Arctic Air Ultra Review
The Arctic Air Ultra is a portable evaporating air cooler that can cool a space for up to 10 hours a day via a water tank that turns hot air into cold air.
The device uses a well-known method of cooling in which it sucks in hot air on one side, runs that air through moisture and thereby cools the air as the water evaporates.
The company who sells Arctic Air Ultra is OnTel Products, whose line-up of brands includes the Huggle Hoodie, Magic Pad, Handy Heater and Slap Chop.
“We work hard every day to make quality products and services that improve people’s lives, now and for generations to come,” their website says.
In this review, we’ll discuss how the Arctic Air Ultra works, provide expert insight into how effective evaporative coolers are and then discuss the device’s pricing and return policy. We’ll also give you a section where we talk about how this cooler compares to other ones like it that we found on Amazon.
How the Arctic Air Ultra Works
This device is what’s known as an evaporating air cooler. Another name for it is a swamp cooler. Basically, it sucks in hot air through the back and then passes that hot air through a moisture chamber. As the air comes out the other side, it evaporates and thereby dissipates the heat, leaving cool air to blow about the room.
This type of cooling system is seen as an affordable alternative to air conditioning, which tends to consume a lot of power and cost you a significant amount of money.
“It’s the personal space cooler that transforms hot spaces into cool refreshing places for just pennies a day,” the device’s commercial says.
In fact, the commercial shows someone shooting a hair dryer’s 96-degree air into the back of an Arctic Air and 72-degree air blowing out of the front of the device. It also shows someone laying poolside with the Arctic Air blowing on them.
Using the Arctic Air Ultra requires filling its water tank, then plugging it into either a wall outlet or a USB charger. According to the product’s website, it can run for up to 10 hours on one tank of water.
What the Experts Say About Evaporative Coolers
To get an idea of how effective an evaporative cooler can be, we reached out to experts and gained some excellent advice from Dave Miller, an HVAC technician with Heat Talk.
Miller told us that evaporators like the Arctic Air Ultra are good in small spaces but shouldn’t be expected to cool a bigger space.
“Desk evaporative coolers are good for personal cooling and travel but are not as effective at cooling a whole room,” Miller said.
He also noted that these devices work best in “arid/dry” climates, although that can still provide relief in more humid place.
“Given that evaporative coolers work so well in arid-dry climates, they still work fine in humid environments such as Florida but may not be as effective due to the ambient humidity already present in the air,” he said.
One important tip he gave us is that you need to clean out your evaporator often.
“It’s also important to ensure that the water reservoir is cleaned frequently to prevent pathogenic build up, in a similar way you would for a humidifier, as you don’t want nasty microorganisms to propagate in the water tank and be released into the room air,” he said.
Arctic Air Ultra Pricing and Return Policy
At the time of publishing, you could buy one of these evaporative coolers for $39.99 with free shipping, or you could buy two for $59.98 with free shipping.
You have 60 days to test out your cooler and, if you decide you don’t like it and want to return it, you’ll have to contact OneTel’s customer service department at (800) 205-3001 to start your return. You cannot make a return any other way.
Something to keep in mind is that your refund won’t cover the money you paid to ship the item back to OneTel, nor will it cover any fees you pay. In this case, “frees” would include the $19.99 fee you pay for a second Arctic Air.
So, if you buy the second device, realize that you’re keeping it because it won’t be eligible for a refund.
Comparing the Arctic Air Ultra to Other Desktop Evaporators
We wanted to see how the Arctic Air compared to other similar products, so we headed to Amazon to check out some of the higher-rated desktop evaporators.
There weren’t many choices and the evaporators we did find had average to below-average reviews. Two examples are the HoMedics MyChill space cooler and the Evapolar.
The HoMedics device had 127 reviews at the time of publishing with an average rating of 3.3 stars. Its description indicates it can lower a four-foot radius up to 12 degrees. The cost of this device was $59.99 at the time of writing.
The Evapolar has an average rating of 4 stars from 373 reviews. The product description doesn’t indicate how the area it can cool, nor how low it can drop the temperature around it. The Evapolar cost $107.99.
Information about all three devices was limited but the HoMedics evaporator was the only one that talked about how much area it could cool. That being said, both of the Amazon evaporators were more expensive than the Arctic Air.
Our observations are that it may be worth the extra $20 to buy the HoMedics because you know what you’re getting: a device that can cool a four-cubic-foot area around the device. The Arctic Air and Evapolar evaporators give no indication of how much space they can cool.
The Final Word: Pros and Cons of the Arctic Air Ultra
We believe this device’s greatest strength is its price, as it was cheaper than the other evaporators we found on Amazon. When you add in the second evaporator for an extra $19.99, then the Arctic Air is by far the best value.
Now, you have to remember that this device, even if you have two of them going at once, isn’t designed to cool an entire room. As our HVAC expert pointed out, it’s good for a small space. Therefore, we don’t see the Arctic Air Ultra being a solution for your entire office, for example, but a good choice if you want to keep the area around your desk cool while you’re gaming or doing work.
The downside to the Arctic Air, in our opinion, is that there’s limited information about the cubic feet it can cool and, if you live in humid areas, the device’s effectiveness will drop. Therefore, we’d recommend this product for someone who spends a lot of time in one spot in their house and lives in a dry area like California or Arizona.
Remember, too, that it’s important to clean out your device on a regular basis.