Rated 4.1 out of 5 by 82
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by BKay Excellent in Colorado
This is my first whole-house evaporative cooler, though I've experienced their magic at friend's homes in Arizona on several occasions. I knew they worked well in my region of Colorado, too, as giant roof top clunkers are atop every other home.
My spigots already had threaded provisions for evaporative coolers from the previous owners, so I simply purchased 100ft of 1/4" black poly tubing from the evap cooler section in my HD when I went to pick up my online order, and a little 'poly tube union' fitting from the same area of the store. There was also a complete hookup kit for a spigot that isn't yet set up which looks like it'd do the trick.
Box was in pretty rough shape but I was delighted to see the unit wasn't cracked. Unfortunately the bag of screws was torn and some of the philips screws were rounded, along with a scrape on the bottom of the unit. Basically I got sold an open box item for full price, but the manager remedied that after I called 45 minutes after I picked up my online order.
Installation - ehh. It's hard to put in some of the screws when you extend the fan portion out of the body of the unit - I'm assuming it arrives collapsed to reduce box size, so you pull the fan part out and lock in place with some screws. I instantly knew how the previous purchaser had rounded the screws.
The mounting hardware was completely worthless on the inside of the house, you're supposed to drill holes in to the bottom of the unit to install the L-brackets but my window sill, all of 5", completely prevents me from doing this. I have it rigged up still in proof of concept mode, but it's safely in my window and I'll address proper mounting later. I also lucked out in that the unit was perfectly level on the first try, without proper mounting.
As other reviewers have said, tightening the water inlet hose on the side of the unit is a pain and screwed up the float inside. I didn't know that had happened until I tried to take her for a spin and noticed the water pump wasn't on. I popped the back filter cover off by removing the 4 screws and sliding it upwards and straightened the float out. I also had to bend the float arm slightly afterwards to allow enough water to accumulate in the basin.. minor nuances. My cover wasn't difficult to get off nor reinstall though as others have mentioned, and I didn't even bother completely removing it, I just set it aside so I could access the float.
I did have one stray drip on the side of the unit opposite the water inlet at the top - 99% of the water was dripping where it should but an occasional stray drop would land on the ground. I took a piece of tin foil and directed the water a little better from the outside of the unit - thus very little effort required, and that should take care of that permanently.
Fan only mode, speed 1, 81*F consistent blowing out. Turned the unit to cool mode maybe 10 minutes later and within 3 minutes it was blowing out 65* air. "Calibrated" the windows in my home for speed 1 and did the tissue test, perfect. Thermostat 25 feet away went from 83* to 74* in about 15 minutes.
My house is about 2,900 sqft but my finished basement is always cool (and never occupied) so all of the windows are shut down there. This has effectively cooled my main floor and upstairs in less than an hour - about 2,000 sqft. For reference, it was 81* on my thermostat last night at 11pm and it's now 72* - outdoor temp is the same now as it was at 11 last night within 2 tenths of a degree.
In short: this thing is incredibly effective, isn't dripping on my siding at all or sloshing out of the overflow tube, wasn't necessarily fun to install by myself but I did it, and I'm happy I can skip addressing my dead central air (dead when I bought the house) for the rest of the time I plan to own. The lowest fan speed is still a little noisy for my liking as my sofa is 15-20 feet away and I'd be happy if there was an even lesser speed. I plan to remedy this by just moving it to a spare bedroom on the same floor instead of in my kitchen.
This is clearly not a long term review since I literally got it installed less than 3 hours ago, but if it continues to run as it is now - I'll be delighted. I docked a star because: the packaging isn't that great, the instructions are on par with some no-name electronic doo-dads I purchase from China, the pictures in the instructions are awful, the mounting brackets leave much to be desired, and the remote should be MUCH better for a unit of this cost. Remotes with $80 window air conditioners are far superior to this one.
July 7, 2016
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Gino Worth every penny.
After living in the California high desert the last 10 years I was very familiar with swamp coolers. We had two roof mounted units that were in constant operation from April until October every summer season. We also had AC. We rarely used the AC unless we got a thunderstorm with humidity. This happened a few times during the summer. For the most part our home was kept at a cool 68-70 with the swamp coolers. With split duties depending upon the amount of heat my bill just for the coolers was about 50 bucks a month. (Again, just the coolers).
