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Best Evaporative Swamp Coolers

10 Best Evaporative Swamp Coolers 2022: Reviews & Buying Guide

Looking for an evaporative swamp cooler?

You've come to the right place. 

If you want to cool a room, you have two options: a conventional air conditioner such as portable AC or a window unit, or an evaporative swamp cooler.

Conventional air conditioner systems use a chemical – called a refrigerant – to suck heat from the air in the room. An evaporative swamp cooler uses water and a fan to provide evaporative cooling.

The fan draws warm air over the water, causing it to evaporate, which cools the air and humidifies it as well.

A swamp cooler doesn't cool as much or as quickly as an AC – usually only by a few degrees. Because of its humidifying effect, an evaporative swamp cooler is best for a dry and hot climate such as California, Nevada, and Texas.

A swamp cooler is also a great choice if you want to save energy, as it consumes much less electricity compared to an air conditioner.


What's In This Guide? 

In this in-depth buying guide, we review the best evaporative swamp coolers you can buy online. We also explain when to use a swamp cooler, how it works, and how to choose the right one for your cooling needs.

If you prefer conventional air conditioners (e.g., if you live in a humid climate), see our reviews of the best portable AC

We've also reviewed the best small portable air conditioners for smaller rooms, boats, and RVs.


When Do You Need an Evaporative Swamp Cooler?

Evaporative Cooler Statistics

A swamp cooler is not appropriate for all types of weather and climates. Because it humidifies the room as it cools it, only use it when it is dry and hot.

The swamp cooler works best when humidity levels are low (that is, the air is dry), as it allows water to evaporate more efficiently and thus cool the room quicker.

That's why swamp coolers are best for residents of dry and hot states such as those in the southwest US.

You can still use a swamp cooler in locations that are more humid like Florida and Louisiana but keep the windows open to prevent a build-up of moisture in the room. It'll take longer to cool the room.

But if humidity is too high, the room can feel clammy and uncomfortable even with the windows open. In that case, switch to a conventional portable or window AC and wait to use your swamp cooler when it's less humid.

Know What to Expect

We see many negative Amazon reviews on otherwise excellent swamp coolers. The reviews are from customers who should have bought a portable or window air conditioner instead of a swamp cooler.

We'd like to emphasize two things, so you don't waste money on an appliance that's not right for your cooling needs.

1. Swamp coolers are not for humid areas

Take a look at this map by Luma, makers of the Luma Comfort swamp cooler. It shows the best places to use a swamp cooler.

climate for evaporative cooler

Credit: Luma Comfort

If you live on the right-hand side of the map, do not get a swamp cooler. Not only will it make the room muggy, damp, and plain uncomfortable, it won't provide much cooling.

An evaporative cooler needs a hot and dry environment to cool properly.

2. Expect a cool, not chilly, room

A swamp cooler can cool the room to a point where it feels comfortable, but don't expect it to make the space feel chilly. Only an air conditioner can do that.

Typically, an evaporative cooler will bring the room temperature 10-30 degrees down from the outdoor ambient temperature.

This does not apply if you have an extra-powerful swamp cooler. A powerful unit like the Cool-Space AVALANCHE-36-VD (reviewed below), can get the room too cold.


Best Evaporative/Swamp Air Conditioners

Disclamer: All links below go to Amazon.com

  1. 1
     Editor's Pick: Hessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
  2. 2
    Best for Medium Size Rooms: Honeywell 525-729CFM 
  3. 3
    Best for Small Rooms: DeLonghi America
  4. 4
    Best for Outdoor Use: Honeywell CO301PC
  5. 5
     Best for Mobility: Hessaire MC18M Evaporative Cooler
  6. 6
     Best For Large Rooms: Hessaire MC37M
  7. 7
    Best for Home Office: COMFYHOME 2-in-1
  8. 8
    Best for Kids & Pets: SWHOME 3-IN-1 
  9. 9
    Best for Living Rooms: Briza Evaporative Air Cooler
  10. 10
    Best For Personal Use: Evapolar evaLIGHT

Hessaire MC37M
  • Hessaire MC37M

  • Editor's Top Pick
  • Airflow:


    3100 CFM
  • Cooling Area:


    950 sq. Ft.
  • Tank:


