Looking for the best evaporative cooler? From our 100+ evaporative cooler reviews here is our shortlist of the 15 best evaporative coolers for 2016. If you are looking for something to cool your home in warm weather, it is important to understand how evaporative coolers work before considering if they are the right solution for you. Evaporative coolers work best in dry, hot climates. Humidity greatly reduces their ability to cool your home. Also, evaporative coolers need good air circulation. It may seem strange to open windows or turn on an extra fan when using an air cooler but the air flow helps an evaporative cooler work even better. They have an advantage over air conditioners because they are energy efficient and run at a lower cost than comparable sized air conditioners. Also, most evaporative coolers work without a compressor or refrigerant chemicals like an air conditioner. However, an air conditioner will cool the air much more. With an evaporative cooler, you can expect temperatures to drop between 10 and 30 degrees. So if an evaporative cooler fits your needs and climate, here is a list of the top 15 evaporative coolers.
Honeywell CS071AE Indoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
This evaporative cooler is for rooms up to 100 square feet so if you have a small area, such as a bedroom, this sleek, white cooler is a good option. Honeywell makes several evaporative coolers and they all seem to be well constructed. This cooler holds up to 1.8 gallons of water and has handy wheels for portability. It does make a glug sound occasionally but other than the noise of the fan, it is fairly quiet. Also, the water gauge is in the back so not easily readable from the front of the unit. There are three adjustable fan speeds and users report it does a good job cooling 10-20 degrees.
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NewAir AF 310 Electric Tower Fan with Evaporative Cooling
The NewAir Tower Fan is designed for rooms up to 75 square feet. It has a 60 degree oscillating fan and 3 fan speeds. Water is poured into a tray in the back. Users report better cooling if you add ice water. It also features a built in ionizer to reduce dirt and dust. Care is fairly straight forward. The only issues users complain about is the beeping noise when adjusting the cooler and that it only cools a few degrees. However, evaporative coolers are not designed to cool significantly.
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SPT SF-609 Portable Evaporative Air Cooler with Ionizer
Like the NewAir Tower Fan, the SPT SF-609 has a built in ionizer, a filter, and 3 fan speeds. This evaporative cooler is best for smaller rooms and as with any evaporative cooler, needs to be refilled with water regularly (about every 12 hours with this unit). It cools a small to medium sized room about 10-15 degrees. Users report few issues with the cooler as long as you use it in a dry climate with good ventilation. For more information about ionizers, see what is an ionizer
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Honeywell CS10XE Indoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
This Honeywell evaporative air cooler has a unique, sleek oval design. It is very portable and features a 2.6 gallon water tank. It works best with cool water and good air circulation for rooms up to 175 square feet. It is also proof that an evaporative cooler does not need to look like an industrial box to do its job.
Luma Comfort EC110s Portable Evaporative Cooler
This recommended evaporative cooler is another sleekly designed unit with a circular fan head and silver base below it. The manufacturer boasts that it has cyclonic cooling technology but users report it functions like most evaporative coolers: it works well in a dry climate with cool water and good air circulation. It also features a digital control panel and 3 cooling speeds. Users do note that it is a good idea to put ice water in the larger of the two water trays for cooler air. Putting ice in the smaller tray can slow the function of the fan. But at full capacity, this cooler lowers room temperature 20-30 degrees. It is best for rooms up to 250 square feet.Check Price on Amazon: Luma Comfort EC110s Evaporative Cooler
LivingBasix LB400 Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
This evaporative cooler is called a multi-use system because it purifies, cools, and humidifies. It is unclear how much purifying this unit does but it has a good fan and cooling system for an evaporative cooler. It has a fairly small water tank (1.5 gallon) but is easy to clean and quite reliable. Users who needed repairs said the customer service and 1 year warranty for the LB400 were great. This unit is perfect for an area up to 250 square feet.Check Price on Amazon: LivingBasix LB400 Evaporative Cooler
Honeywell CL30XC Indoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
This Honeywell evaporative cooler is a compact gray unit with smooth moving wheels and a good fan. The water tray is located at the top and can be loaded with water or ice. This cooler does have a low hum while it runs because of the fan but it is more like white noise than annoying. Users report it cools rooms up to 300 square feet well.Check Price on Amazon: Honeywell CL30XC Portable Evaporative Cooler
Honeywell CO25AE Indoor/Outdoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
The CO25AE evaporative cooler is very similar in style and features to the CL30XC (listed above) except that the CO25AE is made for both indoor and outdoor use, has 4 fan speeds and a timer which can be set for up to 8 hours. It also has an LED control panel. This air cooler has a water and ice tray and cools an area up to 300 square feet. For a clear, visual explanation of how this cooler works, seeCheck Price on Amazon: Honeywell CO25AE Indoor/Outdoor Evaporative Cooler
KuulAire PACKA43 Portable Evaporative Cooling Unit
The KuulAire evaporative coolers are sturdy looking and though a bit boxy, cleanly designed.
