Evaporative Air Cooler FAQs

General Info

How do I choose the right air cooler for my space?

There are three main categories of air coolers: 

  • Spot coolers are more compact air coolers that are designed to cool the immediate area around the cooler. 
  • Room coolers are larger in size and provide more powerful airflow ideal for cooling larger spaces such as living or dining rooms. 
  • Outdoor coolers are UV & weather resistant with large water tanks and ultra-powerful airflow, making them ideal for cooling outdoor areas such as your patio or backyard. 

Find out the airflow of your air cooler by looking at the CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) or m3/hour rating of the air cooler. The higher an air cooler’s CFM rating, the faster it moves the air, providing wider coverage for the space you want to cool. 

The water tank capacity does not necessarily dictate the cooling performance of the air cooler; however, it affects the time you need to refill the tank and the physical size of the cooler. Smaller water tanks may physically fit better in smaller rooms. Some room coolers and outdoor coolers have a built-in continuous water supply connection that allows you to connect with your home’s water hose for continuous tank refills.  

What is an evaporative air cooler?

Honeywell Evaporative Air Coolers are an environmentally friendly and cost-friendly cooling option for your home or office. Much like a breeze flowing across a lake or the refreshing cool air you feel near a waterfall, air coolers produce a cool, comfortable breeze through the natural process of water evaporation. 

Why does evaporation cause the temperature to drop?

The temperature of dry air can drop significantly when liquid water transforms to water vapor (through evaporation). The process of evaporation happens all the time. Our bodies, for example, perspire in hot weather through evaporation—the sweat dries and drops our body temperature. 

How is an air cooler different from a standard fan?

Normal fans use fan blades to circulate air around the room without offering any cooling. Air coolers use the natural process of water evaporation to cool incoming hot air and use a powerful fan to evenly distribute newly cooled air. The temperature of dry air can drop significantly when liquid water transforms to water vapor (through evaporation). 

How is an air cooler different from a mist fan?

Mist fans simultaneously blow out air while spraying a fine mist of water droplets. In very hot and dry climates, these water droplets evaporate, but in most cases, the watery mist sinks to a puddle on the ground. Mist fans are mainly for outdoor use, unless you desire your fan giving you a surprise shower inside your living room. 

Like mist fans, evaporative air coolers also employ the physical law of evaporation, except the process takes place within the unit. The air exiting the unit contains water vapor and not water droplets. This makes air coolers suitable for indoor rooms as well as the outdoors. 

Do air coolers require a lot of electricity to run?

Honeywell Air Coolers consume very little electricity. The average power consumption of a Honeywell Air Cooler is equivalent to running two 100W light bulbs.* Running an air cooler requires significantly less electricity than running an air conditioning unit, making them an attractive cooling solution in cities where electricity costs are high. 
*Honeywell Room Air Cooler average power consumption: 193W. 

Are air coolers effective in humid environments?

Evaporative Air Coolers are more effective in environments with a maximum relative humidity level of 60% or less. Warm, dry air is important for more effective evaporative cooling, and the temperature decrease will be greater in drier environments because evaporation occurs more when the humidity is low. Evaporative air coolers produce moisture and can be used to increase humidification in a room. 

If you live in a humid location, air coolers can still be a welcomed, energy-saving cooling mechanism for your home by scheduling the air cooler to switch on at specific, drier times during the day (for example, during the hottest hours of the afternoon). Honeywell Air Coolers can also be paired with your air conditioner to extend air conditioner cooling so you can save energy by switching off the AC. 

How is an air cooler different from an air conditioner?

Air conditioners require a chemical refrigerant and an energy-consuming compressor to transform hot air into cool air. The hot air must be released outside the room, making ACs less environmentally friendly. The more complex composition of air conditioners also makes them more expensive to purchase, and they consume significantly more electricity during use. 

How do evaporative air coolers work?

When warm air is drawn into a Honeywell Air Cooler, it passes through a wet honeycomb cooling media. As it passes through, it mixes with the water held in the honeycomb, causing the water to evaporate and lose heat, resulting in cooler, moisturized air. A powerful fan then propels the cool air into the room (or outdoor area, if outdoors). The result is a constant flow of fresh, moisturized, cool air, while old and stale air is circulated out of the room. 

How loud are air coolers?

Most Honeywell Air Coolers max out at 60 dBA on their highest fan speed setting – the sound level of conversational speech in a quiet room. Smaller spot coolers operating on low speed offer almost whisper-quiet sound for use during the night. 

How heavy are air coolers?

Air coolers are relatively light; however, that weight increases significantly once the unit is filled with water. All Honeywell Air Coolers are constructed with caster wheels and convenient handles to ease mobility. 

Are air coolers only beneficial during the summer season?

Not necessarily. Most Honeywell Evaporative Air Cooler models are 3-in-1 appliances that adapt into humidifiers for the drier winter season. Used on a low fan setting, they can add moisture to dryness caused by central heating or simply by a harsh winter climate. 

