Customer Reviews: SPT SF-608R Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
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on September 1, 2007
First off, this is NOT an air conditioner. If you expect your room to be freezing cold, this is not the product for you. It's a COOLER, and it does its job very well. It works by evaporating water. Try soaking a T-shirt, wringing it out, and putting it on wet to get the effect. It doesn't work very well in humid areas, but it works GREAT where the air is dry.
I'm in southern California, where the humidity varies pretty widely. I place the cooler six or eight feet from my chair, and on the hottest days I'm quite comfortable.
* it's about 1/5 the cost of an air conditioner
* operating expense is a fraction of the cost of air conditioning
* neat features! (timer, sleep function, etc.)
* remote control

* it's not freezing cold like air conditioning.
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on July 14, 2006
Low price, very effective in low humidity. Has a strong fan when not using the cooling feature. Timer works well. Has an oscillating feature, a "sleep" mode and, most importantly: a drain plug, washable filter element and a plastic body that cannot rust like those made of sheet metal or tin.

It's been in the high 90s to the low 100's here in the San Fernando Valley in CA with low humidity and it's kept whatever room it is in cool enough to not have to turn on the AC.

It's no air conditioner, but it's a low in cost [to purchase and to run]alternative you could even say was an "eco-friendly" way to stay comfortable in the summer. But then, my friends had to talk me out of buying a wringer washing machine, so my opinion is based on my personal preference for simplicity and old fashioned ways of doing things.

Take my review as you will. It does what it says it will. If you have frequent high humidity, it won't be effective and the company tells you that so be forewarned. I find it to be a great buy and it runs quietly as well.
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on July 31, 2009
After reading conflicting reviews I was thoroughly confused, yet I was so desperately hot I took a chance on this product. Here is the true skinny on this portable cooling unit.
I live in Colorado. The humidity has ranged from 30 to 88%, the temperature 84-93 degrees. I filled the unit with 2 gallons of cold water from the frig and 2 trays of ice cubes. It absolutely blew cool air, even after the ice melted and the water reached room temperature it still blew cool air. Don't bother checking a thermometer it DOES NOT cool an entire room, no matter how small, it cools the AREA you point it at.
If you sit at the computer or any other stationary position, place the unit within 7 feet, and point it in your direction you will be cooled.

As for the humidity, this is a problem only in a room with no air circulation.
I pointed the unit at my bed and was quite comfortable, even chilly. However, in this room I have only a small table fan and the windows are closed, so within 45 minutes I was suffocating from the humid air.
In the living room where I have 2 ceiling fans and 2 box fans-one in front of the half opened door, either turned to blow air in or flipped to pull air out- I have had NO issues with humidity, even at 88%.

It beeps to let you know when the water level is low. It is easy to put handfuls of ice cubes in the tank but I found it really wasnt necessary. Pouring in the water is easy as well, but if you dont hold the little door open it will sometimes close leaving you pouring water onto your floor! I havent had to clean it yet, but the filter is easily accessible. It's no louder than a box fan and wheels around smoothly. I wish the unit were a bit taller and the blower area a bit larger but these are my only negatives.

Overall, I got what I wanted. I no longer sit at my desk with wet rags on my head, miserable and hot. I dont have to stick something in my window, or spend hundreds for central AC. If you want a cool room, look for something else. If you want to be cool in a stationary location, and you have good air circulation this will work for you.
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on June 17, 2007
This is a FABULOUS product. I based my purchase on the reviews of this item. I had a similar product a few years ago and it doesnt compare to this as well as the other one being almost double this price. The cooler came a day PRIOR to the estimated delivery date.WOW........I live in Acampo California which is north of Lodi CA and south of Sacramento CA. The degrees outside at 5:40 pm is 93 degrees, the temperature inside of the house is 84 degrees and my bedroom (which is where I have my cooler) is 72 degrees. I use a pitcher of ice water from my fridge to fill it up and ice cubes in the top tray. For those of you that are young or have not had the experience of a "swamp cooler", they tend to have a musty smell to them. I solved this problem by purchasing a Glade Car oil fragrencer(?). It is intended to clip on the vents of your heating/air conditioning unit. I clip mine on the bottem lever of the cooler on the lowest setting and it gives off a slight fragrance with no musty smell whatsoever. My hats off to the seller, Amazon for carrying the product and the reviews that allowed me to purchase the best product out there. Happy Happy Happy!!!!
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on June 25, 2007
We live in the heart of the desert in Nevada, and bought this as a way to cool individual rooms in the house vs. letting the central air cool the whole house. Why bother cooling the whole house when the family is together in one room for long periods of time?