    10.3 gal
  • 25" x 17" x 37"
  • 41lbs
  • Timer:


  • Remote control:


Honeywell 525-729CFM
  • Honeywell 525

  • Best for medium size rooms
  • Airflow:


    525-729 CFM
  • Cooling Area:


    320 sq. Ft.
  • Tank:


    7.9 gal
  • 18" x 13.9" x 33.7"
  • 24.9lbs
  • Timer:


  • Remote control:


DeLonghi America
  • DeLonghi EV250WH

  • Best for small rooms
  • Airflow:


    206 CFM
  • Cooling Area:


    Small rooms
  • Tank:


    1.1 gal
  • 13.6" x 12.2" x 29.5"
  • 41lbs
  • Timer:


  • Remote control:


Honeywell CO301PC
  • Honeywell CO301PC

  • Best outdoor swamp cooler
  • Airflow:


    830-1000 CFM
  • Cooling Area:


    460 sq. Ft.
  • Tank:


    5.3 gal
  • 22.4" x 17" x 44.5"
  • 65lbs
  • Timer:


  • Remote control:


Hessaire MC18M
  • Hessaire MC18M

  • Best value
  • Airflow:


    1300 CFM
  • Cooling Area:


    500 sq. Ft.
  • Tank:


    4.8 gal
  • 20" x 10" x 28"
  • 16lbs
  • Timer:


  • Remote control:


Whirlpool WPEC12GW
  • Whirlpool WPEC12GW

  • Best compact
  • Airflow:


    214 CFM
  • Cooling Area:


    425 sq. Ft.
  • Tank:


    1.59 gal
  • 16.5" x 13.4" x 31.5"
  • 16.8lbs
  • Timer:


  • Remote control:


Luma Comfort
  • Luma Comfort

  • Most stylish
  • Airflow:


    500 CFM
  • Cooling Area:


    250 sq. Ft.
  • Tank:


    1.8 gal
  • 12.8" x 11.2" x 34.5"
  • 41lbs
  • Timer:


  • Remote control:


Cool-Space AVALANCHE-36-VD
  • Cool-Space AVALANCHE-36-VD

  • Best for garage or workshop
  • Airflow:


    6400 - 9700 CFM
  • Cooling Area:


    3600 sq. Ft.
  • Tank:


    46 gal
  • 62" x 30" x 70"
  • 295lbs
  • Timer:


  • Remote control:


Phoenix Manufacturing BW3004
  • Phoenix Manufacturing BW3004

  • Best window swamp cooler
  • Airflow:


    3000 CFM
  • Cooling Area:


    600 sq. Ft.
  • Tank:


    Capacity not listed
  • 40" x 30" x 28"
  • 91lbs
  • Timer:


  • Remote control:


Evapolar evaLIGHT
  • Evapolar evaLIGHT

  • Best personal swamp cooler
  • Airflow:


    not listed
  • Cooling Area:


    45 sq. Ft.
  • Tank:


    35 oz.
  • 6.69" x 6.7" x 6.87"
  • 2.8lbs
  • Timer:


  • Remote control:



Top 10 Swamp Coolers: Reviews

Hessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Air Cooler

The Hessaire MC37M is our top recommendation for most homes. It has a powerful 3,100 CFM airflow that cools rooms up to 950 sq. Ft.

With its compact size and caster wheels, the Hessaire MC37M's portability is not a problem – and not just within your home, but outdoors as well.

Pros

  • Powerful airflow that cools large rooms.
  • Easy portability.
  • Adjustable fan speed.
  • Cools spaces quickly and efficiently.
  • Good value for money.

Cons

  • No timer.
  • Lower fan speed would have been great for cooler weather.

Our Review 

The powerful airflow of the Hessaire MC37M makes it ideal for use in any room, including large open-style living rooms.

You can also use it in your porch, garage, or gazebo, though cooling performance is reduced when in an open space.

When humidity is low, and it's hot outside, the Hessaire MC37M cools a room almost as fast as an AC. Users say the temperature difference between the outside and inside can be as large as 25 degrees.

One reason the Hessaire MC37M cools so well is its multiple air intake panels. Instead of the usual one panel like in most swamp coolers, the Hessaire MC37M sucks air from three sides.

This allows it to cool a large amount of air faster and more efficiently.

