The Cool Surge portable air conditioner claims, in full-page newspaper advertisements that look like newspaper articles, to reduce the temperature of an average room by “up to ten degrees” using as much energy as a 60-watt lightbulb. Other air conditioners often use 500 watts or more, so it sounds like this device might be worth the cost that is double the price of a small window air conditioner.
Consumer Reports had difficult dealing with the company that sells the units. The organization’s testers had no problem ordering the units from the website for about $300 each, but when they attempted work with a customer service representative over the phone to order a unit, they ran into some problems.
But when we later called the Web site’s order line anonymously, we were told we’d have to pay $49 per unit for shipping, or nearly $100 if we had opted for the company’s two-for-one offer. Another call using a different number listed in a Cool Surge newspaper ad yielded yet another price of $148 per unit — plus $49 shipping — for versions with “slight cosmetic damages.” The two-for-one offer had apparently ended.
Furthermore, the testing revealed the air conditioner did not quite perform as expected. When Consumer Reports tested these claims listed above, they found that the Cool Surge cooled an average room, even in an environment most suited for success, by only two degrees.
Here is the video from Consumer Reports.
Negligible cooling nets Cool Surge portable air cooler a Consumer Reports Don’t Buy judgment, Consumer Reports, June 2009