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 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 for 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


Read 136 Arctic Air Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 2.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 19 4 star: 16 3 star: 5 2 star: 14 1 star:  82
Bottom Line: 28% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 136
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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Menopause survivor tool

    • New York,
    • Sep 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was visiting a family member in New York and her house doesn’t have central air like we do in the south. This unit was pointed at my face all night and kept me very comfortable while I was sleeping. Got hot when it did run out of water. Perfect for me because I am pre-menopausal. Hot flashes could be better with this machine but I am not fully menopausal.

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

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful
    Updated review

    My belief

    • Aldersyde, Alberta, Canada,
    • Sep 3, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    MY BELIEF - I advised them of the problems with the supplied unit and they fully refunded my money. I can recommend them as an online shopping site. But as always - buyer beware.

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

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    • Previous review
    • Aug 27, 2019

    Arctic Air - waste of money

    I purchased an Arctic Air unit from My Belief. I received an "Antarctic Air" unit yesterday. It is nothing like the pictures they website show and the unit is not worth the money - AT ALL.

    It leaks - thank goodness I didn't set it on a wooden surface - it only damaged all the papers that I had on the same countertop.

    It offers a menu button that does NOTHING!

    It really did nothing to cool the air - I could easily get the same cooling result from a dollar store hand fan.

    Now, I'm not sure if the Antarctic Air is the cheap cousin to the Arctic Air and if the Arctic Air actually works any better, but regardless, My Belief advertised a product they did not provide and I am very unhappy with their service/product.

    How do people sleep at night sending crap to folks that pay good money and attempt to trust. How disappointing.

    (read moreread less...)

  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Bad warranty

    • Lovelock, NV,
    • Aug 29, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered three of these units. Two work just as advertised. One, the water just runs through. COOLAIR will not respond to my requests to what to do to fix this problem? Their warranty is written as to be impossible to follow. Purchase at your own risk.

    As far as recommending to a friend. The two units work fine.

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

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  • 7 out 9 people found this review helpful

    For mature people from hot country!

    • Camano Island, WA,
    • Aug 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I get a great chuckle from the review downers on this item, one young man expected it to keep an aluminum camper very cool in direct sunlight! Items like this have been used since 1932 that I am aware of, and explanation for idiots is as follows: In the depression years, only the very rich could afford air conditioning. The rest of us used a bucket of water with a family water dipper for drinking by the back door or any door in the home behind screens that had a breeze. The water stayed COLD and the room behind the family water bucket stayed COOL AND NO ONE CAUGHT A COLD. This is NOT an air conditioner (for the idiots), it is a ROOM COOLER! I was born on 8/8/1932 in the desert in Eastern Washington.

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

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    It's a fire hazard if it runs over 1 hour, cord it gets very hot

    • Battle Ground, WA,
    • Aug 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I saw the commercial, something about the Arctic Air, sounded pretty good. I bought it but turned it on for about an hour and the cord got so hot it almost caused a fire. It didn't blow cold air, it's a joke, I want my money back.

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

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Fan to keep you cooler

    • Southern Nevada,
    • Jul 31, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The problem with this unit is that if you want to make it work correctly you need to have the water tank at the bottom of the unit and have some type of pump that will move the water from the tank to the top of the filter to let the water flow on the filter fins to really provide a true swamp cooler type of portable fan.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    It's ok

    • Colorado,
    • Jul 24, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Bought one at Bed Bath & Beyond after being bombarded with the TV commercials. Hacks from other reviews were to wet and freeze the filter before each use. Bloody clever - works like a (really small) charm. When it's hot in the room, just point it to the small area you want cooled. It really won't cool down a room, nor should anyone expect it to. But it is smaller and less noisy than a table fan. It's ok...I would recommend to a friend who understands that it is not an air conditioner!

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

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Taking it back to the store

    • Wakefield, MA,
    • Jul 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought two of the Arctic Air units because my son said he saw two good reviews online. They do not work. I followed instructions. Turned it on and closed the door to the room. I left and returned in 30 minutes. It did nothing. If I stood right in front of it I could feel a light breeze on the part of my body that was directly in front of the unit. There was no air cooling around the room in any direction. You have to be within 12 inches of the unit to feel any coolness. And that only affect the part of your body that's in line with the vents. I paid $87 for two of these.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    I love this thing!

    • Lexington, SC,
    • Jul 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I love the Arctic Air cooler. It sits on my desk about a foot away from me, and I use it only on extremely hot days when my two conventional window air conditioners in my room aren't cutting it (they are lower-BTU units because I have small windows). When it says 95 or hotter outside, I'm fairly uncomfortable in my room at my computer. When I run the Arctic Air, which sits just to the left of my keyboard, I'm quite comfortable (which is saying a lot because I'm a pretty big guy and I keep it as cold as possible in here). I used this unit last year when one of my ACs broke, and bought a replacement filter when it started heating up again outside this year. If this unit ever breaks, I'll be buying the new Arctic Air Ultra. Keep in mind, this thing works best when you are in a low humidity environment.

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

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Author is a bit off his rocker

    • Pennsylvania,
    • Jul 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    While some aspects are accurate, he misses completely on others. This gizmo is simply a teeny tiny swamp cooler, nothing more. And yes, evaporating moisture off of dampened media into dry air does cause a marginal amount of cooling, it is in no way comparable to how a regular refrigerant based air conditioner works (in fact, it is completely the opposite of!). A swamp cooler ADDS humidity to the air. A refrigerant-based system REMOVES humidity from the air. But, a refrigerant-based system goes beyond just that. It can even cool already dry air, with simple thermal mechanics of heat being drawn to cold. A swamp cooler can't do this, and is extremely limited to the moisture capacity of the air around it. Maybe (a very small maybe) one could boost performance by super-chilling water in the reservoir in a brine solution, but may cause negative issues, such as loading up the evaporator media with salt, or simply not evaporating at an efficient rate at such low temperatures.

    I also highly question 250 watts from a USB port, but when making pie in the sky claims...

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

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Water drainage

    • Seattle, WA,
    • Jul 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Bought 2 of the units and 1 of them, the water is gone in two, and the other unit never uses much water at all, will last a week. So neither one works as it was described to, 8 hours before having to add water again.

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

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