About Arctic Air Cooler
Using Hydro-Chill technology, Arctic Air Cooler draws in dry, hot air, while the evaporative water filter instantly transforms it into humid, refreshing air and removes dust particles in the process.
All you have to do is pour water into the 750ml reservoir, plug the compact device into any standard outlet or USB port, and the whisper-quiet, two-speed fan will start blowing. From there, you can adjust the digital display to the temperature you like, change the direction of the air vents, set the programmable timer, and even use the built-in LED as a nightlight.
The company tells us Arctic Air will continue cooling, humidifying, and purifying any space for up to eight hours on just one fill-up, while its 350W motor only uses the power consumption of a small fan.
Although we didn’t test Arctic Air ourselves, its compact size certainly makes it seem portable, and its evaporative cooling functionality seems like it would be more eco-friendly than using a toxic coolant like Freon.
But once you’ve handed over your money, will you find that it really does deliver maximum comfort, as claimed on the website? Is it great for any room? Are there other portable evaporative coolers you should browse?
Let’s kick things off by taking a look at the underlying concept.
How Do Devices Like Arctic Air Cooler Work?
Regardless of their size, evaporative coolers (also referred to as ‘swamp coolers’ in some parts of the country) work based on a fairly simple law of nature. HowStuffWorks explains it this way:
“Liquid evaporates by shedding molecules into the air, changing from a liquid state to a gas. As they become suspended in the air, the molecules draw some of the heat from the hotter air, cooling it down as the water and air find equilibrium. The process also cools the remaining liquid, as hotter, faster-moving molecules are the most likely to escape into the air.”
To accomplish this, these coolers use a fan to draw in hot air and pass it over water, whether in a reservoir or a filter. After the molecules have become airborne and cool down, the same fan then blows them out the other side of the device.
While this can certainly represent an efficient and eco-friendly method of cooling, as mentioned in the Arctic Air commercial, HowStuffWorks emphasizes that evaporative units come with a couple of potential drawbacks.
First and foremost, because swamp coolers work by increasing humidity, they typically perform best in hot, dry climates, such as the American southwest (ideally between 30 and 60 percent humidity, according to the EPA). As a perfect example of this, HowStuffWorks indicates that as of 2001, “only three percent of U.S. households had swamp coolers, but in the states along the Rocky Mountain Range, they could be found in 26 percent of the homes.”
You’ll also have to replace the evaporative cooler’s filter on a regular basis (depending on how often it’s used), and if you live in an area with hard tap water, the minerals it contains could eventually clog the cooler. And it goes without saying that evaporative coolers are a more eco-friendly option than standard air conditioners, but they still use plenty of water.
Let’s find out how much you’ll pay for this evaporative cooling functionality when it comes to Arctic Air.
How Much Does the Arctic Air Cooler Cost?
Arctic Air is priced at two payments of $19.99, plus free shipping and a $1 web service fee, bringing your total to $40.98. You can purchase a second device during checkout for an additional $19.99 fee.
We contacted several OnTel Products Corp customer service reps at 844-260-1487 to find out if replacement filters were available (and if so, how much they cost), although none could provide any additional information beyond what was available on the website.
With this said, all Arctic Air Coolers come with a 60-day money back guarantee, less S&H.
What Do We Know About Arctic Air Cooler’s Manufacturer?
OnTel Products Corp is no newbie to the As Seen on TV industry, having been in business since 1994 and creating hundreds of hits, including recent examples like Handy Heater, Miracle Teeth Whitener, Breathe Easy Humidifier, and the Air Hawk Compressor.
They held a B rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on 30 negative customer reviews and more than 380 closed complaints, as of 2/19/18. Most of these revolved around lower quality than expected and difficulty obtaining refunds, although a representative responded with a solution in each instance.
Are There Other Tabletop Indoor Evaporative Coolers Like Arctic Air?
