Portacool VT Cooling System
Disclosure: This is not a compensated or sponsored post. I was provided the product for review purposes only. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Last year when I first got a chance to talk to the representatives of Portacool; I was super excited to see how this product would work in the Louisiana heat. As Louisiana sweats through a spring and summer that might be the hottest on record. Those who have eschewed air conditioning or live in a place where air conditioning is not an easy option, such as high rise condo building that don’t allow window units. What other options do you have.
Some have said they tough it out with a fan in front of a bowl of ice, but that is not going work when the heat stretches from days to weeks. We were looking for alternatives and that is when we decided to try Portacool.
The day we tried it out firs it was 109 degrees F outside. 10% humidity, dew point 43 F. A single unit is cooling the living room, family room, dining room, and kitchen to 81 degrees. Hallway is 83. Bedrooms are 85. Garage 93. House is 1600 square feet plus another 400 square feet for the garage. The air is coming out of the unit is 73 degrees. The air is being cooled by 36 degrees F and the the environment that its air circulates at is being cooled by 28 degrees F. Water consumption is very high in this weather. It burns through its reservoir in about 6–7 hours, evaporating 6–7 gallons of water per hour. 5 gallons per hour is the equivalent of a 4 ton air conditioner in BTUs, but it is more like a 3-ton with the open patio door and open garage entry door . But can’t beat 3 tons of equivalent air conditioning (2500–3000 watts) for a meager 500 watts (0.5KW-h plus 6–7 gallons of water per hour). You do need at least a partial open door.
After we had it at home for a few days, we decided to take it out to the local manufacturing company, they specialize in welding and doing a lot of heaving labor. We wanted to see what they thought of our Portacool. The shop has temperatures that reach close to 110 degrees in the summer. When we started it up, they workers were so happy. It worked better than a fan. The casters made it easy to move across the shop where everyone worked on different jobs. We just filled it up, provided the power source, adjusted the water flow, turned it on and point it into the direction. The workers were comfortable and much more productive throughout the day. It even kept the tools cooler. We had a conversation with the manager and he wanted to know what was this machine, we told him all about it and he wanted to go and purchase a few for the plant right away.
We are doing a lot of work renovating our home in Louisiana and the heat is already climbing so we are so happy to have this product in our home. Here are the pros of having this machine.
-It works. It really does cool the whole house (~1300 square feet). Bear in mind that I live in a VERY dry climate (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
-It is very well made. The machine is a hefty chunk of black polyethylene with what appear to be very solid components.
-It is portable-but only in the sense that you can push it around. It is too heavy to lift, even empty.
-It is American made. To me at least, that is a big deal.
-It is simple to use. You fill it with water, open a flow valve and then flip two switches.
-The manufacturer is VERY responsive and friendly.
Use this machine: Put it in a 36" doorway at one end of your home so that the cooling pads are facing outside and so that the machine is blocking the doorway. This will leave about two feet of open space between the top of the machine and the top of the doorway that MUST be blocked (else turbulence will recirculate humid air backwards to re-cross the pads and ruin cooling. I stapled some Tyvek up to do this. Now you have a doorway across which outside air can only flow in by crossing the cooling pads (and inside air cannot retreat backwards around the machine). Set-up like this, the machine will work wonders.
This is an excellent product. The engineering and quality are fantastic. It does exactly what an evaporative cooler should. We have had numerous requests to bring the cooler to baseball games and other functions. It has been a hit with all of the towns. I am so proud that we continue to educate consumers and companies about these excellent products. Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful cooling system. If you are looking for a new way to keep cool this summer. I highly recommend the Portacool.