It is no secret that summer heat is something that not all of us can handle. It all feels nice and comfortable – right until the moment when you feel the heat is trying to suffocate you. The worst part is that in some places, the temperature can easily go over 100 degrees – and even more.
Still, did you know that evaporative coolers can bring the temperature down a few decent degrees? The best evaporative cooler can even bring the temperature down 8 degrees – making it more comfortable for you to stay around when the weather is hot.
However, considering that these units come with a long list of specifications, you may not know exactly what to choose in order to reap the most benefits. Some may be more efficient for your purpose than others – which is why you must read as many evaporative cooler reviews as possible. This article will allow you to narrow down your choices.
6 Things to Consider When Getting a Swamp Cooler
Here are some things to consider when buying an evaporative cooler so that you know what to look for while inspecting different models.
Installation and Air Flow
Most of the time, a standard evaporative air cooler is installed on the wall or the roof since it sends the cool air downward – and makes the breeze feel all the more comfortable. However, there are some people that prefer the portable version that is placed near a window or anywhere else that they believe suitable.
Regardless of where you install the unit, make sure that you play it safe against leakage problems. These problems are more common with air conditioners – but if you are not careful enough, this can happen with evaporative coolers as well. If you are not certain how to install an evaporative air cooler by yourself, you might want to bring in an expert that knows precisely what they are doing.
They will know exactly where the air cooler should be installed so that the airflow is at the perfect level.
Some air coolers were designed to be durable and sturdy – whereas others were made to be decorative and cheap. The former, however, is the type of cooler that you may want to invest in – mainly since it will last for much longer.
These units are generally resistant to corrosion and rust – and their maintenance is usually fairly basic. This will serve their purpose of effectively cooling down your house for as long as possible – making them price-effective as well.
As mentioned, an evaporative cooler can either be installed on the ceiling or the wall – or it can be portable and movable from one room to another. If you have a bigger house with more rooms to keep cool at different times, then you might want to invest in a model that has portability features.
First, you should consider the size of the unit. If an evaporative cooler is very heavy, then it’s likely that you will not want to carry it from one place to another. Similarly, if the unit is very large, moving it around might be rather difficult.
Next, you might want to consider the accessories that add to its portability. Does it have caster wheels so that you won’t have to carry all the weight yourself? Does it have handles, so that you can lift the unit if the situation asks for it? These features are very important if you are planning to move the cooler very often.
When it comes to evaporative coolers, there are three ways in which these units can operate. The first is a vent-only operation, where the water pump remains inactive and only the cool air is released. In this situation, the air is not humidified – and it’s perfect for rooms that already have a normal humidity level. These units have an operation that is similar to a ceiling fan.
The other operations involve two different speeds during which the humidifying option is running. As a result, the first (dry) setting is the lowest cooling option, which is perfect for mild weather – whereas the next two are appropriate for the warmer summer days. Some units also use air filters during their operation – but that is also optional. This filter will keep the dust particles and other allergens away from the air – making the air even more breathable for you. Not every evaporative air cooler has this type of filter – so make sure that your does, if you really need it. Worst case scenario, you should check whether you can attach a separate air filter yourself or not.
When you are planning to use an evaporative air cooler throughout the summer, you can expect to have it running for a fair amount of time – particularly during the daytime. This can be fairly pricey unless you are using an energy-saving model. However, they don’t use more energy than a bathroom fan.
The right unit can help you save up to 25% on the energy bill – so make sure that you go for models that have an energy-saving seal. Still, most units feature this option – and they are more energy-convenient compared to traditional air conditioning.
Prices can vary when it comes to evaporative coolers – and it mostly depends on the features that it was equipped with. Most portable coolers are fairly cheap, which is why they are generally the most affordable option.
You can find great evaporative coolers priced around $150 or right under $200 – but bear in mind that the less expensive it is, the more maintenance it might require every day. To get your money’s worth, you might want to invest in an energy-saving model.
Best Evaporative Coolers Comparison Chart
Hessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
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Hessaire Products MC18M Mobile Evaporative Cooler
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DeLonghi America Portable Evaporative Cooler
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Honeywell 525-729CFM Indoor & Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler
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Honeywell Indoor Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler
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Whirlpool WPEC12GW 214 CFM Indoor White Evaporative Air
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Best Evaporative Cooler Reviews – Top Picks
1. Hessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
If you are looking for a good evaporative cooler that can efficiently bring the temperature down in your room, then you might want to consider investing in the Hessaire model. Compact and practical, this unit can be placed in almost every room for proper comfort.