Will air coolers increase humidity?

Evaporative air coolers fan out a cooler, moister breeze that will steadily increase the humidity of your space. However, air coolers also thrive on an intake of fresh, dry air. This means that for them to work correctly, you should ensure there is sufficient cross-ventilation by keeping windows and/or doors open, allowing for a release of excess humidity and for the circulation of fresh, dry air. 

By how many degrees will an air cooler decrease air temperature?

Air coolers operate by fanning warm air through a wet irrigation pad and blowing out cooler, more moist air. Because it is a natural process, the efficacy of an air cooler is highly dependent on the heat and humidity of its environment. The drier the climate is – with a relative humidity of not more than 60% – and the hotter the climate is, the greater the cooling action. In ideal conditions in highly hot and arid climates, evaporative cooling can drop temperatures by 15°F. In more typical conditions, you can expect a moderate drop in temperatures, enough to take off the edge off acute heat. 

Are air coolers energy efficient?

Yes. Air coolers do not contain complex machinery, so they consume very little energy. For example, Honeywell Air Cooler models consume from as low as 32 watts to 300 watts at their highest fan speed, depending on the size and CFM of the unit. At low speeds, some models consume as low as 7.4 watts. 

Is evaporative cooling a safe cooling solution?

Evaporative air coolers can increase protection from the airborne transmission of viruses for people indoors. They provide excellent circulation, bringing in outside air to replace stale air and create a safer environment. 

What’s the difference between a swamp cooler and an evaporative cooler?

Nothing! Swamp coolers and evaporative coolers are two different names for the same thing. 

What is honeycomb cooling media, and how does it help in cooling the air?

Honeywell Air Coolers use a proprietary honeycomb cooling media. This matrixed irrigation pad is the powerhouse behind the evaporative cooler. Its extensive surface area allows for ample water saturation, which in turn offers plenty of evaporation and evaporative cooling. 


My cooler arrived with a distinct odor. How can I get rid of it?

The honeycomb media is chemically treated to ensure longevity but may have some odor when first used. The odor will reduce after a few uses and dissipate with time. 

My cooler is not cooling down my space. Why?

Run through this troubleshooting checklist: 

  • My climate’s humidity is less than 60% 
  • The cooler’s CFM is appropriate for the space it is in 
  • The water flowing through the unit is cold 
  • There is adequate cross-ventilation 


How can I prevent mildew and bacteria from forming?

To avoid mildew or bacteria, you can add a small amount of vinegar to the water tank. Alternatively, you can purchase a specialized bacteriostatic water treatment, easily available online. Also, be sure to follow best maintenance practices by letting the cooler run in fan-only mode for 15 minutes after using evaporative cooling to dry out the honeycomb pad and prevent mildew growth. 

How often should I change the honeycomb cooling media?

You should change the honeycomb cooling media every 3-6 months, depending on your usage and maintenance. Check the honeycomb visually, cleaning it with water and a soft toothbrush. If dirt cannot be removed or if the fibers are starting to deteriorate, it’s time for a new pad. Honeywell Honeycomb Cooling Media replacements are available for purchase at various online retailers including Sylvane.com and Amazon.com. Remember to purchase the right sized honeycomb for your unit by searching for the model number of your evaporative cooler. If you need assistance or cannot find your model’s replacement accessory, please contact Customer Support at usinfo@jmatek.com or call 1-800-474-2147. 

What is the typical weekly maintenance routine for an evaporative air cooler? 
  • Switch cooler to fan mode for 15 minutes before turning the unit off. This will ensure the honeycomb cooling media dries quickly and does not become a breeding ground for mold or mildew. 
  • Switch off the air cooler and unplug it from the power supply. 
  • Drain the water tank completely and refill it with fresh water. This will greatly reduce mineral deposits and help to extend the life of the honeycomb cooling media. 
  • To clean the media, remove and rinse it with warm water. If you notice any buildup, you can use a soft brush on the media once it is dry to clean it. The frequency of how often you clean the honeycomb cooling media will depend on air and water quality as well as running time. 
Is it okay to use hard water with my air cooler?

Yes. We suggest regular maintenance, draining, and refilling the water tank with fresh water each week as well as cleaning your unit and honeycomb media to avoid calcium deposits (see the User Manual for instructions on how to clean the honeycomb media). To help clean the system, you can add a small amount of vinegar to the water tank and run the air cooler in evaporative cooling mode for 15 to 30 minutes; then, drain the tank of the vinegar water and refill with fresh, clean water, running on evaporative cooling mode for another 15 to 30 minutes. This will help to break down the calcium deposits. 

