We are almost into September this year, and the heat still isn’t taking a break! While even the biggest sceptics can’t deny global warming any more, there still is a need to cool down our houses and offices. JML wrote to us about the Arctic Air, so we were very keen to try it out. It is a small (roughly a foot by foot by foot cube) that can sit on your desk or bedside table and throw cool humid air at you via an evaporative cooling process.
Arctic Air – FeaturesThis
- Cools, humidifies and purifies the air
- Evaporates water to keep you cool
- Adjustable three-speed fan
- Built-in colour changing LED night light
- Runs up to 8 hours per fill
- USB or mains powered
- Ideal for personal cooling, not cooling rooms
Look and feel
As already mentioned, it is pretty light.
The front is where the cool and humid air comes out of, and you can access the filter to change it from there.
On the top is a little door to add water (a necessity to run this) as well as the big on button, and controls to adjust fan speed and light.
When the unit runs, there is a big blue light that pops on. This can then be adjusted to different colours or turned totally off (important if you are trying to sleep!).
At the back is the power port, which is a micro USB port. This means that you can run this off any phone charger/USB charger that is capable of delivery at least 1.5A. Since most chargers offer over 2A these days, you should be good with most.
The unit is reasonably light, and can easily be moved from place to place.
Adding the water and avoiding leaks
So, the device requires you to add water to run it. If you want it to be cooler, you can even add ice! There is a fill level, and the water can last up to 8 hours. In dry environments, it may only last a couple of hours, so you need to watch out. If it does run out, the system will automatically shut down and flash red.
One thing to watch out is leaks. Once there is water in the unit, you cannot move it. Any tilt and the unit will leak all of its water.
Since my main focus was to get our little one cooler, I put it on the bed beside her while she was asleep – sadly a bit of movement and it leaked all its water all over the bed. Luckily nowhere near her, but it got kicked out of her bedroom pretty soon!
The fan itself offers three settings. However, it is pretty weak, even at the highest setting. It is really designed to be sat right next to you. Do not expect it to cool a room, merely act as a personal cooling device.
I tried to check how much the temperature dropped, but didn’t notice much on a room level. On a personal level, it worked enough to make a difference, and more so if ice was added.
One thing to watch out for with this unit is the fact that it acts as a humidifier as well. This means that a place like UK is not the ideal market for it. We already live in a pretty damp country, and having something like this on could actually cause dampness problems.
While I didn’t measure the humidity in the room I tried it in, you could easily smell a rise in humidity.
Powering the unit
One really cool thing about the unit is that since it runs on 5V/1.5A and a microUSB port, you can power it using a portable battery pack. This makes it the idea portable cooling solution. Watch out for those water leaks though.
More information can be found on the JML website, which sells this for £39.99.
While this offers a lot of promise, it was more a miss than hit for me. It works well for personal use but the leakage issues when moving it were just too annoying for me to use it regularly.