We have a thermometer and hydrometer in the primary room we use it in. The room is about 400 sq ft. and we run it for hours. For coolness, it only gives us a 1-degree temp difference; sometimes 2-degrees with ice cold water, and ice cubes in both the main water chamber and top of unit.

The big difference we notice is with the humidity. We run about 20% humidity in the room normally. With this unit, it increases to 35-40% humidity. This helps with the dryness and with our allergies/asthma.

Overall, we use it more as a humidifier, but it does help us to increase the thermostat a few degrees at night when we run it in the bedroom, which saves a little on energy costs.
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on September 11, 2011
The heat index is in it's triple digit numbers here in Texas. Even the garage is showing 105 with the door open and a fan running. can't get the inside lower than 85-86 degrees. The AC only gets a break at night. I needed something more and I got it. After ordering my Sunpentown Evaporative Air Cooler SF-608R, it arrived in about 4-days and was put to work. The air started to cool down slowly. Let me say that even though this little cooler can't cover the size of the front room, it helped in bringing down the temp to where we run it at 80 degrees.
I'm happy to say that I'm loving it, because heat is one thing that can bring me down at my age after open heart surgery. It's made for a smaller room, but I still use it in a much larger room and it did help! Do I recommend it? YES! I only wish I had the cash flow to get a much bigger one for the garage.
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on May 8, 2007
I gave this to my son and his wife as one of their wedding gifts. They live in southern California. She wrote to me "I thought it was going to be just like a ceiling fan type thing, where it just blew the warm air around, but nope-this thing blows out ice cold air-just like the air conditioner of a car-and the whole apartment is SO much more comfortable because of it. And it has provided much-needed relief to the cats too, because they were so unhappy in the boiling heat. Now they're both situated directly in front of the air cooler and couldn't be more content. So.......THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!"

What more could a mother, mother-in-law ask?!
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on July 13, 2011
I see they keep cutting the price of this Sunpentown portable evaporative cooler, and there's a good reason.

On the plus side, it is compact, quiet, and the remote is very convenient. But a cooler needs to do one thing above all, and that is lower the air temperature. We live in the drought-stricken Southwest, so it should have been effective in a small-to-medium size room with low humidity.

We should have known we were in trouble when we found two places to put ice; a good evaporative cooler lowers the air temperature by evaporation/heat absorption; having the water be icy should not be necessary.

While most portable and stationary swamp coolers have thick, absorbent pads, the SPT SF-608R has a thin layer of netting that is more like a wick than a pad. We tried it with cold water, ice water, ice cubes, an ice pack. The result was the same--barely cooled air even six inches in front of the unit.

Maybe this would be a nice humidifier in the winter, but I doubt even that because it hardly uses up any water. There are much better brands for cooling, and I urge you to get one of them: UltraCool or Bonaire, for example. As for us, we sent the unit back to Amazon yesterday as it was either defective or just very poorly designed. No wonder you can buy them for less than half the price of similar size products!
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on August 14, 2006
Helps for those who can't sleep when it's hot. Has directional movement and ca oscillate back and forth so if only one person wants it blowing on them you can set it to do that and the other person still gets the effects of the cool air! Don't have to run the noisy whole house fan as often. This product is very quiet~
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on September 8, 2011
The problem with this cooler, is the fact that the cooling media is non-existent. Evaporator air coolers work by pulling air through a wet media. All this cooler has is a net. I modified mine, by filling the net media inside the unit with aspen wood shavings. It was easy and the unit works much better. Just remove the 2 screws holding the back on, remove the backplate, cut the bottom of the net, fill the net with aspen wood shavings, and put it back together. Takes about 10 minutes. You can get the aspen wood shavings at Petco, it's the same stuff used in hamster & reptile cages.

On the pro side, this cooler is quiet, does not create a lot of humidity, and has a remote control.

On the cons side, the fan is not very strong, and the media requires modifications.

I have further modified the cooler since my original post by placing a cork into the water return hole. This effectively forced the water to overflow the tray and roll over the media. I would say this modification made the biggest improvement. This is how most water coolers operate, running water directly over the media. Only down side, is that you should not move the cooler while it is on, doing so will make some water spill out, and the cooler now produces a slight trickle sound from the water, but most coolers do that anyway. This was also a very easy modification.
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