What is the typical storage routine for an evaporative air cooler?
  • Ensure all parts are dry by running your cooler on fan-only mode for 1-2 hours. 
  • If the unit is connected to a continuous water supply, you must switch off the water supply and remove the drain tube before draining the water tank. 
  • Switch off the air cooler and unplug it from the power supply. 
  • Clean the water tank with a damp cloth to wipe away any dust or mineral deposits. 
  • Remove the honeycomb cooling media and carbon dust filter (if present) from the air cooler and rinse under fresh water to remove dust and dirt. 
  • Replace the honeycomb cooling media and carbon dust filter after they’re clean and dry. 
  • To protect the unit from dust, moisture, and scratches, cover with a clean cloth or tarp before storing. 
  • Coil the power cord and store it away from the floor to protect it. 
  • Store the unit at room temperature in a dry location, away from direct sunlight and/or very hot, cold, or damp environments. 


Can I use an air cooler while running central air or central heat?

An evaporative air cooler can reduce the need to solely rely on costly central air to cool down your home. The air cooler can assist in circulating central air throughout the room as well as boosting the air conditioner’s cooling action. Less air conditioning translates into more cost savings. The air cooler will also help by adding moisture to air that is over-dried by air conditioning. During the winter, air coolers can also be set to a low fan speed to act as a humidifier, alleviating the drying effects of central heat by adding humidity to the air. 

How can I improve the performance of my air cooler?
  • Ensure adequate cross-ventilation. 
  • Check the humidity of your room. 
  • Doors and windows should be opened to allow free airflow. An air cooler works best when placed near an open window, drawing outside air and circulating it in the room before exiting via a window or door. The maximum cooling effect is felt when a person is near the flow of air coming out of the air cooler. 
  • Evaporative air coolers are more effective in environments with a maximum relative humidity of 60% or less. If you live in a humid location, air coolers can still be a welcomed, energy-saving cooling mechanism for your home by scheduling the air cooler to switch on at specific, drier times during the day. Honeywell Air Coolers can also be paired with your central air conditioner to extend cooling so you can save energy by switching off the central AC and extending the cooling effect by switching on a Honeywell Air Cooler. 
Can I use an air cooler in a room without a window?

Evaporative air cooling works by drawing in hot, dry air and fanning out cooler, more moist air. After a while, though, your room will need ventilation or a cross-breeze to circulate the more humid air out of the room and restart the process with fresh, dry air. It is recommended to keep a window and/or door open for adequate crossventilation. In large rooms, the cooler doesn’t necessarily need air from outdoors, but it does need some type of airflow to keep the cooling action moving, so keeping doors open to other areas will be needed. 

How large of an area will it cool?

The cooler’s CFM is the key indicator of its cooling capacity. A cooler with a CFM of 200, for example, is a spot cooler and can affect a radius of about 50 sq. ft. A cooler with a CFM of 2,000 can cool a space that is about 500 sq. ft. Bear in mind, though, that evaporative air cooling is also highly dependent on the heat and humidity of the environment for appreciable cooling. 

What is the typical operation routine for an evaporative air cooler?

All evaporative air coolers require water and a power source to operate. Some evaporative air coolers are designed with removable tanks that can be filled with water; others have fixed tanks; while others have a continuous water connection that can be connected directly to a garden hose or another water source. Once filled with water, plug the unit into an electrical outlet. Some coolers include an ice tank that can be loaded with ice cubes, which chills down the circulating water and creates a refreshingly crisp breeze. Many models will include other functional details, like oscillating louvers, remote control, LCD panel, varying fan speeds, timer, and more. 

Are air coolers used indoors or outdoors?

Honeywell Evaporative Air Coolers are available in a wide range of models for different environments, with models available for indoors and/or outdoors. Outdoor coolers are constructed with weather-resistant materials, allowing them to withstand rain, direct sunshine, and UV rays. Many larger outdoor models are also equipped with a continuous water connection, allowing you to connect your garden hose for automatic tank refills and extended operation. Indoor models can be used in all indoor living areas as well as enclosed outdoor areas, such as covered patios. 


Can I use an air cooler on my camping trip?

You can hook up your air cooler to a 15V, 1.3A, 50W power supply in your RV or tent. We suggest choosing an outdoor model that is constructed to withstand rain, direct sunlight, and other adverse weather conditions. 

Can I use an air cooler in my vehicle?

Evaporative air coolers do not require significant electricity usage and can hook up to a standard 115V outlet. However, evaporative air coolers should not be used in your vehicle while it is in motion in case the water inside the unit destabilizes and causes electric shock or injury. You could attach the air cooler to the vehicle’s electricity supply while the car is stationary. Ensure the windows are open for cross-ventilation and to avoid dangerous overheating. 

Can I use an air cooler in my garage?

A garage is very suitable for evaporative cooling. Its open ventilation can assist with the airflow the air cooler needs. Additionally, if your floor plan allows for it, you could roll in a large capacity Honeywell Outdoor Air Cooler model, equipped with hose connection, for continuous, hassle-free cooling. 

Can I put a freezer pack inside the ice compartment?

Using a freezer pack in the ice compartment should work well provided it is not impairing the water circulation.