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The Basics of Portacool Portable Evaporative Coolers

Portacool portable evaporative coolers are known as some of the best evaporative coolers in the world. So, how do they work to provide cooling? Here’s an overview.

Before we discuss how an evaporative cooling system works, let’s point out the components in a Portacool evaporative cooler:

  1. Housing – this is the exterior of your Portacool portable evaporative cooler and is custom roto-molded at our own facility in Center, Texas
  2. Motor – this drives the fan blades
  3. Fan – the fan blades in an evaporative cooler do the same thing they do in a regular fan: push air
  4. Pump – moves water from the reservoir to the top of the evaporative media
  5. Reservoir – all Portacool portable evaporative coolers come with a built-in tank to hold water; depending on your model, tank size ranges from 8 gallons to 75 gallons
  6. Evaporative media – the brown material at the back of your Portacool evaporative cooler
  7. Casters – allows your portable evaporative cooler to be moved around your space easily
  8. Liquid-Level Indicator (LLI) – shows water level and turns the pump off in the event of low water
  9. Water adjustment valve – allows customization of water flow over the evaporative media

Find the Perfect Portacool Outdoor Evaporative Cooler for Your Team

Jetstream 220

The efficiently designed Portacool Jetstream™ 220 boasts powerful cooling in a compact size. This portable evaporative cooler is perfect for tight spaces or for spot-cooling a challenging personal workspace. Big on portability, but small in size, you can roll the Jetstream 220 where needed and the oscillating louvers will help deliver cooling comfort throughout your bay, garage or shop.

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Jetstream 230

The Portacool Jetstream™ 230 delivers cooling comfort to the single-person workspace. It is an efficiently designed cooler that offers maximum versatility for usage in open or condensed workspaces. Featuring oscillating louvers, low-water shutoff and Kuul Comfort MicroTech™ evaporative media, this cooler is an impressive cooling solution for hard-to-cool industrial and automotive shop areas.

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The set-up process:


When you receive your Portacool portable evaporative cooler it is ready to use right out of the box. Once unboxed all you need to do is fill the reservoir with water either directly or by connecting a garden hose to the connection. If using a hose, all Portacool evaporative coolers have an internal float that will self-regulate the water level inside the product. If using the manual fill option, all Portacool coolers are equipped with a low water shutoff mechanism that will automatically turn the pump off if the product runs out of water to protect the pump from failure. Also, a red light on the control panel will illuminate to indicate the product is out of water.

Once the water reservoir is full, flip on the switch that says “pump.” You should hear the pump quietly humming and see water running over the evaporative media in the back. If you do not see water flowing, try turning the water adjustment valve on the side of the product until it is flowing freely. The pump is important as it brings water from the reservoir through a distribution pipe and across the evaporative media. This is key to the process of evaporating the water off a surface to create cool air. (We suggest allowing the media to get completely wet, or fully saturated, before turning on the fan switch on.)

Once the evaporative media is fully saturated, turn on the fan to your desired speed. The fan will pull hot air through the water-soaked evaporative media where the water evaporates, actually cooling the air. The fan pushes the cooled air into a warm environment.

Jetstream 260

Keep work areas cool and comfortable with the Portacool Jetstream™ 260. This evaporative cooler features greater airflow and a unique cooler design that provides a perfectly calculated media surface area via its Kuul Comfort™ evaporative media set to achieve maximum cooling comfort. Ideal size for whole shop cooling or multiple coolers can be used to increase overall airflow.

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Jetstream 270

Maintain shop comfort with the most powerful evaporative cooler in the Portacool Jetstream series. The Portacool Jetstream™ 270 packs the biggest cooling punch by combining impressive airflow with the highest quality evaporative media on the market. Whole-shop cooling at a fraction of the operating cost of traditional air conditioning. The Jetstream 270 is also ideal for outdoor spaces including the sidelines and training areas for athletic events.

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The Portacool ‘secret sauce’ – cooling technology:

Speaking of that “brown stuff in the back,” that is where evaporation occurs and is what makes our Portacool evaporative coolers so special. Sometimes referred to by a person unfamiliar with evaporative cooling systems as “brown pads” or the “filter,” Kuul™ evaporative media is what sets Portacool evaporative coolers apart from all the competitors.
All Portacool portable evaporative coolers come equipped with Kuul Comfort™ evaporative media – from the residential Cyclone series to our industrial Jetstream series, Hurricane series and Hazardous Location coolers. We are the only evaporative cooler manufacturer that makes its own evaporative media. This defining difference means we can design it to our exact desired performance specifications. At Portacool, we have an entire team of engineers dedicated to making our Kuul evaporative media as efficient as possible.

Naturally cool:
Unlike air conditioners, portable evaporative cooling systems do not need chemicals, coils, or lots of electricity to cool warm air. They only require tap water and use a small electrical draw. As evaporative cooling technology continues to improve, evaporative coolers are becoming more and more useful across the world – even in humid climates, where just a few decades ago they would have been inefficient.

Portacool products have been manufactured proudly in Center, Texas, for almost 30 years. They are exclusively made in the USA with domestic and global parts. They can be configured to any plug or electrical configuration and come fully assembled, ready to use right out of the box.

See more details on how Portacool evaporative coolers work.