Talk about lucky.

Our home’s central air decided to stop working on a recent Thursday evening.

We rent our home, and at around 10 p.m. we texted our landlord about the AC outage, and he said he’d get in touch with the repairman first thing in the morning.

As my wife and I were worrying about a very warm night ahead, I remembered that I had received a new battery-powered air conditioner to review from EcoFlow, a company known for its portable power stations.

That box had been sitting in my office for about two months, and I was pretty happy to have a real chance to try it out and save our night’s sleep.

EcoFlow Wave

I’ve reviewed several EcoFlow portable power stations in the past, so I was excited to hear from the company about its first air conditioner, the EcoFlow Wave, that can run on AC or battery power.

The Wave is a 4,000 BTU (1,200 watt) unit that has enough power to cool a room (but not your whole house).

EcoFlow says the Wave is the most powerful air conditioner of its size. It says it can cool a 64-square-foot space from 86 degrees to 75 degrees in just eight minutes.

The Wave is recommended for tents, RVs or small rooms.

The EcoFlow Wave portable air conditioner can run from an AC outlet or battery power.(EcoFlow)

I haven’t tested it in a tent or RV, but I can tell you that it worked well in my bedroom.

The Wave has several power options, including an AC cord and an optional battery pack that clips to the bottom of the unit. It also can be powered by the EcoFlow Delta Max or Delta Pro power stations.

I used the AC cord, but I also was sent the 1,008-watt-hour add-on battery, which can power the Wave for up to three hours.

The Wave can run for up to 12 hours when connected to the Delta Pro.

If you have the add-on battery, you can charge it from AC power, a DC car adapter or using solar panels.

How it works

If you’ve ever used a portable air conditioner, you know they need to vent to the outdoors.

Air conditioners blow cold air out the front, but they also expel very hot air out of the back, and that air needs to vent out a window or other opening so it doesn’t defeat the purpose of the air conditioner.

The Wave ships with two duct hoses — one for bringing in fresh air and one for expelling the hot air. Each hose is about 40 inches long, so you really need to place the Wave close to a window or some other opening (like a tent flap).

The duct hoses connect to a plastic shroud at the back of the Wave.

The two hoses are 5 and 6 inches in diameter, and they are made of rigid yet flexible plastic, much like the vent hose on your clothes dryer.

The EcoFlow Wave has two flexible but short hoses to bring air into and out of the air...
The EcoFlow Wave has two flexible but short hoses to bring air into and out of the air conditioner.(Jim Rossman)

The hardest part about setting up the Wave is getting the hoses to vent out the window. There isn’t much length to work with, so you can’t put the unit on the floor and vent them out a window that’s more than a foot or so off the floor.

I had to put the Wave on a table in front of a window and cut two round holes in a piece of cardboard to match the space for the bottom pane of the window. I pushed the hoses through the holes then closed the window to wedge the cardboard between the window and the bottom sash.

This took way longer than it should have at midnight, when I was setting it up.

If you buy a Wave, do yourself a favor and think about how you’ll mount the hoses before you have an immediate need.

You can get some longer tubing (but not from EcoFlow) if you’d like to make placement a little easier.

If you are using the Wave to cool a tent, you’d just leave the entire unit outside and run the smaller duct hose from the cold air output on the front into your tent.

Just know the Wave is not water- or weather-resistant, so you can’t leave it outside if it rains.

Speaking of water, most air conditioners do collect water and drain it out the bottom.

The Wave is designed to work without needing a drain in normal humidity conditions. Any collected water is sprayed at the coils and evaporates.

If the humidity in the air is over 70%, the water does collect in the bottom of the unit and can be removed with an included hose you connect to a drain on the back.

App control

The Wave can be controlled by EcoFlow’s app from your smartphone or tablet. It can connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and setup is a snap.

You can control all the features from the app, which is very handy.

The EcoFlow Wave can be controlled from the EcoFlow app on your smartphone or tablet.
The EcoFlow Wave can be controlled from the EcoFlow app on your smartphone or tablet.(Jim Rossman)

Did it work?

So did the EcoFlow Wave save the day?

Yes, very much so.

I first set up the Wave in the living room, where we were sitting, and the room cooled off significantly in less than 15 minutes. We were quite comfortable.

The Wave has a temperature range from 60 degrees to 86 degrees, and a variable speed fan. The fan and temperature are controlled by one dial, which has an LED display built in.

The EcoFlow Wave has a simple dial interface with an LED status screen.
The EcoFlow Wave has a simple dial interface with an LED status screen.(Rossman, James)

There are buttons on top for power, temperature, cooling mode and a timer.

The Wave has Wi-Fi, so it can be controlled by the EcoFlow app for your smartphone or tablet.

When we were ready for bed, I moved the 38-pound unit to the bedroom and adjusted the hoses in the window.

The unit is easy enough to move. the Wave measures 20.39 inches deep by 12.2 inches wide and 16.38 inches tall. The add-on battery weighs 17.4 pounds.

We did stay cool for most of the night, but we did wake up to find ice on the condenser, which caused the unit to turn off.

I made the mistake of keeping the Wave temperature at 60 degrees, which was too cold.

After about 30 minutes, the ice melted, and I was able to restart the unit. After that, I wisely kept the temperature at 74 degrees and it worked flawlessly the entire next day.

I will say, my review unit was sometimes loud (when the compressor kicked on), and the fan was slightly scraping on something inside the case.

Mine is a pre-production model, so I hope EcoFlow has those kinks worked out for paying customers.

Pricing and availability

The Wave is still in the pre-order stage (through July 13), and units should start shipping by the end of July.

Like other EcoFlow products, the Wave is cheaper during pre-order and will go up when they are ready for sale.

The pre-order price for the Wave is $1,199, and the regular price is $1,499. Bundling the Wave and an add-on battery is $1,799 to pre-order (regularly $2,299).

The Wave can also be pre-order bundled with the Delta Max or Delta Pro power stations.

The Wave and all the bundles can be bought at


I’m certainly glad I had the EcoFlow Wave on hand for when our air conditioning went out.

I’m not a camper, and I don’t have an RV, but I am a big fan of AC, so this might work for me to cool a garage or small shop building and nice to have on hand for emergencies.

Campers or people with small travel trailers are the perfect customers for the Wave, and I’m sure they’ll be thrilled with it.

Getting it set up is more than half the battle, and once you do, it works really well.

It certainly saved my wife and me from a potentially miserable night’s sleep.

Pros: Small and easy to move, cools quickly, runs off battery or AC power.

Cons: Hoses are stiff and not easy to work with; coils can freeze up.

Bottom line: The Wave might turn me into a summer tent camper.