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11 Things to Know Before Buying a Portable Evaporative Cooler

While air conditioning is the most common and best-known cooling solution available, it may not always be the right choice for your specific needs. In many situations, portable evaporative coolers will be a more effective and affordable cooling solution to keep you comfortable during the peak summer heat.

Evaporative coolers harness the scientific process of evaporation to deliver cold air to your space. This process is highly effective, enabling you to lower the air temperature by as much as 30 degrees F. In addition, it provides a much more eco-friendly solution than air conditioning.

Determining the right cooling solution for your space is an important decision. If you’re considering buying an evaporative cooler, there are several important things to know before you make your purchase.

1.     Do I Live in a Climate Where Evaporative Coolers Are Highly Effective?

In general, evaporative coolers work best in hot, dry climates. This is due to the evaporative cooling process. Your portable evaporative cooler will draw in hot, dry outside air. This air passes over cooling pads, called evaporative media, which are saturated with water. As the hot air hits the media, it causes the water to evaporate, which lowers the air temperature. When the outside air is already heavily saturated with moisture, less water on the media will evaporate, and this can diminish the cooling effects you receive.

For this reason, you will experience maximum cooling benefits in regions where the air is hot and humidity is low. While you may not be able to achieve temperature drops of 30 degrees F in more humid climates, you can still experience significant cooling benefits. At Portacool, we manufacture our portable evaporative coolers in Center, Texas. We use our coolers to keep our employees comfortable and safe all summer long, and we consistently achieve excellent cooling results even though our factory is in a humid climate.

2.     Can a Portable Evaporative Cooler Be Used for My Desired Application?

11 Things to Know Before Buying a Portable Evaporative CoolerPortable evaporative coolers are an effective cooling solution anywhere there’s access to an outdoor air source. Evaporative coolers require a constant stream of fresh air to work properly. There are several reasons why:

Therefore, many indoor residential cooling applications such as bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, or other rooms inside a house without constant access to outside air may require air conditioning to achieve your desired results.

That being said, there are a wide range of applications – both indoors and outdoors – where evaporative coolers provide highly effective results. Portacool portable evaporative coolers are commonly used to cool:

Don’t see your desired application on this list? Contact us to find out whether we have a Portacool that will address your specific needs. You can also use our online tool to find out which Portacool model may be right for you.

3.     Do I Need an Evaporative Cooler to Supplement or Replace Air Conditioning?

Evaporative Cooler for Restaurant Outdoor PatioThere are certain times when evaporative coolers make sense as a supplement to your air conditioning system and other instances when you’d be better off replacing your existing air conditioning system with an evaporative cooler.

If you’re considering a cooling solution for your home, evaporative coolers provide an excellent supplement to your home air conditioning system. It makes sense to use AC for rooms that don’t have access to a constant supply of outdoor air, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms. Without a constant outside air source, evaporative coolers may introduce too much humidity to the space to maintain a comfortable environment. However, evaporative coolers can be a more effective solution for areas such as backyard patios or home workshops which aren’t easily cooled by air conditioning. By using both of these cooling methods together, you can achieve the best cooling results for your home.

Similarly, combining both methods often makes sense for hospitality businesses, events venues and any other businesses where there is a combination of indoor and outdoor spaces being utilized. Bars and restaurants can typically get the most effective cooling results by using AC indoors and evaporative coolers for their outdoor seating. Hotels can keep their rooms comfortable for sleeping using air conditioning, and they can use evaporative coolers for larger spaces such as lobbies, fitness centers, events spaces and outdoor areas. Events venues can often use air conditioning for smaller indoor rooms and leverage the cooling benefits of evaporative coolers for larger indoor spaces and outdoor areas.

However, there are certain situations where air conditioning is simply not an effective, viable or affordable solution. This is particularly true when cooling industrial facilities, auto garages, aviation hangars, prisons, and many other applications where:

In these instances, you’d be much better off using evaporative coolers as your sole cooling solution. If you already have AC, you should strongly consider replacing your existing system with evaporative coolers. If you’re looking to install a cooling system for the first time, you’ll get the best results by focusing on evaporative coolers instead of spending thousands of dollars to set up an air conditioning system that won’t effectively deliver your desired results.

4.     How Much Will My Evaporative Cooler Increase My Monthly Energy Bill?

Portacool portable evaporative coolers use approximately 264 kilowatt-hours and cost just over $1 per day on average to operate, making them the most energy efficient cooling products on the market. Operating costs are so low because the only electricity used is what is required to run the fan drawing air through the cooler and the pump flowing water over the media.

