Air Coolers

Portacool evaporative coolersIf you are looking for a portable solution to cool down a space, an air cooler is often a great choice. Air cooler is a common name for an evaporative cooler, which is also sometimes called a swamp cooler or even a swamp air cooler. These energy-efficient, powerful cooling systems let you keep cool in a variety of environments and settings.

Since 1990, Portacool’s portable evaporative air coolers have been leading the air cooler industry. With made-in-the-USA quality and backed by best-in-class warranties and service, a Portacool is a great investment for a long-lasting, powerful air cooler. If you are looking for a new air cooler, visit a local Portacool retailer today or check out our online shop for new and reconditioned Portacools.

How Air Coolers Work

An air cooler is a simple approach to cooling, which is part of the reason why it’s so efficient. At the heart of an air cooler is the evaporative media. Evaporative media are similar to very advanced sponges. They absorb water and let air pass through them.

A blower pushes air through the evaporative media. This causes water in the media to evaporate. Evaporating water takes a lot of energy. This energy comes from the air, in the form of heat. This makes the hot air cooler. Since the machine isn’t actually taking the heat out of the air, it doesn’t use much energy.

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Is an Air Cooler Better Than AC?

AC, short for air conditioning, is a different technology for cooling. AC uses a chemical that can be mechanically compressed and evaporated to heat or cool it. An AC unit uses the chemical refrigerant to cool the air, then exports the heat created to the outside. For many situations, an air cooler is better than AC.

Advantages of Air Coolers Over AC

Air coolers are often a better cooling choice than AC. You might choose an air cooler if you:

  • Need to cool a large and/or open space
  • Want to cool efficiently
  • Are in a dry climate
  • Want cooling without installation
  • Desire cost-effective cooling

An air cooler is a great choice for large areas. A standing air cooler can produce a lot of cool air, letting you cool down large spaces quickly. It doesn’t matter if you can’t trap the air you’re cooling – it’s still an effective cooling solution, even if you’re outside.

Air coolers are also highly efficient with power usage. An air cooler uses less than ¼ the power that air conditioning uses.

Air coolers work best in dry climates. In dry, hot areas, an air cooler can dramatically drop the temperature, making it cool and comfortable.

With air coolers you just simply plug them in; no professional installation is necessary. In some cases, you might attach the air cooler to a water supply for convenience, but this isn’t required. With even a portable AC unit, you not only have to plug the unit in, but you have to find some way to create a hot air outlet. Otherwise, the hot air that the AC unit produces will simply accumulate in the same space as the cooled air, reducing the cooling effect.

Along with low energy usage, air coolers can be inexpensive to run. Even a relatively large Portacool air cooler can run all day for less than $1 in energy and water.

Advantages of AC

window air conditioner unitOn the other hand, you might choose an AC unit if you:

  • Are cooling a small, confined area
  • Need to achieve low temperatures
  • Want to remove humidity from the air

AC works best when you can trap and concentrate the air from an AC unit. AC units turn over relatively small amounts of cooled air. If you aren’t trapping that air, you’re losing much of the benefit of AC.

When you trap air from AC and cool it repeatedly, AC has the ability to drop the temperature much lower than an air cooler. If you need the temperature very low, then AC might be your best choice.

Finally, AC lets you remove humidity from the air. If you want or need the air to be dry, then AC is your best cooling choice.

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Jetstream Series


Jetstream Series

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Cyclone Series


Cyclone Series

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Hazardous Location Series


Hazardous Location Series

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Discontinued Evaporative Coolers


Discontinued Evaporative Coolers

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Portacool 510


Portacool 510

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How Cold Can Air Coolers Make a Room?

We mentioned above that AC units can make a room colder than an air cooler. So how cool can an air cooler make the room?

The amount of cooling you get from an air cooler depends on the temperature and humidity of the intake air. Theoretically, air coolers can drop the temperature by up to 40° F, but under most conditions, you should expect a temperature drop of about 30° F. In other words, if the temperature outside is about 100° F, you should expect that your air cooler will drop the temperature to 70° F.

The above estimates assume you’re using your air cooler under conditions that are hot and dry. When the air is hot and humid, air coolers don’t work as well. However, an air cooler can still drop the temperature by 10° F to 15° F in humid conditions, which can take the edge off on many hot days.

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How to Use an Air Cooler

An air cooler depends on three things to function properly. It needs a supply of:

  • Power
  • Water
  • Fresh air

For power, an air cooler usually needs just a regular grounded household outlet. Consult the owner’s manual to determine whether your unit is compatible with an extension cord.

For water, air coolers have a built-in reservoir.  Depending on the situation, you will either fill the reservoir or connect the air cooler to a hose.

For fresh air, make sure the air cooler is near an open window or is located in an open area. The air cooler needs to take in about as much air as it puts out, so make sure it has access to a plentiful supply.

Why Choose Portacool Air Coolers

If you’re looking for a portable air cooler, Portacool is the leading choice. Since opening in 1990, Portacool’s dedication to innovation and quality construction have made us a leader in the industry. Now, we have distributors in all 50 states and 56 countries around the world.

However, this world-wide reach hasn’t changed our dedication to our product or our people. Portacool is still made in the USA, at a manufacturing facility in Center, Texas. Portacool also uses the only evaporative media made in the USA by its subsidiary Kuul.

Portacool is not only the manufacturer of air coolers, we use them too – to cool our management offices, manufacturing facilities, and plastics facilities. If that dedication doesn’t win you over, consider that we offer best-in-class:

  • Warranties
  • Technical Support
  • Live Customer Service

Plus, with a tailored direct service plan, Portacool can help ensure your air cooler keeps working for many years to come.

Ready to purchase an air cooler? Visit one of our retailers online or in person or visit our online shop for new and reconditioned Portacools.