Portable Water Cooled Air Conditioner: Comprehensive Guide

Portable water cooled air conditioners are a type of air conditioning system that uses water as a cooling medium to dissipate heat from the indoor environment. Unlike traditional air conditioners that use refrigerant gases and air-cooled condensers, these systems use water to remove heat, making them more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly in some cases.

In this article, we will try to cover everything you need to know before buying a portable water cooled air conditioner.

How Portable Water Cooled Air Conditioner Works

Evaporative Cooling

Portable water cooled air conditioners use the principle of evaporative cooling. Water is pumped from a reservoir to wet cooling pads or filters. The hot air from the room is pulled through these wet pads by a fan. As the air passes through the wet pads, the water evaporates, absorbing heat from the air and thus cooling it down.

Heat Dissipation

The heat absorbed by the water during the evaporation process is then expelled outside through a water-cooled condenser. This process helps in cooling down the indoor air while simultaneously dissipating the heat outside.


These systems are portable, meaning they are mounted on wheels or casters, making them easy to move from one room to another. They don’t require permanent installation, which is advantageous for renters or homeowners who don’t want to invest in a fixed air conditioning system.

Water Usage

Portable water cooled air conditioners consume water during the cooling process, so they need a constant supply of water to work. However, the water consumption is generally lower compared to traditional air conditioning systems.

Energy Efficiency

These units are often more energy-efficient than some traditional air conditioners, especially in dry and hot climates, because they rely on the natural cooling properties of water and do not require as much electricity to run.

It’s important to note that while these systems have their advantages, they also have limitations. They may not be as effective in humid environments where the air is already saturated with moisture, as the evaporation process is less efficient in such conditions. Additionally, they require a water source and regular maintenance to ensure proper functioning and prevent mold or bacterial growth in the wet pads. Let’s talk about this in a bit more detail.

Usefulness of Portable Water Cooled Air Conditioner

Portable water cooled air conditioners are most useful in specific situations and for certain types of users. Here are some scenarios where they might be a good choice:

Renters or Temporary Residents

If you are renting a home or apartment and cannot install a permanent air conditioning system, a portable water-cooled unit supplies a convenient cooling solution. They can be moved from room to room as needed.

Supplemental Cooling

These units can be useful for supplemental cooling in specific areas of your home or office, especially during hot weather. If you have a central air conditioning system but need additional cooling in a particular room, a portable unit can be a cost-effective solution.

Emergency Cooling

A portable water cooled air conditioner can be valuable during power outages when your primary cooling system is not functioning. They supply temporary relief from the heat until regular power is restored.

Server Rooms

You can use portable water cooled air conditioner to cool server rooms or other small spaces with heat-producing equipment where precise temperature control is necessary. They can supply localized cooling without the need for extensive ductwork. Please make sure your server hardware can handle the humidity though.

Outdoor Events

These units are sometimes used for cooling outdoor events, such as weddings, parties, or festivals, where temporary cooling is needed for a short period.

Should you buy a portable water cooled air conditioner?

As for whether you should buy one, it depends on your specific needs and circumstances:

Consider Your Climate

If you live in a region with dry and hot weather, where humidity is not a significant issue, a portable water cooled air conditioner might be a good choice for you.

Evaluate Your Space

Assess the size of the area you need to cool. Portable units are suitable for small to medium-sized rooms. If you need to cool a larger space, multiple units might be necessary.

Check Water Availability

Ensure you have a reliable water source for the unit. These systems require a constant supply of water for the cooling process.


Be aware of the maintenance requirements. Portable water cooled air conditioner needs regular cleaning to prevent mold and bacteria growth in the water pads.

Budget Consideration

Compare the cost of buying and running a portable water cooled air conditioner with other cooling options. Sometimes, investing in a higher-quality, more energy-efficient unit might save you money in the long run.

Before deciding, it’s advisable to consult with a local HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) professional who can assess your specific needs and recommend the most suitable cooling solution for your situation.

How to choose the best portable water cooled air conditioner

When looking for a portable water cooled air conditioner, consider these factors:

Cooling Capacity

Make sure the unit’s cooling capacity matches the size of the room you intend to cool. Too small a unit won’t effectively cool the space, while too large a unit might lead to excess humidity without effectively cooling the air.


Look for units with wheels for easy movement between rooms. Handles and a lightweight design can also make it easier to maneuver.

