April 25, 2016
While we were putting together our Tech.Co Spring Gadget Guide this year we had a lot of interesting products submitted to us. From robotic lawn mowers, to outdoor theater systems, there were quite a few luxury gadgets that you’d expect to find in your Pinterest-perfect grilling and patio areas; however, we found one massive gap area as well. During the spring and summer, it gets hot, but besides sitting under a fan, shade, an umbrella, or hoping for a breeze there are only so many options for staying cool. In comes the Honeywell CO70PE Indoor and Outdoor Evaporative Air Cooler (that's a mouthful)
You’ve probably seen a rendition of how the unit works, whether it’s in The New Girl http://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-CO70PE-Indoor-Outdoor-Evaporative/dp/B01CS2J60W/ror The Simpsons – there is fan placed behind a bucket of ice and it supplies a cooling of the area. This uses the same basic concept, but actually works.
Unlike air conditioners – which this is not – the CO70PE doesn’t release the same kind of negative outputs. In this respect, it’s more eco-friendly, as it uses water in place of chemicals such as Freon. It does, of course, still consume electricity, albeit smaller amounts when compared to portable A/C units. Unlike air conditioners, this is also designed for less humid environments. This also includes indoor use as it’s ideal to have circulation (open doors and windows) throughout the area it’s being used.
This isn’t the first foray into air evaporative coolers – and, in fact, Honeywells tend to receive high marks across the board. The largest upgrade on this unit is it’s massive water capacity or direct hose intake, and the overall design.
For this review, we tested the unit inside and outside, during dry days ranging in temperature from 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Setup CO70PE and Use
For as big as this thing is, I was expecting there to be a little bit more of a setup process; however, it took less time to get it going than getting it out of the giant box. After removing a few stickers, filling the water storage area with water and adding in some ice, it was ready to be plugged in to start cooling off the area.
There is also a direct hose attachment for continuous use, but the large water capacity will keep you going for hours. If you are planning on using the water storage, it’s ideal to get the unit where you want it to be when it’ll be used, as the water weight will make it a challenge to move.
The CO70PE can cool off an area up to 342 square feet. Obviously, if you are indoors that temperature shift will linger a bit more, whereas the area touched by the powerful fans outside will stay cooler.
There are a few basic settings that makes it easier to adjust the cooling area, and also a timer to ensure you don’t leave the unit unattended and powered for too long. CO70PE features three cooling speeds, and automatic shifts in the fan direction in a scanning motion or up and down. It also includes a remote for easy adjustments away from the unit.
This thing is a bit of a beast, and can cool an area with its 18.5 gallon capacity for hours. You can also plug in a hose directly into the unit for continuous use.
Air evaporative coolers work based on the relative humidity around it. During our testing we were in an environment with the humidity levels between 24-50 percent, which is under the suggested scope of the unit of 60 percent. Using the three settings, it was easy to cool down the area while outside using a smoker. We also found the positive side effect of a massive reduction in mosquitoes and gnats, which is a priceless benefit.
According to Honeywell this unit and its new sister unit can reduce the temperature by as much as 15 degrees, which of course is heavily dependent on humidity level and current temperature. During an 80 degree with about 30 percent humidity, we saw a reduction by about seven degrees. If in the direct path of the breeze, it felt a great deal cooler.
Although this is huge, it’s only 43 lbs without water. Obviously, as you add water it will become a lot more challenging to move it around. One of the slightly negative issues here are the small wheels. If you are planning on placing the unit on grass, you’re going to need two bodybuilders to move it. We’d suggest simply using the hose feature in that case, as the small wheels could potentially sink into the ground a bit. The wheel size are the only negative feature in regards to its design.
Beyond it’s girth, it has a simple design of black and gray. Whether inside or out, it sort of sticks out like a sore thumb, but considering it brings the cool temperature to a hot environment, that’s where people will gather anyways. Once you’ve finished using the CO70PE, simply pull the plug underneath and allow it to drain.
The device also doesn’t make a huge racket. When you use a portable A/C unit or wall mounted unit, you can expect to yell if you want to have a conversation. On it’s highest setting you can still talk over the sound it makes, yet it still does a great job of cooling off an area.
Honeywell CO70PE Pros and Cons
- Not as noisy as a mounted air conditioning unit
- More eco-friendly than a mounted air conditioning unit
- Can be used both indoors and outdoors
- Dual slide in washable air filter
- Doesn’t cool an area off as well as an A/C unit
- Costs about as much as a 10,000 BTU A/C unit
Yes to buy, with the notion that it’s a luxury item for some, especially for outdoor use. During our initial tests my A/C was on the struggle train, but luckily this helped keep the heat at bay. During that particular day our internal temperature was at about 80, and brought the temperature down to 73 in the area getting hit by the cooled air. However, I did place ice inside it’s base, which helped bring the temperature down. At the full retail price listed it is pretty expensive, but at the price at time of writing, it’s certainly worth the value.
If you are concerned about the output of a standard air conditioning unit, hello global warming, this is an ideal solution for keeping cool in non-humid environments. If you are just looking for a more cost-effective solution to that of an A/C unit, between the price tag, water use, and power consumption, it adds up to about the price of a cheap wall mounted unit.
Price: Retails for $500, listed on Amazon for $300
Where to buy: Amazon
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