Rated 4.1 out of 5 by 44
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 by Jimbo Fundamentally good design, major components good quality, some design flaws
1. When attaching water supply, if you turn brass nut (that holds water float valve in place) too hard (& far) it’ll twist the valve and float mechanism inside (and break plastic valve housing & make float inoperable).
2. If the 12 screws around fan housing are not tight, a gap remains. After mounted in window, it’s difficult to tighten these screws.
After fully mounted and plumbed, our unit leaked excessively. (Not good, right at house foundation whenever unit on.) There is a tray at top that distributes water to the pads. On one side the water flows and hits the pad at the outer portion of the pad. The water then flows on the outside of pads and inside of plastic housing and does not flow back down to the bowl at bottom of housing. This required custom solution—old bent license plate (aluminum doesn't rust) held in place by duct tape—to direct the water flow back to the middle of the pad. Problem solved. Manufacturer needs to change their plastic mold so the water flow is directed over the center of the pads.
There is a significant smell when the cooling pads are new. The owner’s manual makes note of this. We assume this smell will go away over time.
I would have given this unit a higher rating, e.g., three or four stars; however, if you're like me, when reading reviews I'm more interested in the one and two star reviews.
Installation was expected to be three hours. Because of the above-mentioned problems, it took three times longer.
July 2, 2015
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by NowCool Works better than my 5ton
As with anything, there is no such thing as one size fits all. This unit is designed to fit the "standard" window. Houses come in many shapes, sizes and dimensions. You may have to alter your window to install this unit.
We have only two windows in our home that open up and down, which this unit is really designed to be installed in an up and down window. When we got it installed, we realized that the lip of the unit with the brackets wouldn't work. We had just barely installed new baseboards and had a little left over. We took some of that 6" tall baseboards and discovered it was the exact dimension of the difference between the window sill and the frame of the window. So we installed in on the sill, then installed the unit with no hitches.
I will note that the bracket is really a cheesy little thing and hardly deep enough. You may need to go to the store to purchase a deeper L bracket for your window install.
It doesn't come with the tubing or the spigot part you will need to attach the water supply to the unit, so make sure you purchase these two items as well.
The instructions must have been written by a politician because they are vague and non committal. Such as" the float is factory pre-set and may need some adjustment". That is nice, how about telling me how to adjust it? We got it installed in under two hours, including the modification time of the window sill and a quick trip back to home depot for the tubing for the water supply.
The float was installed and allowed very little water into the reservoir, this is a very finicky unit and simply will not allow water onto the pads unless the water is at a specific level. We had to make some "blind" adjustments to the float because the instruction manual and website simply state "may need modification". We bent it very carefully until the water was allowed to reach within a 1/2" of the overflow tube. Once we did this, the unit began spraying water onto the pads.
Turned it on and left it on when we went to bed. Woke up to a wonderful 64 degrees on low water and low fan settings...it was great. Till I went outside to feed the animals and discovered that our anti-siphon spigot was spraying water from the anti-siphon port itself. This cooler was maintaining the inside of my home to a wonderful temp of 74 degrees even though it was over 100 degrees outside. (its rated for 1,900 sf, our top level is 1,400 sf fully vaulted up to 24')
To make the repairs to the anti siphon spigot, I had to shut the unit off and wait for my husband to come home, we estimate the loss of several hundred gallons of water from this problem, but it wasn't a problem with the unit. I turned on our 5 ton, which was just serviced and replaced with a new one only two years ago. It struggled to keep the house at 82 degrees where the Bonaire had no problem maintaining 74.
We have tried many things to include two 5600 CFM solar attic fans, ceiling fans in every room and moved one of the return registers to the top of the wall verses the bottom. No matter what we did, our 5 ton simply couldn't keep our 1,400 sf upstairs below 80 once the temps hit 95 or higher outside.
We got the spigot fixed, the house had hit 84 degrees inside with the 5 ton working hard to cool. Once the spigot was fixed, we turned the 5 ton off and the Bonaire back on, within one hour, the house was back down to a wonderful 74 degrees again.
We hit 104 degrees this day and the Bonaire evaporative cooler ran circles around our 5 ton central air that sucks down the electricity. I don't know what our electric bill is going to be, but I know the second we turn on our 5 ton, the electric bill will be over $300 more and struggle to keep temps below 80 degrees.
Nothing is "perfect", parts will break down and when stuff is built for the "standard" you need to remember the age of your home and the fact that what is standard today, may not be standard tomorrow. Having said that, about the only complaints I have are the following.
You should list on the box what you need to get this up and running when you get home like the sillcock, the tubing, and your instructions need to be written better. "may need to adjust" might be good for you, but a woman that does great in the kitchen....has no idea how to adjust that darn thing! So please expand your instructions to people who have never touched these things. Youtube was my support in getting everything fine tuned on this unit and the only way I would have ever managed to get it up and running.
