If you haven’t heard of an evaporative cooler before, you have either been living at the North Pole or you have been battling the heat with one of those rickety, inefficient, caged oscillating fans that grandma used to use. Evaporative coolers are sometimes mistakenly referred to as central air conditioners. Evaporative coolers and traditional standard central air conditioners both keep you cool and comfortable in hot, dry climates. These two appliances could not be more different though. We will start off by explaining exactly what an evaporative cooler is and how it functions.
In an evaporative cooler, warm air is passed through cold water. This simple process has the great effect of lowering the temperature of this air. How does this happen, you may ask, The lower air temperature is as a result of the warm air actually absorbing some of the water as it passes through – and this has the resultant effect of lowering the air temperature. And of course, the more warm air that is passed through this process, the more resultant cool air you will have in your home or office. This is the job of the evaporative cooler. Simple and unbelievably effective and energy efficient – using considerably less energy than central air conditioners. It is key to note though, that evaporative air coolers are not as effective as standard air conditioners when it comes to the actual cooling effects of the systems. If you decide to buy an evaporative air cooler you should not expect your room or office or other required space to be as cooled as it would be by a central air conditioner.
On the subject of central air conditioners, we have already mentioned that air conditioners consume more energy for operation. We will now go into a bit more detail as to what factors set evaporative air coolers and central air conditioners apart. Central air conditioners also have the output of cold and dry air – which is not pleasing to everyone. This is because all a central air conditioner does is move heat from a cool place to a warm place, which is basically displacement of stale air. This process is very energy consuming and at times can be very noisy. In stark contrast to this, evaporative coolers work by adding moisture to the air, as mentioned earlier. This results in a cool, moist and more comfortable atmosphere inside your home. And unlike central air conditioners, which after a while creates a closed-in and stuffy environment, evaporative coolers work best when windows are open, letting nature’s fresh air circulate inside your home or office. And the best part is that most evaporative cooling systems are portable and they require no venting.
Now that you are aware of the benefits of owning an evaporative air cooler over a central air conditioner, it is key to note that evaporative coolers are recommended for use in dry, hot climates that have an approximate relative humidity level of below 40%.
We will now introduce to you our Top Pick, Step-up Pick and our Budget Pick:
(i) Top pick – The top pick is the Honeywell CO60PM 125 Pt. Commercial Indoor/Outdoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler. Cools up to: 78 sq. m / 850 sq. ft. Water Tank Capacity: 60L / 15.8 gallons. The Honeywell CO60PM 125 Pt. Commercial Indoor/Outdoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler is our top pick as it has many of the desired features of most good evaporative coolers such as, having a 3 side air intake, being portable for use in more than one room, energy efficient lowering electricity consumption when compared to central air conditioners, powerful and comprising a larger water tank reservoir allowing for long periods of unattended operation, but also this system has the advantage of being able to function in both indoor and outdoor environments. To accomplish its operation outdoors, it is built to be weather resistant, which is a surprising, clever feature. This product has no frills or fuss. It is only an evaporative cooler – it does one thing and it does it well!
(ii) Step-up pick – The step up pick is the Hessaire MFC6000 5,300 CFM Portable Evaporative Cooler Hessaire MFC6000 5,300 CFM Portable Evaporative Cooler. Cools up to: 1600 sq. ft. Water Tank Capacity: 14.6 gallons. The Hessaire MFC6000 5,300 CFM Portable Evaporative Cooler is the most efficient evaporative air cooler available for purchase. It has most if not all of the features as our top pick, it even is constructed sturdily enough to be used in both the indoor and outdoor environments. The only reason that this evaporative cooler is not our top pick is because of affordability. It is the highest priced portable evaporative cooler currently available for purchase. This is the evaporative cooler to choose if you are able to afford it.
(iii) Budget pick – The budget pick is the NewAir AF-310 evaporative tower cooling fan NewAir AF-310 Electric Tower Fan with Evaporative Cooling with 100 square foot cooling. Cools up to: 100 sq. ft. Water Tank Capacity: 1.00 gallon. The NewAir AF-310 evaporative tower cooling fan is value for money as it can function not only as an evaporative cooler, but also as a humidifier as well as an air purifier. It comes with a remote control and an electric timer as well. This is our budget pick because it sits at a good price point but has the smallest water tank reservoir compared to the other evaporative air coolers on the market. This means that it will not operate for long periods of time, as the water would need to be refilled more often.
