Posts Tagged ‘swamp cooler’

Another scam?!—the Cool Surge Portable Air Cooler

June 20, 2009

I occasionally read USA Today when I’m travelling.  Flipping through an edition last week, I came across an ad that looked a lot like the Amish Heater nonsense I commented on earlier.  Same type of incomplete and misleading information, same sleazy marketing hooks.  Digging deeper, it looks like it’s put out by the same company. 

My short recommendation:  Don’t buy this!  See what Consumer Reports has to say.

This “Cool Surge” window dressing is essentially a small “swamp cooler”, a fan that blows across water.  This can actually provide some cooling, but is really only effective in very dry climates like in the Southwest US, and even then this particular unit would generally be insufficient to even cool one room in most conditions.  But I’ll stick with my “don’t buy” comment even for those areas primarily because you can buy the equivalent equipment for 1/3 the price (less than $100, without the expensive national advertising campaign).  In humid climates like the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY on a swamp cooler and certainly not this product!

The savings claims are silly, especially if you were to use their “glacial ice block”.  This is really just a freezer pack that you stick in your freezer—and guess what—you pay the electricity to freeze the block, but you run that electricity through your freezer rather than the bogus cooling unit.  The ad’s electricy claims don’t account for this.  Worse, and not captured by the Consumer Reports review, the waste heat from your refrigerator/freezer (you generate heat when your refrigerator is cooling) actually warms your house!  “Miracle” advertising—even full-page, color, miracle advertising—doesn’t change the laws of physics!

Bottom line:  don’t buy one of these—and don’t support misleading advertising.

[If you’d like information on staying cool and saving energy, see our cooling tips and cooling myths, or signup for our quarterly newsletter.]

Thanks,
Mike


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