Featuring two fan speeds, this unit can do a great job at lowering the temperature of a room. This unit can easily lower down the temperature by around 11 degrees Fahrenheit – making it easier for you to breathe in the room.
This evaporative cooler can also easily bring up the humidity by 88%. This is a great option if the air is very dry and causes you to have respiratory issues. So that you don’t create any excess moisture, you might want to keep the windows cracked; this will prevent any potential mold from forming in your home.
The evaporative cooler has also been equipped with wheels, making it very portable. This way, you may easily transport it from one room to another. To make the moving task even easier for you, you might want to empty the water reservoir – since it can hold up to 10.3 gallons of water.
2. Hessaire Products MC18M Mobile Evaporative Cooler
If you are looking for a good cooler that will not cost you a large amount of money, then this unit is one more model that you have to consider. Being fairly small in size but packing a decent cooling power, this is perfect for small to medium-sized apartments.
This evaporative cooler is very lightweight, which adds to its mobility. Furthermore, not only do the caster wheels allow you to move the unit from one room to another, but you can also easily bring it up and down the stairs using the handle.
This unit also features a garden hose adapter so that you no longer have to bother with water tanks. This way, all you will have to do is connect it to the water source and it will pull out its necessary amount of water.
This unit is also sturdy enough to be used outdoors – but only as long as it is in a covered area. While it may not be affected if it’s working in a space with a high humidity level, it may not be as resistant or safe if it rains directly on it – particularly since you have to plug it in. It is recommended that you keep it indoors or some semi-closed area.
3. DeLonghi America Portable Evaporative Cooler
DeLonghi has been making a name for itself for a fairly long time with its high-quality products – and this evaporative cooler is certainly no exception. This economic unit uses a minimal amount of electricity so that your power bill is not sent up through the roof.
This evaporative cooler is very easy to use and clean. Its controls are fairly intuitive, and the 4.5-liter water filter can be removed and cleaned when the situation asks for it. Plus, considering that this cooler also has wheels, it can be easily moved from one room to another.
Considering the features that it has been equipped with, this evaporative cooler is sold at a very good price. Granted, it may not be the least expensive model out there – but it has a very good price to value ratio.
One extra advantage is that this unit also comes with remote control. This means that you will no longer have to get up from your comfort place when you want to turn the cooler on; all you have to do is to press a single button on the remote control.
This unit is perfect for making the air more breathable during summer, improving the air quality, and naturally circulating the air around you. For many, this is the best evaporative cooler that you can get.
4. Honeywell 525-729CFM Indoor & Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler
If you need a good, reliable evaporative cooler, then this Honeywell device is the right one for you. Since Honeywell is a big name in the game, they always make sure to come out with some of the best appliances, and this product is living proof for that.
This device is suitable for both indoors and outdoors. Since it doesn’t consume so much power, it will save you a lot of money while providing you with the coolness you need during the harsh summer days. The best thing is that it’s weather-resistant too, so nothing bad will happen to it while it’s outdoors.
The appliance comes with a remote control to let you adjust the settings depending on the effects you want. This device uses water evaporation to reduce the temperature, and as long as you’re going to use it for an area up to 320 square feet, you’ll feel the effects. Also, it’s able to provide some humidification during winter, thus being useful around the year.
Whereas it has a fan that recirculates the warm air and makes sure to provide you with ventilation, adding ice or water to the tank will actually reduce the temperature. So, if you can’t stand the heat during the summer months, you can give this device a try.
5. Honeywell Indoor Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler
Honeywell has always impressed when it came to its household electronic devices – and this model is no exception. Made for environments where the air gets very hot, this unit brings a few cool breezes that will allow you to enjoy a nice summer day.
Unlike other evaporative coolers that use cold water, this one makes use of ice as well. All you have to do is open the top ice compartment and load it with ice. The cooler will work by delivering that refreshing cool breeze.
Featuring four speeds that you can choose depending on your comfort, this unit is perfect for both mildly warm and very hot places. The breeze feels very natural as well, so you will not feel any discomfort from it either.
