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, based on our usage, it doesn't appear to cover a large room.

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

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

Customer Reviews

Start your review of Arctic Air:
  • 140 Customer Reviews
  • 27% Recommend This Company
2.1 out of 5
5 star: 13% 4 star: 11% 3 star: 3% 2 star: 10% 1 star: 60%

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  • Arctic Air review

    • By Kevin Stewart,
    • North Island, New Zealand,
    • Mar 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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

  • This machine is a joke

    • By Russ Thu,
    • Florida,
    • Apr 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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

  • Leaks water

    • By Stella H.,
    • New Mexico,
    • Jun 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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

  • Scam

    • By Richard Drozd,
    • South Carolina,
    • May 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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

  • Arctic Air sucks.

    Overall Experience:

    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

  • Question

    • By Miranda,
    • Florida,
    • May 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    If these don't work in humid climates like Florida then why are they allowed to sell them here?

    They sell these in a Target right next to a swamp called the Florida Everglades, one of the most humid places on earth, with a box that says, in big letters, "enjoy cool air anywhere," leading me to believe I could get cool air from this here in Florida or anywhere I'd like. Isn't this false advertising? Am I missing something here?

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

  • Save your money

    • By Mike S.,
    • Rio Rancho, NM,
    • Jun 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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

  • Scam

    • By Robert Davis,
    • Alpharetta, GA,
    • May 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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

  • Worth the money

    • By Barb Skiba,
    • Arizona,
    • Apr 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I'm very pleased with Arctic Air. It cools a small area very well and is very quiet. I placed an oscillating fan in front of it to move the cool air further into the room, and it works very well. I would buy another one.

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

  • Bad Arctic Air

    • By Sharon L.,
    • Longmont, CO,
    • Jun 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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

  • Not worth the money

    • By Lillian R.,
    • Tampa, FL,
    • Jun 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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

Showing 1-11 of 140

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