Another reason for its high cooling performance is the type of media it uses. A pump carries water to the hi-density XeL50 rigid media, which has a much wider evaporation surface area compared to other types of media.

The wide surface area increases the amount and speed of evaporation, which enhances cooling performance.

For its power, the Hessaire MC37M is surprisingly compact. It doesn't take up much floor space.

It's also easily portable thanks to heavy-duty casters. You can push it from room to room or even take it outside.

Like all evaporative coolers, you have to regularly fill the Hessaire MC37M's tank with water. A full tank lasts about 12 hours. If you don't want to keep filling the tank, connect a hose to provide a constant supply of water.

Issues & Limitations 

Several customers have actually complained that the Hessaire MC37M is too powerful. This is usually a good thing but can be a problem on a cooler day when you need less cooling.

The Hessaire MC37M has adjustable fan speeds, but the lowest speed is not low enough. A much lower fan setting would have been great.

Other missing features we would have liked include remote control, a built-in timer, and auto shut-off when the water level gets low.

Bottom Line 

Despite a few missing features, the Hessaire MC37M is still a great choice for most homes thanks to its powerful cooling performance, easy portability, and a bargain price.


Honeywell 525-729CFM Evaporative Cooler

For medium-sized rooms, we recommend the Honeywell 525-729CFM evaporative cooler. It has an airflow of 525-729 CFM, enough for rooms up to 320 square feet.

Pros

  • Large tank, meaning you don't have to refill the water as frequently.
  • Includes an ice compartment.
  • Includes remote control and timer.
  • It can be safely used outdoors.
  • Has a hose connection if you don't want to keep refilling.

Cons

  • Loud.

Our Review

The Honeywell 525-729 CFM evaporative cooler is perfect for most rooms. It's not overly large but has enough airflow to cool a 320 square foot or smaller bedroom, living room, or home office.

You can also use it outside on the porch, in your backyard, or on the deck. It has a weather-resistant design.

Despite its size, the Honeywell evaporative cooler has one of the largest water tanks among our picks. The 7.9-gallon tank can last several hours before you need to refill it.

If you don't want to keep adding water, there's an option to connect a hose for constant water supply.

The water tank is detachable to make it easy to fill it with water.

For the days when it's hotter than usual, there's a dedicated ice compartment you can fill with ice. The cooler will blow cooler air through the ice melts pretty quickly. It's ideal only for temporary relief.

The Honeywell cooler also comes with a carbon filter to remove dust and allergens from the air. You also get a remote control with which you can set a timer, adjust fun speed, swing the vents, and turn the unit on or off.

Size-wise, the Honeywell cooler has a tall and narrow design. It'll easily fit in small spaces since vertical space is not an issue in most homes.

Issues & Limitations 

Even with the fan set at the lowest speed, the Honeywell evaporative cooler is loud. If you are using it in a small enclosed space, it's even louder.

Bottom Line 

If you are looking for a powerful but affordable evaporative cooler for a medium-size room, the Honeywell evaporative cooler is a great choice.


DeLonghi America Portable Evaporative Cooler

For rooms smaller than 250 sq. Ft. even the compact Honeywell cooler above is overkill. Instead, we recommend the DeLonghi EV250WH.

It's cheaper and has just the right amount of power to cool and humidify a small space.

Pros

  • Perfect for small spaces.
  • Low price.
  • Includes remote control with timer.
  • Includes an air filter and an ice pack.

Cons

  • It works only in small spaces.
  • Not ideal for outdoors.

Our Review 

If you need a cooler for your small bedroom or home office, the DeLonghi EV250WH works great. It's not very powerful but cools spaces smaller than 250 sq. Ft. quickly and efficiently. It's also quieter than most evaporative coolers.

The 1.1-gallon tank needs refilling every five or so hours. Unfortunately, there isn't an option to connect a hose.

The DeLonghi EV250WH includes a washable filter and built-in ionizer to make sure you receive cool and clean air. It also comes with remote control with which you can select different modes, set a timer, and swing the vents.

The control panel on the unit has additional functions, including sleep mode, ionizer, and natural mode.

Another feature we love is the ice pack that's included with the cooler. Put it in the freezer and then pop it into the cooler when you need faster cooling.

