I bought a little something to help with cooling this summer. It is an older Convair Award 2000 portable evaporative cooler. Again from Craigslist and only $20. I brought it home just in time as today is in the upper 70’s and I have been heating the house (although I have turned it off today) so it gets warm inside quickly. The owner said he used this cooler only briefly and because it takes a lot of space, he relegated it to the basement where it sat for 10 years or so. It seems to be in great condition and only needed a good cleaning and some fresh water to begin working to cool the living area.
These are amazingly simple machines. The water from the reservoir is pumped and sprayed onto the blanket of media in this case aspen fibers, and the fan blows air over that wet layer cooling the air. Cooling depends on the “wet bulb” temperature difference from actual dry temps. That is why these don’t work in humid areas, not enough difference between the dry and wet temperatures to cool the air. This cooler was made in Australia. The company started building coolers from plastic in the mid 80’s. At the time it was a new way to manufacture evaporative coolers. This model is probably from the early 2000s. I found an online post about someone purchasing this model in 2004.
I found the manual on the Seeley International Website but not by following links. The main website only points to manuals for the Australian and European models. I actually found the link to the manual from a question about how to get the rear cover off. It is not obvious from looking at the rear. The plastic case is flexible and the sides have to be pulled over slipping two fingers under the rear cover and popping out the plastic connection. Putting it back in requires flexing the cover to go under both the top and bottom lips and stretching the sides to pop the cover back behind the clips. If the plastic was not flexible enough it seems this would break it but it actually works fine.
After taking off the cover, the media is in a metal cage that sits above the bottom of the reservoir.
I took the media out by hugging it on each side and pulling it out of the case.
I cleaned the reservoir with bleach water and the case with Goof Off where there were stains. The black tub inside the case must hold a squirrel cage fan.
I replaced the media and popped the rear cover back on.
This cooler has a lot of capacity for a portable @ 5800 btu/hr. The fan speed is also high at 3000 cfm. Most models rated for 250 square ft. are much smaller with only 300 cfm and 2 gallon water tanks. Honeywell makes a model that uses 220 watts and is rated for 850 square ft. with a high fan speed of only 1580 cfm but a 15 gallon tank. I’m happy to get this cooler all cleaned up and working in the house.