Saving time, money, and the environment while staying cool as the weather begins to heat up has never been easier. When you think about ways to cool yourself off in the summer, two of the first few ideas that come to mind are typically air conditioners and box fans. Many people are unaware of the third, safer option: the evaporative air cooler. Avoid the toxic coolants used in air conditioners, but get the fresh, cool air you need that box fans can’t provide.
With their refillable water tank that helps cool off the air and humidify the surrounding areas, the evaporative air cooler is the perfect alternative to any air conditioner or box fan. Whether it be indoors or out, the evaporative air cooler is the perfect device to have by your side throughout the summer months. Many evaporative air coolers are also surprisingly affordable for their high quality. Here are the cheapest evaporative air coolers that still host industry-standard quality.
The Five Cheapest Evaporative Air Coolers
- Yescom Evaporative Cooler
- Honeywell Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
- COSTWAY Evaporative Air Cooler
- Hessaire MC18M Evaporative Air Cooler
- Honeywell Fan and Humidifier
Low costing products doesn’t mean that the quality of the device is sacrificed. In many cases, a lower cost simply means the company has optimized production or found a cheaper way to expedite the airflow process. This is the case in each of these evaporative air coolers: the companies have optimized the device so that it costs less to manufacture and maintain.
Each of the products on our list has been tried and tested so that we can ensure quality to the consumer. It’s certainly true that some evaporative air coolers are cheap because the quality is lower, but we made sure that each of the devices on our list were still of the highest quality available. Just because they’re cheap doesn’t mean they’re poorly made.
Here are the five cheapest, yet most effective evaporative air coolers available today! We’ve arranged our list in order from cheapest to most expensive – each product on our list still being lower than the industry average.
Compact and lightweight seem to be two driving factors for this evaporative air cooler. The cheapest air cooler on the market, the Yescom Evaporative Cooler can be carried from room to room as needed, or stored away when you’re not using it. It doesn’t take up too much space and can easily be transported. The seven-liter water tank ensures that you won’t run out of water to keep your space cool throughout even the hottest months. Once the water runs dry, you can easily refill the tank and replenish the water supply.
Our favorite feature of this cooler is the three different fan modes that can be changed depending on your environment. You can select from normal, natural, and sleep settings based on how hot it is around you and what time of day it is. Sleep mode is best suited for nighttime when the noise level needs to be reduced, and natural is the perfect balance between the hard-working normal setting and the relaxing sleep.
Quality and versatility are two of the major factors that went into us choosing this fantastic device. It’s able to keep you cool throughout even the hottest days and can be adjusted depending on your needs. The energy-saving feature allows you to cut costs even more without having to sacrifice an ounce of quality. This is an amazing evaporative air cooler available to you at an incredibly affordable price.
- Three different fan settings
- Energy-saving mode to cut costs
- Easy to fill the tank for simple replenishment
- Some leaks can occur
With the ease of maintenance and operation, the cool air of a nice “lake breeze” can be brought right into your own home with this device. Much like the Yescom cooler, this device includes an easy to access water tank that can be replenished when needed with little to no effort. Honeywell ensures the cooling won’t be interrupted with the easy to clean interior and portability of the device. Should you need to move it, this product is so lightweight and easy to manage.
We had a blast testing this product and would recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable, easy to understand and operate evaporative air cooler. The versatility of this product outshines that of even the Yescom as you can use it as a fan, with two power settings, or a humidifier for when the air starts to lose its moisture levels. The remote control enables you to cool off the room right from your comfortable chair.
There’s not much that can be said against this fantastic and cheap air cooler. It’s affordable, dependable, and transportable unlike any other we’ve seen. It’s an incredibly powerful fan and a perfectly durable humidifier for the drier months. If you’re living in a region where humidity maxes out at 60%, then this is the perfect evaporative air cooler for your home. Set it up today and get the fresh lake breeze to cool your home off like never before.
- Three different settings: 2 fans and 1 humidifier
- Easy to replenish the water tank
- A powerful fan in a durable case
- Doesn’t work well in already humid regions
This is a product that bears a shocking resemblance to the Yescom air cooler. The way that they set up their water tanks is the same and the power of the fans is incredibly similar. The main difference between the two is the three wind settings offered by the COSTWAY cooler that differ slightly from the Yescom. You can choose from the normal, natural, and sleeping winds which each come with low, medium, and high settings for optimal personalization.
