Best Portable Evaporative Cooler Consumer Reports

Best Portable Evaporative Cooler Consumer Reports, Tips, Reviews, Ratings, and Guides in 2022

If you’re in the market for a portable evaporative cooler, it’s important to do your research to find the best one for your needs. Different coolers offer different features, so it’s important to find the one that fits your specific needs. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the best portable evaporative coolers on the market and what makes them stand out from the competition. We’ll also give you a few tips on what to consider when shopping for a cooler and how to choose the right one for your needs. Stay cool!

What is a portable evaporative cooler?

A portable evaporative cooler, also known as a swamp cooler or desert cooler, is a device that cools the air by suppressing evaporation. Evaporative cooling is widely used in arid climates because it reduces the temperature without using energy to lower the humidity of the air. A typical evaporative cooling system includes a water pump, an evaporator pad, and a fan. When the pump draws in warm outside air, it passes over the wet pads and through a fan blowing across them. This creates a cool breeze which is blown into your home or office space.

Most Common Types of portable evaporative cooler:

There are two main types of portable evaporative coolers: whole house and single room.

Whole house evaporative cooler: This type of evaporative cooler is designed for cooling an entire house. They are typically installed outside or in a garage and are connected to your home’s HVAC system to distribute cool air throughout your home. Portable whole house evaporative coolers are useful because they can save you money on both heating and cooling costs.

Single-room evaporative cooler: These types of evaporatives coolers are designed for spot cooling smaller spaces like rooms or patios. They have water tanks that hold 1 to 5 gallons of water which will provide about 12 hours of continuous cooling time, depending on humidity levels.

Factors to Consider before buying portable evaporative cooler:

Size:  All portable evaporative coolers have their own specifications in terms of size. You need to know the space you are trying to cool so that you can purchase a unit that has adequate power.

Price:  Portable evaporative coolers all vary in price depending on their features, brand and type. However, most are affordable enough for any budget.

Amount of Water Required:  The amount of water required by different types of evaporative cooling units depends on their BTU or wattage rating. Higher BTU or wattage means they require more water to run effectively. Portable evaporative coolers typically use around 4 gallons per day when running continuously, but this will vary depending on the humidity levels in your area.

Cooling capacity: One of the most important things to consider is how much square footage the unit will cover, known as its “cooling capacity.” This can be measured in square feet or cubic feet. If you’re only cooling one room at a time it won’t take up too much space but if multiple rooms need to be cooled simultaneously, you’ll want to find the largest unit that your space allows for. To get an idea of what size cooler will best meet your needs, check out this coolers sizing guide.

Portability: Since these units are designed for outdoor use, you should consider where you will be using it. If you’re placing the evaporative cooler in a position where it must stay outdoors make sure to choose one with wheels for easy portability, especially if you’ll be moving it often. Don’t forget your hose and water supply!

Ease of use: Shopping for an evaporative cooler can be confusing because there are several different kinds of coolers on the market, each with their own unique features and technologies. You want to find a unit that is easy to operate so you won’t have any problems while you’re trying to keep cool.

Water usage: Evaporative cooling systems require a constant supply of water so it’s important not to overestimate how much water the unit will use. Make sure to find a unit that will meet your needs with manageable water usage.

Size and power: Some evaporative coolers are designed to cool small spaces such as offices, patios or even rooms. These units all have different sizes and cooling powers so you’ll need to find one that will best meet your needs. Portable evaporative coolers typically require one gallon of water per day when run continuously so be sure to check the specs carefully before purchasing.

Warm Climate: If you live in a warm, dry climate with high humidity levels, evaporative cooling may be the right choice for you. Because these units do not work well in high temperatures or low humidity levels, they are best used in climates that have moderate temperatures and humidity.

Cold Climate: Evaporative coolers run on water so they’re only suitable for areas where the temperature is between 45 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. These units will not function properly if the temperature drops below 45 degrees or exceeds 95 degrees since the water vapor won’t condense inside of it.

