The last couple of years has seen great fluctuations in temperatures globally. While we might not experience extreme cold in South-East Asia, we’re no strangers to heatwaves. The Close Comfort Cool Focus personal air conditioner might be the answer to help you stay cool when you need it most.
Prof. James Trevelyan developed the Cool Focus personal air conditioner by Close Comfort with his engineering students at the University of Western Australia to create an energy-efficient, localised air conditioning solution.
Standing just above 70cm high and about 50cm wide (when fully extended), the Cool Focus is quite easy to place around a room or workspace. Weighing in at 17kg, it is quite heavy. However, portability and maneuverability are assisted by the wheels at its base.
Installation is as simple as plug and play. There really is nothing much to do once you lift it out of the box. There’s no worry about hoses and water outlets – none of the hassle that’s associated with typical portable air conditioners.
Powered by a standard home power socket, not the higher ampere sockets required by traditional air conditioners, the Cool Focus uses very little electric power, around 300 Watts, which is about 75% less energy than other air conditioners. Other portable air conditioners with an exhaust hose tend to use four to eight times more electricity.
Once you’re all set up, the Cool Focus does just what its name says – it focuses cool air around the immediate location in front of it, creating a cool zone for yourself.
We found that Cool Focus does a very good job at creating a micro-climate in a small zone in front of it. Warm air is expelled at its rear, so you would still need to think a little bit about placement.
Looking at numbers – specifically British Thermal Units, commonly referred to a BTUs, the Cool Focus only puts out up to 4000 BTU/hr. Other portable air conditioners and split air conditioners provide 12,000 – 24,000 BTU/hr.
There is a direct correlation to the number of BTUs to how powerful an air conditioner is, as well as how much electricity it takes to run. The higher the BTUs, the cooler the room, and the more it costs. So typical portable air conditioners and split air conditioners would provide more cooling and at the same time cost you 4-8 times more.
The beauty of Cool Focus is that works in any size room as it focuses on cooling directly to people, rather than trying to cool the entire room and it worked very well for us as we set it near our workstation. Because it cools just you, it also means that you can leave doors and windows open unlike other air conditioners and not worry about the cool air “escaping”.
Maintainance is as simple as cleaning out the filters and rinsing them under water. If you’ve ever had any prior experience with air conditioners or purifiers, this should be nothing new.
One thing to note though is that the Cool Focus does make a noticeable amount of noise when cooling at max fan speed – especially if you’re in a smaller, quiet environment. In an open space, it isn’t as noticeable. If you’re used to working with a headset on, then it shouldn’t affect you.
While Cool Focus is very convenient, at SGD 649, it isn’t the cheapest alternative out there if you’re looking at up-fronts costs. The are other accessories available, such as an Igloo Tent that can help focus the cool air generated within an enclosed space.
The Close Comfort Cool Focus personal air conditioner is a nifty addition to your workspace and can make your environment a lot more comfortable.