This unit also has a fairly robust casing that makes this exhaust fan suitable for outdoor use. It is water-resistant, making it a fair choice for those who like to keep their activity on the porch or in the garden.
This model also features a remote control that you may use to control the cooler from a distance. This way, you will not have to get up from the couch or the bed just to activate or change the cooling settings.
6. Whirlpool WPEC12GW 214 CFM Indoor White Evaporative Air
If you are looking for a good evaporative cooler for your bedroom, then you might want to take a look at this unit. Featuring a 214 CFM airflow, the cooling power of this Whirlpool model is superior to other similar models.
This evaporative cooler is highly suitable for places where the temperature is high, but the humidity in the air is very low. It will make the air more comfortable to breathe – therefore decreasing the chance of developing respiratory problems.
This evaporative cooler is perfect for rooms around 428 sq. ft. Therefore, if you have small to medium rooms, this unit can be very convenient. Furthermore, since this air cooler has wheels attached, you may easily take it from one room to another. It might not have a handle, but in the event that it needs to be lifted off, this air cooler is fairly lightweight.
The price for this unit is around the low average – and considering its features, it is a very convenient one. Plus, the water within the tank can keep the unit running for a fair amount of time – more than 8 hours. However, this will depend on how much humidity you have in the room. If the room is very dry, then you’ll likely have to refill the tank much more often.
This evaporative cooler does not have a remote, but the control pad on the unit is very easy and intuitive to access.
7. Luma Comfort EC111B Portable Evaporative Air Swamp Cooler
If you live in a climate where the air is particularly hot, this evaporative air cooler is definitely one that you have to consider. Its black style is easily merged with every room design, regardless if it is modern or has a more vintage approach.
This unit can be a tower fan, an air cooler, and a humidifier – all in one piece. It all depends on the settings that you choose and how much water you add to the tank. Not only will this refresh the air in the room, but it will also bring the temperature to a more comfortable level.
You can choose from three cooling speeds, depending on the temperature in the room. If it’s very hot, you go for the third speed – the highest. If it’s only mildly warm, however, you can go for the first speed and it will bring the air at a more comfortable level.
This evaporative cooler is a good option if you want to cover an area up to 250 square feet. As a result, if you have a small room, this is the cooler to help get you through the summer.
The Science Behind an Evaporative Air Cooler
Evaporative air coolers are units that make use of the evaporation of water in order to cool the air down. The reason why this is effective is that water has a fairly large vaporization enthalpy, which permits a rather high absorption of heat.
First, if the air is already humid, the evaporative cooler will not work effectively. For it to do its job properly, the air will have to be relatively dry – and obviously hot.
To understand evaporative air cooling, you may compare it with a more natural process – which is sweating. Have you ever tried rubbing alcohol on your skin? It felt cold after that, didn’t it?
To put it simply, in order for the liquid to be transformed into gas, it will use energy (heat) emanating directly from your body. Once that energy is taken, you will feel that nice, cooling effect.
Evaporative air coolers work in a similar way – only instead of drawing heat from your body, it will draw the heat from the air. The cooler features a fan and a series of damp pads – as well as a few pumps to ensure that the pads retain their moisture.
The fan will draw the outside air into the unit and through the damp pads – turning the liquid into vapor by using the energy from the air. This is precisely why damp air will not work for this unit, because the air has to be hot and dry in order for the liquid to evaporate.
Through this process, the hot and dry air becomes humid and cool – which will eventually be circulated throughout the house. These evaporative coolers are also used as whole-house humidifiers, for instance where the temperature is alright, but the air is unnaturally dry.
Are Evaporative Air Coolers Energy-Efficient?
In an area with a fairly low amount of humidity in the air, an evaporative air cooler offers a natural – and at the same time, an energy-efficient way of cooling down the house. This is mainly because this type of unit does not use any fancy systems that require a lot of energy.
Practically, an evaporative air cooler – also referred to as a swamp cooler – will rely on cooling the outdoor air by using water pads. The hot air will pass through these cold pads, leading to condensation and causing it to evaporate.
As a result, air that is cooler by as much as 40 degrees Fahrenheit can be released into the room. Through this process, the warmer air is also pushed through the window – causing the overall temperature to be more pleasant. This is particularly why you may want to keep your windows ajar when the unit is running.
