A portable evaporative cooler is a machine made for several specific purposes — and when used correctly, there’s no better substitute. If you need to cool a hard-to-cool space, you need to consider one of these.
When you need to improve the comfort of a large room, a garage, a storage building or even an outdoor space like a patio or tent, a powerful indoor-outdoor air cooler is a great choice. Whether to keep yourself cool, increase the contentment of your family or make your event better even though it’s taking place in a space without traditional air conditioning, there’s a choice that’s right for you.
In places where there’s no air conditioning ductwork, the Honeywell portable evaporative cooler described below is just the thing to meet your needs. As long as you keep in mind that air coolers are intended for hot, dry areas where adding cool water vapor adds comfort, you’ll enjoy your unit.
My Honeywell Portable Evaporative Cooler Review
The best portable evaporative cooler I’ve found is the Honeywell CO60PM 125 Pt. Commercial Indoor/Outdoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler — available from Amazon. Designed to use a lot less electricity than a compressor air conditioner and to work in places where there’s no installed AC, this unit can cover up to 850 square feet inside and is designed to be used outside as well.
When humidity outside is low and the air is hot, this type of unit works by blowing air through a cooling medium that’s saturated with water, creating a cooling breeze that’s great when it blows directly on you and improves the overall temperature in a room too. That’s exactly the oppose of how compressor AC units that remove humidity from the air work — so the two kinds of units won’t work well in conjunction with each other.
This non-compressor system is much more energy efficient that something with an energy-hogging compressor and can put out up to 1540 cubic feet per minute of air flow. As long as the space in which you use it either outside or has doors and windows that can be opened to create some ventilation, this unit works very well.
There’s no permanent installation required, so you can use it in your living room one day and on the patio the next. It’s great for making a small barn or garage that isn’t air conditioned bearable while you do some work in there too. Since the unit has casters, you can move it easily and without having to pick it up very often.
In this case, the cooling media that generates the cold air when water is passed over it is on three sides, not just on one as in some smaller, inferior models. Of course, there must be a supply of water to this media for that to work, and filling the water reservoir is the easiest way to make that happen.
I particularly like the simple mechanical control panel on this portable evaporative cooler from Honeywell. While electronic panels may look and seem more advanced or technical these days, the knobs are easy to use and aren’t as likely to fail in the moist environment created by this kind of machine.
In spaces where there’s very little ventilation, a portable room air conditioner with a compressor may be a smarter choice. These require venting, however.
You may have noticed online that most portable air coolers have some less-than-stellar reviews. But it seems from reading them that most of those are the result of people using the machines in the wrong kinds of situations or not following the directions. Like any piece of equipment, this machine is intended for a specific use, and it performs that function well.
I took the time to read a lot of portable air cooler reviews while writing this article to make sure I didn’t forget to mention anything important. From what I can see, people who use these in the right places and for the right reasons get exceptionally good results. When they’re used incorrectly or inappropriately, the results aren’t as good.
I grew up in a home that was cooled with built-in coolers similar to this one, and we were always comfortable. Even when my parents used them in ways that weren’t according to the directions — like with the doors closed or in addition to another kind of air conditioner, we got good results. That’s what put me onto the idea of one of these in the first place. (For a smaller space, you may want a smaller evaporative cooler.)
If you have an area that’s hard to cool and want an effective, economical alternative to the heat, I suggest you consider a Honeywell portable evaporative cooler. For indoor or outdoor use, it’s a smart investment that can serve you well in a variety of ways and locations for years to come.
Whether your goal is to save some money or to improve comfort, this could be the right machine for you.