Water Efficiency

Consider the unit’s water usage. Some models are more efficient in their water consumption, which is important for sustainability and reducing utility costs.

Energy Efficiency

Check the energy efficiency rating (EER) of the unit. Higher EER ratings indicate better energy efficiency, which can save you money in the long run.

Noise Level

Portable air conditioners can be noisy. Look for models with lower decibel (dB) ratings if noise is a concern, especially if you plan to use the unit in a bedroom or office.

Ease of Use

Consider the control options, such as remote controls, programmable timers, and user-friendly interfaces.


Some units have self-evaporative technology, reducing the need to empty the water tank frequently. Also, check how easy it is to clean and replace filters.

Additional Features

Some models come with additional features like air purifiers, dehumidifiers, or fan-only modes. Evaluate these based on your specific needs.

Brand Reputation

Consider the reputation of the manufacturer. Established brands often have better customer support and more reliable products.

Our Top Choice: Swamp Cooler by Hessaire

Key Features

  • Superior Cooling: Hessaire’s portable swamp cooler offers efficient evaporative cooling with a 3-panel intake system, combating heat and dryness effectively.
  • Adaptable Design: Suitable for various environments, this cooling fan ensures continuous water flow for 3-4 hours, fitting comfortably in any space.
  • User-Friendly Operation: Easy-to-use controls – just fill, plug, switch, and enjoy the cooling effect without complicated settings.
  • Continuous, Quiet Cooling: Made from lightweight polypropylene resin, it has a 10.3-gallon tank with an 80% larger evaporation surface, reducing refills and minimizing noise and vibrations.
  • Portability: Equipped with four casters, it is highly mobile, allowing you to move it anywhere you need cool air.
  • Powerful Airflow: Delivers an airflow of 3,100 CFM using a patented winged prop design and oscillating louvers for wide and even cooling.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Uses water instead of refrigerants, saving up to 50% on electricity compared to air conditioning systems and preventing the release of ozone-depleting chemicals.

Special Features

  • Manual & Continuous Water Fill: 10.3-gallon water tank with a built-in float valve and garden hose adapter for continuous water flow without overflowing.
  • Energy Efficient & Eco-Friendly: Saves electricity, using water instead of refrigerant, reducing environmental impact.
  • Easy to Operate & Maintain: Simple setup, easy maintenance – fill tank, connect power, place in a ventilated area, and switch on. Run fan for 30 minutes before storing to dry the filter.

Our Verdict

Hessaire’s MC37M is a compact, powerful, and energy-efficient evaporative cooling fan designed for hot, dry climates, offering effective cooling and portability with user-friendly controls.

Best Economic Option: Arctic Air Chill Zone Evaporative Cooler with Hydro-Chill Technology

Key Features

  • Hydro-Chill Technology: This compact and powerful portable water cooled air conditioner uses Hydro-Chill Technology with dual cooling jets and an evaporative cooling cartridge to transform hot air into cool, moist, and refreshing air instantly.
  • Customizable Cooling: It offers four adjustable fan speeds, including low, medium, high, and turbo, allowing you to tailor the cooling settings to your preference. The multi-directional air vent ensures even air distribution.
  • Energy Efficiency & Whisper-Quiet Operation: This portable water cooled air conditioner runs quietly, dispersing cold air and improving air quality in various rooms, such as bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and basements.
  • Ease of Use: The cooler’s water tank has a capacity that can last up to 8 hours, depending on fan speed, temperature, and room humidity. It features an auto-off timer and seven LED lights, making it suitable for bedroom or office use to beat the heat.
  • Space-Saving, Lightweight Design: The cooler’s compact, portable design allows it to be placed in any room corner. It’s lightweight, making it easy to lift and move around the house. Additionally, it features a replaceable cooling cartridge.

Special Features

  • Adjustable Speed: Four fan speed settings for customized cooling.
  • Portable: Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • LED Light: Features seven LED lights.
  • Replaceable Cooling Cartridge: Enhances the unit’s cooling efficiency.

Our Verdict

The Arctic Air Chill Zone Evaporative Cooler with Hydro-Chill Technology is a portable and efficient cooling solution that offers customizable cooling settings, energy efficiency, and quiet operation. Its compact design and ease of use make it suitable for use in various rooms, supplying a refreshing and cool atmosphere.

If you are on a tight budget, it still is one of the best options for a portabl water cooled air conditioner.

You might be interested in: Germguardian vs Levoit – Which is the Best Air Purifier?

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