Portable evaporative coolers review 2008

In a hot dry climate, a portable evaporative cooler is a cheap way to cool down.
 
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  • Updated:15 Sep 2008
 

02.Results

The following models scored the best results in our test.

What to buy
Brand Price
Convair Mastercool 850238-C $369
Convair Magicool 004006 $259
 

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Results table

Full results for all models are shown in the table below.

  Performance
Brand / model (in rank order) Overall score (%) Evaporative efficiency score (%) Airflow score (%) Ease of use score (%) Price ($)
CONVAIR Mastercool 850238-C
www.seeleyinternational.com
72 81 70 50 369
CONVAIR Magicool 004006
www.seeleyinternational.com
72 79 56 70 259
CONVAIR Megacool 009438
www.seeleyinternational.com
69 72 76 50 399
CONVAIR Coolmaster 3000
www.seeleyinternational.com
64 43 98 80 449
IXL Blizzard 42056 (A)
www.sampfordixl.com.au
55 40 76 70 299
IXL Compact 42055 (B)
www.sampfordixl.com.au
41 39 30 60 159
IXL Icecap 2 42054
www.sampfordixl.com.au
20 10 25 40 169
 


  Features
Brand / model (in rank order) Water tank capacity (L) Number of fan speeds Remote control Dust filter Ice tray Louvres Off timer **
CONVAIR Mastercool 850238-C
www.seeleyinternational.com
14 3 Manual
CONVAIR Magicool 004006
www.seeleyinternational.com
13 3 Fixed
CONVAIR Megacool 009438
www.seeleyinternational.com
14 3 Oscillating
CONVAIR Coolmaster 3000
www.seeleyinternational.com
18 3 Manual
IXL Blizzard 42056 (A)
www.sampfordixl.com.au
20 4 (C) Oscillating • (D)
IXL Compact 42055 (B)
www.sampfordixl.com.au
6 3 Oscillating • (E)
IXL Icecap 2 42054
www.sampfordixl.com.au
9 3 Oscillating • (F)
 


  Specifictions
Brand / model (in rank order) Dimensions (mm, HxWxD) Weight (kg)
Length of cord
Power consumption (W) *
CONVAIR Mastercool 850238-C
www.seeleyinternational.com
815 x 550 x 255 10 1.95 66
CONVAIR Magicool 004006
www.seeleyinternational.com
715 x 400 x 275 (G) 7.5 2.23 58
CONVAIR Megacool 009438
www.seeleyinternational.com
1000 x 550 x 260 11 1.97 66
CONVAIR Coolmaster 3000
www.seeleyinternational.com
1055 x 635 x 470 18.4 2.52 206
IXL Blizzard 42056 (A)
www.sampfordixl.com.au
840 x 470 x 390 10.8 1.8 238
IXL Compact 42055 (B)
www.sampfordixl.com.au
615 x 395 x 295 6.7 1.9 56
IXL Icecap 2 42054
www.sampfordixl.com.au
640 x 400 x 305 7.3 1.95 56
 

 

Table notes

* Measured at high fan speed.
** A timer that can switch the unit off after a set period.
(A) Discontinued; replaced by model 42058.
(B) Exclusive to Betta Electrical; being discontinued but still available in some stores.
(C) Three fan speeds plus a 'sleep' mode, which cycles the fan through five seconds each on high, medium and low speeds then stops for four seconds before repeating.
(D) A range of one-hour intervals from one to eight hours.
(E) Four settings: one, two, four or eight hours.
(F) A range of 30-minute intervals from 30 minutes to 7.5 hours.
(G) Excluding handle.

Price Recommended retail, as of September 2008.

Scores

The overall score is made up of:

  • Evaporative efficiency (averaged across high and low fan speeds): 56%
  • Airflow at high fan speed: 24%
  • Ease of use: 20%

Ease of use consists of:

  • Filling: 60%
  • Controls: 20%
  • Access: 16%
  • Draining: 4%

How we tested

We put the coolers through a range of performance tests, based on the Australian Standard for evaporative coolers, AS2913-2000.

  • Evaporative efficiency When water evaporates, it absorbs heat from the surrounding air. High evaporation efficiency means the cooler gets a better cooling effect for the water it uses.
  • Airflow How much air the cooler can blow out in a given time. A strong airflow generally allows the unit to cool a larger area more effectively.
  • Noise Measured one metre from the cooler at high and low fan speeds.

We also scored them for ease of use, based on:

  • Filling the water tank An inlet spout that’s large enough and accessible, and a water level indicator that’s easy to read.
  • Controls Easy to operate and labels that are easy to read and understand.
  • Access for maintenance Easily removable panel, dust filter and wetting medium, preferably not requiring tools.
  • Draining the water tank A drainage cap that’s easy to access and remove. Whether the cooler can fit a bucket underneath while draining, so you don’t need to take it outside.