Last April I moved to Canyon Lake Ca. I know it gets hot here. I was very surprised as to how few swamp coolers I saw. Where I live now they are not allowed to be hanging out of a visible window. But I really wanted to find a way around being just A/C dependant. So I opted for this unit after being encouraged by the reviews.
Based on my extensive knowledge of swamp cooler operation and maintenance, after I installed this unit I was very impressed.
It was very easy to unbox and get ready to install. I like to fully understand how it all works before I begin any assembly or installation of stuff. I just like to get my head wrapped all the way around it first. I kept going back and re-reading the instructions thinking I was missing a step? But no, it really is a breeze to install for a grown person that can lift some weight. It did however present a few challenges. My first one was reading "You are now ready to install the unit in the window". It does not tell you that it can very easily slide back out after you "set" it on the window sill. Mine appeared to be stable after I set it in the window. I went to walk away for a split second and it slowly slipped back out the window catching the sill on the underside of the fan screen. It never hit the ground but it did crack it on both sides just below the lowest face screws. "Unit may not stay balanced in window without support during installation" might be a good addition to the directions.
Once I got someone to help me hold it in place I then noticed that the cord that is plumbed through the bottom had gotten pinched below the unit and on top of the sill exposing bare wires. You basically need another person to run around and grab the power cable & pull it through the window and ensure it does not get pinched as the person outside lifting it can not see it. "Pay close attention as to not pinch the power cable underneath during placement in window" would also be useful to know prior.
My third struggle was the fact that my sill must be wider than the average sill? So the brackets are a tad too long and stick out past the moulded recess where they are to be screwed into on the front bottom of the unit inside the house. At this point I had to make a decision. I could cut off the part that stuck out or flip the bracket upside down putting the longer portion down the wall below the sill and the shorter portion in the recess. Since I had just got done moving my garage was not in any shape to bust out my cutting wheel. So I flipped the bracket. Making the customer aware of the possibility that sills come in all sizes may also be helpful. And possibly manufacture a more versatile bracket or two types to cover more sill sizes?
Lastly the bit portion of the two large bottom screws that go into the outer wall of the home need to be smaller than the moulded holes they are meant to go through to support the bottom of the unit. This way you can run them down with a cordless drill and they won't chew up the plastic mount holes.
Ok, got it all in and fired it up. With an infrared thermometer I began checking the temps all around the fan circle from inside the home. I noticed that temps were not consistent. In fact I could feel with my hand that the air coming out at say 6 o'clock was cooler than the air at 12, 1, & 2 o'clock. I let it run just to make sure he tank was full and the pads were nice and saturated. No change after 30 minutes. I then took the pads and frame off the back and looked in. The over flow was plumbed very low. Too low in my opinion. So there was not enough water in the basin to fill the pads and continue back up the pump again to repeat their job. I fiddled with the float to get more water but after that I decided to yank the overflow tube, take the thin plastic nut and inner rubber wash off. I then placed the overflow tube as high as I could get it in order to increase the level of water standing in the basin. I then used the rubber washer on the outside (bottom) of the unit on top of the thin plastic nut and snugged it up hand tight against the bottom of the tank portion. It isn't super stable but it holds and does not leak. If you really wanted to make it strong you could go buy one more thin nut and run it down the inside mating it against the bottom of the inside of the tank tightening it against the outer one
I was not a fan (fan, get it?), of the steady stream of water coming out of that tube meant to keep the water clean. I took a small screw from my tool box and threaded it right into the end of the 1/4" tube to slow that down to a small drip drip drip.
Personally I love the unit's design. Very simply made and looks to me like it will last for a long time if I can keep the plastic out of the direct sunlight. The humidity down here is more of an issue than up in the desert. So right now it is not on all the time. I turn it on in the late afternoon, run it all night and then until about 1pm into the next day when the humidity begins to impair its ability to cool the incoming air. We then hit the AC for a few hours until after dinner I fire the cooler back up. So I am getting decent use out of it and I know it will offset the bill compared to just using the AC alone.
The pads that come with it are very high quality and can be replaced easily when needed. The pump is very easy to access and will be easy to replace as they also fail after a few years usually. The fan motor is the only question mark for me. I hope I can find what I need when that time comes.
July 1, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Mike Do it and don't look back.
This has been the best cooler I've ever owned. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner.
