Arctic Air Review

UPDATED November 2019

Our Arctic Air review tells you everything you need to know about the portable AC unit and whether it’s a good buy.

Total Rating: 4.5

4.5/5

Over-all Score:

95

Efficiency

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Ease of Use

0%

Safety

0%

Power Consumption

0%

Value for Money

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BOTTOM LINE: You can enjoy cool air on a hot day with the Arctic Air Personal Cooler, which produces more than enough air for one person. It is easy to use and pulls warm air out of the surrounding area to help you feel even cooler.

PROS: With a color cycle setting and multiple lights, the Arctic Air Personal Cooler functions as both a nightlight and an AC unit. It lasts for up to seven hours on the refillable tank and works with any type of water, including tap and filtered liquids.

CONS:This unit works best for cooling a single person and isn’t strong enough to cool an entire room. Some of the reviewers claimed that they received defective units or that their coolers stopped working after a few months.

What is the Arctic Air Personal Cooler?

The Arctic Air Personal Cooler is a handy device that you might see on late-night infomercials. This handy device functions as a personal air conditioner and is incredibly easy to use. When first shown on television, the unit was so popular that more than 500,000 units sold in just six months. It uses an evaporation method that combines the water you use inside with a powerful design to pull heat from the surrounding air and immediately make the area around you feel much cooler. You can use the cooler in any room of up to 45 square feet to enjoy the maximum benefits, though you’ll find some relief when you use the unit in a larger room too.

Staying cool in the middle of the long and hot summer is hard. While you can run a window AC or the AC in an HVAC system, you’ll find that your utility bills skyrocket. Ceiling and box fans are a good alternative, but they just won’t help you stay as cool as you want. The Arctic Air Personal Cooler is a nice little alternative that is affordable and won’t lead to an increase in your electric bills. With our Arctic Air review, you’ll get the lowdown on this personal cooler.

What is the Arctic Air Personal Cooler

The Arctic Air Personal Cooler can help you beat the heat without increasing your utility bills.

How Does the Arctic Air Personal Cooler Work?

The Arctic Air uses a process called evaporation, which lets it work more effectively than traditional AC units can. It has a tank inside that you will with water and a filter. When you run the machine, it will pull warm air in through the back and send it through the filter. That air will mix with the water inside, which cools it down before it exits the appliance. It can run for up to eight hours without the filter freezing or the water inside getting too hot. The Arctic Air does three separate things:

  • Cools
  • Purifies
  • Humidifies

This handy tool cools the air that touches your skin to help you feel more comfortable. It also purifies the air in your home. If you keep feeling sick and struggling with symptoms of the flu or common cold, it might be due to the particles in your air. Those particles can also affect those with asthma and other breathing issues as well as those with respiratory problems. The Arctic Air cleans the air that you breathe as it moves through the inside. You’ll also find that it works as a humidifier to add more moisture to the air around you. It does all three of these things at the same time.

Benefits of Using a Humidifier

  • Helps you breathe easier and combat cold and flu symptoms
  • Increase the humidity in the air to keep wood furniture from drying out
  • Can improve dry skin
  • Reduces the risk of chapped lips and similar problems
  • Can keep some people from snoring at night
  • Reduces the bacteria in your home

How Can You Use the Arctic Air Personal Cooler?

With window air conditioners, you need to place one in your window and tilt the unit to ensure that any liquid produced goes outside and not on your floors. You also need to make sure that the window is strong enough to support the weight of the unit. The Arctic Air Personal Cooler, also known as the Arctic Air Ultra, is much easier to use. This unit features both a tank and a filter. When using it for the first time, you’ll need to make sure that you remove the packaging and locate the filter. All you need to do is run the filter under some cold water and insert it inside the unit.

When it comes to the water tank, you should look for the fill line marked on the container. You will fill it to this line but be careful that you don’t add too much water. Not only does this make it harder for you to put the tank back in the Ultra, but it may lead to spills when you carry it. Once you have the filter and the tank in place, you can set the AC where you want to use it and plug in the cord. That cord works with all standard home outlets. Pressing the power button causes the unit to spring to life and begin producing cold air.