Air conditioning, on the other hand, requires significantly more electricity to operate the different components in the system, which include:

This complex process can use up to seven times as many watts of electricity as evaporative coolers, resulting in significantly larger monthly operating costs.

5.     What Is the Environmental Impact of Using an Evaporative Cooler?

If you’re looking for an environmentally sustainable cooling solution, evaporative coolers are your best option. Evaporation is an eco-friendly process that can cool any space with an outside air source using only water and minimal electricity. No chemicals or refrigerants are needed to achieve the cool, comfortable environment you desire.

Air conditioning, on the other hand, uses freon and other chemical refrigerants to cool the air. This, in addition to the increased electrical consumption, results in a much less environmentally conscious cooling solution.

6.     What Size Evaporative Cooler Will I Need for My Specific Cooling Application?

portable air cooler for events venuesIt’s important to choose the right size evaporative cooler for the space you need to cool. An evaporative cooler that is too small for your space will need to work very hard to deliver your desired results, and this will waste energy. Evaporative coolers that are too large for your space may result in ambient temperatures that are too cold to maintain a comfortable environment.

The cooling power of a portable evaporative cooler is measured in CFMs (cubic feet per minute). This figure reflects the amount of cool, fresh air that gets cycled through your space each minute. To determine the CFMs needed to cool your space, use the following formula:

Square feet of the space being cooled multiplied by ceiling height (in feet) divided by 2

For example, if you are trying to cool a 500 square foot room with 10-foot ceilings, you’ll perform the following calculation:

500 x 10 / 2 = 2,500 CFM

Portacool portable evaporative coolers come in a wide range of sizes, ensuring you can find the right solution for your specific space. You can also mix and match different models to provide more effective results in larger spaces.

7.     What Type of Evaporative Media Will I Need?

Kuul Evaporative Cooling Media for Portacool Evaporative CoolersThe quality of your evaporative media will significantly impact the efficiency and cooling capacity of your evaporative cooler. There are two common types of evaporative media materials:

Make sure to refer to the user guide of your portable evaporative cooler to determine the right evaporative media to use.

All Portacool evaporative coolers use media made by our subsidiary company, Kuul. Kuul is the only evaporative media manufactured entirely in the US, and they use the highest quality raw materials to ensure industry leading results. Because they are made to the exact specifications of our portable evaporative coolers, you’ll have peace of mind that your evaporative media is delivering the best possible results for your cooler.

8.     What Are Some Important Features to Look for in a Portable Evaporative Cooler?

Every portable evaporative cooler manufacturer offers slightly different features. Some items that you will want on your evaporative cooler include:

9.     What Maintenance Requirements Are Involved with Portable Evaporative Coolers?

If you want to keep your portable evaporative cooler running properly, prevent breakdowns and prolong its lifespan, you should plan on spending a little time performing regular maintenance. These tasks aren’t very time consuming or challenging to complete, and they will help you get the most out of your evaporative cooler for years to come.

Daily Maintenance:

This will keep the media clean, extend its life, and ensure your evaporative cooler works at optimal efficiency.

Monthly Maintenance:

Before Storing it for Winter:

10.  Are Replacement Parts Available?

As with all machines, there is always the potential for parts to wear out and equipment to break down. When researching evaporative cooler brands, look into how easy it will be to get replacement parts. Are they readily available at a moment’s notice or are you likely to wait months to receive a part that is on back order? Are replacement parts reasonably priced? Are they easy to purchase online? These factors should impact your decision on which portable evaporative cooler will best meet your needs.

At Portacool, we make purchasing replacement parts very easy. You can find any parts you need on our online store as well as with our retail partners.

11.  What Warranty and Customer Support Is Available?

While portable evaporative coolers require no installation and are easy to use, you may have questions on occasion if you experience a decrease in cooling capacity, have trouble performing routine maintenance, or need assistance with anything else. Make sure to choose a brand that offers top notch customer support to ensure you’ll receive the help you need should an issue arise.

Similarly, purchasing an evaporative cooler that offers robust warranty services will give you peace of mind that you’re buying a quality product that will deliver the results you need for years to come.

At Portacool, we offer best-in-class warranties, technical support, and USA based live customer service to ensure you enjoy an amazing experience with your new evaporative cooler.

Why Choose Portacool

Portacool has been the industry leader in portable evaporative cooler technology since 1990. You’ll enjoy highly efficient cooling with a wide range of models to ensure we’re able to address any application you may have. All Portacool evaporative coolers are manufactured in the USA at our Center, Texas facility. Available in all 50 states and 56 countries around the world, you can find the right cooling solution for your needs, when you need it.

Please visit an online retailer today to get your Portacool or contact us with questions.