800 square foot house, 6400 cubic feet. On high, it blows all of the hot air out in under one minute. You can turn it on high, run to the front door, feel hot air go out, then cold air starts. It's awesome.
"How does it compare with a roof unit"
It makes a lot more noise than a roof unit because it has a circular fan near a grille instead of a squirrel cage. If I left the thing running non-stop like my old side draft roof unit, that would be a problem, but It works so well, that's not an issue.
What I like about this unit
-This unit has a plastic drain tube on the bottom. I tighten it hand-tight and it does its job without rusting tight like on some units I've had before. I went on a trip for two weeks. I came back and drained the water in five minutes without needing tools, so you don't get the swampy smell of algae.
-The water inlet sticks out on the right hand side of the unit when looked at from the outside, easy to reach.
-You can see the water wick into the pads.
-The vent can blow straight into the room, or divert half left, half right, so you can aim down a hallway or a door.
-It's a window unit, I just walk outside and keep it well maintained. I fill a 5-gallon bucket and all of my empty water bottles with the bleed line, and then give the water to the apricot tree, or make some roundup for yard care.
-It's plastic. No more rust! I need to UV treat it or put some shade around it so it doesn't get sun beaten.
Things that can be changed in the future:
-I'd like it if the outer portion containing the rigid pads didn't have the hose to the pump connected to it. It makes assembly a "Fiddly" process for just one person.
June 5, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Dave Very impressive unit
I live in the Mojave Desert and experience around 100 days per year of 100 degree plus temperatures. I installed this unit for a number of reasons. It is a window unit and easy to service, SCE has a rebate that this unit qualifies for, it's plastic and won't corrode. This was meant to be a supplement cooler to assist my existing roof mounted unit. We were happy to find that we barely needed to roof unit once the Bonaire was installed. It's a good performer and has become our primary cooler for the whole house. We only run it on mid speed and it does the job quite well. It was very easy to install and connect. I am happy with the unit and happy with the $200 SCE rebate !!!
July 26, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by JoJo Great Cooler!
This is our first evap cooler, and we are super pleased with it. The unit is rated for areas up to 1900 sf, but it works great in our 2500 sf house. We have it placed in the upper level (1200 sf) and, since the basement level stays cool all the time anyway, the unit is more than capable of handling the upper floor, even when allowing for some airflow to spill down to the basement level. We kick it on high to saturate the pads thoroughly and then leave it on low for most of the day. It hold the house at about 72* when the outside temp is around 90*. Just got our first utility bill since installing the unit and I saw NO change compared to our previous bills. The unit was fairly easy to install and seems less loud than others I've heard. Life saver this summer!
August 12, 2016
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by Xceljem This is not a good purchase.
Take it from an Engineer; THIS IS A DON'T BUY! THIS THING IS JUNK! To start off, it is constructed of very soft plastic that strips with even the slightest twist of any screw. Assembly does require the use of many screws. The filter housing is secured on the bottom with screw holes that will leak thru.The filter elements are cut too small and water runs between the cracks in the housing. The unit will cool after much tweaking and adjustment but expect only one season of use from this unit.The "Depot" has many great steel construction evaporative coolers: look at one of them instead. Attention: Home Depot feel free about contacting me and advising on how to return this item.
July 20, 2016
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by disappointed DISAPPOINTED
The assembly was not all that easy. Water sprayed out of the machine so we had to take it apart and realign the pads to prevent that. Cleaning isn't all that easy. Here we have a lot of calcium in the water. When you turn the machine on it throws flecks of it out all over the room. Any evaporative coolers I have had in the past had a switch where you could turn the water on before operation begins. That allows the pads to dampen, rids the fishy smell that sometimes happens and dampens the calcium so it does fly into your soup, salad or, whatever. When I have talked with company they tell me to spray the pads with vinegar before use. That isn't pleasant and why should I pay for an upscale unit when it isn't that. It cools quite well but, I was happier with my old Artic Air.
August 10, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Coolestdadintown Cooler and Happier
No airconditioning in the house and the heat was beginning to get too high. Installed this cooler to help maintain comfortable temperatures. It does the job and more! even with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees outside, the house has been at 72-74 degrees inside. At night we put it just on fan, and in the morning the temperature is in the mid-60s. Placed the cooler at one end of the house, opened windows at the the other end, and you can feel the air move. Easy to install. Highly recommend this cooler.
August 2, 2016