PORTACOOL is an amazing portable evaporative cooling system, cooler, outdoor air-conditioner that cools thousands of sq.ft. at a fraction of the cost of standard air conditioning. Port-A-Cool portable evaporative cooling, not a swamp cooler, but a spot cooler that will cool large areas for only pennies per day! Port-A-Cool Port A Cool uses portable temporary evap evaporative cooling to spot cool and make areas cooler for thousands of sq.ft. in a factory, warehouse, football sidelines, sports events, tents and restaurant kitchens and outdoor seating areas. Outdoor air-conditioning, not a swamp cooler, but evaporative cooling when cooling fans are not efficient for cooling, spot cooling or for cooler air instead of fans simply blowing hot air.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Is there any assembly required?


A:  All PORTACOOL® models are ready to use right out of the box. You simply remove the packing and shipping pallet, add water, plug into a standard 110v wall socket (or 220v if applicable) and enjoy the cold air.


Q. Why isn't my PORTACOOL® unit producing cool air?

A: First, check the back of your unit to make sure the cooling pads are damp. There needs to be enough water in the reservoir in order for the automatic pump shut off control to allow the pump to operate and supply water to the cooling pads. After checking the water level, adjust the water flow (the amount of water added to the cooling pads in the back of the unit) with the control valve on the side of the unit. For the evaporation process to occur at the greatest efficiency levels, the pads must be damp but not over saturated. You should always leave some dry streaks along with moist streaks on the cooling pads at all times during use. The pads should resemble a zebra skin type pattern with wet and dry streaks about 3" apart along the back of the unit. Second, make sure there is plenty of ventilation near the area you are using the unit. All PORTACOOL® models require plenty of fresh air in order to prevent excess humidity which can affect the cooling efficiency. Please call Tech Support at 1-800-747-9591 for additional assistance.


Q. What is the best environment for my PORTACOOL® unit to produce the most cool air?

A: If the current ambient dry bulb temperature is at least 85° F. or higher and the relative humidity is below 75% you will experience the most impressive temperature difference. All PORTACOOL® models have an exclusive adjustment valve on the side of the unit for users to easily adjust the amount of water being introduced to the cooling pads in the back of the unit. On days that are particularly humid, simply make an adjustment to the cooling pads by turning the control valve handle clockwise or counter clockwise in order to receive the greatest amount of cooling even on days with high levels of relative humidly.


Q. What is the difference between PORTACOOL® portable evaporative cooling systems and misting systems?

A: Misting units spray a shower of water into the air that collects on persons and their clothing, not only getting the persons wet, but causing the possibility of someone to slip and fall due all the moisture and water on the floor of areas where misting units are being used. PORTACOOLŪ units use evaporation of the moisture within the cooling pads to produce cold air and then the cold air is delivered after the evaporation has occurred creating a clean, cold environment rather than a wet, humid environment.


Q. Should I add ice to the water reservoir to increase cooling?

A: Adding ice to the water reservoir to increase its cooling efficiency has a limited effect. Although some of the vapor from the ice water may be picked up and distributed by the fan, it does not increase evaporation and therefore will not produce significant overall cooling. In most instances, ice cold water will actually reduce the cooling process since it takes longer for ice cold air to evaporate. So even though you may notice cold air temporarily if you are close to the cooler as a result of the fan delivering cold air from the ice, the actual rate of evaporation, which is what actually creates the cooling, will take longer and eventually may actually cause less cooling to occur. Heat must be removed from the water in order for it to evaporate and make the delivered air cooler. The faster this occurs, the cooler the air becomes. Since it takes longer for cold water to remove the heat, it takes longer for the evaporation process to occur and the result is less overall cooling. So if ice is added to the water it takes much longer to evaporate and so your cooler may not cool as efficiently. It is not harmful to place ice inside the reservoir and have temporary cold air from the ice moved into the area being cooled by the fan, but more overall cooling will occur if water at room temperature is used.


Q. I just hooked up my new PORTACOOL® unit for the first time and there's an unpleasant odor.  What's wrong?

A: The cooling pads, located in the back of your PORTACOOL® unit have a resin in the pads to make the pads strong but at a maximum absorption rate. This heat treated resin is not toxic or in any way harmful but can be annoying. The pads will emit an 'new pad' odor the first time you add water to them that will only last approximately two to three days. Keep the unit in an open area until the odor goes away or put a capful of laundry softener directly into the water reservoir in the bottom of the unit for the first two or three days of use.


