Around The Home

Mistbox keeps air conditioners cool to improve efficiency

Mistbox keeps air conditioners...
The Mistbox installs on almost any any conditioner in just a few minutes
The Mistbox installs on almost any any conditioner in just a few minutes
View 5 Images
The extent of savings will depend on the amount you use your air conditioner, where you live and the cost of your electricity
1/5
The extent of savings will depend on the amount you use your air conditioner, where you live and the cost of your electricity
The Mistbox installs on almost any any conditioner in just a few minutes
2/5
The Mistbox installs on almost any any conditioner in just a few minutes
Mistbox has an app (Android or Apple iPhone) which enables you to calculate your savings and monitor it's performance
3/5
Mistbox has an app (Android or Apple iPhone) which enables you to calculate your savings and monitor it's performance
Mistbox is powered by a turbine which harvests energy from the exhaust gases of the host air conditioner
4/5
Mistbox is powered by a turbine which harvests energy from the exhaust gases of the host air conditioner
The Mistbox sprays a mist to pre-cool air entering the air conditioner
5/5
The Mistbox sprays a mist to pre-cool air entering the air conditioner
View gallery - 5 images

There is no question that the right business model can make the difference between a good idea that doesn't make it and one that does, and though the jury is still out on the long-term fortunes of Mistbox, a change to the business model and a relaunch on Kickstarter has resulted in a much brighter future.

Just two years ago we wrote about the then new Mistbox, a device that can be retrofitted to most air conditioners and uses evaporative cooling to lower the temperature of the air entering an air conditioner, cutting energy consumption by around 30 percent.

The Mistbox sprays a mist to pre-cool air entering the air conditioner
The Mistbox sprays a mist to pre-cool air entering the air conditioner

At that time, the Mistbox was powered by a 96 x 54 mm (3.7 x 2.1-in) solar panel and retailed for US$449 before the 30 percent United States Federal Green Tax Credit reduced the net price to $315. The solar panel was there to ensure the device was self-powered for ease of installation.

Mistbox has since been reimagined ever so slightly, with power now provided by a turbine that harvests energy from the exhaust gases of the air conditioner to power itself, while an inbuilt water treatment system has been added to ensure that the mist does not damage the air conditioner.

Mistbox is powered by a turbine which harvests energy from the exhaust gases of the host air conditioner
Mistbox is powered by a turbine which harvests energy from the exhaust gases of the host air conditioner

The biggest difference in the new offering is the pricing model. Until August 14, 2017, users can get a Mistbox for an annual $100 fee (or $10 a month) with no up-front costs on Kickstarter. After August 14, there will be an additional $39 activation fee.

The annual fee includes everything you need, including the Mistbox, four Mistbars, the energy-harvesting turbine, an unlimited number of water treatment filters, the cost of the cellular connection to the Mistbox (which enables the company to monitor the device and ship filters in advance of them being needed), and a lifetime warranty.

Tthe company has attempted to remove every potential buyer objection by offering free cancellation if you're not happy with the unit for whatever reason. As with the previous version of the Mistbox, there's an app (Android or iPhone) for monitoring the health of the unit.

Mistbox has surpassed its crowdfunding goal more than 10 times over, and deliveries are slated for August if all goes to plan. The offer is restricted to residents of the United States and Canada initially, though given the number of air conditioners in the world, there is obvious scope for international distributors to enter the picture.

Source: Mistbox

View gallery - 5 images
13 comments
VincentWolf
Mistbox simply doesn't work. It makes the coolant so super cold that it freezes up your AC unit coils and then you have to waste gas to heat the furnace and melt the ice off the coils for air to pass through. Bought one and nothing I could do would prevent it from freezing up.
MerlinGuy
These have been around for years now. You can buy them today at Homedepot or Lowes. I don't understand why there is a need for a Kickstarter when it's are ready been started. And why do I need to monitor my mister with a phone. Seems like we are just generating work to do.
flylowguy
Let's not forget the cost of water. In regions where air conditioners run the longest and hardest, the cost of water can be a deciding factor whether to install misters or not.
Pablo
The cost of the little bit of water this thing uses is insignificant when compared to nearly a third of the power the A/C is using. Systems using modern refrigerants are a bit more sensitive to pressures affected by the mister, but it doesn't exactly flood the coils with a fire hose... Shouldn't be much different than running the A/C in cooler weather. I built one of my own, after measuring the power drawn by my condensing unit. On a day when the temperature was 105 (in Phoenix), mine required 3800 watts without, 2600 watts while being misted. I'll sort out the kinks for that kind of return!
McDesign
Why not use the condensate as the source of the water? Here in the US Southeast, we have pretty high relative humidities - was 96% this morning at 76°F.
Mike Vidal
I had one of these units back when they first started out, and although they tried their best, it was a complete failure. The unit would start misting on its own without the compressor running. I tried to get my money back and they would not honor their guarantee. I claimed against my credit card and got my money back that way, but they lied as said I had never contacted them. I had saved every email as proof of the ongoing conversation with the problems that I had.
I cannot recommend any iteration of this unit, and the one I had went in the garbage.
Desert Rat
Run away! Run away fast! This is Snake Oil. As mentioned, this concept has been around in different forms for many years. It does not work. It damages your condensing coils with a build up of minerals from ingesting the wet air. The reduction of head pressure is negligible at best. There are more efficient co-axial water cooled lines currently available, but, even with these, the question remains: How much water does it waste, and what are you going to do the used water?
Douglas Bennett Rogers
This is a good use for collected rain water.
kenkeyessr
Then you can, later on, deal with the calcium deposits that build up on the coil.
Buellrider
Not to pile on but you'd have to use distilled water otherwise the minerals would coat the cooling fins of air conditioner and that would ruin their efficiency.