If you are considering buying an evaporative cooler, please check out acboy’s Evaporative Cooler Buying Guide. Evaporative coolers use less energy, are cheaper to operate, and will cool down your living spaces, *but* are not ac units and don’t perform well in humid climates. –acboy
Residential line of portable coolers
Symphony manufactures more than a dozen models. These are separate from their commercial products. The residential evaporative coolers are divided up, rather arbitrarily, into several categories:2
- Towers – These are vertical standing units, more narrow than box-like. Other than aesthetics, there isn’t really any advantage of a tower over another shape.
- Desert – These are larger and take advantage of the lower humidity (and improved cooling available) in very dry climates.
- Room – Elevated on stands, these units are similar to the desert models and designed to move a large volume of air to cool a larger space.
- Personal – These units are smaller, less expensive to buy and operate, and wheeled to move easily from location to location as a “spot” cooler.
Several models listed below appear to be sold in India only at this time. They may become available in the US or online at a later date.
Units are rated on cooling area (in square feet), air “throw” distance and CFM. CFM is cubic feet per minute and measures the output of cooled air. All of these factors are related and govern which size unit will work best in any particular application. Prices are retail (without shipping) available from major retailers as listed on their websites.
The tank capacity is related to how often it has to be filled. Since evaporate coolers work by evaporating water on a medium, the amount of water evaporated determines cooling capacity and the tank size determines how long the unit will run before it has to be refilled. Ice chambers are used to provide additional cooling when available.
- H! Cool Smart – Area 200 sq ft; throw 37 ft; CFM 720. Tank capacity 7 gal. Has ice chamber. Price: $211.00
- Ninja – Area 150 sq ft; throw 33 ft; CFM 650. Tank capacity 4 gal. No ice chamber. Price: $105.00
- Ice cube – Area 180 sq ft; throw 30 ft; CFM 650. Tank capacity 4 gal. No ice chamber. Price: Available in India
- Storm 100E – Area 1000 sq ft; throw 80 ft; CFM 3,200. Tank 26 gal. No ice. Price: India only
- Storm 70E – Area 800 sq ft; throw 70 ft; CFM 2,000. Tank 19 gal. Price: India only
- Diet line – comes as a 50E, 22E, and 8E, ranging in area from 250 down to 150 sq ft. These towers are sold in India and Asia.
- Kaizen, Kaizen Jr., Jumbo Jr. and Sumo Jr. – not found for sale in the US
- Winter – Area 750 sq ft; throw 55 ft; CFM 2,647. Tank 13 gal. Price: $399.00
- Jumbo – Area 750 sq ft; throw 37 ft; CFM 2,600. Tank 14 gal. Price: $600.00
- Sumo – Area 600 sq ft; throw 46 ft; CFM 1,800. Tank 10 gal. Price: India only
It appears that models not listed on the Symphony website are being sold under different names. The particulars also do not match up. For example, while the manufacturer lists a “Sumo” and a “Sumo Jr.,” there is a model sold in the US as the “Sumo-J” with slightly different specs. These models are listed here.
- Sumo-J – 200 sq ft coverage, stand model that appears most similar to the Sumo Jr. Price is listed as $250 – $300, but sellers are discontinuing and many are out of stock.
- SPM-20 – 700 sq ft coverage, 2000 CFM; 5 gal tank with hose for continuous water supply. Price: $400.00
- SPM-45 – 1,400 sq ft coverage, 4,500 CFM; 12 gal tank with hose supply. Price: $830.00
Reviews and comments
Because of the price and true portability, many reviews were written for the smallest unit popular in the US – the Ninja. Most found it reliable, economical and met their expectations. Some didn’t like the lack of reservoir access – water is poured right through the evaporation media. This is purposeful as it rinses the media with every refill, but users complained they couldn’t access the reservoir for cleaning and some spilled water when they filled it.
Of the larger sizes, the Jumbo-J had pump problems that led to having to refill every couple of hours – very difficult if you want to sleep through the night.7
Overall, these units run economically and are quite quiet. They also seem to perform well at cooling, something not all manufacturers can claim.
Customer service was a problem for people shopping online and it may be wiser to purchase units locally (Sears carries many) to avoid this.