Any links to online stores should be assumed to be affiliates. The company or PR agency provides all or most review samples. They have no control over my content, and I provide my honest opinion.

With the recent hot weather, we have all been looking for affordable ways to cool ourselves. Air conditioning is what we all dream about, but they cost a lot to buy and are expensive to run, considering our current electricity costs.

Evaporative air coolers are an affordable alternative, both to buy and run. They have mixed reviews from some people, but I think they are a good middle option between a normal fan and air conditioning.

Air Cooler vs Air Con vs Fan

I am sure most people know the difference already, but it is important to know how an air cooler is different from air conditioning as some people get confused/misled.

An air cooler is essentially just a fan that passes the air over water, and using the evaporative process, the air it pushes through should be marginally cooler than the ambient air. Water has a habit of warming up over time, so you can improve the performance by adding ice blocks to the cooling.

A fan will just push around the air at the same ambient temperature. They are good at improving airflow when the outdoor temperature is cooler than indoors or when blowing directly on you where the evaporative process will work on the moisture on your skin.

If it is 30°C or 40°C as we saw recently, a fan is going to have very limited benefits.

Air coolers have a bad reputation for increasing humidity, and they are less than affectionally called swamp coolers. They will have reduced performance in humid environments, and the UK is reasonably humid.

An air conditioning unit is completely different, and it works a bit like a fridge, expelling the warm air outside. They are big, heavy, noisy, expensive to buy and expensive to run, but they offer vastly superior cooling performance.

Features

  • Free Smart App to control via smartphone or voice control
  • 3.5L Water Tank
  • 3 Speed Settings, natural, normal and sleep
  • Oscillation range 50°
  • Retractable water tank for easy filling includes ice packs
  • Airflow speed    1188m/s
  • Tank capacity     3.5L

Set Up and App

Set up was relatively straightforward and identical to the Princess Smart Air Purifier. With both devices, it took me two attempts to get them to work, I am not sure if this user error, my phone or the Princess app.

You will need the HomeWizard Climate for smart control. Like most smart apps, it is frustrating that they require you to have an account before you can use the device.

To pair the device, you just need to select the app from the list; then, with the cooler switched off, hold down the power key for three seconds until you hear it beep three times. You can then connect to the SSID using the password SetupPass and pass it your 2.4Ghz WiFi details.

With the cooler set up with the app, you can:

  • Set up schedules
  • Set a timer to switch off after a specific period
  • Link it to both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
    • Remote control of all the functions, including:
    • Fan speed
    • Cooling on or off (moving water about)
    • The mode which is either normal, sleep or natural

As for the cooler itself, you just need to fill its reservoir with water and optionally use the two included ice bricks for improved cooling performance.

Performance – Temperature and Humidity

I used the Princess Air Cooler in my office for the review period. It arrived just after the ridiculous temperatures we have seen recently, but my office is still a reasonably unpleasant 25°C+. Humidity is typically 50-60% which is a touch higher than the ideal humidity range.

I normally use the Dyson Pure Cool Tower Fan, and I also have the MeacoFan 1056P Pedestal Fan for comparison.

The overall performance was about what I expected. With the fan blowing on me, the air felt cooler than the air expelled from either the Dyson or the MeacoFan. Similarly, I can notice a difference in the air temperature when I switch off the cooling mode on the Princess, it is not a massive change, but on a hot day, it can make a big difference.

With the help of the iceblocks, the warmer the room is, the more you can feel the difference between the air cooler and a normal fan.

I tested it both with my doors and windows closed and open. I can’t say I noticed a significant difference in performance (as you would with an air con). The room never experienced a significant drop in temperature, but on a positive note, I didn’t experience a substantial increase in room humidity (perhaps due to my drafty house).

As attractive and popular as the Dyson may be, I hate the fan noise. With the fan dialled up, it is obtrusive with a high-pitched whooshing noise. I wouldn’t say the Princess Air Cooler is as quiet as I would like, but the overall audio profile is much easier to live with. Sometimes the noise of the water being moved around can be a bit aggravating, but I am easily annoyed by sounds.

I am a light sleeper which unfortunately means this is far too loud for me to even try and sleep with.

Price and Alternative Options

The Princess Smart Air Cooler is available for around £125 on Amazon and B&Q for £128.

This seems to be priced just about right. You can get a non-smart Nettta 5L air cooler for £110 or the Orkan 5L Evaporative Air Cooler for £130, which also lacks smart features.

In comparison, a Princess 9000 BTU portable air conditioning unit will set you back £380.

Pedestal fans range from £20 and up. There are not many smart fans on the market the Duux Whisper Flex appears to be a new option for £120 or the GeoSmartPro AirGo, which has dropped £30 in price since I reviewed it, down to £79 with the on-page voucher.

Overall

The Princess Air Cooler is quite good. It does what I expected, sitting somewhere in the middle of an air con and a pedestal fan.

During my usage, I didn’t find the swamp cooling effect to be as bad as some people make out. Humidity didn’t increase in a ventilated room, but on the flip side, it isn’t magically effective at cooling, as some user reviews make out.

Basically, if you have the fan pointing at you, then the cooling effect of the air is superior to a pedestal fan. If your room is ventilated, you shouldn’t have too much of a build-up of humidity. It is louder than a lot of pedestal fans, all tower fans are, and you have water moving around too. Therefore, for very light sleepers like myself, this isn’t ideal in the bedroom.

Princess Smart Air Cooler Review Rating

Summary

If you have realistic expectations then the Princess Smart Air Cooler. It can provide cooler airflow than a pedestal fan for improved cooling when you blow air on you. It won’t compete with an air con.

Overall
80%
80%
  • Overall - 80%
    80%

Last update on 2024-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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