Q. What should I do if my unit smells?

A. New units go through a break-in period and may emit some odor caused from the resin used to make your cooling pads firm and last for many years. However, after about two or three days of operation, the odor should disappear. If the unit is not a new unit, algae or bacteria growth in the unit from improper maintenance could cause odors. Please refer to your Owner's Manual for proper cleaning and maintenance. You can also put a capful of laundry softener directly into the water reservoir in the bottom of your unit after draining and cleaning. To avoid unpleasant odors, clean the unit at least once per month or sooner depending on the amount of use and the amount of debris in the air in the area being used. On the side of the unit, simply turn off the water supply to the cooling pads, open the drain valve and turn on the pump. Make sure you have connected a garden hose to the drain valve to direct the water to a floor drain or sink or else have moved the unit to an area outdoors or in an area where there is a floor drain. Once all the water along with the mud and debris the unit has collected from the air in the bottom of the water reservoir has drained, refill with fresh clean water and resume use. It takes only about 10 minutes every 3 weeks or so to keep the hoses, tubes and reservoir clean and free from odors and bacteria. Also be sure to dry the cooling pads after each daily use and especially if being unused over a weekend. To dry the pads, simply turn off the pump switch about 10 minutes before turning off the fan allowing the fan to continue running for the 10 minutes or so. The unit will continue to cool until the pads are dry and crisp for the next use. Some units do not have a drain valve but rather a drain plug in the bottom of the reservoir. Simply remove the drain plug until all the water has drained from the reservoir and refill with fresh clean water.


Q. How often do cooling pads need to be replaced?

A: Depending on the quality of maintenance and frequency of use, cooling pads typically last up to five years or more. Pads should be dried at the end of the day after each use. Simply turn off the pump about 10 minutes or so before turning off the fan. This will cause the pads to become dry and remain dry overnight, throughout weekends or during periods when the unit will not be used and make the pads last years longer. For more details, please call our Tech Support Department at 800-747-9591 or visit this link regarding replacing your cooling pads.


Q. Where can I buy replacement parts?

A. All unit replacement parts may be purchased from the Portable Coolers Sales & Rentals Parts & Service Department or by calling 1-800-747-9591.


Q. What is the amount of moisture produced by a unit?

A. Approximately 2% to 5% increase in humidity is produced depending on the current ambient dry bulb temperature and relative humidity of the environment.  However, this amount of increase in humidity is not noticeable in a well ventilated area where the air produced by the unit is exhausted.


Q. How long will the water supply last in the water reservoir?

A. With no direct water source available, units will evaporate the water in a filled sump tank within hours of operation. The evaporation rate will vary depending on the size of the unit, amount of cooling pad area, the ambient temperature, humidity levels, direct sunlight if used outdoors, insulation if used indoors, ventilation of the area where the unit is being used and the size of the water reservoir of each unit. If connected to your water source with a standard 3/4" garden hose, the units feature a constant water supply. A float valve inside the water reservoir regulates the amount of water introduced into the water reservoir when a garden hose is used for a constant water supply. For safely and protection, you should always turn off the water source at the end of the day or when not using so that if there is a leak in your garden hose it does not present a problem and will also make your hose last longer since it reduces the stress on your garden hose if left running while your PORTACOOL® unit is not in use. If you have a model that features manual filling, the unit should be checked about every 8 hours to make sure there is plenty of water in the reservoir. Every unit has an internal float valve for regulating water flow into the sump.


Q. How do I prepare my PORTACOOL® unit for storage?

A. If you will not be using your PORTACOOL® unit for awhile or for winter storage, simply drain the unit, clean excess debris from the hoses and bottom of the water reservoir, dry the pads and place the unit, preferably covered (covers for each unit are available), in a dry place.


Q. Where are the model and serial numbers located on the unit?

A. On the outside of the housing of every unit is a metal plate with a white label with printed barcodes and other information. Unit model numbers begin with the letters "PAC." Serial numbers are all-digit numbers. Please always provide the unit's serial number and model number when contacting Parts/Technical Support.  For help determining your model number, please click here.


Q. What if my questions aren't answered here?

A. Our Tech Support staff is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday though Friday at 1-800-747-9591 or Send Email with questions.

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Portable Coolers Sales & Rentals, Inc
1250 Pacific Oaks Place, Ste 101
Escondido, CA 92029

Phone: 800-747-9591
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