Table of Contents
- Why should I get an evaporative air cooler? Here are the benefits.
- How did we pick the evaporative air coolers for this review?
- Our Top Pick:
- A few flaws (but not deal breakers) of our Top Pick to consider:
- Our Step-up Pick, should the former be unavailable:
- Our Budget Pick – if affordability is your number 1 priority:
- A few specialized picks that are worth a mention:
- The competition
- A few specialized picks that are worth a mention:
- Frequently asked questions:
- Wrapping it up
Why should I get an evaporative air cooler? Here are the benefits
There are many benefits to owning an evaporative cooler. The recirculation of air that evaporative coolers allow is a big drawcard to many individuals. Remember that because a door or window must be open during the operation of evaporative air coolers, stale air is not trapped in the room, which means that evaporative air coolers will not circulate stale air, but fresh, healthy air. Evaporative coolers consume up to three quarters less electricity than central air conditioners thus resulting in the major advantage of lower operating costs, as evaporative air coolers are proven to use less electricity which means that it will result in your electric bills being lower as well – saving you money in the long run. When looking at value for money, evaporative coolers are much cheaper than central air conditioners that are needed to cool the same square foot space. For those with allergies, evaporative coolers have moist pads that are relatively efficient air filters and actually trap significant amounts of dust and pollen. Unlike traditional central air conditioners, evaporative coolers just need simple installation and they are comparatively relatively compact.
How did we pick the evaporative air coolers for this review?
The evaporative coolers that were selected for comparison for this review had to meet the following criteria: They had to be portable – for ease of use, no need for costly installations, and adaptability for use in different living areas. We then looked at cooling coverage of the systems. We chose systems that had specifications to cool areas between 75 square feet and 1600 square feet. This was done to ensure that a wide range of systems would be included in the review for smaller to larger homes or offices. We then looked at water tank capacity – we included all systems that had water tank capacities of 1.5 gallons to 16 gallons. Again this was done to ensure that a wide range of systems would be included in the review for smaller to larger homes or offices.
Our Top Pick:
Honeywell CO60PM 125 Pt. Commercial Indoor/Outdoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler, our top pick cools up to: 78 sq. m / 850 sq. ft. Water Tank Capacity: 60L / 15.8 gallons. It also has a Water Tank Capacity of 60L / 15.8Gal.
It is the most popular seller when it comes to evaporative air coolers on the site with a 4-star review from 80 shoppers (this is the most number of reviews that any evaporative air cooler on the site has), 50 percent of which awarded the evaporative cooler five stars.
The Honeywell Indoor/Outdoor Evaporative Air Cooler can be used in keeping indoor environments and outdoor environments comfortable and cool. It has a 16-inch fan blade and 3-side honeycomb design which helps it to distribute the cool air. This Honeywell system is also weather resistant which allows it to be used in outdoor conditions. Honeywell evaporative air coolers are energy efficient as they do not use compressors which are better than central air conditioners which are known to be heavy consumers of electricity.
Due to its portability, it is easy to set up and requires no assembly of components. All you need to do is remove the unit from the box, then add water and leave it by a door or an open window, then put the plug into an available socket and turn it on. This unit is capable of cooling rooms up to 850 square feet in size. When in use in outdoor environments, the system with its strong motor is capable of cooling air up to 12-yards away. Because of its large capacity water storage tank (the largest of all the evaporative air coolers reviewed here), it can work for quite a long period of time without needing any attention. You can go to their website for more info: Honeywell
A few flaws (but not deal breakers) of our Top Pick to consider:
This unit does not come with a remote for control. A remote hardly seems necessary though, as it is pretty self-reliant. Its large water tank will give you the benefit of not having to frequently check up on its functioning. Just fill in the water and it will work unattended for a long stretch of time. The unit is also quite big in size and will take up some of your floor space. But it has a bigger water reservoir than most which gives you hours more running time with any interference on its own. I would choose the bigger machine with a larger capacity over a smaller one anytime.
Our Step-up Pick, should the former be unavailable:
Hessaire MFC6000 5,300 CFM Portable Evaporative Cooler, our step-up pick is capable of cooling areas up to: 1600 sq. feet in size. It has a large Water Tank Capacity of 14.6 gallons. This is the most powerful evaporative air cooling unit that we have reviewed here today.