Energy Consumption: Evaporative coolers require a source of electricity, so you’ll need to take that into consideration when deciding where to place the unit. If you’re placing it in an area with direct sunlight or near the shore where there is heavy wind, choose one that will perform well without putting excess stress on your electrical system.

Brand: There are a wide variety of brands that produce evaporative coolers such as DeLonghi, NewAir , Soleus Air and Arctic Cove just to name a few. It’s important that you find one that has positive reviews from professional reviewers or customers so you’ll know it will work well before purchasing. Most popular brands offer readily available replacement parts and warranties so you can worry less about having your cooler fixed or replaced if something goes wrong.

Design:  Evaporative coolers come in a wide variety of designs so you can find one that suits your needs and preferences. You’ll want to check the size, shape, and color before making your final purchase to make sure it will stand out in your yard or home while also fitting comfortably in the space where you plan to set it up.

Packaging: In most cases, evaporative coolers come fully assembled so you can begin using it as soon as possible. It’s important to check the packaging carefully before taking the unit home to make sure all the parts are there and that no damage has been done during shipment. Most units only require a small amount of assembly so this should not be a major concern.

Energy Usage: Evaporative coolers are more energy efficient than using a conventional air conditioning unit, so you’ll save money on your electricity bill in the long run. You can also find models that come with fans or optional features that will allow you to use less electricity when they’re not in operation.

Maintenance: Evaporative coolers require minimal maintenance since they don’t have any parts that deteriorate over time like an air conditioner does. However, it’s important to clean and maintain them at least twice per year to ensure optimal performance. The frequency of cleaning depends on how often the unit is used but, in most cases, you’ll need to remove dust and debris from the water tank once every two weeks ifs only used occasionally throughout the year.

Special features: Evaporative coolers come with a variety of special features that may or may not be important to you depending on your lifestyle and preferences. You’ll find models that have remote controls, timers, fans, and various speeds where you can adjust the airflow as needed for optimal results.

Warranty:  Most evaporative coolers come with a one-year limited warranty so you can return the unit to the manufacturer if it stops working properly due to a defect in the materials or workmanship. This allows you to have peace of mind knowing that your purchase is protected from costly repairs or replacements.

Refund Policy:  Since evaporative coolers are non-refundable once they’ve been used, you’ll need to make sure your unit is fully operational before it leaves the warehouse. Most manufacturers will offer a refund if you contact them within 30 days of receiving the cooler and returning it as soon as possible so you don’t lose any money on shipping charges.

Style: Evaporative coolers come in a variety of different styles and designs so you can find one that will fit into your home or yard. You’ll want to check out different models before choosing the one that appeals to you most since color and size do matter when it comes to evaporative coolers.

Elevation needed:  Evaporative coolers require plenty of clearance around the unit so you’ll need to make sure it sits at least 20″ off the ground and can circulate air throughout your home or yard. Most evaporative coolers come with a 19-inch clearance for optimal airflow, but you should choose one that has slightly more room than what you measure as a standard distance to avoid any equipment problems in the future.

Wind: It’s important to check and see how much wind an evaporative cooler need to work properly since they’re not designed for locations where there isn’t enough wind. If you live near tall trees, buildings or other obstructions that block the wind from getting into your yard, you won’t be able to use this type of cooling system since the wind won’t blow through it.

Longevity: Evaporative coolers are less expensive than installing a central air conditioning system in your home so you can expect it to last for at least five years with regular maintenance. However, you should consider buying one if you plan to use it seasonally or only when the weather gets extremely hot since you won’t get much use out of it compared to an air conditioner.

Material:  Evaporative coolers are made from a variety of different materials so you should choose one that will be the most beneficial for your lifestyle and preferences. You should consider getting a unit made from metal or plastic to ensure its sturdy enough to withstand wind, rain, and other outdoor conditions throughout the year.

Mounting Type: You’ll find evaporative coolers that are portable, ceiling mounted or free standing so you can choose one that suits your needs best. If you plan to move the unit around the house or yard, you’ll want to get a portable model but if not, there’s no point in paying more for it than necessary.

Effectiveness:​ Evaporative coolers are less expensive than air conditioners since they don’t require any compressor units or complex wiring to operate. However, they only work down to a certain temperature, so you’ll find that it doesn’t get as cold as an air conditioner does during peak hours of the day.