The DeLonghi EV250WH is compact and easily portable. It has casters that make it easy to move it from room to room.

Issues & Limitations 

Don't attempt to use the DeLonghi EV250WH cooler in a room larger than 250 sq. ft. It'll be no better than a fan.

We also don't recommend it for outdoor use unless you place it very close to you.

Bottom Line 

The DeLonghi EV250WH is not just good for small rooms; it's also a great choice for other small spaces such as RVs, boats, apartments, and tiny homes.


Honeywell CO301PC Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler

Need a swamp cooler you can use on your deck, backyard, or porch? We recommend the Honeywell CO301PC evaporative cooler.

It is designed specifically to cool outdoor spaces and large open rooms. A high-pressure blower ensures the cool air travels far and wide.

Pros

  • Ideal for outdoors and large rooms.
  • Rugged weatherproof design.
  • Option to connect a garden hose.
  • Includes a remote control and drink holders.
  • Wheels for easy portability.

Cons

  • Pricey.

Our Review

Evaporative cooling works great outdoors. Unlike portable ACs, swamp coolers don't use more energy when they have to cool a large or unlimited space. They are just as energy efficient outdoors as they are indoors. 

But most swamp coolers work best if it's very close to you. If you need to cool the entire porch or outdoor dining area, you need something more powerful.

The Honeywell CO301PC's airflow is rated at 830-1000 CFM. That's powerful.

Combined with the high-pressure blower, the cool air easily covers a large deck or garden.

The Honeywell CO301PC is also perfect for large indoor spaces up to 460 square feet. It's especially ideal for large open style rooms.

One reason the Honeywell CO301PC is perfect for outdoors and large rooms is the double honeycomb pad. The thicker soak pad holds more water, which allows faster and more efficient cooling.

The Honeywell CO301PC is a bit heavy, which is not surprising. But thanks to the casters, you should have no trouble wheeling it outside.

It comes with a 5.3-gallon tank that you need to refill regularly. A low water alarm will let you know when it's time to add more water to the tank. Alternatively, you can connect a hose to provide a constant supply of water.

You can control the cooler using the control panel on the unit or using the included remote control. Using the remote control, you can set an auto-off timer. 

To keep it safe outdoors, the Honeywell CO301PC has a rugged weatherproof design. It can withstand moderate exposure to the elements.

Issues & Limitations

The only limitation of the Honeywell CO301PC evaporative cooler is the price. But considering the cooling power and durable design, it's worth it.

Bottom Line

You can use the Honeywell CO301PC on your porch, near your hammock, or for a BBQ party. No more stuffy and dry outdoor air – just wheel the cooler outside, connect a garden hose (or fill the tank), and enjoy the cool, humid air.

And since you are outside, you don't have to worry about the humidity build-up.

5. Best for Mobility: Hessaire MC18M Evaporative Cooler

Looking for a good quality swamp cooler with powerful airflow at an affordable price? We recommend the Hessaire MC18M.

Looking for a good quality portable swamp cooler with powerful airflow at an affordable price? We recommend the Hessaire MC18M.

It cools up to 500 sq. Ft. and yet is cheaper than most swamp coolers that can cover a smaller area.

Pros

  • Cheap but powerful.
  • Cools large spaces.
  • Includes garden hose adapter.
  • Casters for easy mobility.

Cons

  • So-so build quality.
  • No remote control.
  • Consumes water quickly, requiring frequent refills.

Our Review

The Hessaire MC18M is the best bargain on an evaporative cooler we found. It's cheap but cools a bigger space than pricier coolers.

The reason it costs less is build quality. It's not that bad, but we recommend care when assembling and handling the unit.

Other than that, it works like a charm. The oscillating vents blow plenty of air - 1300 CFM to be specific. That's enough to quickly cool a 500 sq. Ft. or smaller room.

The honeycomb style media increases the density of the media, allowing it to hold more water. This results in faster cooling.

The downside is that the cooler runs through the water quickly. If the fan speed is set high, you'll need to refill the tank every three hours. On low, the tank lasts about eight hours.

The 4.8-gallon tank is easy to refill, and you can add water while the cooler is running. The cooler has a garden hose adapter, so you can connect a hose instead of constantly refilling the tank.

