If you’ve ever lived in a region with climate changes, you recognize the value of the four seasons. Growing up in the Midwest meant my memories began to associate certain activities and events with what my senses picked up. There was a particular chill in the morning air during track season. The weather began to change when it was time for school to start and we most certainly knew Christmas would be here soon when we could no longer enjoy being outside without a jacket. When I moved to Los Angeles, I worked a lot and really didn’t have anything in my life that indicated what time of year it was. The weather was always the same and we didn’t have kids in school. It was odd.
Then we moved back to Iowa so the girls could absorb the same Midwest values and upbringing that we did. Winters here are harsh and in many cases you can get frostbite in only a matter of minutes outdoors. During those times, we look forward to warmer temperatures. Lest we forget how harsh the summers can be as well. With rising temperatures and high humidity, it can feel like you’re walking in a swamp. Being outside can be unbearable.
Yet we’re captivated by the need to take in the sunlight. The puppy needs to go outside and is perfectly happy lounging in the sun on the deck. The kids want to host outdoor video game tournaments, play Frisbee in the street or simply hang out and stream music on portable speakers. We want to work in our garden or tend to the yard. Being cooped up inside isn’t good for the soul. But when the weather is so hot you find yourself making excuses about using the restroom, checking something on the computer or needing a beverage. It’s the easiest way to enjoy a few moments of air conditioning. I know several people say they leave the door from the home to the garage open to help cool the space when they’re working there. I grimace because I know that shoots the utility bills through the roof. Aside from allowing the air conditioning to seep into the areas where you’re hanging out, what else can you do?
You could take the air conditioner outside with you! That’s what we’ve discovered we can do. With the Honeywell Portable Evaporative Air Cooler, we can enjoy the brisk comfort of chilled air without impacting the temperature inside the house. You may be asking yourself what exactly an evaporative air cooler is, let alone a portable one. Well, I’ll paraphrase it for you. It’s a type of air conditioner that uses the science of evaporation to cool the air. A unit includes a honeycomb panel on the inside along with a water basin or water hook-up. As warm air passes through the panel, the water inside evaporates, essentially sucking some of the heat out of the air. A fan pushes that air out of the unit and into the room. Some are indoor only while others can be utilized outdoors as well. The model we have, Honeywell Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler with Remote Control Home Comfort, includes both of these and can be used both inside and outside.
What makes it portable? Wheels. That’s what. One day you may want it on your patio then the next time you’ll want it in the garage or in the driveway for the video game tournament. The two wheels combined with the lightweight frame make it easy to tile and roll to the preferred location. Regardless of where you choose to station the Honeywell Portable Evaporative Cooler, you have options for filling it with water. The first is to hook up a continuous water supply to the connection on the side of the unit. This allows you to run it extensively without needing to regularly check on water levels.
But don’t fret if you don’t have a hose nearby to hook it up to. There’s a built-in water basin that you can fill. If you only plan to use it for a short duration such as dinner on the patio, this is a great option.
When you go to fill the water basin, you’ll want to fill it to the maximum mark. As you run the unit in “cool” mode (as opposed to just running the fan), it uses the water in the basin as I mentioned previously. If you’re throwing a party and plan to run it non-stop, then the continuous water supply is the better option because it’s imperative that you keep water levels within the required parameters. Allowing it to drop below the minimum level can cause damage to the pump.
Before I go any further, I want to emphasize a couple things to consider. First, when you unpack your unit, remove the front panel and check the honeycomb pieces. There should be one at the rear of the unit and one at the front. All you have to do is remove one small set screw on the front grill then press the clips to remove it. This is how you’ll access the honeycomb pieces for cleaning and maintenance. We failed to check when we first received it and noticed the unit was leaking when we turned it on. It wasn’t a big deal since it was outside, but we knew it wasn’t right. After removing the grill, we discovered that the front honeycomb piece had jarred loose during shipping. If you plan to run the unit inside, this might leave you with an unwanted mess. Considering how easy it is to check, there’s no reason NOT to do it.
Another thing worth noting is that outdoor outlets often have a GFCI. For safety purposes, the unit has one built in as well. Unfortunately, our outlet and the GFCI weren’t playing nice together. We ended up plugging the Honeywell evaporative air cooler inside and closing the door as much as we could.
Once you have it all set up, you’re ready to sit back and chill… literally. The Honeywell 830-1000 CFM Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler has a control panel built into the unit that includes a power button, speed adjustment, cool (to toggle between cooling and fan), swing (for leaving louvers stationary or moving them right/left automatically) and even a timer. While that’s all fine and dandy, it’s extra nice to have those options at the palm of your hand because, seriously, nobody wants to get up from their chair when they’re comfortable.
Considering all the graduation parties we’ve sweated through in recent years, I cannot believe I hadn’t considered getting a portable evaporative cooler before. When our first graduates in two short school years, we’ll be ready to keep our cool. At least physically anyhow. I’m not going to guarantee I’ll be able to mentally hold it together. If you enjoy spending time on a patio but don’t love the heat, adding an evaporative cooler is an awesome option. Visit the Honeywell Amazon storefront or MyHomeClimate to see the variety of indoor and outdoor units available.
What types of events would be more enjoyable thanks to an outdoor evaporative cooler?