Every year I do a post on this. Briefly these devices area rip off. They all consist of fans that blow air across ice packs. A fan that size costs 10 or 20 bucks. The ice packs cost are 5 bucks a piece. So for 30 or 40 bucks max you could do the same thing for yourself. They want to sell you 2 units for 400 $$$ a piece. The Ad in the State Journal Register is a teaser Ad that offers the first one free but that is a total lie. They just want you to call the toll free number to get you on their sucker list…
But at a deeper level think of the physics involved. You use your refrigerator freezer to freeze the packs. Then you use the electricity to blow that “cool” back at you. And it dissipates into your hot room. That sounds expensive to me. You would be better off using my beloved mother’s trick of holding your wrists under cool running sink water. That will cool your whole body down in minutes and it is virtually free. Last year when they were selling these things as the Cool Surge, Consumer Reports (an excellent magazine) had this to say:
June 10, 2009
Negligible cooling nets Cool Surge portable air cooler a Consumer Reports Don’t Buy judgment
You can buy a decent small window air conditioner for as little as $140, as we found in our July 2009 report on air conditioning (available to subscribers). Or you can spend more than twice that amount—$298—for the Cool Surge portable air cooler (shown), which promises to cool an average-sized room “up to ten degrees” using the same energy as a 60-watt lightbulb. (Watch our exclusive video, below.) The Cool Surge might sound appealing when you consider the roughly 500 watts needed to run even a small air conditioner. Ohio-based Fridge Electric LLC, which markets the Cool Surge, has even offered a two-for-one deal in full-page ads in The New York Times and other newspapers. But our tests show that when it comes to cooling a room, the Cool Surge is likely to disappoint you at any price.
The Cool Surge is essentially an evaporative cooler (also known as a swamp cooler) that bases its cooling claims on a concept thousands of years old. The unit’s reservoir holds about a gallon of water and two reusable ice packs like the kind that go into lunch boxes and picnic baskets. The chilled water wets a curtain inside, and a fan moves air through it much the way a breeze would blow air through moistened fabric centuries ago. No compressor, no condenser, no refrigerant gas.
Could that ancient principle cut it in today’s “average” room? Consumer Reports tested two samples of the Cool Surge in the same lab we use to test air conditioners. At just over 200 square feet, our test room is actually a tad smaller than the roughly 227-square-foot living room in a typical new home, and, therefore, should be easier to cool. We controlled conditions around the room to simulate an 85°F dry summer day with a relative humidity of just 57 percent.
But hell just type Mira-Cool into a search engine and you will find all sorts of complaints. More tomorrow.