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Arctic Air cooler
Old 06-22-2022, 01:44 PM   #1
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Arctic Air cooler

My wife and I recently purchased two Arctic Air coolers and have generally been pleased with them. They are small, about 8 inches cubed, and are designed to be placed on your desktop or near your bed. They aren't designed to cool down an entire room, but, in many cases, that's not necessary anyway.

You are supposed to add cold water into a side section, so that the fan can generate cool air. On one of our coolers, the water evaporates within 2 hours, but on the other cooler it evaporates only an inch or so, and remains for several days. I checked the instructions, and there is no mention of how fast to expect the water to evaporate. I've concluded, therefore, that one of the devices is not working correctly.

Has anyone here had experience with Arctic Air?

Thanks,

Roy in New Mexico
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Old 06-22-2022, 03:32 PM   #2
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This kind of air coolers is an evaporative cooler. I don't own one, but as they cool the air by evaporating the water, if the water does not get used up, then it does not work. You should be able to tell that the one that uses water puts out cooler air than the one that does not.

Out of curiosity, I found a YouTube video that showed the inside of the Arctic Air Pure Chill 2.0. I don't know if this is the one you have or not.

What's new about these units compared to older ones is that they do not have an absorbent mat to hold the water for evaporation. Instead, they use ultrasonic atomizers, the exact same kind that is used in humidifiers. The ultrasonic atomizers turn drops of water into a mist, which is then expelled by a fan. The mist speeds up the evaporation for better cooling.

You can look to see if the atomizers work (Video at 5:06).


PS. One drawback about the mist generated by the atomizers is that if the water has a mineral content, it is spewed out along with the water. When the water evaporates, the mineral precipitates and covers the surrounding with a light haze of calcium deposit. Ultrasonic humidifiers have the same problem. Same way with mist sprayers for cooling patio outdoors. So, you do not want to use hard water with these units.



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Old 06-22-2022, 03:38 PM   #3
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It's just tiny a swamp cooler and adds humidity to the air.

One could get a small fan, a pan of water with a towel bunched in it and have the same thing.

Does sound like one is defective as the water is not evaporating, is the fan actually running ?
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Old 06-22-2022, 03:40 PM   #4
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So a high-tech "swamp cooler" using an atomizer instead of an evaporative mat? They may provide some cooling benefit in low humidity locations like the southwest, but only add to the misery elsewhere.
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Old 06-22-2022, 03:42 PM   #5
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Lots of reviews on amazon. Basically should work up to 10 hours but really more like 8. Better if you put in ice vs water.

Very limited range and not really useful if you have any humidity. $30~ though so so can't go too far wrong.
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Old 06-22-2022, 04:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
It's just tiny a swamp cooler and adds humidity to the air.

One could get a small fan, a pan of water with a towel bunched in it and have the same thing.

Does sound like one is defective as the water is not evaporating, is the fan actually running ?

It's easier to have this small evap cooler on a nightstand by your head than a fan+water pan+towel as a wick.

Old timers here in Phoenix told me that in the ole days (40s-50s?), people just had a clothesline strung across the living space, then dunked a bed sheet in a pail of water, and hung it up to dry. The large surface of the sheet allowed fast evaporation for good cooling. Rinse and repeat when the bed sheet got dry.
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Old 06-22-2022, 05:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
It's just tiny a swamp cooler and adds humidity to the air.

One could get a small fan, a pan of water with a towel bunched in it and have the same thing.

Does sound like one is defective as the water is not evaporating, is the fan actually running ?
Good idea. I'll check the fan tonight.

But this isn't Chicago. It's the southwest, which is currently undergoing record heat waves and forest fires.
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Old 06-22-2022, 06:37 PM   #8
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Taos!

We spent two nights there in an RV trip a few years ago. We spent some time hanging around Taos Plaza.

We drove up from Santa Fe. Then, from Taos, went east to I-25 to head north to Denver.
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Old 06-22-2022, 07:12 PM   #9
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Evap coolers work great if you have low humidity and tons of air. Very popular in AZ, see huge rooftop units all the time.

Very efficient too, much better than AC, but cooling depends on ambient and humidity. Massive airflow required.
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Old 06-22-2022, 08:06 PM   #10
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I'm in California in the high desert and mine is in the window so it can be removed when I move and it keeps my house freezing. The trick is to open some windows just a crack to divert the airflow to where you need it. They're dirt cheap to run and when it's 100 degrees outside, it's about 75 degrees or lower inside. My electric bill is less than $100 in the summer for a 2400 square foot home. In my state they work far better than a/c units that struggle to keep up with the high temps.
Edison also installs these for free as part of their energy assistance program but mine is over ten years old and in my opinion better than the new flatter ones that you see nowadays.
Just don't turn it on when it's humid outside like today with thunderstorms rolling through Southern California.
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Old 06-22-2022, 08:08 PM   #11
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Oh yeah, you have to open windows to get the massive airflow, just like a whole house fan.
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Old 06-23-2022, 02:21 PM   #12
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I run it overnight as well on low fan only, no water and it pulls in all the free cold overnight desert air. I sleep like the dead under the covers cause it's so cool, there's nothing worse than an overheated house when you're trying to sleep.
It's not noisy on low fan which is what I use most of the time, the high fan is extremely loud though but the cooler is in a window in a room I rarely use so i don't hear it that much.
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Old 06-23-2022, 02:50 PM   #13
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I run it overnight as well on low fan only, no water and it pulls in all the free cold overnight desert air. I sleep like the dead under the covers cause it's so cool, there's nothing worse than an overheated house when you're trying to sleep.
It's not noisy on low fan which is what I use most of the time, the high fan is extremely loud though but the cooler is in a window in a room I rarely use so i don't hear it that much.