Durability: If you live in an area where the temperature doesn’t get higher than 100° F, you should choose evaporative coolers since they can withstand hot weather. However, considering that air conditioners are more expensive to purchase and install along with requiring professional service once every 5 years, it’s probably best to get one of these systems if the temperature gets over 110° F on a regular basis.

Power Usage: Evaporative coolers are more energy efficient than air conditioners since they blow cooler air out of the unit, so you don’t have to use an alternative heat source in your home or yard. However, it’s important to note that evaporative coolers only work when the humidity is around 20% or less so you’ll need wind conditions for optimal results.

Extra features: You’ll find that some evaporative coolers come with a variety of extra features you won’t see with other models such as casters for moving them from place to place, automatic timers and more.

The Pros and Cons of portable evaporative cooler


They require very little maintenance, so you’ll spend less time and money fixing them.

There are no complicated settings to learn since they’re controlled by a single knob.

Evaporative coolers are designed for hot weather, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking down if the temperature gets extremely cold outside.


Evaporative coolers only blow air out of the unit so there isn’t an option to adjust airflow or circulate air throughout your entire home or yard.

The unit only works when it’s connected to an electrical source since it doesn’t run on batteries or gas like other cooling systems do.

You may need more than one evaporative cooler based on how large your living space is along with outdoor conditions needed for operation.


How does an evaporative cooler work?

An evaporative cooler works by trapping moisture in the air which causes it to cool down and helps lower humidity levels. This process removes heat from your home or yard and causes the air to expand causing lowered pressure on the inside of the unit while pushing out hotter air through its front vent. Since most units use a fan, they’ll push hot air outside instead of blowing it back into your house like refrigerated air conditioners do.

Who should use evaporative cooling?

Evaporative cooling is great for those who live in hot and humid climates but want a lower electricity bill. Evaporative coolers are also eco-friendly, easy to move room-to-room, provide comfort in home office spaces, and are perfect choices for both indoor and outdoor use during summertime when it’s too hot to enjoy being outdoors.

How often should I empty my portable evaporative cooler?

The general rule of thumb is to replace the water in your unit every 2-3 days, but you may need to replace it depending on how hot it is outside and whether you prefer cold or cool air when using the unit. You won’t have to refill the tank very often if you only use it for a few hours at a time, but if not, plan on draining and refilling it once during each use.

What happens if I forget about my evaporative cooler for a while? 

If you go away on vacation or leave home without draining out the water in your portable evaporative cooler, there’s a chance that mosquitoes will breed inside since foggers, sprays and candles don’t work against them. In turn, you may need to drain the water in your unit and refill it with new water before turning it on again.

Should I use ice in my portable evaporative cooler?

While some people suggest using ice along with a little bit of water to cool down their home or yard during hot weather, most experts agree that adding ice isn’t a good idea since it can damage the fan blades and reduce airflow. If you plan on using a fogger or other equipment but want to lower the humidity level at the same time, just add a layer of ice cubes around the outside of your evaporative cooler without pouring any inside.

Is it possible to sleep with an evaporative cooler running all night long?

Yes, depending on how much you use the unit and which settings you choose. If you’re trying to lower humidity levels but don’t want cold air blowing on you all night, try running your unit during the day while everyone’s out then turning it off at night before going to bed.

How to clean a portable evaporative cooler?

You’ll find that most evaporative coolers are self-cleaning, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning them yourself. However, you may need to wipe around the unit once a month with a damp cloth if it gets dusty from blowing air out.

What happens if my evaporative cooler stops cooling?

Evaporative coolers require a lot of energy for them to work properly so if you notice that your unit isn’t as cold as it should be or isn’t producing any airflow at all, check to see whether the hose has popped off its connection point on the top of the unit. If not, try running it without water first since this often causes problems down the road. In other cases, something could be wrong with the cooling system inside the unit rather than its hose connection.

Does an evaporative cooler require electricity to run?