The Hessaire evaporative cooler does not come with a remote control; all functions are available only on the control panel. You can set two modes: fan-only and cooling. Each mode has two fan speeds: Hi and Low. 

Issues & Limitations 

We already mentioned the build quality issue. But don't let it stop you from buying the Hessaire MC18M cooler. With care, it'll last just as long as other swamp coolers. For peace of mind, it comes with a 1-year warranty.

Another issue mentioned by customers is the speed at which the cooler burns through the water. But you can solve this by connecting a garden hose, so you don't need to refill the tank.

We should also mention that the Hessaire MC18M does not come with remote control – a small inconvenience but an inconvenience nonetheless, especially for us lazy types who don't want to get up from the couch.

Bottom Line 

If you want to save money on a powerful swamp cooler, the Hessaire MC18M is the best deal you'll find.


portable swamp cooler

The Hessaire MC37M is the best evaporative air cooler for large rooms, in our opinion. With a powerful airflow of 3,100 CFM, this unit can cool an area up to 750 sq. ft.

Pros

  • Superior polypropylene construction for durability.
  • Powerful airflow cools up large rooms.
  • Adjustable three-stage fan speed.
  • Highly portable and user-friendly.
  • Energy-efficient and wide coverage.

Cons

  • Lacks timer.
  • Average customer support.

Our Review 

The Hessaire MC37M features a premium compact evaporative cooler is that is powerful and portable. You can move it from one room to another without any issue.

The powerful 3,100 CFM of airflow is enough to cool a large 750 sq. ft. room or workspace in no time. It also highly energy-efficient.

You can select from three different fan speeds, and the oscillating louvers will ensure an even distribution of cold air throughout your room. 

This unit uses high-density cooling pads with a wide evaporation surface area that increases cooling performance while making it more energy-efficient.

This Hessire portable AC is user-friendly and requires little to no maintenance. Simply fill it with water and enjoy cool air for up to 12 hours non-stop.

Issues & Limitations

While the Hessaire evaporative cooler is equipped with most features found on comparably-priced units if this size, it lacks a built-in timer. 

Also, there is no remote-control, so you have to operate it manually. 

Bottom Line

This evaporative cooler is portable and user-friendly with great cooling performance, making it a fine choice for large rooms.

Specs

AirFlow: 3,100 CFM

Cooling area: 750 sq. ft.

Tank: 10.3 gallon

Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 38 inches

Weight: 39 lbs.

Timer: No

Remote Control: No


7. Best for a Home Office: COMFYHOME 2-in-1 Air Mobile Swamp Cooler

window swamp cooler

Are you looking for a small powerful evaporative cooler for your home office or small garage workspace? 

This COMGYHOME swamp cooler is a great pick for its excellent design, remote control, and super-efficient energy use.

Pros

  • The high-end build is durable.
  • Easy to use and maintain.
  • Four pre-programmed modes with remote-control functionality.
  • Sleek and stylish design is perfect for an office.
  • Space-efficient and portable. 

Cons

  • Can be a bit loud on high fan speed. 

Our Review 

The COMFYHOME evaporative room cooler is perfectly designed to cool medium-sized offices. It features a sleek and smart design that blends well with office decor.

This portable evaporative AC comes uses a honeycomb shaped evaporative cooling media that ensures fast and effective cooling. 

You can set the fan speed to three different levels, low, medium, and high.

This cooler is really simple to operate on a set-and-forget basis, with an 8-hour timer and remote control. 

This COMFYHOME AC is compact and lightweight - you can move it around easily.

This AC unit has a one-gallon reservoir capacity that will keep a 250 sq. ft. area cool for many hours. 

The installation is simple, and the energy-efficient cooling performance gives you ultimate comfort without racking up the monthly bills. 

Issues & Limitations

The unit has a nice modern design, is sturdily built and perfect for a busy home office. The only issue we have is the sound level when the fan is on high - although it is definitely a soft white noise sound, it may bother some who need complete silence to work.

Bottom Line

With an energy-efficient design, beautiful design, timer and remote-control, this COMFYHOME cooler is just the perfect choice for any home or small office space. 

Specs

Airflow: Not specified

Cooling area: 250 sq. ft.

Tank: 1 gallon

Dimensions: ‎34 x 14 x 11 inches

Weight: 15.27 lbs.