The Hessaire MFC6000 5,300 CFM Portable Evaporative Cooler like the other evaporative air coolers reviewed here is very energy friendly and thus cost-effective to run. This unit too, has no compressor and instead utilizes fan technology, so needless to say that noise is sure to not be an issue when running this system.
This system has the added benefit of being portable – it has four casters that make moving between rooms a breeze, and of course it will not require any messy installation – again, just add water and you’re set.
This system in particular has the added benefits of claiming to be one of the most easy to use evaporative coolers available on the market today. It has an intuitive control panel and 2 fan speeds for you to choose from. It also boasts a special 3 sided pad intake which is claimed to increase air flow. It also has a built in air swing delivery system which also aids in its powerful cooling effect.
The only reason that this unit was not our top pick is price. It is much more expensive than any of the other worthwhile units on the market. For more info visit Hessaire
Our Budget Pick – if affordability is your number 1 priority:
We will now go into our budget pick for this review.
NewAir AF-310 evaporative tower cooling fan, our budget pick cools up to: 100 sq. ft. Water Tank Capacity: 1.00 gallon. It is energy efficient – significantly more efficient than central air conditioning. This system can lower the temperature in the surrounding environment by as much as 20 degrees. It is a classy high-rise tower fan, which comes with a remote control. The NewAir AF-310 also uniquely has an easy-access water tank with a built-in gel ice pack. There are three fan speeds to choose from. This particular system also has an oscillating feature and it has a Nature Mode that automatically varies the fan speed to replicate a natural breeze. Other features of the product include a Sleep mode and a 7.5 hour timer. For the allergy conscious this evaporative cooling tower fan system has a germ-free water pump. This product, even though it is our budget pick, with the lowest water tank capacity and the lowest potential cooling area, the AF-310 is not only an evaporative air cooler- it can also function as a humidifier, fan, and air purifier too. For more info visit Newair
A specialized pick that is worth a mention:
Luma Comfort EC110S Tower Evaporative Cooler has a removable water tank which cools up to: 250 sq. ft. Water Tank Capacity: 1.76 gallons. The Luma Comfort EC110S is the only evaporative cooling system available that features a large, completely removable water tank. This large tank is claimed to hold a capacity of 2 gallons of water. This is in line with the majority of the other evaporative coolers available for purchase today. The removable water tank is the unique feature of this system which will allow for easy refilling of the unit.
There are a multitude of evaporative air coolers on the market today. It can be a bit overwhelming due to the sheer number of systems currently available. The following evaporative air coolers were part of our research, but for differing reasons they were found to be falling short of our three picks above. We will now go into details:
Luma Comfort EC45S Tower Evaporative Cooler has additional features such as acting as a normal tower fan, a humidifier as well as an air purifier. It isn’t as powerful as other evaporative air coolers on the market so it is suggested for smaller spaces such as office cubicles and similar such places. It is portable and is easily moved between spaces. As it is an evaporative cooler, it is energy efficient and therefore has a lower energy consumption and reduced associated costs. This unit does also have a fairly large water tank capacity of approximately 2 gallons which means that is capable of long periods of operation without any adjustments required. It also has a built-in timer, a remote control and is very quiet. The system has three speeds of operation to choose from.
DELLA Portable Evaporative Ionizer Air Cooler Humidifier Remote Tower Fan This evaporative cooler has an impressive LCD display panel with an auto-timer function. Like the other evaporative coolers we have reviewed, this system is very energy efficient and will consume much less electricity than your conventional central air conditioner. The DELLA portable evaporative cooler can also function as a fan, a humidifier and an ionic air purifier – perfect with those with allergy concerns. It comes with a handy remote control in the box and a special nylon & photo-catalytic filter and is portable with casters to aid movement. The DELLA Portable evaporative cooler, like many others on the market have three adjustable speeds.
Honeywell CS10XE 21 Pt. Indoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler. The Honeywell CS10XE 21 Pt. Indoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler like the other evaporative air coolers reviewed here is portable and energy efficient which translates into savings on your electric bill in the long run, as they do not have compressors. It has an electronic control panel and a remote control for use from across the room. There is no assembly required. Just put water into the water tank reservoir and it will cool an area up to 175 square feet. Just unpack, add water, place near open door or window, plug in and use. This unit is ideal for cooling a room up to 175 square feet. Four fan speeds and oscillating louvers evenly distribute cool air through the honeycomb cooling media while the This system has four fan speeds to choose from and for allergy sufferers it has a carbon dust filter which cleanses the air.
