About Arctic Air

By HighYa Research Team
Updated on: Jul 17, 2018

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 efficiently cool any personal space in your home 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 will it still help you “humidify and purify air for maximum comfort,” 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 and Where Can You Buy?

If purchased directly from OnTel in the US (or JML in the UK), One Arctic Air device is priced at two payments of $19.99, or a single payment of $39.98 (or £39.99). 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.

The manufacturer 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 800-205-3001.

We also found the Arctic Air personal cooler available on sites like Amazon, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, and HSN (to name just a handful) at about the same prices.

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, we're not told exactly how large of an area it's intended to cool (note: Previous advertisements from OnTel reported 45 sq. ft.). On the flip side, while Aircare’s model is the most expensive on our list, it also promises to cool up to 1,000 square feet of space.

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 a small personal space, 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, or to deliver a significant cooling effect in anything but the smallest of rooms (with enough time).

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.

» See Also: The Best Budget-Friendly Ways to Keep Your House Cool

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Read 122 Arctic Air Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 2.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 16 4 star: 14 3 star: 5 2 star: 10 1 star:  77
Bottom Line: 27% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 122
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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Piece of JUNK!

    • South Carolina,
    • Jun 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    It worked for about 15 minutes. I tried for days to contact Arctic Air without any reply. Do NOT buy this junk. You're better off drinking a glass of ice water. This is not a reliable product and the company knows it. They are a SCAM. SCAM!

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

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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Option to fix leaking water

    • Oriental, NC,
    • Jun 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    My Arctic Air cooler started leaking water. I tried fixing by going to a YouTube video. It stopped the leaking but didn’t allow water from the reservoir tank to flow and wet the filter for cool air. I discovered if I removed the filter and saturated it under cold water from a faucet, reinstalled, the flow of air was much cooler for a long time! Give this a try to hang on to this device before tossing it.

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

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Don't waste your money!

    • Seminole, FL,
    • Jun 3, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been without AC since mid-January, due to a dispute with my HOA. Out of desperation, I bought Arctic Air. It really didn't cool much and was just air blowing out. There are a lot of instructions for keeping it clean. The first time that I used it, it had what appeared to be mold on the inside. The pieces of fabric inside the filter starting tearing away as soon as I washed it as instructed. I'm sorry that I didn't read more reviews to know that this product is useless!

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

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  • 8 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Expensive piece of junk

    • Running Springs, CA,
    • May 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Never even got to turn it on. The provided USB cord will not plug into the unit. I was careful to align it in the correct direction but it will not fit. The unit I received looks like a return. Probably for the same problem. I paid way too much ($69) for a piece of junk. Do not waste your money on this!

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

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Totally a crap product to be used

    • India,
    • May 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have received the product, after then put in water, and just after two minutes it went all over my floor. I contacted the company by email, asking for the return address, still no response. They do not give a phone number so you can talk to them, very poor service.

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

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  • 3 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Great for the price

    • Canada,
    • May 1, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought this little cooler through the company "seen on tv " via eBay.

    As for the price, I paid $60 and of course it's not going to be as cold as a huge $300 air conditioning. But there is cool air coming out of there, which is great.

    As far as the noise, it's not as bad as some reviews I saw. Yes, there is some noise, a bit more than a regular fan. So it's not that bad.

    For the light, it's great, 7 choices of light or none if you don't want to.

    For the cooling, I only feel it when I'm in front of it like two feet max. It doesn't cool a room. Even if my room is pretty small.

    As far as the tank, it doesn't last 8 hours like it says. It's more like 4 hours...and if you don't put water in then it shuts down. And it's not a hot hot day either so I'm not sure about the filling then.

    Besides that, I'm satisfied with the product. It's cooler than a fan. Maybe try to put a fan behind it maybe it would get cooler. I would have to try that.

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

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  • 15 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Waste of money

    • Australia,
    • Jan 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    My mum bought this and it is a waste of space. You need to sit directly in front of it, and even then it only blows cool air. Not enough to even cool you down. I tried ice cold water and still not a great deal of comfort. Don't waste your money!

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

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  • 9 out 12 people found this review helpful

    I live near the border of New South Wales AND Queensland, Australia

    • Australia,
    • Jan 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have mod-severe COPD (emphysema) and on very hot humid days I find I have trouble breathing, so I thought this might help me if only directed at my upper body and face. It helps me enough to get some oxygen into my blood to the lungs. I had no great expectations like cooling a room, just to get some cooler air to breathe. It has worked for me and stops me perspiring. I'm glad I bought it, hopefully, it will keep me out of the hospital. It would be great for little babies in the heat.

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

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  • 23 out 24 people found this review helpful

    A waste of money

    • Alice Springs, Norther Territory, Australia,
    • Nov 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I fully tested my purchased Arctic Air coolers in 32C heat overnight. I was completely ineffective. It added to the humidity, it leaked all over the place, and it only made us cranky - not cooler. I have returned the Arctic Air devices to the Melbourne supplier and asked to be reimbursed. To mail the devices cost over $64. I plan to write a complete review for Consumer Affairs and Product Review.

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

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  • 18 out 18 people found this review helpful

    Faulty

    • Australia,
    • Nov 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased two mini air coolers. I put one beside my Bed on a bedside table, and the next morning my bedside table was wet. It leaked, and when I picked it up, it poured out through the holes in the bottom of the unit.

    I put both on my kitchen bench full with water as stated and within a couple of hours, my benchtop was soaked.

    Both are faulty, and I would like my money returned to my credit card.

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

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  • 5 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Wish the light option was better

    • Hyampom, CA,
    • Oct 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was really happy with this but then had it for maybe 2 months and now when I turn it on, I can't get the light to go off or even change colors or pick a different color, which is really annoying. Other than that, I'm happy with it.

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

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Showing 1-11 of 122

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