Timer: Yes

Remote Control: Yes


swamp cooler for garage

Need a new portable air conditioner that can be safely operated near kids and pets? Get your hands on this SWHOME unit. 

The standup portable design and the low-noise operation allows safe and effective cooling without concern for safety.

Pros

  • Two ice boxes for rapid cooling.
  • 12-hour timer for hands-off use.
  • Stylish design
  • Safely contained fan system
  • Super-quiet
  • Four wheels for portability.
  • Large water capacity of 7 liters.

Cons

  • A bit expensive

Our Review

The SWHOME 3-in-1 portable AC features a highly effective safety grid covering the powerful fan inside, making it the perfect choice for homes with kids and pets.

This cooler boasts 3-in-1 functionality - it can operate as a fan, a humidifier, and an evaporative cooler.

One of the best things about this portable air conditioner is its low-noise operation. It will keep your room cool without making its presence known. In addition, the built-in 12-hour timer makes it a hands-off appliance. 

With the remote-control, you can adjust all the settings without getting up from your chair.

The installation and maintenance are straightforward - just follow the excellent detailed user manual in the package.

This AC also comes with two ice boxes that you can use to enhance cooling effect. Plus, the sizeable seven-liter tank capacity does not need frequent refills. 

Issues & Limitations

The only issue we have with the SWHOME evaporation cooler is that it’s expensive compared to other models of its size. 

Bottom Line

The safe grid design and ultra-quiet performance make this unit suitable for homes with kids and pets. It is durable, user-friendly, and portable. 

Specs

AirFlow: Customizable

Cooling area: Not specified

Tank: 7 liters

Dimensions: ‎31 x 14 x 14 inches

Weight: 16.96 lbs.

Timer: Yes

Remote Control: Yes


9. Best for Living Rooms: Briza Evaporative Air Cooler

window mount swamp cooler

Want a stylish compact air conditioner for your living room? 

With a large water tank encased in a compact package, the Briza air cooler provides superior cooling performance.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight design.
  • Stylish look – perfect for a living room.
  • Includes remote control.
  • Large water tank capacity of 8L.
  • Backed by a one-year warranty.

Cons

  • The water level window is not properly marked.
  • Can be loud on highest fan speed.

Our Review 

This Briza evaporative air cooler features a beautiful black and white body that will blend perfectly with any modern living room decor. 

This unit combines an air fan, humidifier, and an evaporative cooler into one unit.

A touch screen on the front allows you to adjust the settings with a single touch. Plus, the remote control lets you operate the unit while relaxing on your couch.

What we most love about this swamp cooler is how compact it is. It does not take much space and can be used without being seen in medium-sized living rooms. 

The 80° oscillating fan has three different speed levels to provide an even distribution of a cool breeze throughout the living room.

This energy-efficient swamp cooler will also help reduce your monthly utility bill. 

With a large water tank capacity of 8 liters, the unit will not require constant refilling. 

Issues & Limitations

The main issue with this swamp cooler is that it can be too loud while operating on high fan speed. Enough to make you turn the TV up. 

Plus, it is difficult to see the water level window (even with a flashlight) due to poor marking. 

Bottom Line

This Briza evaporative cooler is a great pick for your living room due to its compact design, durability, and value. It is space-saving and an energy-efficient unit for keeping your rooms cool. 

Specs

AirFlow: Customizable

Cooling area: N/A

Tank: 8 liters

Dimensions: ‎15 x 15 x 25 inches

Weight: 10 lbs.

Timer: No

Remote Control: Yes


Evapolar evaLIGHT Evaporative Air Cooler

A personal swamp cooler like Evapolar is perfect for your desk or bedside. You can also place it on the coffee table as you watch TV or read a book.

Pros

  • Compact design – takes up very little space.
  • USB powered.
  • Integrated night light.
  • Easy portability.
  • Quiet.

Cons

  • Water doesn't last long.
  • Leaks easily if it isn't on a completely flat surface.
  • The LED light doesn't last long.

Our Review 

Evapolar evaLIGHT is like a small desk or bedside fan, but with decent cooling capability. Instead of just moving air around, it actually cools it by 5-10 degrees from the ambient temperature.

