About Arctic Air

By HighYa Staff
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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96 Consumer Reviews for Arctic Air

Average Consumer Rating: 2.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 14 4 star: 13 3 star: 4 2 star: 8 1 star:  57
Bottom Line: 30% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 96
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Misleading information

    • California,
    • Aug 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Does not supply correct information to the consumers regarding this product. No adapter is included, which I did not read that anywhere on the site. No instructions on how to replace the filters, and where to buy them. Requested a refund the same day I received the product, and Robert stated they do not give refunds.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Arctic Air from OnTel is a big disappointment

    • Nashville, TN,
    • Aug 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    My husband purchased two Arctic Air units for me, approximately 60 days ago. I used them both and they worked as described for a while. One unit quit working completely, I have no idea why. I tried switching the cords, etc., but I could not get the second unit to come on. I called OnTel customer service to request a replacement. I was told they were on back order and I could call back in a couple weeks, or they would give me a partial credit. I don't have time to keep calling them back so I said I would take the refund. So we paid over $70 for the two units and I was offered a 15 dollar credit! I ended up taking the credit because I just don't want to fool around with this any longer. I don't usually write reviews but this really got under my skin. So bottom line, beware of the 60-day money back guarantee, it is false!

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Do not purchase this product

    • Florida,
    • Aug 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased two units at the cost of $60.97 with a 60-day money back guarantee. This is a scam. I get more air from a 6-inch batt operated fan than this piece of junk. I called for an RGA and was given one. However, the company will not issue a call tag for return. My cost to return was between $27-$32. When I calmly told the customer service rep that I spoke with, that I would have to dispute the credit card charge, she promptly hung up on me. Save yourself grief and please do not order anything from this company.

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

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  • I like it a lot!

    • Michigan,
    • Aug 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    My sister had a couple of these, and she didn't really care for them. I told her that I would buy one off of her because I am always hot and wanted to see if it would help me. I use it next to my recliner and it really helps. It doesn't cool down the whole room, but it really makes a difference when I use it next to me. I live in Michigan, and it gets really humid here, so even if I have my AC on, I still turn this on when I'm really feeling the heat or I have a hot flash, and it really cools me off. My cat Zoey loves it too, she lays down right in front of it.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Not worth the money!

    • California,
    • Aug 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered this product mid-June and in August, it is all rusted inside. I used it in my personal space but had to add water almost every hour! It will not last 8 hours as stated in one review! Filters have to be changed almost monthly, and at $9.95, this is not a savings. The product states that filters should be changed every 6 months...if you go by this, you will have a brown/black filter that is full of mole as mine was after 1 month. Great idea but bad product! I have photos of same, but there is no option to upload them to share with the public!

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

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  • As expected

    • Arizona,
    • Aug 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    No surprises and worked as it advertised. Quiet operation and since we live in a dry, hot climate, adding humidity is a plus for your sinuses. For the cost, I can't complain. Great for putting it on the bedroom nightstand since it is a quiet unit. It is a cooler and should be treated as one, not an air conditioner. I would recommend this for the dry climate states where it is 110 degrees now and 91 at night.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Over charge for an order that I was told was canceled.

    • Port St. Lucie, FL,
    • Aug 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I went online to place an order for Arctic Air and it's an error, so I call to speak to customer service. After I told them my problem, I was told that she would cancel my order and make a new order. The order that was supposed to be canceled was for $118.95 and the corrected order she created was for $83.96. After she created the order, I was told that I would receive a credit in 24 hours, that was over a week ago. I called numerous time to speak to a supervisor, and I was told that a supervisor does not speak to customers, instead they tell them what to say to the customer. So, I hope someone from Arctic Air reads this and does the right thing and gives me my refund. The order I received was still wrong, all I received was just one Arctic Air machine and filters.

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

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Disappointed

    • Georgia,
    • Aug 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered two Arctic Air tabletop coolers that I saw on TV. I received them today and needless to say I am not really happy with it. The claim is that the water lasts 8 hours, when in fact it lasts 30 minutes, no matter the setting of the fan. It does not cool the room as claimed. I have one in the bedroom and one in the living room. My bedroom is small, and even with the door shut it did not cool down the room. Believe me when I say the room is small. My house is 900 square feet so you can imagine how small the two bedrooms are. Of course then I read the instructions and it says that you have to sit close to it to cool you down. So in other words, FALSE ADVERTISING.

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

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Crap

    • Alberta, Canada,
    • Aug 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased two of these things, and what a waste of money. I paid $156 for them. One arrived broken, was supposed to be refunded for that one and haven't been. The second one leaked after the first use, and they wouldn't refund. They don't work. You pretty much have to literally sit in front of it to feel the smallest bit of cool air. Crap product...

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

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    • Aug 9, 2018

      Cindy N.

      I'm trying to find out how to return my Arctic Air Pro (two of them). I have called the Arctic Air company but they can’t find me, they said to call another company that I may have used to get them. I bought them on Facebook.

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    LED mood lights went out in all three

    • Durango, CO,
    • Aug 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    We liked this during the fire in our area, as we only had window units in our house. However, you have to be directly in front of it, and the LED lights quit working after just a couple days, in all three. I can’t find anything to troubleshoot the problem, so I don’t know if I’m the only one with the problem, but it seems coincidental that it happened to all three. Our grandkids really like that feature, so we are disappointed. They definitely saved us this summer though. I would recommend purchasing one.

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

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    • Aug 9, 2018

      Tonya B.

      My LED lights stopped working in all three of them also.

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Had to pay $23 to ship back items

    • Florida,
    • Aug 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Arctic Air doesn't stand by their products! I am VERY disappointed.

    I purchased two Arctic Air.

    1. They never worked.

    2. They had mold inside after two weeks.

    I had to PAY $23 to mail it back! I paid $67 for the two items and they are really sorry, but they don't pay for postage! What a SCAM.

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

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