Evaporative Coolers vs. Air Conditioners
Evaporative coolers are some of the oldest means of climate control that are still available to this day – and for some reason, they are the better alternative to air conditioning. Still, many people are confused as to how evaporative coolers are different from A/C units. Both of these units use cool air to bring down the temperature in your home. However, the difference lies in the climate that you live in – as well as how much you are willing to pay in order to get results.
As mentioned, evaporative coolers use evaporated moisture to cool down the air in your home. It takes the hot air from your room, drives it through cold water pads, and delivers it back into the air, but colder and more humid.
Air conditioners, on the other hand, remove the heat from the room by using chemicals. This chemical is also referred to as “refrigerant gas,” which oscillates between gas and liquid form. Thus, they deliver cold air in the room, no matter if the outside air is humid or dry.
To make the differences easier to understand, here are some benefits and drawbacks that apply to both units.
When it comes to cooling the air from the environment, it is easy to understand why people prefer evaporative cooling to air conditioning. Not only is it more cost-effective, but it is also friendly on the environment.
Since air conditioners work better within enclosed rooms, they will recirculate the same chemical-treated air over and over again. The air may indeed be cooler than with evaporative air cooling – but the air quality may not be as high. Evaporative cooling can work with open windows – and even outdoors. So, the air will be fresh. This is why these units may also double as a window fan.
Granted, an evaporative cooler may not work as well if the humidity level is high in your space. In these circumstances, an air conditioning unit may be more effective, since it will not add moisture into the air.
Pros and Cons of the Evaporative Air Cooler
So, you have decided to buy an evaporative air cooler. For the most part, such a unit is a better alternative to the typical air conditioner, which removes the moisture from the air and cools it.
However, just like this unit has its own benefits, it also features some drawbacks. Here is a comparison.
- Highly energy-efficient
- It adds moisture into the air, making it perfect for environments where the air is dry and hot
- Air distribution is even, with the cooling system trapping the allergens in the process
- It requires little maintenance
- It does not use any chemical refrigerants
- The units are very easy to install
- Fairly inexpensive to purchase compared to air conditioning
- Not very useful in areas where the air is humid
- They build up minerals and salts that have to be cleaned
- Maintenance can be actually difficult if you install the unit on the ceiling
- They have to be continuously kept moist using water
- Overall, the pros seem to outweigh the cons when it comes to evaporative coolers – but you may want to keep every aspect in mind.
1. Do evaporative coolers work in humid environments?
No, evaporative coolers do not work in humid environments. For the evaporation to occur when the air goes through the cool pads, the air needs to be dry and hot. Humid air will not be affected.
2. How do you wire an evaporative air cooler?
If it’s a portable evaporative air cooler, then it probably needs no wiring. However, if it requires electrical installation, you may have to bring in a professional in order to install your evaporative cooler. Generally, though, you will have to connect the color-coded wires (white with white and black with black), and then connect the ground wire to the electrical box. You should also install a circuit breaker to protect the wiring before attaching it to the bus bar.
3. How effective are evaporative coolers?
When it comes to cooling down the air, you can say that air conditioning has more cooling power than evaporative units. However, considering the price that you have to pay for the AC, evaporative coolers are more effective. The only time when evaporative coolers are rendered ineffective is if the humidity level is very high.
4. How do you winterize an evaporative cooler?
To winterize the evaporative cooler, you have to cut it off from the water supply, drain it, and change the unit. You may also want to give it a deep clean before winterizing, to make the unit last for longer. The final step would be to install a cover, which may stop any outside air from entering your home.
We also have rounded up some of the highly-rated space heaters on our home page, don’t forget to check!
Evaporative coolers represent a very efficient way to keep your home nice and cool during those hot summer days. While they may be only efficient when it comes to dry environments, the best evaporative cooler will make the air more breathable while helping you save on the energy bill.
Choosing the perfect model is not easy to do – especially considering how there are so many features to consider. Some research will be useful – and we will help you do your homework.
Hopefully, our evaporative cooler reviews have allowed you to narrow down your choices. Most of them are portable units – but mostly because they are inexpensive and easy to handle. This is why they are the most popular option among consumers.