Evapolar Portable Air Cooler REVIEW Beat the Heat or Swim in the Leaks

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I have a slight problem with heat. Even with the temperature is comfortable for everyone else, I find myself overheating most times. At CES in January, there was a product that I thought could potentially help me with my heat problem — the Evapolar Portable Air Cooler. This unique product is actually a personal microclimate system that allows you to cool, humidify, and purify the air within your personal space. For someone like me, it sounds like the ideal solution to overheating problems. I was lucky to meet some of the Evapolar team members and they were quite incredible to me. They had wonderful knowledge of their product and had a lot of suggestions on how to use it properly.

Before I get into the specs, I want to go ahead and state that I did have some major issues with this device. The Evapolar was originally a crowd funded project through Indiegogo and the version of the device I got for review was, as I like to call it, Sub 1, meaning that it was released prior to the official generation 1 production run. I will structure this review by starting with the official specs of the Evapolar and then I will discuss the issues I had with it.

It’s important to note that the Evapolar really is just for your personal space. It effectively cools 21–32 sqft and is not intended to cool an entire room. According to the specs, the unit will operate on one tank of water for 4–6 hours and can reduce the temperature down to about 63º. The detailed information on the device also states that the amount humidity already in the air affects the Evapolar’s ability to cool. If it’s greater than 70% humidity, you will see limited results.

The Evapolar works best in a warm, dry environment. It has an easy installation process — you fill the water tank, plug it in, and then press the power button. The device provides for highly intense evaporation from a small surface and it uses eco-friendly filters that don’t contain any nutritious materials that can lead to bacteria and mold growth. The technical specs include:

  • Cooling power: up to 1200 BTU/hr
  • Cooling square: 45 ft2 (4m2)
  • Noise level: 28–40 dB
  • Power consumption: 10 W
  • Micro-USB plug 5V 2A
  • Works with USB power bank
  • Size: 174 × 170 × 170 mm
  • Weight (without water): 1,3 kg
  • Water tank capacity: 750 ml
  • Water Tank refill cycle: 4–6 hours
  • Cartridge Replacement period:
  • 6–8 months

Even though I received the product earlier this year, I wanted to wait until the hottest part of the summer hit before trying to use it. In the Midwest, that usually ends up being July. Now that summer is here and the heat is real, I had the opportunity to really test this little gadget out.

My first test occurred in our living room. I was sitting in my recliner, which happens to be directly next to our sliding glass door. Even though the glass door is supposed to deflect heat, there is still a certain amount of it that gets through to the house. During this particular test, the ‘feels like’ temperature outside was well over 110º and I was just baking in my chair. So, I pulled out the Evapolar thinking it would cool me off. It ended up being the perfect companion for my chair side table. It kept me cool within my personal space. When I was done using it that night, I unplugged it and set it on top of my a wooden cabinet that is in the same room.

A couple of days later, I went to refill the Evapolar’s reservoir with water and discovered that the cabinet it was sitting on had warped and the seam on one side was pulling apart. I discovered what had happened was that the Evapolar had leaked water — even though it was sitting stationary and not being moved — onto the cabinet, it had soaked in and damaged the cabinet.

Knowing I had an early version of the device, I went on Evapolar’s website and found a ‘fix’ for the leak I was experiencing. After reading the description (included below), I was a little appalled that a better solution to this problem wasn’t presented. I’m no stranger to the occasional ‘fix’ of a product, but this just seems a little too major for standard consumers to have to worry about — especially at a $200 price point for the unit. I was actually a little shocked that Evapolar didn’t issue a recall or publicize the leak issue on this particular batch of devices rather than just post directions for a DIY fix.

After completing the fix, I felt as though I could use the Evapolar again. I moved it to my home office and switched it on for a few hours. I did enjoy the cooled temperature until it was time to quit work for the day. I turned off the Evapolar and left it sitting on my desk for a few minutes. Before I left the room, I happened to notice that a puddle was forming on my desk. It’s a good thing I caught it when I did because it was on its way to my speakers and keyboard. I cleaned up the puddle and emptied the water reservoir. I moved it into my kitchen just to be safe.

Even after emptying it, I noticed that the Evapolar was somehow still leaking. So we placed it on top of a towel and that was resting on top of a plate because we didn’t want to chance that any moisture would be left on any surfaces. Tonight, about a week after these leakage events occurred, I noticed that there was still condensation collecting on the bottom of the Evapolar.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LEAKAGE FIX: Only relevant for devices from January ’17 batch! Water leaks from holes in the bottom. You will need to disassemble the bottom of the device. To do it you need a flat sturdy object, for example, a screwdriver. Just hook the bottom up and gently pull it off. After that, you will see what is represented in the pic. 1. Please check connections of the transparent tube, valve and black small bath, you can see it in the pic. 1 as well. Pic. 2 shows how it has to be in the right place. If there are hot-melts or plastic appendages please warm hot-melt up, pull off the tube and clean all excess what you see on plastic body of the valve. To fix leakage you will need to clean all hot-melts from plastic. Then just pull on the tube and wait for 3–4 hours. The device is ready to be used.

Picture 1

Picture 2

Because of these issues, I don’t feel comfortable recommending the Evapolar at this time. Since I was an early adopter, I’m willing to give the company as a whole the benefit of the doubt since my unit did work as expected (minus the leaking). Plus, the version of the device I have is older and Evapolar is going to launch the Evapolar 2 soon according to their website. That version is supposed to be leak-proof, which would be a very helpful feature. It does look as though the company is working to make a better product. If you are still interested in trying the Evapolar out, I have included the link to the product on Amazon below.

For more information, visit Evapolar
Find Evapolar on Facebook and Twitter.

Originally published at macsources.com on August 4, 2017.



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