Choosing the best evaporative cooler
When shopping for an evaporative cooler, you have to ask yourself a few different questions and consider a list of factors. Some factors might be more important to you than others. For example, if you don’t have too much money to spend on your cooler, you’ll want to find the best value model that fits into your desired price range. Or perhaps if you’re trying to find a cooler for a large home or space, you’ll need to focus on one with a lot of cooling coverage and high fan speed settings to cover all that space, rather than a smaller and weaker model.
Ultimately, choosing the best evaporative cooler is all about analysing your own situation, considering why you want the cooler, how you’re going to be using it, how much you’re willing to spend, and what features matter the most to you.
Maybe you only need a small, budget model like the Luma Comfort EC111B
, for example, or perhaps you need a more powerful and feature-filled model that can handle larger spaces and comes with additional options, like the Honeywell CO60PM
. Read on to learn about the individual factors and aspects of evaporative coolers.
Voltage essentially tells us the electrical power of an evaporative cooler. In terms of voltage, these devices tend to range from 110 to 120V. An example of a 120V is the Essick Air Window Evaporative Cooler, N44W, which will typically have a stronger output and potential than a lower voltage alternative. Voltage isn’t a hugely important factor when choosing an evaporative cooler, but it’s still worth keeping an eye on this detail when comparing different models.
Every evaporative cooler comes with different fan speed settings. Some may only have a couple of options, while others, like the Hessaire Products MC61M Mobile Evaporative Cooler, will have three different fan speeds, and others may have even more. If you’re trying to find the best rated evaporative cooler, having more fan speeds is always better.
Additional fan speeds give you more flexibility with your cooler, letting you adjust the speed to suit the conditions of the space.
Some coolers will also come with remote controls or automated timer settings to change their fan speeds more easily, giving you even more control and flexibility with your cooler.
The air flow of an evaporative cooler tells us how much air the device can move when set on its top fan speed. This aspect is measured in CFM, which stands for cubic feet per minute. The higher the CFM rating, the move air will be moved by the device. It’s important to note that the CFM of a cooler doesn’t tell the whole story, as various other factors will affect how powerful your cooler really is.
However, a higher air flow is always a good thing and is a strong indicator of an efficient cooler. The Cool-Space AVALANCHE-36-VD Swamp Cooler
boasts of air flow rising up to 9,700 CFM on max settings.
This is one of the first factors to think about when buying an evaporative cooler. These coolers aren’t all equal. Some are able to handle huge spaces, while others are best kept in smaller areas and won’t have much of an impact in a large home or open environment. The cooling coverage of an evaporative cooler tells us how much space it can cool down. A device like the Honeywell CO30XE Portable is a good option for a small home or apartment, offering up to 320sqm of coverage, while a cooler like the Hessaire Products MC61M Mobile Evaporative Cooler is able to offer much more coverage and is a better suited fan for a whole house.
The water reservoir of a swamp cooler tells us how much water it can hold.
The more water in the machine, the greater the cooling and the longer it will last before needing to be opened up for refilling.
Some coolers, like the Cool-Space AVALANCHE-36-VD Swamp Cooler
, are able to store several dozen gallons of water at once, but are much heavier and difficult to move around as a result. Others, like the COSTWAY Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
, only have small reservoirs but are more manoeuvrable.
Dimensions and weight
Evaporative coolers tend to be quite big and bulky devices. They’re heavy and hard to move around for many people, so it’s important to think about their size, their weight, where you’re going to install them and how often, if at all, you plan on moving them around. Measuring up at under 17 lbs, the Whirlpool WPEC12GW is the most compact and convenient evaporative coolers. It’s highly lightweight and easy to move around, which can be very helpful for those who plan on using the cooler in different rooms around the home.
If you’re hesitating between two different evaporative coolers, it might be a good idea to consider any extra features each model has in order to help you decide on the best one. Some of the cheaper coolers out there won’t come with any extra features, but some come with a lot of useful bonuses like a remote control to help you operate the cooler and adjust fan speeds from a distance or timers that let you configure the cooler to change speed or turn itself off after a set amount of time. The Luma Comfort EC111B, for example, comes with a timer and remote control, while the Honeywell CO30XE Portable comes with a special filter for removing dust from the air.
Evaporative coolers aren’t always cheap. They can cost anywhere from one hundred dollars up to almost a thousand. Before shopping for your next swamp cooler, it’s important to consider your budget and calculate how much you’re willing to spend on the device. More expensive coolers will typically be more efficient and effective overall, having additional features, stronger fan speeds, and better cooling coverage than others, so if you want the best performance, you may have to pay a little extra. However, it’s perfectly possible to find great value evaporative coolers like the NewAir AF-1000W.