When testing the two products, we were able to notice a slightly more powerful push from the COSTWAY when compared to the Yescom. Another feature that stood out to us with this product was the programmable timer. You can completely automate the process by placing the power to turn on and off in the hands of the device. It includes a 7.5-hour timer that will switch on and off on a regulated schedule.
Though similar to the Yescom, the COSTWAY certainly brings much to the table to justify its slightly higher pricing – though it is still one of the cheapest air coolers available! The power you’ll receive from this evaporative air cooler might be the highest from a device on our list, and the versatility rivals some of the most expensive products available. The timer enables users to completely automate the process like few other machines, and we can pretty much guarantee that you’ll love this device.
- Extreme customization of the fan settings
- 5-hour automatic timer
- Energy-saving and efficient
- Some leaks have been reported
Fill up to 1,300 cubic feet per minute with this small but mighty air cooler. Place it in a room where it can cover up to 500 square feet of space and let it go, thoroughly cooling-off the entire room. Few other devices we tested were able to achieve that kind of output, and this one was easily the smaller size to do so. It’s easy to move around depending on where it’s needed with its four wheels that can be attached and detached when not in use.
While it’s not as customizable in terms of fan settings like the Yescom or the Honeywell, it does offer a feature that those devices do not: constant water flow. This was our favorite feature of the device as it could be attached to the household hose so that you didn’t have to worry about filling it back up every so often – just hook it up and let it go! This helps automate the process and keeps your air cool, even when you forget about maintenance.
It might not be as aesthetic as other devices on this list, but you’re buying it for its power. It hosts an incredible reach for its size and can fill an entire 500 square foot room with fresh, cool air. Many powerful air conditioners fail to even offer that reach. The hose attachment takes the process of filling and refilling out of your hands which tends to be the issue that many evaporative cooler owners forget about. This is a fantastic device that makes cooling your home simple.
- Easy to maintain
- Powerful 500 square foot spread
- Easy to transport
- Hose attachment eliminates the need for refilling
- The hose draw can boost your water bill
This might be one of the most high-tech evaporative coolers on our list with its many fan settings and different menu options. The interaction available with this device is much more in-depth than most others on our list. The consumption levels of water that this fan has are much lower than the industry average making this one of the most cost-effective air coolers available. With a detachable tank, you can easily clean and refill as needed.
Our favorite feature of this device is how compact it is. It offers the widest range of features we were able to test and yet it comes in one of the smallest packages. This is the perfect device for the areas where humidity drops below 50% almost daily. Bring the fresh, moist air back into your home with this incredible device. This is ideal for spot cooling whenever and wherever you may need it.
Though it’s small and compact, it’s certainly durable and will be able to withstand almost any situation. Much like the Hessaire, this device offers a fantastic spread when needed, or you can limit it to spot cooling so that your bed is nice and cool for the night. You can cool and humidify your home when the winter months get too dry. Honeywell is a fantastic company that knows how to make quality cooling devices. This evaporative air cooler might be one of their best.
- Compact and durable package
- A wide range of features and options
- Transitions well between spot cooling and room humidifying
- Includes some leaking issues
A Quick Buyers’ Guide
Now that you’re aware of the best and most affordable evaporative air coolers available right now, it’s time to take a look at what makes them so great. There are many benefits that should make an evaporative air cooler stand out amongst the lineup of spatial cooling devices. Whether it be effectiveness, affordability, or maintenance, there are plenty of reasons to purchase an evaporative air cooler.
We’ll take a look at the features we consider to be most important in an evaporative air cooler, as well as how they work to provide clean, cool air. Each of the devices we tested and reviewed has proven to be quality and check almost every box on our list. If there are any spaces where a device we reviewed does not meet the standard, it’s likely made up for in another aspect. So, how does an evaporative air cooler function?
How Do Evaporative Air Coolers Work?
Essentially, the rear of the device works to draw hot air in. It functions much like an air conditioner in that it draws from the space around it as the main source of air. Once the air has been brought into the air cooler, it then goes through a sheet that is filled with water. The water – which you place in a tank and refill once the main source has been depleted – is drawn up into the sponge-like sheet so that the air is cooled off and moisturized throughout the process.