Evapolar is USB-powered, so you can easily use it on your work desk or your bedside. It's also perfect for camping – just plug it into a power bank or solar generator.

Note that this is a personal space cooler, so check your expectations. You need to be within a few feet of it to feel the cool breeze. It cools an area of approximately 45 sq. Ft.

The tank holds only 35 oz. of water. A full tank lasts 4-5 hours. If you want to leave it on through the night, you'll have to wake up in the middle of the night to refill it.

We love the integrated LED lighting. It's handy as a night light or for mood lighting. Of course, you can turn it off if it bothers you.

Issues & Limitations 

The small tank is inconvenient since you have to refill it often. But it's understandable. A bigger tank would have made the cooler bigger and less than ideal for desk or bedside use.

Another issue with the tank is how easily it leaks. If the cooler is not on a completely flat surface or if you disturb it a little bit, some of the water leaks out.

There are also several complaints regarding the LED light. It burns out within days.

Bottom Line 

The Evapolar evaLIGHT provides a convenient and energy-saving way to keep yourself cool without having to buy an expensive room swamp cooler.

It's especially ideal if you don't want to affect the climate of those around you, such as in an office. You can cool just your personal area.

Evapolar evaLIGHT is super quiet, so the noise is not an issue.


Buying Guide: Evaporative Coolers

The market is flooded with options when it comes to evaporative air coolers for a living room.  

To get the best model for your needs, you should consider how todays models differ in several important ways / features. 


What is a Swamp Cooler?

A swamp cooler, or evaporative air conditioner, employs the natural process of evaporation to provide a cool breeze.

Evaporative ACs can effectively reduces temperature down to ~60° F using a simple fan. The fan takes in warm air and passes it over the cooling pads that quickly cool the air, then release it into your space. 

Swamp coolers do not use compressors and refrigerants, which aids in keeping bills low and conserving energy. 

Most swamp coolers are lightweight and portable, as well. 

Evaporative air conditioners can double as a heavy-duty fan to serve both indoors and outdoors. 

Finally, most swamp coolers can be used to humidify rooms to keep the air quality comfortable and cool. 


How Does An Evaporative/Swamp Cooler Work?

swamp coolers working

Ever sat by a lake on a hot day and experienced a cool breeze blowing towards you? A swamp cooler works roughly the same way.

There are four essential components of an evaporative cooler:

  • Water tank – holds the water that will be used to cool air
  • Cooling media – this is where the air is cooled
  • Pump – pumps water from the tank to the cooling media
  • Fan – pulls warm air over the cooling pad and out of the vents

The pump soaks the cooling pad/media with water. The fan then blows warm air over the soaked pad, the same way wind blows over the lake.

The warm air causes water on the media to evaporate. In the process, the air gets cooler.

The air that comes out of the vents is cooler and more humid. The fan distributes it around the room for even cooling.

How much the unit cools, air depends on ambient temperature and relative humidity. Swamp coolers are most effective when it is hot and dry.


Types of Swamp/Evaporative Coolers

Portable swamp coolers: These are the most common types of evaporative coolers. They are large enough to cool an entire room, but are still portable for easy room to room mobility. 

Window swamp coolers: These are like window ACs, but they use evaporative cooling instead of a compressor. Like a window AC, a window-mounted swamp cooler provides good cooling performance with minimal noise.

Personal swamp coolers: These are mini ultra-portable evaporative coolers designed to cool the area immediately around the unit. A personal swamp cooler is perfect for your work desk, coffee table or bedside. 

Outdoor swamp coolers: Outdoor evaporative coolers work the same way as indoor ones. However, outdoor swamp coolers tend to be bigger, have more powerful motors and large fans to blow cool air across a wider area, and are designed to withstand the elements. Most also have a garden hose connection to save you the trouble of constantly refilling the tank. 

Industrial swamp coolers: Industrial evaporative coolers are huge units that blow out massive amounts of cool air. They are designed for large open areas such as a factory floor or warehouse. They are also great for garages and workshops. 


Air Conditioner Vs. Swamp Cooler

Air conditioner vs. swamp cooler

An air conditioner, whether it's a central AC, a portable AC, or a window AC, uses a compressor and a refrigerant to cool the air.

A swamp cooler, on the other hand, relies on water and a fan to cool air.

