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5 Best Evaporative Air Coolers
Evaporative air coolers are basically cheaper alternatives to traditional air-conditioners.
The main reasons why households might consider them instead of aircons includes:
- Environmentally friendly
- Pocket friendly
- Cooling only required for small space
Also affectionately known as swamp coolers, they work by running air through damp filters, triggering the cooling phenomena we experience when getting out of the swimming pool.
The air will then carry the “coolness” into the room where it is placed.
Here’s the best of the lot.
Before we go one, note that CFM refers to cubic feet per minute.
Best Overall – Honeywell CS10XE
I must admit that I have yet to personally own any of the long line of products from Honeywell. Yet for some reasons which I cannot identify, the brand has good will with me.
So I was pleasantly surprised that their product turned out tops in our comparison of air coolers.
The Honeywell CS10XE is a creatively designed evaporative air cooler that’s quite a workhorse pumping 300CFM at maximum power.
That easily covers a space up to 180 square feet.
At the same time, if you you have a large room, this cooler can also be used to cool down a specific section.
Aesthetically designed not to look like what we are used to seeing as a fan, it is also quite compact and affixed with roller wheels for easy repositioning.
A firm handle on the back also aids it’s portability.
Yet for it’s deceptive small size, it has a water tank that holds up to 2.6 gallons of water allowing it to be working at full speed for up to 5 hours and up to 8 hours on lower speeds.
The even better part is that it only consumes 100 watts of electricity at low settings.
That comparable to a light bulb!
With an oval-shaped front “grill”, adjustable louvers allow you to direct where to send the airflow.
Remote control enables the user to set everything including features like vertical oscillation, timer, and blower speed.
- Remote control
- Attractive modern design
- Detachable tank for easy maintenance
- Triples up as air cooler, fan, and humidifier
- Energy saving
- Low level of noise at 57dB
- Not suitable for large space
The Honeywell CS10XE is the perfect portable swamp cooler for the average room size. It also blends nicely into modern interior design concepts.
Best Value – Luma Comfort EC45S
Shaped like a slim rocket, the Luma Comfort EC45S is an affordable solution for small rooms and spot cooling.
Suitable for spaces up to 125 square feet, it’s 250CFM can reduce room temperature by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Just like Honeywell CS10XE, it incorporates 3 speed settings and has a tri-function of air cooler, humidifier and fan.
At it’s lowest setting, this machine only consumes a shocking 45 watts of power!
It’s slick design and small size makes it a good option if you intend to bring it into the office to cool your cubicle.
- Won’t look out of place in a modern designed home
- Takes up minimal base space
- Competitively priced
- 1.6 gallon non-detachable water tank
- Low but noticeable level of noise at 64dBA at highest setting
Because of it’s minimum space requirement and cooling ability, this is a good choice if portability is a key criteria.
A side note: Luma Comfort is a brand of a line of products belonging to NewAir.
If you need a cooler for a larger space, then look at…
Best For Large Spaces And Outdoor – Honeywell CO60PM
It’s not surprising to find another Honeywell product on the list as they are a leader in the heating and cooling systems industry.
The Honeywell CO60PM is the answer to cooling large spaces. It’s so powerful that it can also be effectively used outdoors.
With 1540CFM, it easily cools down an enclosed space of up to 850 square feet… making it a monster cooler when compared to the CS10XE and Luma Comfort EC45S.
Shaped and looking like a typical air-conditioner compressor unit, it’s no surprise that it delivers cooling.
While it is conceptualized to be a portable machine, take note that it’s water tank capacity is 15.9 gallons. Giving this piece of equipment a whopping total weight of approximately 175 pounds with a full tank.
It’s a relief that it comes with heavy duty durable caster wheels for easier transport. I can visualize having this on the deck while relaxing and chilling out over a lemonade in the summer.
At a noise level of 65dB, this beast is amazingly gentle for it’s size.
