’s turbo cool function. The new setting is said to cool a room at the lowest possible temperature setting for 10 minutes on high fan mode, to offer a quick shot of cooling power, before it resumes normal operation.
The units also feature a MyTemp sensor, which allows it to cool the room based on the location of the remote control when activated.
“It’s a unique feature. In a normal environment, if you set the unit to 70 degrees it’s going to cool using the thermostat on the unit, but maybe it’s 75 degrees by the window where you’re sitting. When you activate MyTemp, if you have that sun coming in, it’s going to cool to where you are rather than you having to sit by it,” said Matt Woods, marketing manager, Chigo USA.
The portable air conditioner line also features evaporative dehumidification, a programmable digital thermostat, 24-hour programmable clock timer, auto mode and three fan speeds.
The assortment also includes a 14,000-BTU unit with heat pump, which provides a fast and powerful heating option, according to the company. The unit includes a 120-pint evaporative dehumidifier, three fan speeds, sleep mode, auto mode, digital display, clock timer and LCD remote control.
Next year, Chigo USA will also launch its line of dehumidifiers, which were designed to offer consumers and retail partners a full assortment of home comfort appliances under a unified design theme, the company noted.
In addition, Woods said next year the portable air conditioner line will include updated features such as a new Mirage display and WiFi capabilities.
The Mirage display, according to the company, is inspired by high-end appliances, and displays the temperature settings on a backlit display, which is said to be visible from across a room. The display automatically disappears when the unit is off.
In terms of WiFi capabilities, Woods noted that the functionality has been under development for some time and will be available standard in next year’s models.
“If you look at the market, where it’s going and who’s going to be driving the market in 20 years, it’s Millennials. My kids don’t know what life was like without WiFi,” he said. “If you go into a Home Depot or a Menards or a Lowe’s, everything is WiFi enabled. That’s really where the category is heading, and we’re following that trend.”
Woods also noted that the connected capabilities are not a “glorified remote” but instead cloud-based, and give consumers access to the unit from anywhere. The mobile app also gives consumers access to added functionality such as scheduling.
Customer service can be a challenge when adding connectivity to home appliances, but Woods noted that a customer service upgrade wouldn’t be a challenge for the company.
“We have people who are specialized in products, they are not a jack of all trades. If you are calling about a dehumidifier, we have dehumidifier experts. We just took that up a notch and now have a new tool that we launched on our website with an online chat feature. For a credit card company that might not be revolutionary but for an air conditioner manufacturer it is. We take a lot of pride in that,” said Woods. He added, “Would we have to bring on more specialized people for WiFi units? Probably. But, that’s not a new process for us, we’re constantly improving customer service.”