This creates significant differences between ACs and swamp coolers.

Air Conditioners

Swamp Coolers

Most have a programmable thermostat – you can select a specific temperature

You cannot select a temperature – cooling depends on relative humidity and ambient temperature

Works in any climate

They work best in hot and low-humidity climates

Most cool and dehumidify

All swamp coolers cool and humidify

Other than replacing/washing filters, they don’t require any ongoing maintenance

Swamp coolers need to be refilled with water every few hours

They use quite a bit of energy

Swamp coolers provide up to 75% energy savings compared to conventional ACs

ACs can cool to a very low temperature

Swamp coolers can cool a room but not to the same degree as ACs – don’t expect to feel chilly


Pros and Cons of A Swamp Cooler

Pros

  • Generally cheaper than air conditioners.
  • Quieter than ACs since they don't have a compressor.
  • Swamp coolers are more environmentally-friendly compared to ACs – they don't use a refrigerant, and they consume less electricity.
  • You save money on your power bill.
  • Perfect for dry environments – the cooler cools and humidifies at the same time.
  • Easy to set up – no venting required.
  • It can be used indoors or outside.

Cons

  • They cool a room slower. Additionally, they can't get a room as cool as an AC would.
  • No programmable thermostat – you cannot select a comfortable temperature.
  • Not ideal for humid places like Florida.
  • Require frequent water refilling.

What to Look for When Buying a Swamp Cooler

best rated swamp coolers

There are certain features that you must look for while getting a new evaporative swamp cooler. 

The following features will help you make the most of the unit and make an informed decision when buying the best evaporative air cooler.

Cooling Power (CFM)

One of the primary factors to consider when picking a new swamp cooler is matching the evaporative cooling power to your room size.

A too-large evaporative AC unit will make a small room humid and uncomfortable. 

Similarly, a too-small cooler in a large room won’t provide adequate cooling.

Evaporative ACs are sized in airflow using the metric cubic feet of are per minute, or CFM. 

Higher CFM coolers will pass more air and cool the space more quickly than lower-CFM units. 

To identify the CFM you need, a good rule of thumb is to calculate the volume of the room (height x width x length) and divide by two. 

Tank Size

Water holding tank size is essential because a larger tank will save you from the trouble of refilling frequently. 

A small tank empties quickly, requiring refills multiple times throughout the day. 

Generally, larger units are equipped with enough water capacity to operate continuously for 8-9 hours without requiring a refill.

Water Bin vs. Permanent Water Supply

While some units directly connect to a water supply or a garden hose, most come with a refillable bin or an internal water tank. 

Connecting an evaporative AC to a permanent water supply is really convenient because you won't have to manually refill it every day. 

That said, continuously-supplied swamp coolers require careful installation and are generally larger and more expensive. 

Indoor vs. Outdoor Use

Before buying a swamp cooler, you need to decide whether you want to use it outdoor, as well. Most smaller units will not work outside.

A larger evaporative AC with an airflow of at least 1,000 CFM (we recommend 3,000 CFM+) can help cool outdoor/backyard patio spaces. Just make sure it’s weather-resistant.

Timer

We recommend always looking for a unit with a in-built timer - single-day or 12 hours at least.  This feature lets you to program the cooler to switch on and off at specific times, which preserves water supply and conserves energy without any manual intervention.

Price

Swamp cooler prices are widely variable, mostly depending on the room size, style, airflow, and other features. 

It is better to decide your budget first and then select a suitable option. 

Remote control

It’s always convenient to change the settings without getting up from your chair. The units with remote control functions allow you to adjust settings and turn them on or off from a distance.

Filter

Some models on the market come with washable and replaceable air and/or water filters. This helps remove dust and allergens from the air passing through the cooler.

Casters

Customers often overlook this feature. 

However, it proves very helpful in moving the cooler from room to room. 


Final Thoughts

portable swamp cooler

A swamp cooler is not for everyone, but where it works well, it has many advantages over an air conditioner.

It cools a space to a comfortable level while using much less energy and making less noise.

About the Author Tom Hanson

I’ve worked as an HVAC tech in Phoenix, AZ for the past 10 years. I created CoolAndPortable.com to help home owners select the right portable air conditioner, cooler or air purifier for their needs & budget in just a few minutes.

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