How Can You Use the Arctic Air Personal Cooler

Tips for Using the Arctic Air in a Dog Crate

Coping with hot flashes is easy when you know what to do.

  • Make sure that the unit runs properly first
  • Place the crate close to an outlet to power the cooler
  • Turn the crate so that it faces the front of the cooler
  • Sit with your dog to make sure that it feels comfortable with the air and sounds produced
  • Adjust the settings to fit the needs of your pet

Where Can You Use it?

The problem with traditional air conditioners is that you can only use them in certain rooms. A window unit requires the use of a strong window that can support the unit and a nearby outlet. If you live in an old home, you may need a three-pronged outlet for that unit too. The Arctic Air is much easier to use because it does not require any special things. As long as you have an outlet and access to clean water, you can rinse the filter, fill the tank, plug in the machine and enjoy all the cold air that you need. You can use this unit in dozens of places including:

  • Your bedroom as you relax or sleep at night
  • The kitchen as you cook on a hot summer day
  • In a classroom filled with young children or teenagers
  • The shared area of an RV while you’re on vacation
  • In your office as you work on a deadline
  • When you want to stay cool while working at home

The Arctic Air is even great for use outside. Do you ever find yourself wanting to relax on your front porch but the heat outside makes that impossible? With this personal cooler, you can enjoy cooler air as you watch your kids play or relax with a good book.

Filter Maintenance Tips

  • Check the filter for signs of damage each time you use it
  • Rinse the filter with clean water before putting it in the cooler
  • Wash the filter every few weeks to keep it clean
  • Replace the filter at least once every six months up to one every three months

Who's This for?

Though some think of summer as the months that stretch from June to August, the high temperatures outside can hit much earlier in the year. You might see temperatures as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit or even higher in the middle of May or near the end of April. If you want to avoid turning on the AC too early in the year, the Arctic Air is a solid choice for you. This portable AC unit is also great for those who travel because they can use it outside when they have access to power and in their motorhomes and recreational vehicles.

Not everyone has access to traditional air conditioners either. You might live in a home with an outdated electrical system that cannot support the power that those units need. We also recommend one of these units for those who work for employers who don’t want to crank up the AC. You can use one beneath your desk to stay cool all day at work. College students can benefit from Arctic Air personal coolers too. Most dorms and residence halls do not have AC units and are too large for fans to keep cool. Your college student can use one of these coolers under desks or right beside his or her beds.

What Comes in the Box?

  • Arctic Air Personal Cooler
  • Water tank/reservoir
  • Power cord
  • Filter
  • Instructions/manual

Where to Buy?

When first released, the Arctic Air Ultra was only available over the phone and on the official site. The infomercials shown on television gave you a number to call to place an order over the phone and a website address you could visit to buy the unit online. You can still buy one of these personal coolers online through the official website, which we listed below in the Resources & Further Reading section. The official site offers the Arctic Air Personal Cooler in three packages:

  • One unit for $59.99 plus shipping and handling
  • Three units for $119.98, which gives you one unit for free when you buy two
  • Five units for $179.97, which gives you two free units when you buy three

You also get free shipping and handling when you purchase two or more units at the same time. That free shipping only applies to orders in the continental United States. You cannot order from the official site if you live in Alaska or Hawaii. All orders placed through the official Arctic Air website come with a 30-day money-back guarantee that provides shoppers with a full refund within the first 30 days of their purchases. Arctic Air coolers are also available from many different websites, including The Home Depot, Amazon and Walmart.

Insider Tip

While Amazon and other online retailers offer Arctic Air units for less than the official site, you can only take advantage of the free shipping and discounts on the official site. If you plan on buying two or more units, you can save quite a bit on the official website.

Should You Buy it?

While we recommend the Arctic Air Ultra for most shoppers, we want you to feel confident before clicking on any of the provided links. The best way for us to help you decide on this evaporation cooler is with a detailed list of all its pros and cons. We looked at dozens of Arctic Air reviews and put the unit through many tests to see how well it performed. All that information helped our team discover what they loved about the cooler and what they thought could be better. You can look at the pros and cons for yourself.

Pros

Compact Size to Fit Anywhere: The main reason you can’t use a standard AC unit in some rooms and places is that you just don’t have enough space. As the Arctic Air Ultra has a compact design, you can put it anywhere and use it wherever you want. It’s small enough that you can tuck it under your chair or desk at work and place it right below your feet while at home. If you take the cooler on vacation, you can keep it stored in a cabinet in a motorhome or the trunk of your car. It can even fit in the packs that you carry when hiking and camping. As long as you have a way to power the personal cooler and a little extra space, you can use the Arctic Air every day.

Other Ways to Stay Cool Without AC

Compact Size to Fit Anywhere
  • Wear loose clothing that doesn't stick to your skin
  • Place a wet cloth on the back of your neck and other pressure points
  • Use blinds and curtains to block out the natural light that comes through your windows
  • Invest in fans that pull warm air out of the room
  • Place two or more fans on opposite sides of the room to create a cross breeze around you
  • Switch to flannel sheets that regulate your body temperature
  • Avoid using electronics and other devices that can increase the temperature inside

Easy to Use: Whether you plan to use the Arctic Air every day or just on hot days, you’ll find that it’s easy to use. It only requires three steps to set up the personal cooler:

  • Rinse the filter
  • Add water to the tank
  • Turn it on

What could be easier? You don’t need to fumble around with buttons on an HVAC system to switch between hot and cold settings, and you won’t need to trip over the cord that powers a window unit. Each time that you use this personal cooler, you’ll follow the same steps. You can even teach your children how to use it and invest in a few units that they can use in their bedrooms.

USB vs. Outlet: Another feature that many users love about the Arctic Air is that they can power it in one of two ways. The standard power cord fits most of the outlets around your home. You can plug it in when using the cooler in your living room or kitchen. It also works with outlets in your bathroom to help you stay cooler when you’re in the shower. Regular use can inhibit the growth of mold and mildew in the bathroom and kill any of the bacteria in the air too. With the USB option, you can power the cooler with the same adapter you use with your phone and plug it directly into your computer.

USB vs. Outlet

Just Three Buttons: One reason why the Arctic Air is so easy to use is that it features just three buttons on the front. The power button is easy to identify and is what you press to turn the cooler on and off. Nearby is the light button, which you can press once to turn on the lights. When you press that button more than once, you can cycle through the different lights that are available and opt for the light cycle, which will automatically switch between those lights. This personal cooler also features a speed button that lets you adjust the speed of the fan inside.

Quiet Operation: Many people need white noise to fall asleep at night, which can include white noise machines or simple fans that they run when they get into bed. The reviews on the operation of the Arctic Air are mixed. While some thought that it ran quietly, others found that it was noisier than they expected. It does produce some small noises as it runs, which can provide the white noise that you need at night. The Arctic Air is much quieter than standard fans though and is suitable for use in a nursery. Your baby can sleep through the night and still keep cool.

WARNING

Though some infomercials claim that the Arctic Air features a digital thermostat, this feature does not come on the Ultra or most of the models that we found for sale. You need to request a special unit to get that thermostat, which will cost you at least $80.

Three-in-One Design: When you buy a new fan or AC unit, you do so with one thought in mind: staying cool. With the Arctic Air, you get more than just cold air though because this personal cooler functions as an air purifier and a humidifier. You might not realize just how much damage a lack of humidity can do. That dry air can make you feel itchy and leave behind dry skin or chapped lips. It can also damage important documents and paperwork in your home as well as your furniture. The three-in-one design of the Arctic Air lets it purify your air and improve your home’s humidity level.

