About Arctic Air

By HighYa Staff
Published on: Sep 24, 2017

The compact, eco-friendly Arctic Air device utilizes Hydro-Chill evaporative cooling technology to draw in hot air and pass it through a wet filter, which then exits the other side as cool, refreshing, dehumidified air.

The website indicates that all you have to do is add water to the 650ml reservoir and press the button, and the device will quickly and easily cool any space in your home (up to 45 square feet) for as long as eight hours.

Its whisper-quiet two-speed fan with programmable digital thermostat—which can be adjusted using the bright, easy-to-read display—is said to give you precise control over your climate, and the nightlight can provide soothing comfort. Just plug Arctic Air into any standard outlet or USB port and the 350W device will go to work.

Based on its size and cooling method, it’s clear that Arctic Air won’t provide the same cooling power as a traditional air conditioner, whether central or a window unit. But can you really expect it to help you “create your own personal climate,” as claimed on the product’s website?

Furthermore, does it have any competition? And if so, how can you make a more informed decision about which might be the most appropriate option?

Let’s start answering your questions by taking a quick look at the underlying principle at work.

Evaporative Cooling vs. Traditional Air Conditioning

Evaporative cooling is pretty much what it sounds like. As HowStuffWorks’ Chris Landers explains, when hot, dry air passes over (or through) water, it cools off. This is the same principle at work that causes your skin to feel cooler when it’s wet, such as after stepping out of a pool or shower.

Modern air conditioners utilize much of the same concept. But instead of water, hot air is passed over chiller pipes that are cooled to a much lower temperature using a refrigerant like Freon or Puron. As a result, these devices can generally provide much more robust cooling capability than evaporative cooling units (often referred to as ‘swamp coolers’).

Another important distinction to keep in mind is that according to Chris, “In order to work, [evaporative coolers like Arctic Air] need a hot, dry climate” to deliver maximum results, such as “in the arid southwest.” In fact, he emphasizes that while only three percent of the U.S. population owns a swamp cooler, this number skyrockets to 26 percent along the Rocky Mountain Range. But why?

Without going into unnecessary detail, when water evaporates, it must have somewhere to go. In an arid, low humidity environment, this is easy. But at higher humidity levels, the air is already saturated with water and can't take anymore. Therefore, the evaporation rate—and the subsequent cooling it provides—is slower.

Small, traditional window air conditioners can cost hundreds of dollars, while central systems can cost thousands. Even larger swamp coolers can run you well into triple digits. Let’s find out how Arctic Air’s price compares next.

How Much Does Arctic Air Cost?

One Arctic Air device is priced at two payments of $19.99, or a single payment of $39.98. You can also purchase a second device during checkout for an additional $19.99 fee.

While nothing was noted on their website, we spoke with a customer service representative who advised that replacement filters are available for $10 each.

OnTel Products Corp provides a 60-day money back guarantee and warranty on all Arctic Air purchases, less S&H charges. In order to request one, their customer support department can be reached at 844-260-1487.

Are There Other Personal Evaporative Coolers Like Arctic Air?

If you’re looking for something designed exactly like Arctic Air, it looks like it’s currently your only option. However, searching online for terms like “portable evaporative cooler” and “tabletop swamp cooler” returned a handful of potential competitors, such as:

  • NanoTech Portable Evaporative Cooler: $140-$180. Cools, humidifies, and cleans the air. Uses "evaporative cartridges” instead of moistened filters. 750ml water tank (7-8 hrs) w/350 watts.
  • Ideaworks Kool-Down: $30. Cools air using 32oz water tank (up to 10 hrs), although only covers 7 square feet. Adjustable air vents. Uses 4 C batteries.
  • Aircare Companion: $75. Cools and filters air. Features auto shut-off and humidistat and check filter/water indicators. Covers up to 1,000 square feet and runs for up to 48 hours. Meaningfully larger at 14" x 12" x 12".

How can you decide which option is right for you?

Sylvane recommends that you start by making sure you live in a climate that will allow you to benefit from the use of an evaporative cooler. As we discussed earlier, they work best when surrounded by hot, dry air, so unless you live in the southwestern U.S., it might not deliver optimal cooling.

Next, you’ll want to make sure the evaporative cooler is sufficient for your space. While the Ideaworks Kool-Down features a competitive price with Arctic Air, it’s only designed to cool one-fifth the space. On the flip side, while Aircare’s model is the most expensive in our list, it also cools a vastly larger area at up to 1,000 square feet.

To determine how many cubic feet per minute (CFM) you need for optimal cooling, Sylvane advises using this formula: “Square feet needing to be cooled, multiplied by ceiling height (in feet). Then, divide this number by 2. For example, if your room is 450 square feet with 8-foot ceilings: 450 X 8 / 2 = 1,800 CFM.”

Finally, consider these factors for the manufacturer:

  • Have they been in business a long time?
  • Do they come with a mostly positive online customer reputation? Do you encounter any common complaints?
  • Are their products priced competitively?
  • Do their products come with clear refund policies and warranties?

Our Final Thoughts About Arctic Air

While we didn’t test the device ourselves, based on what we learned during our research on the product’s website and in its commercial, there seems to be a lot to like about Arctic Air. It’s compact and portable, very competitively priced, backed by a 30-day refund policy, and comes from a company with nearly two decades in business.

