Mistbox was invented to help your air conditioner keep up with the heat while also saving you money on energy costs. Using evaporative cooling, Mistbox creates a fine mist around your AC unit to cool the surrounding air, therefore allowing your AC unit to work less. With a built-in solar panel, Mistbox recharges itself. Purchase yours from Mistbox or Lowes.
Check out this introduction video from Mistbox for a good overview of the product:
Mistbox is a literal box that can attach to almost any AC unit. It has a built-in solar panel for automatic recharging, sensors to detect AC system operation and efficiency, a water treatment system to extend the life of the system, and an onboard CPU to automate and optimize the misting. It also has built-in WiFi that communicates with Mistbox’s free mobile app to track status, usage, and lifetime savings.
Evaporative cooling is the same process that your body uses to cool itself with when you sweat. The process of the evaporation of the sweat on your skin actually cools your skin. This same process has been successfully used with commercial air conditioning systems for years and is now being taken advantage of for residential AC systems.
The folks at Mistbox estimate that users save about 20-30% on their monthly cooling costs while using the Mistbox unit. That’s a huge savings, especially in the southern half of the US where air conditioning is used year round. What’s also neat about this system is that it’s eligible for a 30% federal green tax credit against the purchase price of the unit, since it’s powered using a solar panel. So if you purchase the Mistbox for the MSRP of $399, you’ll get about $131.67 next time you pay your federal income taxes.
Setup of the Mistbox was fairly easy once you have the necessary parts. You’ll need a garden hose to provide water to your Mistbox. You also may want a Y-splitter for your garden hose so that you can use another hose whenever you want. You’ll need to keep a hose with constant water supply connected to the Mistbox so that it can do what it needs to do. This was one of my concerns with this product. You never know with a garden hose, you could spring a leak at any time and it may take some time before you recognize the problem.
What’s nice about Mistbox is that not only does it save you energy, it will also help protect your AC unit by filtering the water that it mists around your system. If the water wasn’t filtered, it may spray minerals that could end up getting caked on the AC unit, which would reduce the life of your AC unit.
Installation of the Mistbox was extremely simple. It comes with the Mistbox itself, about 30 feet of supply tubing, spray bars, two methods for attaching the spray bars: zip ties and spray bar clips, and a WiFi antenna. You simply remove a screw from your AC unit; attach the Mistbox and screw that screw back in. Next, you adjust the spray bars and supply tubing as necessary to fit your AC unit and attach the spray bars with either the zip ties or the spray bar clips. Finally, attach a hose with water supply, sync your app to your Mistbox, and away you go!
With the Mistbox app, you can set your Mistbox preferences, view the status of the Mistbox (battery level, water consumption, filter health), as well as view your savings in real time. The app is available for both iOS and Android. While the app worked well for me during setup and to check the status of the Mistbox, it never actually ended up telling me what my savings was after about a month of use.
Check out the screenshots below from the Mistbox iOS app:
I was impressed with the ease of installation and the amount of technology that’s been shoehorned into the device. The Mistbox is almost fully self-sufficient in that it decides when to mist on its own and it recharges itself. The only maintenance you need to do is to clean any buildup off the of the spray bars and make sure your garden hose isn’t leaking. Unfortunately, the app was not able to tell me how much I saved over my month using the Mistbox. However, now that it’s October, my AC unit won’t be doing too much work, so I had to cut the Mistbox testing off. However, it is clear that the evaporative cooling process works, so I’m sure that given some more time to test, I would have seen significant energy savings.
You can purchase the Mistbox directly from the manufacturer at Mistbox.com or at Lowes.
Source: The Mistbox was a manufacturer provided review sample.
What I Like: Simple DIY installation; Solar powered; Reduces energy costs for cooling your home; Built-in WiFi to sync with a free mobile app; Almost fully automated.
What Needs Improvement: Not sure how it could be improved, but I was constantly worried that my garden hose would start leaking and flood my backyard.