Most summer days here in south Texas get hot enough that working in the garage or being outside is almost unbearable. I recently had the opportunity to test out the $999 Portacool Cyclone 140 in my own garage/golf cart shop. Texas was kind enough to give me a 103-degree day to start my review. Let’s take a look.
The Portacool Cyclone 140 is a large evaporative cooler on wheels and is perfect for any garage, porch or outdoor area to take an edge off the heat. The unit is 57” tall, 33” wide, and 23” deep and weighs in around 95 lbs. Water can be stored in the 40-gallon tank or a hose can be connected to provide water. A gauge on the side indicates water levels and there is an auto shutoff if water runs too low. The best part is that there is no assembly required. Simply get rid of the box and the fan is ready to get to work.
Being almost 5 feet tall and plenty heavy, especially when full of water makes the Cyclone 140 a sizable piece of machinery. The heavy duty casters on the bottom do a fine job of making the fan safely moveable and it does get used all over my garage. I have been around Portacool products in my coaching life for years and have seen nothing but excellent build quality. The Cyclone 140 doe not disappoint. This is a high quality, well-made product.
The fan has one speed which comes out to 21 mph and is plenty to cool off a two car garage or make the deck or outside work area bearable. The fan is pretty loud, but since I use it primarily while fixing things and working on my golf cart build in the garage it is never a problem. Two switches run the fan. One turns the fan on and the other starts the water pump to send the water through the Kuul Comfort evaporative media. Water flow is controlled via a valve on the side. You want enough water to flow through the coils without spilling over. It is easy to get a feel for how much water flow is needed quickly.
While we can talk stats and features all day, none of this matters if the fan does not cool the intended area. One thing to remember is that this is not an air conditioner, but an evaporative cooler. By pulling the air through the coils with water flowing through, the air adds moisture and becomes cooler as it blows. This does raise the humidity of the air a bit, so keep this in mind. The Cyclone 140 has performed well for me and does bring down the temperature in my garage while it moves a lot of air. The elevated fan seems to make a huge difference. It works good enough that I use it at least 5 times a week.
This past weekend we had a 103-degree afternoon. I turned on the Cyclone 140 and let it run for about 30 minutes in the garage and used the thermostat on my garage door opener to keep track of the temps. The thermostat was across the room from the fan and was not receiving direct wind. The temperature dropped from 98 to 95 in about 20 minutes. While this is still pretty warm, keep in mind it was scorching hot outside. If you keep the fan directly on you while working, it is much cooler and you can continue on without passing out! I was impressed with the performance. On a normal warm day, it makes the temps super comfortable. I think my wife likes it because it keeps me out of her hair and my honey-do lists keep getting completed.
The only issue I had with the Cyclone 140 was partially user error. I hooked up the hose in my garage for the initial fill and went back inside for a while. When I came back out, a lot of water had leaked out on the floor. I discovered that the drain cap and threads were not completely tightened from the factory. My recommendation is to just check that fit out and tighten up the hose connector well and you will have no problems.
Other than that, the Cyclone 140 from Portacool has a permanent place in my garage/workshop and has helped me complete quite a few tasks that I would have put off until the weather cools down. It will stay hot down here in Texas until November, so the fan will get plenty of use. If you need to beat the heat, I highly recommend any Portacool products.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I like: Excellent build quality and easy to use. Helps me beat the heat
What can be improved: Just make sure and tighten the fittings for the hose and drain and all will be well