When choosing an indoor cooling device, The Home Depot emphasizes that—outside of climate—one of the most important factors to consider isn’t watts, but cubic feet per minute (CFM), which represents the volume of air moved by a fan blower. How to know how much you need?
They note you’ll take the square footage of the space you want to cool, and multiply it by the height of your ceilings. Then, divide this number by two, and you’ll have the appropriate CFM rating.
For example, if you need to cool a 150 square foot room with nine-foot ceilings (150 x 9 = 1,350), this means you’d need an evaporative cooler that outputs at least 675 CFM (1,350 / 2 = 675).
With this important detail in mind, here’s how Arctic Air Cooler matched up to some of its close competitors (tabletop evaporative coolers priced under $200) compared at the time of our research:
|Arctic Air Cooler||$41||Unknown||Uses power cord (any standard outlet or USB), timer, adjustable vents|
|Kool-Down Evaporative Cooler||$22||Unknown||32 oz water tank, adjustable air vents, powered by four C batteries|
|Honeywell Indoor Portable Evaporative Cooler||$139 - $199||300-470 CFM||Detachable tank, activated carbon filter, 50-60 dBA, 3 fan speeds|
|Evapolar Personal Air Cooler + Humidifier||$175||Unknown (can be used in areas up to 45 sq. ft.)||750ml water tank, refill cycle 6-8 hours, lighted front|
|Vornado Whole Room Evaporative Humidifier||$90||Unknown (can be used in areas up to 500 sq. ft.)||Electronic Automatic humidity control, 1-gallon tank, corded|
The Home Depot reports other factors you should consider when purchasing an indoor evaporative cooler include construction material (galvanized steel might offer both ruggedness and rust-proof capability), along with maintenance requirements (How often do the filters need to be replaced? How much do they cost? How easy is it to remove the water reservoir and clean the entire unit?).
Also, does the company sell their evaporative cooler at a competitive price? Do they support it with at least a 30-day refund policy, with no restocking fees? Do customers have mostly positive things to say about the company and their products?
Let’s take everything we’ve learned in this article, add it up, and come to an informed conclusion about the Arctic Air Cooler.
Our Final Thoughts About the Arctic Air Cooler
In the end, we’re left with a lot of important unanswered questions about the Arctic Air Cooler, none of which customer service was able to assist with. For example:
- What’s its CFM rating? Will this rating really allow it really to cool any space, as claimed on the website? How long would it reasonably take?
- What is the device’s sound level?
- We’re told that it’s powered by any standard outlet or USB port, but can it be used while unplugged? If so, how long will it last per charge? How long will it take to recharge fully?
- What are the parameters of the timer (increments, total length, etc.)?
- How often does the filter have to be replaced? How much do they cost? Can they be purchased through the manufacturer, or through a third party?
Despite this lack of information, as we can see above, Arctic Air is one of the least expensive tabletop evaporative coolers currently on the market, and the company stands behind it with a 60-day refund policy in case it doesn’t meet your needs.
With these positives in mind, it’s important to point out that you’ll be responsible for return shipping, and you’ll also lose any fees associated with the BOGO offer.
2 out 2 people found this review helpful
Difficulty contacting customer service
I received my order promptly and in good condition. I was most anxious to install a unit near my wife’s sleep area. After installation, we were disappointed how close she had to be in order to feel any cooling effect at all. I have searched high and low for someone to obtain a return authorization to no avail.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
4 out 5 people found this review helpful
Best $40 portable comfort you will find!
I have literally purchased eight of these and given them to some friends, two in my room, and two for camping/poolside. I run them off my keychain phone chargers and take them anywhere. Blows 12-16 degrees cooler than my room (71° in-house, 58° blower temp). I also own Evapolar but unless you get it on sale for $50 then it's not worth the extra money (five times) of the Arctic Air.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
35 out 36 people found this review helpful
I have had the Arctic Air for less than a month, and it has started leaking. I didn't save the box that it came in because I never assumed that it would tear up so quickly. It worked great until the leaking started. I guess that's $40 washed down the drain!
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend