Evapolar Air Cooler Review (CHILL Vs LIGHT Vs SMART Compared)

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

Last Updated On

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If you’re looking for a neat air conditioner alternative to keep nearby, I might just have the thing for you.

I’ve been using the Evapolar air coolers for nearly a year now and I’ve been seeing that most people don’t quite understand the difference between a personal air conditioner, evaporative coolers, and full-blown ACs.

So, I thought I'd explain with a comprehensive Evapolar air cooler review.

Evapolar Quick Guide

 

evaLIGHT

evaCHILL

evaSMART

Unique Feature

Control wheel

Carrying handle

Smart connectivity

Cooling Area

Up to 8 feet

Up to 8 feet

Up to 12 feet

Cooling Power

340-1190 BTU/hr

340-1190 BTU/hr

340-1360 BTU/hr

Water Tank Capacity

1000 ml

800 ml

1200 ml

Average Operating Time

5 hours

4.5 hours

6 hours

Plug Type

Mini-USB

Mini-USB

USB-C

Control

Touchscreen /
Wheel

One button

Mobile app, voice assistant, touchscreen

Average Noise Level

30-45 dB

35-50 dB

30-45 dB

Electricity Consumption

2-5 watts/hr

2-5 watts/hour

4-8 watts/hour


ACLAB Note:

Note that the ratings for the Evapolar models below are in relationship to other similarly sized evaporative coolers in the market. They are not to be compared with large room-based evaporative coolers.

Evapolar EvaLIGHT+ Review

Personal Evaporative Air Cooler - Recommended Choice

4.7

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

5.0

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Evaporative Cooling Ability

4.75

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Value for Money

4.25

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Who is the product best for?

Evapolar EvaLIGHT+ is the ideal personal air conditioner for anyone looking for a quick, easy, and effective cooling solution for their home office, desk, or bedside table.

I have used the EvaLIGHT+ portable air cooler every single day for over six months. In my mind, Evapolar LIGHT+ is the best out of the three products Evapolar offers.

EvaLIGHTplus is small, easy to set up, and does a surprisingly good job of keeping me nice and chill on a hot day.

Mine’s plugged into a USB dock on my desk, but you can plug yours into an outlet, a power bank, or any other power source with a USB-A port.

In the real world, all it takes to feel the cool breeze is to fill up a 34 oz (1 liter) water tank with cold water...it performs much better when you use cold water, so I keep mine in the refrigerator.

Then you're set for about about 4 to 5 five hours (rarely more, as it isn't quite effective when the fan is set very low).

EvaLIGHTplus won't drop air temperature in your room, even if it's a small space. Still, it will cool you down quickly and efficiently.

Evapolar EvaLIGHT

If you keep it 3-4 feet away from yourself (as I do), you won’t be able to sit in front of it for more than 30 minutes if you set the fan speed to level 10, as it will freeze your arm off.

So, I keep mine at 7, as that keeps the airflow the way I like it.

You can also adjust the air trajectory by adjusting the fins on the front grill.

ACLAB Note:

It is worth noting here that all of the Evapolar models listed here are evaporative coolers. They also go by the name of swamp or air coolers.

They are not air conditioners in the traditional sense meaning that they do not have refrigerant flowing through coils and passing through a condenser unit. It is worth educating yourself regarding the differences between air conditioners and air coolers if you are not aware.

I sometimes use my EvaLIGHT Plus when I sleep. It is very quiet while keeping me nice and cool during summer nights. It produces this straight, humming white noise, without any crinkles or buzzing, and keeps the “volume” well below 40 dB, which I find quite soothing.

What I also like about this one is the controls.

Up top, EvaLIGHT+ has a small round clickable screen that acts as a control panel and a super satisfying wheel you can use to switch between 10 fan speeds, night mode, LED color and brightness settings, and set a timer.

I spent 20 minutes playing around with lights the first time I got my hands on EvaLIGHT, but since then, I just keep them off during the day, as that cuts down the energy consumption in half.

To be fair, If I write during the night, the LEDs help me see the keyboard, so that’s nice.

Speaking of power consumption, EvaLIGHT+ draws between 2 and 5 watts, depending on the settings.

The Evapolar website says it draws up to 10 watts, but I could get mine past 5 even with fans and the lights at the max setting.

Now, the thing I don't like about EvaLIGHT+ (and the other two) is the build quality. The entire thing's made out of plastic, and it just feels a bit flimsy. 

Nothing fits like a glove, and there's quite a bit of wobble across the unit. This one certainly isn't made to be rugged or used outdoors, but I'd still appreciate a sturdier finish.

Finally, each of these three Evapolar air coolers for personal use has its own "eco-friendly" evaBREEZE® cartridge (their patented chiller, humidifier, and air filter), which you need to replace every 3 to 6 months, which will set you back a smidge under $40.

To be honest, I wouldn’t quite call them eco-friendly as they’re wrapped in solid plastic.

More importantly, if you try and use the EvaLIGHT+ air cooler (or EvaCHILL or EvaSMART) for an hour or two and then turn it off while there's liquid in the water tank, the cartridge won't dry out, and you'll be left with a smelly evaporative cooler within a few days.

So, keep it running when the water evaporates for at least 30 minutes to dry out the filters.

Pros
  • Effectively cools the air up to 8 feet
  • Draws up to 5 watts of power
  • It cools air by up to 12 degrees in the right conditions
  • It is as quiet as a mouse
  • It offers the best value for money out of the whole lineup
  • Bi-weekly maintenance takes no more than 5 minutes
CONS
  • Requires cartridge replacement
  • Not the best build quality
  • Cartridge can get smelly if not dried after using

Evapolar EvaCHILL Review

4.7

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

5.0

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Evaporative Cooling Ability

4.5

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Value for Money

4.5

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Who is the product best for?

The Evapolar EvaCHILL is best if you are looking for a budget-friendly Evapolar model to cool your personal space.

Everything I said about the EvaLIGHT+ can be said about the EvaCHILL as far as performance is concerned.

They feature the same specs - 340-1190 BTU/hr cooling power and 49.1 CFM fans; in the real world, they perform identically.

One thing I noticed with EvaCHILL is that it is a tad louder than the EvaLIGHT+ and Evapolar EvaSMART, probably because it is the first one ever made, so they haven’t quite dialed it in.

The only distinct feature, apart from the design (which I have to admit, I like the best out of the three because it has a carrying handle), is the water tank size.

Evapolar EvaCHILL

This one's 800 ml or 27 oz, so the runtime is cut short by about 30-60 minutes compared to the EvaLIGHT+.

However, this can vary, as water evaporation won't be consistent between different fan speeds and modes.

Finally, this one features a one-click button control, which you can press to switch between four fan speeds and toggle the aqua-blue LED light on and off.


Evapolar EvaSMART Review

4.5

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.75

Current Progress
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Evaporative Cooling Ability

5.0

Current Progress
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Value for Money

3.75

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Who is the product best for?

Evapolar EvaSMART is best for those tech-savvy who want a portable air cooler that they can control via their phone, Google Home, or Amazon Alexa.

EvaSMART is a personal air cooler, purifier, and humidifier, just like the other two. It performs virtually the same; it's as power-efficient (not exactly, but the difference is negligible).

Still, I must admit - Evapolar EvaSMART is the coolest of the three.

It has voice commands; you can easily control it via the iOS or Android app and connect it to your smart-home gadgets.

It is also the only one with a USB-C cable (the other two use Micro-USB, for some reason), so you can use just about any phone cable you have lying around.

1-Evapolar EvaSMART

More importantly, EvaSMART offers more in the cooling department than the other two. It has a slightly more robust 55.1 cfm fan and a bit more cooling capacity (up to 340-1360 BTU/hr).

Unlike the other two, EvaSMART has a touchscreen display as a control center up top, but it isn't the most responsive.

From my experience, this translates to a slightly longer reach (up to 10-12 feet), making it a slightly better option to use at night.

It also has a bigger water tank, making it more useful for nighttime use.

The "issue" I have with this one, even though I'm a tech fan, is that smart controls and WiFi connectivity are honestly just a gimmick, and that doesn't justify the price difference for me.

Evapolar EvaSMART will always be within your reach, so there's no need for app control. 

Also, connecting it to a smart home gadget and controlling it remotely makes no sense, as this is not an air conditioner and won't drop the temperature in the room.

So, I admit it is cool, but I objectively don't see any use for these features.


Why Did I Buy Evapolar Air Cooler (And Why Should You)?

I spend a ton of time in my home office, which doesn't have an air conditioning unit. My PC is basically a furnace at this point, so having a small, desk-bound evaporative cooler that blows air right into me is extremely useful, so that's why I bought mine.

Here's more of my "why."

Evapolar Genuinely Cools You Down

As I said, sitting three feet away from this unit when the fan speed is set to maximum is nearly impossible for me.

I didn't expect Evapolar coolers to be so good that I would feel cold after 30 minutes or so.

The air temperature difference (between the air it draws in and the air it is pumping out) can be massive - up to 12 degrees. Couple that with the fact that you are in the direct airflow, which gets pretty cool quickly.

So, if you’re anything like me, and you’re tired of sweating and fans just regurgitating heat and blowing warm air all over you, a personal air conditioner such as EvaLIGHT+ or EvaCHILL offers a great solution.

TL;DR: Evapolar coolers are great for personal space cooling. They are not, however, designed to cool an entire room.

It Costs Close To Nothing To Run

None of these units will draw more than 5-6 watts per hour on max settings.

To put this into perspective, a regular mini-split or portable air conditioning unit will draw anywhere from 700 to 2000+ watts per hour.

To paint an even clearer picture of how cost-effective these things are - you could run any of the three Evapolar coolers non-stop for a year, costing you less than $8.

TL;DR: Compared to ACs and larger swamp coolers, Evapolar units cost almost nothing to run.

You Can Use It Wherever and Whenever

Pick any of the three personal coolers, shut off the LED lights, and you can use them virtually anywhere within your home.

You could even take it to the library if you wanted to.

They're compact (especially the EvaCHILL), sit on the desk without taking up a lot of real estate, and as long as you have a USB-A port to plug it into, it will even work outdoors or in a tent - provided you sit close to it.

TL;DR: Evapolar coolers are compact and highly portable and hence you can use them almost anywhere.

It’s As Quiet As It Gets

Evapolar describes these as "whisper quiet," and I agree. Compared to any other air conditioning unit I have ever used or tested, Evapolar air coolers are dead silent.

Sure, you'll hear them, but unlike the big ACs, the sound won't fill the room. 

You can comfortably hop on a business call with these things being 3 feet away from the mic, and the mic won't pick it up.

Sleepy time-wise, the results will vary.

If you like white noise, you'll enjoy the fan on these. It's just a humming sound that's barely audible but also "loud" enough for those who can't fall asleep without white noise, so it's a win-win.

TL;DR: Evapolar coolers are as quiet as soft rainfall even at highest fan speed. Most will enjoy the soft humming noise as white noise.

It Looks Cool and It’s Easy to Use & Maintain

While this is purely subjective, I think Evapolar air coolers look cool. Build quality aside, I can appreciate the modern and compact design and LED lights.

The white ones are my favorite. They fit the modern aesthetic nicely, and the LEDs can glow up a room, so this one’s useful as a nightlight, too.

They are also super easy to use. You can seamlessly switch between different functions, switch the fan speed, adjust the lighting, etc.

Even refilling them is easy. All it takes is to pop off the top lid (or, if you want, remove the entire tank), fill it up, close it down, and you’re good to go.

As for maintenance, I clean the tank every week to keep it nice and clean.

For the cooler itself, it’s kind of tricky, as you can’t quite access the section where the water goes into, so I haven’t touched that once, and I still haven’t had any issues.

Now, thoroughly cleaning the cartridges is not quite possible, as it would require disassembly (same as with the rest of the cooler).

Still, you can do what I do and use compressed air to blow any dust or debris that might get stuck in there.

TL;DR: Evapolar coolers are not only aesthetically appealing, they are also very easy to clean and maintain.


Why You Shouldn’t Buy The Evapolar Air Cooler?

The way I see it, there are a few things that might be a problem.

  • Living Conditions
  • Cartridge Replacements
  • Build Quality
If you live someplace where the humidity is high and the temperature is even higher - Evapolar is not for you.

This is essentially a mini evaporation cooler that uses water instead of freon to chill the air, so if there’s already a ton of moisture up there, it won’t do a good job cooling it.

You can find this great chart on Evapolar's website, which perfectly visualizes what you can expect depending on the humidity.[1] It will help you realize right away whether this will work for you or not.

Basically, high humidity and high temperature equal lousy output from your evaporative desktop cooler.

Also, buying new cartridges every 3 to 6 months is not ideal, seeing as their price is not exactly low.

I actually went through three in six months because my first one got smelly, and I didn't know I had to dry it out.

Finally, build quality is supposed to be better at this price point.

Sure, these things are far more budget-friendly compared to full-sized evaporative coolers and portable ACs, but there are just too many loose and flimsy areas with these products.

Funnily enough, the EvaCHILL, the least expensive out of the three, has the sturdiest design, which is not something I expected.

TL;DR: If you live in an area that has high humidity and if you do not like the idea of buying cartridges every 3 to 6 months, then Evapolar coolers are not for you.


FAQs

Can Evapolar Cool An Entire Room?

No, Evapolar coolers cannot cool the entire room. They are designed for cooling a person close to the unit.

How Often Should I Replace Evapolar Cartridges?

Evapolar cartridges should be replaced every three to six months to ensure optimal cooling performance and minimize the risk of faulty odors or dust and debris dispersion.

Can You Sleep Next To The Evapolar Air Cooler?

Yes, you can comfortably sleep next to the Evapolar air coolers. EvaLIGHT+ and EvaSMART feature a Night/Sleep mode, which turns off the LEDs, dims the display, and substantially quietens the entire unit.

Can I Use My Phone Cable With The Evapolar Air Cooler?

You may use your phone cable to run the Evapolar air coolers. The EvaCHILL and EvaLIGHT+ use Mini-USB, and the EvaSMART runs off a USB-C cable.

Final Verdict: Is Evapolar Air Cooler A Worthy Investment?

Evapolar EvaLIGHT+ and Evapolar EvaCHILL are definitely worth it, as long as you understand that this is not a typical AC, but a personal cooler with limited range but powerful kick.

EvaSMART, on the other hand, may be a bit overpriced, in my opinion, but it also gets the job done, so feel free to use that one, too, if you want the extra features.

All in all, after putting each unit to the test of everyday life in various conditions, I'm not surprised thousands of people love and use them daily!

References: 

  1. https://evapolar.com/en/technology/#:~:text=Evapolar%20Evaporative%20Air%20Coolers%3A%20How%20Effective%20Are%20They%3F
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Josh Mitchell

Founder

Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

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Midea U Shaped Window Air Conditioner

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