Tom's Guide Verdict
While expensive, the EcoFlow Wave 2 smart portable heat pump can replace both a space heater and an air conditioner, and is very efficient at both.
Replaces AC and heater
Powerful control apps
Comes with accessories
Different ways to power heat pump
Inexpensive to operate
Big and heavy
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Size: 20.3 x 11.4 x 13.2 inches
Weight: 32 pounds
Heating power: 6100 BTUs
Cooling power: 5100 BTUs
Recommended room size: 110 square feet
I have two problematic rooms in my house: one is too cold in the winter and the other too hot in the summer. Happily, I’ve solved both problems with the $1,300 EcoFlow Wave 2, a heat pump that, rather than sitting outside to heat and cool an entire home, can be carried from room to room as needed.
While expensive, the Wave 2 does the job of two devices in one, as it can function as both a space heater and an air conditioner. To see how well this innovative product works, I tested it over the course of a week at my home to see how well — and how efficiently — it kept my room at a comfortable temperature.
EcoFlow Wave 2 review: Price and availability
The Wave 2 first went on sale in the spring of 2023. It is available on Ecoflow’s Web site as well as a variety of online stores, like Amazon and New Egg for $1,299 for the Wave 2 heat pump. The system’s battery pack adds $900, while a solar panel costs an extra $1,500. EcoFlow sells the full package for $2,799.
EcoFlow Wave 2 review: Design
Slightly larger than a ream of printer paper, the 20.3 x 11.4 x 13.2 inch Wave 2 is an unobtrusive gray and black with chrome trim and wide vents. It’s easy to hide under a table or in the corner of a room. One of the lightest heat pumps around, the Wave 2 weighs in at 32 pounds with hand grips for lifting and moving it but lacks wheels.
There’re a variety of ways to power it, ranging from the included AC cable to a car’s cigarette lighter outlet to EcoFlow’s snap-on battery pack. There’s also an optional 400-watt solar panel for temperature-sensitive off-gridders.
EcoFlow Wave 2 review: How it works
Rather than a resistance space heater and conventional air conditioner, the Wave 2 delivers hot and cold air from a heat pump. It heats by compressing R290 propane gas and cools by allowing it to evaporate in a closed loop. It takes a moment to switch from heating to cooling or vice versa.
Capable of moving over 10,000 cubic feet of processed air per hour, the Wave 2 can heat at 6,100 BTUs per hour and cool at 5,100 BTUs per hour. That should be enough to maintain the temperature in a 110-square foot room, recreational vehicle or even a modest tiny home. It comes with hoses to bring in fresh air and exhaust the cold air (when heating) and warm air (when cooling) as well as a foam insert for a 15-inch window.
EcoFlow Wave 2 review: Controls and app
While there’s no remote control, the Wave 2 has the choice of using its built-in LCD screen and control panel on top or the EcoFlow app. In addition to an LED bar that glows orange when it’s heating and blue when it’s cooling, the Wave 2 has a large temperature readout and buttons are for turning it on and off. Just turn it to heat or cool, dial in the temperature and choose the fan speed, it’s set and forget. There are Max, Eco and Sleep modes.
There are also apps for Android and iOS devices that make it a snap to use but the Wave 2 can’t be controlled via Alexa commands; EcoFlow is working on adding this feature.
After downloading it to my Google Pixel 7 phone, I created an account and allowed the app to find the Wave 2 unit using Bluetooth. I finished up by putting the device on my home’s Wi-Fi network. All told, it took about 10 minutes to get the Wave 2 up and running.
The center of attention is the app’s large circular temperature display that acted like a thermostat to keep the temperature constant. In addition to turning the system on and off, I was able to set the Wave 2’s shut-off timer at half-hour intervals. The interface also allows choosing between displaying the ambient air temperature or what’s measured at the vent.
As is the case with an air conditioner, the Wave 2 condenses water from the atmosphere, which is used to cool the system’s hottest parts. Excess water flows to an internal reservoir that the app keeps track of and automatically turns off when it’s full; the kit came with a flexible drain hose.
EcoFlow Wave 2 review: Performance
Overall, the Wave 2 did a great job keeping an under heated back hallway comfortable and made me want to throw away the space heater I’ve been using. With the temperatures outside dropping into the 20s Fahrenheit, the Wave 2 delivered 124-degree F. air to maintain a comfy 74 degrees F within the room. On the downside, it wasn’t able to use its stored water to humidify the air in the winter.
Later I simulated a hot day by putting the Wave 2 into my home’s furnace room that hit 100 degrees F. Its 43-degree air cooled the room to 72 degrees F in about 25 minutes.
The best part is that the Wave 2 is a power miser, using just 4.3 watts of power in idle mode. This rose to 536 watts when heating, 286 watts for cooling – between one-third and one-half of conventional heating and cooling devices. The fan used 30 watts at full blast.
When running, it’s about as noisy as a space heater with a fan or a Window AC unit; I measured a reading of 57.2dBA at 36 inches from its air vent. The room I used had a background noise level of 38.2dBA. Using the Eco and Sleep modes lowered the noise levels to 51.1- and 50.6dBA. Those figures are in line with the company’s claim of a 44-56dB operating range.
EcoFlow Wave 2 review: Accessories
EcoFlow’s Delta Pro Battery makes the Wave 2 truly portable. Based on Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese chemistry, the battery has a 1,159-watt-hour capacity, can undergo at least 800 recharge cycles and has a four element LED charge indicator. On the downside, the two together add up to nearly 50 pounds, making it a big lift for many.
The battery carries an IP65 rating so that it can survive dust and rainstorms. By contrast, the main Wave 2 unit has a less stringent IPX4 water intrusion rating that can stand up to splashes and light rain.
Still, it allowed me to put heating and cooling anywhere it was needed. The battery lasted for 3 hours at its Max high-output mode, while using the Eco mode extended the runtime to 4 hours and 35 minutes. It went for 4:45 in Sleep mode and took about 2 hours to recharge it.
EcoFlow Wave 2 review: Verdict
At $1,299, the Wave 2 heat pump is about double the cost of one of the best space heaters and window air conditioners together. The Wave 2’s battery pack adds $900, and the solar panel costs another $1,500. Happily, the company discounts the full package to $2,799, but that’s still pretty steep.
A technological tour de force, the Wave 2 downsizes a heat pump’s output to room level, allowing it to be light enough to lug between places. It is a big step forward for me by making my home cozier. There’s a good chance that someday we’ll all be heating and cooling with heat pumps, but the EcoFlow Wave 2 is here now and has been a huge help in keeping my home comfortable.
Brian Nadel is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in technology reporting and reviewing. He works out of the suburban New York City area and has covered topics from nuclear power plants and Wi-Fi routers to cars and tablets. The former editor-in-chief of Mobile Computing and Communications, Nadel is the recipient of the TransPacific Writing Award.
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Buyer be aware:
this product cannot heat or cool a room as displayed in the photos in this review. It MUST have 1 or 2 vents (some parts purchased separately) running into a well sealed window vent to heat or cool any room of any size. That includes closets under 3x3.
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