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Complete Buyer’s Guide to Personal Air Conditioner Units

I grew up in Houston, so I know what air conditioning is.  Between April and October, our air conditioner was off pretty much when it was broken, and at no other time.  In Houston in the summer, the normal routine is to go from your air conditioned house to your air conditioned car to your air conditioned school, office, or shopping mall (OK, it’s not YOUR shopping mall, but you get the point).  Nevertheless, there are still sometimes when we have actually go OUTSIDE, and the only real solution available then is to sweat.

Or so I thought.  It turns out that some clever people have now invented a lifesaving (OK, that’s too dramatic — sweatsaving) device: the personal air conditioner.  These genius devices allow you to take your air conditioning with you always and everywhere, as God intended.  These clever devices go by a lot of names: they can be referred to as a mini personal air conditioner, a personal portable air conditioner, or a personal mini air conditioner.  This variety of names is somewhat ironic when you consider that these things aren’t technically air conditioners.

Yes, that’s right.  Rather than relying on tubes and freon and such things, these “air conditioners” use mist, evaporation, or (sometimes) a big hunk of ice plus a fan to cool you off anywhere.  But, given that the manufacturers claim that these things can reduce the surrounding temperature by up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, we’re betting you don’t care how they work — as long as they work.

Which mini air conditioner personal unit is best for you?  That depends mostly on your budget and your size requirements.  The smallest personal air conditioner units tend to be the cheapest, but they also have the least cooling capacity.  This tiny unit costs just $49.95 and has a nifty camcorder grip on it — but one that is designed to be used to point the thing at yourself rather than anyone else.  It runs on batteries or — get this — USB power.  I mean, is there anything that can be run on USB these days?

This bad boy isn’t hand-held, and looks like it needs to sit on some flat surface, but it is also battery operated, so you can take it anywhere.  This unit, though, uses frozen water rather than just evaporation.  You have to fill up a bottle (included with the unit) and put it in the freezer.  Disappointingly, this one is not USB powered.  When are these people going to join the 21st century?

We hope this has been a useful guide to the miracle personal air conditioner.