"Free cold overnight desert air"?

You are not in the same desert as I am. The lowest temperature here, at 5:30AM right before sunrise, can be 93F (39C). An evap cooler can still work well in that temperature, but how about the high of the day?

With low humidity, an evap cooler can provide temperature in the low to mid 70F. When it gets to 120F, or 105F and above with monsoon humidity, an evap cooler can keep you from heatstroke, but is not comfortable.

People here have mostly switched away from evap coolers. Or they use them as long as they can, then turn it off when it gets too hot and turn on the AC.

And you don't switch during the day. The AC would have to work hard to remove the humidity that the evap cooler puts out. You do the cooler/AC switch for the season.
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Old 06-23-2022, 03:23 PM   #14
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I'm in California in the high desert and mine is in the window so it can be removed when I move and it keeps my house freezing.
Edison also installs these for free as part of their energy assistance program but mine is over ten years old and in my opinion better than the new flatter ones that you see nowadays.
Just don't turn it on when it's humid outside like today with thunderstorms rolling through Southern California.
Surprised that your utility actually promotes the install of evaporative coolers considering the water shortage issues in your area. In my area of Arizona they haven't been allowed in new builds for many years due to drought issues, pretty sure other areas in the southwest have similar rules.
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Old 06-23-2022, 03:33 PM   #15
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Surprised that your utility actually promotes the install of evaporative coolers considering the water shortage issues in your area. In my area of Arizona they haven't been allowed in new builds for many years due to drought issues, pretty sure other areas in the southwest have similar rules.

I never heard about lack of water causing bans of evap cooler. Not saying you are wrong, but I am surprised that water usage of evap coolers really amounts to that much, compared to lawn watering, or evaporation from swimming pools, public lakes and ponds, etc...

What I have read is that utility companies complain about people switching from evap coolers to ACs when it gets too hot. That sudden increases the electricity demand, and makes it hard for the utilities to cope with.
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:29 PM   #16
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I never heard about lack of water causing bans of evap cooler. Not saying you are wrong, but I am surprised that water usage of evap coolers really amounts to that much, compared to lawn watering, or evaporation from swimming pools, public lakes and ponds, etc...
It was added to the city building code back in 2016, not sure if it applies to the entire county. Read recently that Las Vegas has or is going down that same road although if I lived there I would never consider an evap cooler, just too hot there. I did have an evap cooler for ~20 years in my current house, water usage did go up noticeably from using it but probably not excessive. Switched to a central AC for comfort reasons, definitely more expensive to run but so much better comfort control, especially during our 2-3 month summer monsoon season.
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:35 PM   #17
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not really useful if you have any humidity.
Exactly - - as Aerides and several others mentioned already, swamp coolers are not helpful in naturally humid places like New Orleans. I don't think there is even one in use here. But I have heard they are great in the desert southwest.
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:47 PM   #18
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It was added to the city building code back in 2016, not sure if it applies to the entire county. Read recently that Las Vegas has or is going down that same road although if I lived there I would never consider an evap cooler, just too hot there. I did have an evap cooler for ~20 years in my current house, water usage did go up noticeably from using it but probably not excessive. Switched to a central AC for comfort reasons, definitely more expensive to run but so much better comfort control, especially during our 2-3 month summer monsoon season.

I just looked up on the Web. One site says a large evap cooler can use up to 7 gallons/hour. That's 168 gal/day. The average AZ resident uses 147 gal/day. For a family of 4, I don't think the evap cooler water usage is excessive, if it saves electricity. The problem is that it does not work during the summer peak.
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:53 PM   #19
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Exactly - - as Aerides and several others mentioned already, swamp coolers are not helpful in naturally humid places like New Orleans. I don't think there is even one in use here. But I have heard they are great in the desert southwest.


Well, New Orleans has days of 90F temperature and with relative humidity also of 90%.

With that high humidity, there's no more room in the air to evaporate any more water for cooling. The occupants of the house are already dripping wet.


Weather in Phoenix now: 106F, relative humidity 16%, dew point 51F

New Orleans now: 97F, relative humidity 40%, dew point 73F

Miami: 84F, relative humidity 69%, dew point 70F
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:54 PM   #20
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I never heard about lack of water causing bans of evap cooler. Not saying you are wrong, but I am surprised that water usage of evap coolers really amounts to that much, compared to lawn watering, or evaporation from swimming pools, public lakes and ponds, etc...
You just triggered some childhood memories. My dad was an engineer and he made a home brew swamp cooler. I don't remember where he got the coils from but he would trickle water over the coils and using the fan from the furnace would suck air over them and distribute the cool air throughout the ducts in the house.

In order to keep water flowing over the coils he had to have water running so he used a water circuit connected to the outside faucets and would water the lawn whenever the AC was running. We had a well so water use wasn't an issue especially here in the land of 10,000 lakes. We had the best lawn on the block too. Guess who's job it was to mow it?

I also remember he always had a bedroom window cracked open a half inch or so. Could never understand that but reading this thread has given me the answer.
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