With this said, using only evaporative cooling and designed just to cool 45 square feet (about the size of a 7' x 7' room), we think you might get the most value out of Arctic Air by maintaining realistic expectations. After all, while it seems reasonable that it might help you cool off, you could be disappointed if you’re actually expecting it to deliver Arctic-like results.

One final point to keep in mind is that if you’re not satisfied with Arctic Air’s performance, you’ll lose any fees associated with the BOGO offer, as well as whatever it will cost to ship it back to the manufacturer.

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32 Consumer Reviews for Arctic Air

Average Consumer Rating: 2.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 7 4 star: 5 3 star: 1 2 star: 4 1 star:  15
Bottom Line: 41% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 32
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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Not worth the money

    • Kansas,
    • Jun 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It has a good concept, but even when the fan is on high, you need to be right in front of it to feel the cool air. If they could improve on the fan speed, it would be pretty good. As for now, what you see on the commercials about cooling your kitchen or bedroom is not true.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 16 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Bad Arctic Air

    • Longmont, CO,
    • Jun 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I got two. Bad choice. It is no better than my personal fan. What a waste of money. I see they are selling them at Walmart. I would like to put a sign on the display saying "Don't waste your money."

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 23 out 24 people found this review helpful

    Leaks water

    • New Mexico,
    • Jun 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It was leaking water from the bottom when I first got it. I use it in my small bedroom with a ceiling fan. It worked really good, was cool, but after a week it's leaking from the bottom. It ruined my dresser with water.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 25 out 27 people found this review helpful

    Save your money

    • Rio Rancho, NM,
    • Jun 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Wife bought one locally, and we followed the instructions. The water level never went down, and it was not blowing cold air. We took it apart, and the filter was never wet.

    She took it back, and we replaced it with another. The second unit does the same thing. The filter NEVER gets wet. How is it supposed to when there is no way for the water to get to the filter? We will take the second unit back tomorrow.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 20 out 21 people found this review helpful

    Not worth the money

    • Tampa, FL,
    • Jun 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered three of these machines (I know, so gullible). I put one in my bathroom, one in my bedroom, and one in my exercise area. The one in the bedroom leaked repeatedly, and the lights would come on and off randomly throughout the night, so I moved it to the bathroom. It still leaks, but the countertop is waterproof. The machine in the bedroom no longer leaks, but the lights also go off and on randomly throughout the night. I have not bothered to set up the machine in the exercise area as I am very disappointed with the two machines I have already used.

    The amount of cool air that comes out of the machine is less than a tabletop fan. I tried to find a way to return the product because apparently there is a 60-day warranty, but I have not been able to find any details for this.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Arctic Air is perfect! Not fake - it is the real deal.

    • Running Springs, CA,
    • Jun 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    We purchased two, one for each side of our bed. It cools down so quickly we found one was efficient for our bedroom. I wanted to purchase more and they were back ordered through Amazon. We are considering purchasing more for our guest rooms as we do not have air conditioning.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 16 out 18 people found this review helpful

    It's a leaker

    • Collinsville, IL,
    • Jun 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It works marginally if you are right up against the device. My problem was the leaking. For the first few weeks, there would be puddles around the unit, which I thought could have been condensation. Then this morning (while off), this unit leaks its entire contents onto the table and surrounding floor. Grrrrrrrr.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 21 out 22 people found this review helpful

    Cheap materials. High maintenance.

    • Columbia, SC,
    • Jun 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I thought I had ordered two Arctic Air units (buy one, get one) and ended up with four. The plastic units were not all exactly alike - slightly off enough that I had to force the filter into one. It only works to cool a space as long as the reservoir has water in it.

    I tried to contact the company about the extra charges on my credit card, and never got a response. Beware of the “neweasy.com” website, also. Buyer beware. It’s best to buy these convenience products locally so that you can see and feel them, really read the instructions - and return them if necessary.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 10 out 13 people found this review helpful

    It worked fine, just like they said, do not expect too much.

    • San Antonio, TX,
    • Jun 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I liked this device, even though I live in San Antonio, Texas, it kind of humid here and in the last few days, the temp in my house was 88 degrees Fahrenheit.

    I used it while I am watching TV and while I sleep, with an extra regular fan, and the mixture makes you feel good. I feel the cool air of the Arctic Air, mixed with the regular fan. Like they said, don't expect too much, just be happy with it. After all, it is only $30 if you buy two, with free shipping.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 22 out 25 people found this review helpful

    Stopped working after a day

    • Amherst, NY,
    • Jun 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Don’t waste your money! I bought this for a very small bedroom, and it hardly cools off the room. You really only feel the effect standing directly in front of it. I used it for just a few hours. When I tried to use it again, the thing won’t even turn on. I tried refilling the water, the machine is plugged in, and it still doesn’t turn on.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 26 out 29 people found this review helpful

    Not worth the money

    • Champaign, IL,
    • May 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is a waste of money. You literally have to sit inches away from it for you to get any cold air. You get more air out of a desk fan, and I don’t even think this fan blows out any colder air than a regular fan. I didn’t expect it to cool a whole room but at least thought I could tell a difference. Also, I paid for fast shipping, and it didn’t get here for two weeks.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    Comments (1)
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    • Jun 17, 2018

      Sandra M.

      Thank you all for your reviews. I appreciate this company sharing all the info. Only 2/10 reviews were good. I will save my money and put a wet towel in front of my fan.

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