I’d never heard of evaporative coolers until very recently, when visiting my sister in law. She had what I thought was the air conditioning running, with all the windows open!
Turns out the best evaporative coolers work totally differently to air conditioners. So, if you’re wondering how the best air coolers work, I’ve got all the info right here for you.
First, be sure to read all about things to consider when searching for the best evaporative cooler, Australia. Then take a look at our in-depth portable evaporative air cooler reviews and we’ll answer the question “what is the best evaporative cooler on the market”
Quick Reference – Best Evaporative Coolers, 2020
- Dimplex DCEVP6 Portable Evaporative Cooler
- DeLonghi EV290 Evaporative Cooler
- Lennox 10 Litre Evaporative Cooler
- Pronti 3.5L Evaporative Cooler
- PolyCool CV800 4in1
- Devanti 8.5L Evaporative Cooler
- Yiwa Practical Air Cooler
- Air Cooler, 3-in-1 Mini
Comparison Chart – Best Air Cooler
Evaporative Air Cooler vs Air Conditioner
Whether an evaporative air cooler or portable air conditioner is best for your home depends on the climate you live in.
If you live in a dry climate, an evaporative cooler could be a great option for your home. There are pros and cons to each but, usually, an evaporative cooler is cheaper and more energy efficient.
Another benefit of evaporative coolers is they don’t need the exhaust hose and window kit to get rid of heat produced, like portable air conditioners do.
If you live in a humid area you should take a look at our best portable air conditioners buying guide instead.
Common Questions About Evaporative Coolers
What is an evaporative air cooler?
So, here’s the sciencey bit. I’ll try make it as easy to understand as possible!
The best evaporative air coolers all work in basically the same way. They use the surrounding heat energy in the air to turn water into vapour and distribute it back around. So, the heat is used up and cooler water vapour is produced.
A fan draws the hot, dry air into the unit and through damp pads which turns the liquid water, in those pads, into water vapour. Another fan then blows that water vapour back out into the surrounding area, thereby lowering the temperature of the room.
How well do evaporative coolers work?
Evaporative coolers can be one of the best room coolers in the right conditions. The drier the air in your house the more effective they will work and the more noticeable results will be.
As long as you learn how to use portable evaporative coolers properly they can be a viable alternative to air conditioners. Make sure to have them near a window or door left ajar so there is a steady air flow.
It’s true that air conditioners will probably deliver better cooling power in most cases. However, considering the huge difference in price, if you have the right climate evaporative coolers can be a very good alternative.
Do air coolers work in humid climates?
No, the air needs to be hot and dry for evaporative coolers to work. Even the best rated evaporative coolers can’t work if the air is already filled with water.
How much water does an evaporative cooler use?
Evaporative coolers, use water to cool the air and that has to come from somewhere. Portable coolers need to be refilled manually to keep the pads moist.
Make sure to keep this in mind when shopping for the best portable air cooler. Look for models with a large tank capacity so you won’t have to refill them as often.
How much water the cooler will use varies widely and will depend on the power of the machine as well as a number of other factors.
Other Features – Best Portable Evaporative Cooler, Australia
You can invest in evaporative cooling systems to cool a whole home but, obviously, these are very expensive.
Portable evaporative coolers that can cool a room are much more cost effective and could be the best option if the weather is only hot part of the year.
When looking for the best portable evaporative cooler Australia has, castor wheels are a big advantage. A lighter unit will also make it easier for you to move it from room to room.
Most evaporative air coolers are much more energy efficient than air conditioners and will definitely save you money on your energy bill.
There are no complicated parts or complex systems needed in evaporative cooling so they use a lot less power.Testing has shown that most portable evaporative coolers are only slightly less energy efficient than a ceiling fan!
It’s a good idea to check the energy efficiency of a model before buying and, generally, the cheap units use a little more power.
As with everything in life, you get what you pay for.
The best evaporative air conditioners vary widely in price (although they are usually always cheaper than air con units) and a rock bottom price will usually mean a lower quality unit.
However, some of the more expensive models may look flash and trendy but that doesn’t necessarily mean they work better. Make sure to take a look at our evaporative cooling fans reviews so you can be sure you’re paying for performance and not just design.
Portable Evaporative Cooler Reviews
It can be hard to find reliable best evaporative cooler reviews online. A lot of people buy evaporative air coolers either, under the impression that they are air conditioners or without understanding they only work in dry climates.
This means there are a lot of, unjustified, negative reviews out there. I’ve done some serious research to make sure I’m really offering the best options here.
The best evaporative air cooler review
Dimplex DCEVP6 Portable Evaporative Cooler
The Dimplex is our pick for the best air cooler for homes. It’s well under a metre tall with a small footprint so it’s very unobtrusive in any room.