The Honeywell CO60PM is a best option of large living rooms and possibly even a whole studio apartment.
Yet it is designed to play the dual role of outdoor air cooler as well with UV protection and weather resistant casing.
On top of it all, you get the backing of Honeywell with 1 year manufacturer warranty.
- Huge coverage range
- Option of using hose for continuous water supply
- 3-sided honeycomb cooling media
- Ice compartment
- Power consumption of 220 watts
- Looks like the outdoor unit of an air-conditioner
- High price
The CO60PM should be able to meet the need of most households who need a big air cooler. It is even powerful enough for industrial use.
If you need something even more powerful, take a look at Hessaire MC37M with a breathtaking 2200CFM!
Best Budget – NewAir AF-310
NewAir has an impressive line of hits with evaporative air coolers under the Luma Comfort brand.
So it might not be a coincidence that they have the best budget air cooler on this list too.
The NewAir AF-310 is shaped like a tower fan and has an airflow rating of 320CFM.
Using only 80 watts of power, it is more energy efficient that many of the coolers we’ve looked at. However, consider that the Luma EC45S pumps out 250CFM with just 45 watts.
What makes NewAir AF-310 unique is that it comes with a built-in ionizer that purifies the air as it cools. Basically going one up against most coolers to become a 4-in-1 with functions for air cooling, tower fan, humidifier, and ionizer.
In fact, if we put it side-by-side for comparison with the top tower fans available today (since it looks like one), NewAir AF-310 might very well trump every competitor and become the best overall.
And at below $100, this represents very good value and priced within the budget range.
- Built-in ionizer for fresh and cool air
- Inexpensive compared to other coolers
- Can keep cooling for up to 20 hours at lowest speed
- Shaped resembles that of a tower fan
- 1 gallon water tank
A colleague has informed us that this 4-in-1 air cooler is no longer in production. Maybe because the makers have realized that they are leaving money on the table for such a multi-function device.
But they are still inventory available for purchase in a number of marketplaces.
So if you are going to grab one of these, you better act fast before the stocks are gone forever.
Best Design – Luma Comfort EC110S
While the Honeywell CS10XE and Luma Comfort EC45S are both conceptualize with design as a focal point, there’s just something about Luma Comfort EC110S that mesmerizes us.
Shaped like a microphone at the karaoke, the product designers have struck a nice balance between aesthetics and functionality.
It’s just a beauty to behold.
Yet it’s no slouch in the capacity department as it is capable of 500CFM covering an area of up to 250 square feet.
And using a patented cyclonic cooling technology, it supposedly blast targeted beams of cool air around the space it is facing so that the space is cooled much faster.
- Cyclonic cooling system
- Attractive design
- Surprisingly low power at 110 watts
- Absence of water indicator
- 1.76 water tank
- Tall and heavy at the top making it easier to topple over
Luma Comfort EC110S has a mid-range capacity and a mid-range price. If not for it’s price tag, it would have been the best overall evaporative air cooler on this list.
Yet it is a fair retail price if you require a cooler meant for a room of approximately 250 square feet.
But let ‘s not kid ourselves. It’s beauty is what’s drawing us in.
Which evaporative air cooler to buy?
Some other good air coolers which we looked that didn’t make the list include Honeywell CO30XE, Sunpentown SF-608R, Arctic Cove EVC350, and the Portacool Cyclones. They deserve a mention too.
Regarding which cooler to buy, a lot depends on the size of the space you intend to use the machine for.
If you need it for a small space, choose between Honeywell CS10XE and Luma Comfort EC45S. If you have a low budget to work with on top of that, then go with NewAir AF-310.
If budget is not an issue and you are willing to go higher end, give some thought to Luma Comfort EC110S.
For large areas or outdoors, choose between Honeywell CO60PM and Hessaire MC37M.
Finally, remember that how well an evaporative air cooler works for you could depend on factors totally out of your control.
The level of effectiveness depends on the humidity of the climate and the air intake.