Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is there any
Portacool evaporative coolers 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.
isn't my Portacool model producing cool air?
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.
is the best environment for my Portacool evaporative cooler 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.
is the difference between Portacool™ portable evaporative cooling systems and misting systems?
units spray a shower of water into the air that collects on persons and their
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. Portacool evaporative coolers 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
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 water 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 model for the first time and
there's an unpleasant odor. What's wrong?
located in the back of your Portacool evaporative cooler 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
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
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.
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.
Q. Where can I buy replacement parts?
A. All unit replacement parts may be purchased from the Portable
Coolers Sales &
Parts & Service Department.
Q. What is the amount of moisture produced by
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
Q. How long will the water supply last in the
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 model 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
evaporative cooler for storage?
you will not be using your Portacool model 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
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
Q. What if my
questions aren't answered here?
contact us with questions.