The 6 litre tank capacity and 1.2 litre per hour water usage means the tank only needs refilling every 5 hours, which is impressive for such a small size. If you’d rather not refill the tank so often, you can upgrade to the 20 litre version for an about an extra $100
It comes with a ton of different settings, including 3 modes (natural, normal and sleep), 3 fan speeds and a timer function. The control panel is simple and easy to use but it also comes with a remote control.
The Dimplex weighs about 7kg and the castor wheels are sturdy and make moving the unit from room to room very easy. The louvres also have an auto swing function which a lot of portable coolers don’t seem to have.
If you’re looking for the best portable evaporative coolers, you’d be hard pushed to find something better than the Dimplex.
DeLonghi EV290 Evaporative Cooler
The Delonghi EV290 has a sleek and modern design so it won’t look like an eye sore, making it one of the best home evaporative coolers on the market. This cooler also comes with two ice blocks so the machine can run for longer.
The water tank is only 5.5 litres but thanks to the added ice blocks this model can run for up to 7.5 hours without needing to be refilled. There’s an impressive range of settings, including a 7.5 hour “countdown timer” so you know when to refill, and the Delonghi has a particularly quiet “sleep” setting compared to other coolers.
The Delonghi’s filter system also collects and sterilises dust particles in the air, making the surrounding air cleaner and fresher to breath.
Lennox 10 Litre Evaporative Cooler
This model made it into the top 10 portable evaporative coolers because of its low price. It’s a great option if you just want to cool one small room or outdoor seating area. It does need a good airflow though so needs to be near a window or door, if inside.
The Lennox has an impressive 10 litre capacity water tank meaning it doesn’t need refilling very often and, at only 6kg, it’s very easy to move around the house.
If you want a cheap, no fuss unit, this could be a good option for you. However, remember what I said about “getting what you pay for” and don’t expect miracles.
Pronti 3.5L Evaporative Cooler
The Pronti is a very small unit that would be great to have in an apartment as it’s light, at just 5 kg, and the stable castor wheels mean it can easily be pushed from one room to another.
It’s not suitable for big properties but has a very low power usage so would be perfect for someone wanting to cool a particular room without drastically increasing their power bill.
It has a small 3.5 litre tank but does come with two ice water bottles to extend the run time a little. This unit comes with a remote control and very basic buttons on the unit itself so it’s easy for anyone to choose one of the 3 speed settings.
It does exactly what an evaporative cooler should do with no bells and whistles. Simple!
PolyCool CV800 4in1
The Polycool CV800 is marketed as an industrial evaporative cooler perfect for warehouses and large workshops. However, there is no reason it can’t also be a great option for your home too! Set it up in a room with good airflow and leave the doors open into the adjacent rooms to get some impressive results.
This is also a great option for cooling an outdoor entertaining or dining area. It’s heavier than the other suggestions so not as portable but still has sturdy, lockable castor wheels and it’s possible to push the unit around (although this could be hard on carpet).
The CV800 has an impressive 60 litre water tank and only uses between 2 and 5 litres per hour dependant on the setting you use. So, you can potentially get 10 hours runtime before having to refill the tank!
Online reviewers consistently commend the quality and power you get for a relatively low price.
Devanti 8.5L Evaporative Cooler
The Devanti is another great budget evaporative cooler and comes in at under the $100 mark. It’s another, relatively, small unit but it would be suitable for an apartment or dorm room, as long as there is good airflow from an open window.
The 8.5 litre capacity tank is impressive for such a small machine and will give you around 7 hours run time. It also has a large range of settings including a timer, wind class, fan speed and automatic swing function.
The dust filter will also make sure your air is wonderfully clear and fresh feeling and the Devanti is a real contender for the best air cooler, Australia.
Best personal evaporative cooler reviews
Yiwa Practical Air Cooler
The Yiwa is the perfect desktop evaporative cooler. It’s great for cooling and humidifying the air around your work station or bed to help you sleep better on those hot, dry nights. It’s definitely not going to cool a home room but having the air around your desk or bed constantly circulating can make a big difference.
This cooler comes with 3 fan speed settings and a colour changing LED which can be used as a night light, making it extra handy for the bedroom. You can charge it from either a computer, via USB, or with a wall plug.
It’s lightweight so you can easily move it from room to room and the unit will work for up to 8 hours on one tank of water so no need to be up and down constantly refilling.
Air Cooler, 3-in-1 Mini
This personal evaporative cooler has some great little features. As with the previous product, it’s great to have around the bed area or work station to keep the air flowing and humidified but it also has a few extras that make it a little more usable.
This machine has a handy viewing window into the water tank so you can quickly check the water level. The helpful handle make it super easy to carry around with you from room to room. It also has 4 caster wheels so it can be pushed around the work bench or spun in a different direction easily.
The biggest difference is this model can also be run completely on batteries so it can still be used when you’re out camping or somewhere without power it. Other than batteries it can also be charged via USB or wall socket.