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 Customer 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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  • 70 out 78 people found this review helpful

    Arctic Air review

    • North Island, New Zealand,
    • Mar 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased Arctic Air and it is USELESS. Not even as cool as the fans I put on either side of it. Not worth sending back. The rubbish bin was closer.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend as they wouldn't be a friend much longer.

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

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  • 57 out 70 people found this review helpful

    This machine is a joke

    • Florida,
    • Apr 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Come on folks, this machine is a joke. I put it in a small closed room for 8 hours and checked the temperature each hour, and the temperature never dropped, not even one degree. It goes back to the store today.

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

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  • 29 out 61 people found this review helpful

    Not portable

    • Ormond Beach, FL,
    • Apr 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been looking for a small cooling fan for those hot days when the power goes out due to hurricane season. Guess what? This "portable" fan will not do the job because it needs to be plugged in!

    False advertising when they say "PORTABLE!"

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

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  • 49 out 50 people found this review helpful

    Scam

    • South Carolina,
    • May 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    After watching the TV commercial where they put it into a hot car and the temp is 127 and they say it cools down to 68, that is bull.

    I put it in my bedroom in the evening and at the start it was 77, and after 2 hours the bedroom was 81, so I left it on for 8 hours, and it did nothing

    You're better off using a fan with ice in front!

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

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  • 48 out 52 people found this review helpful

    Arctic Air sucks.

    First of all, Arctic Air is a bad investment. Made in China. Water leaks, and you need to sit directly in front of it to feel the air. I would say it's defected.

    Do NOT buy this crap. It does NOT work like it says it would. I am very disappointed with Arctic Air.

    There was no invoice in the box that it came in for returns.

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

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  • 42 out 45 people found this review helpful

    Scam

    • Alpharetta, GA,
    • May 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Don’t you dare order this! There is no confirmation page after you are presented with several additional options for additional fees. Then, there is no way to cancel online. The available number is for ordering only. They say you have to call another number to cancel, but it isn’t available until the next business day. They hung up on me when I asked why there is a number for ordering but not to cancel. Beware!

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

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  • 29 out 30 people found this review helpful

    What does one expect for thirty nine plus dollars

    • New York City, NY,
    • May 30, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I only had the Arctic Air for less than a week and the lights no longer come on. As of yesterday, it came on. Today nothing. Perhaps it may come back on later, but I seriously doubt it.

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

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  • 32 out 35 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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  • 27 out 31 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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  • 30 out 33 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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  • 50 out 51 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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Showing 1-11 of 136

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