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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112 Consumer Reviews for Arctic Air

Average Consumer Rating: 2.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 15 4 star: 13 3 star: 5 2 star: 8 1 star:  71
Bottom Line: 28% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 112
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  • 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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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Not bad

    • California,
    • Sep 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased one for our desert home. It works great at cooling personal space. I didn't expect much, but it works great. I bought a second one for our second bedroom. If I keep the door closed, I can tell a difference when I go into each room I have one in. If you have the fan on high you will need to replace the water more often. I really don't mind when it's over 100° degrees in the middle of the afternoon.

    I got mine at Walmart and the gentleman I spoke with said that he has seen no returns.

    I have not had any issues such as leaking. I suggest if you want to try one out, buy it at a store. I never purchase online because of potential problems.

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

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  • Arctic Air is a piece of junk

    • New Jersey,
    • Sep 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Garbage. Mine would not hold water. I tried everything.

    Stay away. I purchased this product for a summer place. I tried to return this item when I vacated my summer place and returned north. I called QVC and was told no return after eight weeks, call Arctic Air. Arctic told me to call QVC, they do not do the returns. I purchased this item approximately nine weeks ago. I had to put it into the garbage. As I said, that is what it is.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Horrible

    I have been without AC all summer. I bought two of these hoping for some relief from the heat. Well, they were great for maybe week. The first one stopped changing color and now less than a month later neither will even turn on.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Piece of crap

    • Okeechobee, FL,
    • Sep 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received the unit, put in water and it went all over my floor. I contacted the company by email, asking for 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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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    No cool air, no Arctic Air

    • Iowa,
    • Sep 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Not cooling, zip, wasted money and not even a bit cool. Irritating that I fell for the BS advertisement. My air conditioner gave out and being towards the end of summer, I thought I would try to finish the season as inexpensively as possible. My error.

    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 - don't buy

    • Jacksonville, FL,
    • Sep 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    At first, I liked it, it seemed to cool a little better than the fan and was quieter. Then when the filter needed to be changed after running for a few minutes, it would start flashing a annoying yellow light. So I stopped using it until the two filters I ordered came in.

    The filters came in a box that was not made for shipping and put into a white shipping bag also not designed to protect anything, so one of them was broken when I opened the box.

    I put the other one in and filled the tank, and it started leaking. So I drained it found the instructions, did it again, and it seemed ok until after running a few minutes and the yellow light started again.

    I unplugged it and then found when I went to move it that it was leaking again.

    Also when I changed the filter the first time, it had been rusting on the inside. So this product is not well made from the get-go since it is designed to hold water the screws should not be rusting.

    I had mine less than a year, so I don't think the $50 I spent in the store on it or the $8 a filter was a good investment.

    Save your money and buy just a normal quiet fan if you need it.

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

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  • Minus stars

    • Ontario, Canada,
    • Sep 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    If I could give this products minus stars review, I would. It doesn't cool anything, and it leaks. It ended up coming to over $100 by that time I paid the exchange, thank goodness they didn't hit me for shipping as well. I'm not sure where the receipt is, but I do have the credit card charge. I guess I expected it to be as advertised and I didn't keep the receipt handy.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Save your money - don't buy these

    • Beaverton, OR,
    • Sep 2, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought two units in April, 2018. One of the units smelled very moldy when I turned it on. I'm thinking NOW that someone returned it and they simply put it on the shelf, still wet, and then sent it out again. Eventually the light quit working and finally the entire unit quit working a couple days ago. I was going to return it, but there is absolutely NO RETURN INFO on the instructions. Obviously they don't want to ever hear from their customers again. And after reading these review, I'm not going to put myself through the aggravation. I have a small apt., and I felt that these did make a difference during our many 90 degree days. But I'm sorry now that I bought them. This definitely feels like a scam.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Don't buy this worthless item

    • Newton, IA,
    • Aug 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    We bought two when our air conditioning stopped working to try and get through the weekend. Unless you were within one inch of it, you couldn't feel a thing. And eight hours, are you crazy? That is a flat out lie. Mine was empty within an hour. The next morning, I boxed them both up and took them back to the store. I got a window AC unit for what I paid for two of the pieces of crap! Do not waste your time! They do not work!

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Frustrated

    • Alberta, Canada,
    • Aug 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received the two Arctic Air Coolers on time but there is nowhere to plug in on either them. It takes forever to find a number to contact. What I got were two plastic boxes. Hopefully, Arctic Air stands up for the products it sells and quickly fixes the problem.

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

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    Comments (1)
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    • Sep 19, 2018

      Chris R.

      Yours didn't come with a USB plug-in port on it?

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