Ambient Lighting: There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and finding that you turned off all the lights. Simply getting out of bed and finding the switch in the dark is hard. With the Arctic Air, you can get the nightlight that you need after dark. You can leave the light on the personal cooler running when you head to bed and wake to find that it still works. That light is bright enough that you can see the path to your door and the light switch. One of the fun features of this portable unit is that it lets you choose from seven different lights.

Ambient Lighting
You can easily get around your home after dark with the light on the Arctic Air.

Other Reasons to Love and Use the Arctic Air

  • You get up to eight hours of use from the Arctic Air when you fill the water tank
  • It does not use Freon or any of the other chemicals that AC units do, which can leak out into the environment
  • The entire unit and all included parts are free of BPA materials
  • It provides all the power and benefits of a box fan in a smaller package
  • You can return the portable unit for a complete refund due to the 30-day money-back guarantee
  • At just over three pounds, the Arctic Air is easy to transport to anywhere you need
  • You can get big discounts and free products from the official website
  • It keeps small areas of up to 45 square feet nice and cool
  • With a new offer from the manufacturer, you can make two equal payments of $19.99 to bring one home

Cons

Instead of making multiple lists of the cons associated with this personal cooler, we put all the negative remarks we found in one section to help you understand why it might not meet your needs. A common complaint found in negative Arctic Air reviews is that it didn’t work. While some found that the cooler stopped working after a few weeks/months, others found that it was defective right out of the box and that they needed to request a refund. Some also found mold on the filter when they checked it later. To prevent mold from growing, you’ll need to rinse the filter each time you use the cooler and replace it every few months. With the 30-day money-back guarantee, you can get your cooler replaced if it doesn’t work properly out of the box.

Other Cons of the Arctic Air

Leaks are a common problem reported by shoppers.

  • You might not notice a change in the surrounding air temperature
  • It can develop mold if you leave water in the tank
  • The cooler doesn't do a good job of pushing air away from the front
  • May work, as well as a fan, does in some rooms
  • Doesn't work as well as traditional AC units
  • You might have problems using the money-back guarantee

The Competition

The top alternatives to the Arctic Air cooler are personal air conditioners. Unlike window units that can cool an entire room, these AC units are smaller in size and designed for use in small spaces. You can place one right next to your bed to stay cool as you sleep or next to your favorite chair to use as you watch television. One option is the Green Box Innovations Portable Fan, which functions as both a personal AC and a portable fan. It has three fan settings and runs quietly to help you sleep. The EternalBe Personal Air Cooler is another product that can help you stay cool on the go. This model can reduce the room’s temperature by up to 12 degrees.

Arctic Air is not the only evaporative cooler available. One popular model is the Hessaire Products MC18M Mobile Evaporative Cooler. It cools spaces of up to 1,300 cubic feet per minute and is strong enough to cool most of your home, though this cooler also has a high price tag. Some shoppers also like the Spantron Portable Air Conditioner Fan. Though this fan is affordable and has five settings, it doesn’t have as high of a rating as the Arctic Air does.

Benefits of the Arctic Air Over Other Portable AC Units

  • Costs less and is more affordable
  • Easier to carry, move and use
  • Better suited for use at home and outside
  • Does a better job of purifying the surrounding air
  • Can also act as a humidifier
The Competition

Final Verdict

We created this Arctic Air review as a way for readers to get an in-depth look at the portable evaporation cooler. Based on our research, it performs as well as any portable unit in this size range does. You shouldn’t expect it to cool down your whole home or a large room because it’s a personal cooler designed for a single person. If you want a cooler that you can place under your desk at work or next to your favorite chair at home, this is a good buy. We also recommend the cooler for those who like traveling and camping because you can use it outside.

Thanks to the built-in lights, you can get the ambient light that keeps you from stumbling around at night in the dark. You can let the cooler cycle through those lights too and create a funky nightlight for your kids. Capable of running for up to eight hours with a filled tank, this cooler comes with a power cord that you can use with a nearby outlet. You also have the option of using a USB cord to power it via your computer. For stable and convenient personal cooling, you can’t go wrong with the Arctic Air.

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