Like many who work remotely, I can’t say I miss much about corporate office life—least of all how damn cold the buildings I worked in always seemed to be. I’d bundle myself in sweaters and socks in the middle of summer, muttering darkly about “overcooling.” But now that my dining table is my desk and my apartment lacks central air conditioning, I find myself sweating and constantly struggling to find a comfortable temperature.
A/C on, A/C off. Fan on, fan off. Window up, window down. During my two years of at-home work, I’ve spent many, many days throwing on and ripping off layers and fiddling with my various cooling devices. I find many fans just blow around warm air ineffectively and dry out my skin, while air conditioning units are often too cold (and costly) for my tastes. By chance, I noticed that something called an Evapolar Evachill personal cooler was an often-bought product by SELF shoppers (I’m a commerce editor here, hence my insider knowledge). Curious, I asked to sample one and was very pleasantly surprised by its results.
How the Evapolar Evachill Works
Shaped like a small cube that reminds me of a Bluetooth speaker, the Evapolar Evachill is an evaporative cooler that uses water to cool, humidify, and purify the space around you. It functions a lot like a diffuser; inside the cube is a filter and a reservoir for water, which you fill using about 800 mL (3.3 cups-ish) of water and a clever little funnel that you can keep inside the cube itself.
Now for the science, which I’m paraphrasing from Best Buy’s blog: Once you turn on the cooler, the water saturates the filter, and as it evaporates, the water molecules turn from liquid into gas. These molecules then draw heat from the air, cool it down, and add moisture to the air. The Evachill pushes that cooled-down air toward you using its internal fan.
The cooler also cleans the air. Its replaceable cartridge (which looks like a mini air purifier cartridge) is made from biodegradable basalt fibers which filter dust out of the air—one more trick a fan doesn’t usually pull out. This filter ($29) needs to be swapped out every three to six months, depending on how much you use the device (notably, there’s no signal to remind you to replace so, so that’s something you’ll need to keep track of yourself). The cooler runs for nine hours on one tank—or a full work day.
Why I Recommend the Evapolar Evachill
The cooler lives on my desk, next to my monitor, which also powers it via USB cable. On days when it’s muggy but turning on an A/C seems like overkill, I turn to the Evachill.
To control the three levels of airflow intensity, I just push the single button on top of the cube. The lightest level feels like a refreshing whisper, while the most powerful of the three is like a strong, soothing breeze. All settings are very quiet and not at all distracting. On the front of the cooler are flaps that look like a car’s air vents, which I can adjust so that the air hits where I need it to (in my case, the sweet spot is usually right around my forehead or around my chest).