An air cooler is a cool, effective alternative to a fan for keeping your home or office fresh and comfortable. It uses water vapor to chill the air and can also act as a humidifier if you need to add extra humidity to your environment. Air coolers don’t use any complicated machinery like an air conditioner, so they’re smaller, lighter and much cheaper to run.

An evaporative air cooler works by sucking in warm ambient air and passing it over a cooling pad that has been dampened with water. The water extracts heat from the air, evaporates and then blows the cool air out of the nozzles. It’s an efficient way to cool a space, but be sure you choose the right model for your room size. Too big and you’ll create a lot of moisture that will be hard to keep clean, while too small and you might not be able to cool the space adequately.

The type of cooling pad you get for your air cooler makes a huge difference in how well it performs. Wool wood and aspen pads have been the standard for years, but recently manufacturers have started to make better ones using honeycomb designs and innovative technology. For example, Orient Electric’s DenseNest honeycomb pads are more efficient and can absorb 45 percent more water than regular pads for longer cooling and even water distribution.

Another factor that influences an air cooler’s performance is its fan blade profile and how well it can throw cool air at a distance. The best models feature a high-angle design that delivers air to a wider area and cools the whole room more effectively. Some even have a remote control for easier operation.

Besides the basic features mentioned above, some of these products offer special functions that can help you live and work better. For example, MYLEK’s air cooler comes with an ioniser that adds refreshing negative ions to the atmosphere, which have been shown to boost mood and concentration. This is perfect for offices and homes that can become stale and dull without enough fresh air.

Other useful features include an auto-fill tank that keeps the water level full, a timer for when you’re away and an alarm that lets you know it’s almost empty. It also comes with an ice tray for an added cooling effect and has a convenient carry handle. This air cooler is a great option for camping trips, hostel rooms or just a hot day at the office. It can run for up to 10 hours on one tank of water, with four different settings that can be adjusted by the press of a button. This cooler is lightweight and quiet and offers a good amount of power to cool the room in just a few minutes. Good Housekeeping Assistant Editor Annie O’Sullivan has reviewed a variety of appliances, including air coolers, to find the best options for your needs. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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