Yes, you need electricity for your evaporative cooler to work since it doesn’t have batteries or a gas tank inside. However, you won’t have to worry about installing any wiring since most units are cordless and plug directly into an electrical outlet by using a standard outdoor extension cord.

How does an evaporative cooler help my air quality?

Evaporative coolers keep indoor air feeling fresh without adding chemicals to the air which can cause allergies or trigger asthma attacks. Instead of blowing out hot air like windows or central air conditioning systems do, portable evaporative coolers blow out cold water vapor that’s naturally occurring in the air. This helps cut down on pollutants, dust, smoke and allergens for a healthier home or office environment.

Can evaporative coolers be used to lower humidity levels?

Yes, most portable evaporative coolers are designed to bring humidity levels down dramatically which can make hot weather more comfortable. However, keep in mind that this type of cooling system is better suited for use indoors rather than outdoors since it blows out cold water vapor that may leave you feeling chilly compared to traditional air conditioning systems.

Are portable evaporative air conditioners any good?

While evaporative coolers don’t provide a lot of cooling power, they’re a good choice to use in enclosed spaces since they don’t require any installation or professional help to maintain. They also won’t add pollutants into the air like chemical-based air conditioner units can do. In most cases, you should be able to find an evaporative cooler that’s well-suited for your needs whether you need to lower humidity levels in a single room or want something for your home office or living room.

Do portable evaporative coolers work against fires?

Evaporative coolers are rated for use near flammable materials but it’s important to keep them at least one foot away from anything that can burn. For the best results, you should also make sure to never place your evaporative cooler on top of any plastic or other vinyl materials which could melt when exposed to hot air blowing out from the unit itself.

How often should I clean my evaporative cooler?

You shouldn’t have to clean your evaporative cooler on a regular basis unless it’s dusty in your home or office. However, make sure to wipe around the unit once a month with a damp cloth if the surrounding area is dusty since this can reduce its airflow power when dirty particles clog up the fan blades inside.

Do evaporative coolers really work during winter?

Yes, most portable evaporative coolers are powerful enough to help you stay comfortable in rooms that don’t get any natural sunlight throughout the day even during wintertime. However, they’re not designed for use outdoors, so they won’t provide much relief if you want to keep warm while working outside.

What are benefits of using portable evaporative cooler?

Evaporative cooling uses much less energy than air conditioning. They are also environmentally friendly, since they don’t cause ozone depletion or contribute to global warming the way that traditional AC units do.

Portable evaporative coolers can reduce your energy bill by up to 30% per month in hot climates, according to research from Texas A&M University. On average, most households save around $100 per year through reduced electricity bills when using an evaporative cooler compared with an air conditioner. This means that most small single room coolers will pay for themselves within one or two years.

If you live in an area where humidity is low (under 40%), you can enjoy all the benefits of energy-saving evaporative cooling as well as the higher air flow that’s like a traditional air conditioner.

Evaporative coolers are also easy to move from room-to-room, so you can enjoy cooler temperatures in home office or living room areas during summertime.

Will using an evaporative cooler make my electricity bill go up?

In most cases, using an evaporative cooler will reduce your energy consumption by up to 30%, so you can expect a lower monthly bill. In areas of high humidity, the air passing through the cooler is often warmer than the outdoor air which reduces its effectiveness.

Will my portable evaporative cooler damage the environment?

Evaporative coolers can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the air, which makes them a good choice to use if you’re concerned about helping protect the environment.

How long should portable evaporative cooler run in one go?

This depends on the size and BTU output of your unit but in most cases, you can expect around 4-6 hours running time with each refill, so it’s best to keep an eye on the tank level before it runs out of water during hot summer days when temperatures rise above 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside.


Evaporative coolers are more affordable than most other types of cooling systems which is why they’re so popular in warmer climates across the country. Operating an evaporative cooler will require regular cleaning and maintenance but this effort is well worth it since evaporative cooling units don’t require a water supply or professional installation. If you live in a hot, dry climate with moderate humidity levels an evaporative cooler may be the perfect fit for you so look at our recommended portable cooler page or contact us if you need help finding the right evaporative cooler to buy.