The sound isn't too bad, but you might not want to install it in a room where you will be sleeping. My husband who has difficulty hearing can't watch the television in the same room where this is with his hearing aids in. It isn't too loud, in fact as far as noise goes, it is more quiet than our 5 ton which I can hear through the wall of the house.
The image with the spigot, you will need to purchase the part with the thing poking out on the left with the black water tube. I don't know the technical terms, but figured out how to install it. Sorry for the "thingy ma bob" terms.
July 15, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Kaliman501 Wow! Far better cooling results than I expected!
Definitely love it!! My home square footage is 2500, I have used the Durango evaporative cooler for about a week and it does an amazing jog cooling my home to temperatures about 25 degrees below the outside temperatures. I also expect to save hundreds of dollars on my electric bill during the Summer months. On the average my electric bill is more than $400 dollars and I can already see the electric meter working far slower than when the central air is on. The only negative I have observed is is that the cooling is some what uneven in my two story home, with some areas being a little coolers than others.
June 17, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by RickinMLCC More than exceeded expectations
It is July 28th here in Desert Hot Springs, CA. and the outside temperature is a typical 108 degrees for this time of year with a 44 dewpoint. Fortunately for us, we installed a Bonaire Durango last year and the inside temp of my 2,200 sq/ft home is a comfy 80 degrees and the a/c has been off for nearly 2 weeks.
Pros: Excellent air flow and cooling. Clean design (we had our unit professionally mounted in the bedroom wall) and easy operation with the included remote control. Significant electricity savings.
Cons: As with ALL Evap Coolers, the effectiveness is considerably hampered by higher humidity (dewpoint) and this unit does require annual or semi-annual cleaning to maintain peak efficiency. Water bill will rise a little.
Overall, we are so happy with this unit that I am constantly recommending it to my fellow desert dwellers. I can promise you will find this an excellent investment.
July 28, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Tony Best Evap Cooler I've ever had . . .
The installation of this unit is very easy. I had it in my upstairs window, installed and mounted in about 45 minutes, without complication. I added some additional mounts because I just wasn't all that happy with the two brackets provided.
I've used the standard evap coolers before, two of them over the last 15 years. None of them were as clean and cool as this one. The difference in the humidity and swamp smell is awesome. The older rickety style ones might be easier to fix, but they aren't easier to maintain and they just don't work as well.
I'd say this unit is worth the extra dollars over the standard swamp coolers. I thought about using central air this year, but I thought I'd try this unit and it is the best one I've ever owned.
March 28, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by ShastaCountyCalifornia Great Air Cooler... Highly Recommend
This is the 2nd one of these I have purchased. We had one at our old home and loved it. We sold that home and when we bought our new home we went straight to home depot and bought another one for our new home.
Our old home was off-grid and so we ran that one off solar. It works great on solar.
We live in redding california and it gets HOT HOT HOT here in the summer and these coolers still keep the house comfortable.
I really love that they are so streamlined. They are really easy to install in a window and easy to attach, no huge platforms to build etc.; just stick it up in the window and wire it to the outside of the home and you are set to go.
When living off-grid and looking for something to run from solar, we tried many things since 1987 and this is by far the best cooler we ever found.
May 19, 2015
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by mickey Bonaire customer service terrible
I got this last season and had trouble from the start. Internal hose gets kinked if you put it in the top hose bracket and you cannot see that after you put it together. Flow restrictor in bleed off tube gets clogged with our hard water very quickly so pads get caked with the minerals. I contacted Bonaire and they told me to check their website to buy new restrictor. Those worthless little things cost $11.28 plus tax and shipping. I told them that I would throw the whole thing out before spending $11.28 every week. I have also bought several hard water filters.
June 24, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by 7774me Wonderful unit.
Love love love it! I have had this Bonaire evaporative cooler for almost 5 years and it has served me very well. If for some reason it would fail at some point then I would march right down and buy another. I live in Corning Ca. where the heat can fry an egg at midnight, so I am able to keep it running all the time and my electric bill is still under $100.00. When it is smoldering outside, it may not be really icy cold inside but I have learned to be less active until the temperature drops a bit. Also, following their instructions by leaving a window open in each room pushes the cool air throughout my two story 1500 sq ft cottage. I never have to say " hurry..close the door your letting all the cold air out" venting helps to cool. Sometimes, I will shut it off or put on winter wardrobe. Enjoy it! A tip: Call the factory and have an inside fabric cover made for the winter time or you will be sorry when the fan turns. Mine looks brand new and very classy.
April 17, 2015