The PACKA43 has a 4 gallon water capacity, 3 speed fan, and a timer. It also has durable caster wheels and an easy to use control pad. It effectively cools a room up to 175 square feet if it is dry and air is well circulated. Users report the fill tray is small and difficult to fill. One user said to be sure the cooling pad is fully wet and to press the cool button for best results. This unit comes with a 1 year warranty.
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KuulAire PACKA53 Portable Evaporative Cooling Unit
This KuulAire model features a 4 gallon capacity, 3 fan speeds, and a timer. It cools rooms up to 325 square feet effectively if it is dry and there is good air circulation. A few users reported problems with water leaking and the fan pump so check your model for these issues so that you can exchange for a working unit if necessary. This unit runs at 500 CFM. For more information about CFM rates, see CFM explainedCheck Price on Amazon: KuulAire PACKA53 Evaporative Cooling Unit
Port A Cool PACCYC02 Cyclone 2000 Portable Evaporative Cooler
The PACCYC02 is pricier than many of the other evaporative coolers but users report it is sturdy and effective but it is very industrial looking. This model has a 10 gallon water capacity, garden hose hook up, and a durable 1 piece design. Since Port A Cool makes the Kuul evaporative coolers, they use the same cooling pad for both brands. Users say this model uses much less electricity than an air conditioner and lowers room temperature by 20-30 degrees. It is best for rooms up to 500 square feet. However a few users report that the unit arrived damaged from shipping. They were either able to repair it themselves or get a replacement.
Port A Cool PAC2KCYC01 Cyclone 3000 Portable Evaporative Cooler
The PAC2KCYC01 is the largest Port A Cool model, designed for spaces up to 700 square feet. It has a nice 16 gallon water capacity and garden hose hook up. Like the smaller model, it uses little electricity and cools room temperature by 20-30 degrees. User report few problems and are happy with the construction and cooling efficiency.Check Price on Amazon: Port A Cool PAC2KCYC01 Cyclone 300 Evaporative Cooler
Luma Comfort EC220W High Power Evaporative Cooler
The EC220W is the largest and most powerful of the Luma Comfort line. It works indoor or outdoors and cools room temperature about 20 degrees. Users do report it is hard to fill with water and that it is important to monitor that the water level doesn’t get too low. It also is the size of a clothes washer so it will not tuck away into a corner. But this powerful, durable cooler works in rooms up to 650 square feet and is much more energy efficient than air conditioning. It is rated a 1650 CFM.
Luma Comfort EC220W Evaporative Cooler Review
Honeywell CO60PM Commercial Indoor/Outdoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
As the name implies, this evaporative cooler is designed for heavy use in larger areas (up to 850 square feet). It has openings to cool on 3 sides with 16 inch fan blades and can be hooked up to a continuous water supply but has a 15.8 gallon water tank as well. The electronic display is easy to use. Users report that hooking up the water supply can be a bit tricky but that the unit is well constructed. Others said that customer service was quick to respond to any malfunctions or difficulties. It is rated a 1540 CFM.
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Soleus Air MT1-19-32 Humidibreeze Portable Misting System
This nice little system is not an evaporative cooler but uses a fan and misting system to cool in hot, dry climates. The 4 liter tank provides a powerful cooling mist. It can be used indoor or outdoor and cools well. The drawbacks are that the fan is not oscillating and the water tank needs to be filled frequently. Because of this, the mister cools directly in front of the unit rather than around the room. If you need a solution for outdoor dining or a similar activity, this misting system is a good solution.
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For more advice on choosing evaporative coolers, please read 17 Tips on How to Choose Evaporative Coolers
Other Best Evaporative Cooler to Also Consider
Here are the 15 best evaporative coolers we have shortlisted for 2016. Want to nominate another top evaporative cooler? Please comment below.