SPT SF-614P Portable Evaporative Cooler. This unit, like other evaporative coolers is portable and has caster wheels to allow for use in different areas of your home as is needed. This unit also can function as a humidifier and a fan. The SPT SF-614P Evaporative Air Cooler uses a 3-D cooling pad and comes with a neat remote control. The 3-D cooling pad technology claims to increase the time that the air is passed over the water thus resulting in a cooler air output. The air cooler is energy efficient as well and will save you in electricity bills in the long run.
NewAir AF-1000W Portable Evaporative Cooler. The New Air AF-1000W portable evaporative air cooler is capable of cooling bigger rooms up to an area of 300 square feet. As mentioned in the name, it is also of a portable variety allowing for use in multiple areas. It has a built-in timer, and this model has three colors to choose from. Like many other evaporative coolers, it has an oscillating fan to increase the spread of the output of cool air.
KuulAire PACKA43 Portable Evaporative Cooling Unit. The New Air AF-1000W portable evaporative air cooler is capable of cooling bigger rooms up to an area of 300 square feet. This KuulAire unit is capable of cooling areas that are 175 square feet in area and they claim to lower temperatures by up to 25 degrees. Being an evaporative cooler it will save you money by reducing your electric bill and hence increasing your energy efficiency. Like many of the other evaporative coolers available, they have a standard 3 speed adjustable fan as well as a programmable timer. This unit in particular has a fairly large water tank reservoir which is capable of holding 4 gallons of water for long extended period of uninhibited cooling. This system is portable and does also come with helpful casters.
Frequently asked questions:
Should I invest in a central air-conditioner or an evaporative air cooler or a tower fan?
This comes down to preference. I personally, would choose an evaporative air cooler as it is more energy efficient than both the central air conditioner and the tower fan. The evaporative air cooler also has the health benefit of recirculating the air in the environment, which is unlike central air conditioners and tower fans which merely circulate the stale air within the room.
Will replacing my central air conditioner with an evaporative air cooler save me money?
Yes most certainly, evaporative air coolers will definitely reduce your spend on your electric bills as they use approximately 70% less power than standard central air conditioning units.
Do I need to buy an evaporative air cooler for each of my rooms?
That all depends on the size of the evaporative air cooling unit you purchase and whether or not you purchase a portable system. Purchasing one that is portable will allow you, with the aid of the built-in casters in most models, to move the unit from one room to another with minimal effort as units are self-contained and require no installation.
Wrapping it up
After extensive research we chose as our Top pick – The Honeywell CO60PM 125 Pt. Commercial Indoor/Outdoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler. We chose the Honeywell CO60PM 125 Pt. Commercial Indoor/Outdoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler as our top pick because it has many of the desired features of most good evaporative coolers, as mentioned above, but also this system has the advantage of being able to function in both indoor and outdoor environments due to it being built weather resistant.
Should the Honeywell CO60PM 125 Pt. Commercial Indoor/Outdoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler not be available for purchase, the next best option is the Hessaire MFC6000 5,300 CFM Portable Evaporative Cooler. It is the most expensive evaporative air cooler that we have reviewed but it is worth the dough due to its large water tank reservoir capacity and its indoor and outdoor functionality, which is rare to find in most evaporative air coolers. If you can afford to buy the Hessaire MFC6000 5,300 CFM Portable Evaporative Cooler, you should. It is a quality product and is built tough to last a long time.
That being said, if budget is your main concern then the NewAir AF-310 Electric Tower Fan with Evaporative Cooling is worth your money as it not only functions as an evaporative cooler, but also as a humidifier as well as an air purifier. It comes with a remote control and an electric timer as well. As mentioned earlier, this is our budget pick because it sits at a good price point but has the smallest water tank reservoir compared to the other evaporative air coolers on the market. This means that it will not operate for long periods of time, as the water would need to be refilled more often.
We hope that our evaporative cooler review was helpful to you and we wish you all the best with the best evaporative cooler you decide to purchase!