Once the water has passed through the sheet, it should be much cooler and include some moisture which makes air coolers perfect for dry regions with low humidity. Now, the fans in the front of the device complete the process by sending the cool air outward into the space that needs cooling. This all occurs within a matter of seconds and the stream of cool air lasts until your tank runs out of water. It’s essentially the same process as an air conditioner but it moisturizes the air as well.
The process is simple and it provides a decent amount of customization along the way. Quality devices will enable you to set a timer or change the fan speeds to reach the perfect amount of cool air. So now that we know how it functions, what features should you keep an eye out for when shopping for one?
Features of a Quality Evaporative Air Cooler
These are the main features that we looked for when testing evaporative air coolers. Each device on our list, as we touched on briefly, should meet the standards for each feature. Some categories come down to preference – some people prefer smaller coolers whereas others prefer large ones. Here are the main features you should look for when shopping for an evaporative air cooler.
One key feature that might be one of the most important is the size of the water tank on a device. It might seem common knowledge that the larger the tank, the better the device as you won’t have to refill as often. However, that might not necessarily be true in all cases. Yes, having more space for water enables you to fill it higher and you’ll find yourself refilling it less often. You can simply fill the tank and let the air cooler do its job for long periods.
However, with a larger tank, maintenance is much more important. You’re letting the water sit in the tank for much longer which can lead to certain build-ups that need to be addressed. You might find yourself cleaning the tank much more often than on a device with a smaller capacity. We’d recommend that anything over 8 liters is cleaned every couple of refills. Maintenance is important for your device and one of the first steps is to ensure that your water tank is clean.
With all of that in mind, it comes down to preference – refilling less often or cleaning less often. Both choices offer their benefits, so you can’t go wrong as long as you know what maintenance will be required of you.
Much like nearly every other form of air cooling device available, an evaporative air cooler does need to be plugged in so that it can function. Its power comes from electricity, so you could be looking at some high energy costs if you’re using multiple of these for hours every day. With that being said, one of the biggest benefits that an evaporative air cooler has over an air conditioner is how little energy they consume. An air cooler is easily a better option for energy consumption than an air conditioner.
Your typical air conditioner utilizes 900W of power whereas the most consuming device on our list eats up about 228W. Even at its worst, the evaporative air cooler still consumes less than the average air conditioner. This is quite important to many as the air cooler is typically purchased as an energy and money saver. All of the devices on our list can power out tons of cool air every hour without having to consume even half as much as your standard air conditioner.
This is another feature that comes down to preference as some smaller devices can emit similar amounts of power as their larger counterparts. You can find an evaporative air cooler in most sizing options ranging from just bigger than your typical box fan to a window-sized unit. It all depends on the space you have available and the space that you need to be covered. Larger devices will certainly offer more of a spread, but a smaller cooler should still do the trick in most cases.
We made sure to include a wide range of sizing options so that consumers could pick and choose based on their needs and weren’t limited to one choice. The devices on our list range from the Honeywell fan and humidifier as our smallest option to the Hessaire on the larger side. Each of the devices in the middle will provide similar amounts of power as the Hessaire and will be easy to store like the Honeywell.
Many different options are what make the best evaporative air coolers so great. You’re likely going to encounter the need for various fan speeds as the weather will be constantly changing. A great air cooler will have multiple customization options so that you’re not limited by how much air you have coming out at one time. On a hotter day, you can boost the wind type and change the fan speed to perfectly accommodate your needs.
Two of the devices on our list place a focus on their versatility with their three different wind settings. Within these three different wind settings, you’re able to customize the fan speeds as well with up to nine customization options so that you can perfectly accommodate your cooling needs. Versatility and customization are some of the most important features of any great evaporative air cooler.
This final feature might not make or break your decision, but it will make your experience a whole lot easier should you choose to include it. The ability to transport your evaporative air cooler around as you deem necessary will make the whole process of setting it up and taking it down much easier.
While the ability to transport your device won’t have a direct impact on the overall performance, it can save you from spills when trying to move it to a different room. It also will make storing it away simple. This might just be an additional feature to consider, but devices that are easy to transport do typically show an air of quality.
Don’t waste money on an expensive device that will offer the same quality as something more affordable. Each of the air coolers on our list rival the devices that are over $200 and are well within any budget!