Ever the intrepid geek, my curiosity got the best of me when I saw “Mistbox” on a crowdsourcing website. This is one of those “why didn’t I think of this before?” items. But, actually I have. I had a fan fail on the outside compressor unit of the A/C on an extremely hot Texas summer weekend. Trying to get an A/C guy there on a Saturday would cost dearly. I knew that some commercial A/C’s use (water) evaporative cooling. So I crafted an old plywood sheet I had laying around with one of those cheap fans on top of the A/C unit and set a sprinkler on low to spray the condenser coils … and it worked surprisingly well until the repair “guy” came on Monday.  Effectively, the Mistbox is an extremely refined version of my water cooling scheme. Cleverly, they computerized the evaporative cooling and adapted it for a typical home system. Essentially it’s comprised of the solar-powered computer, water filter, plastic tubing and a few plastic spray bars. I literally had it installed in 10 minutes after I had the computer programmed with my wireless network password. It’s that easy … I could do it again in less five minutes now. When the A/C turns on, the computer knows (via vibration, magnetic field, sound, temperature and ambient light) and begins spraying a very, very fine mist into the condenser coils … if you put your hand over the blowing fan you can’t even detect even the smallest amount of moisture. The water usage is negligible. So no fear of flooding the yard or wasting water. I couldn’t measure the amount it uses daily under the volcanic Texas summer heat, but it’s probably less than I give my tomato plants each day. They claim about 7.2 gallons per hour … but after using it, I don’t see how it could be that much.


Here’s why it is important.

Using two different thermal guns, I measured the exhaust heat of the condenser fan and A/C vents inside the house. There was a consistent five-degree difference between the pre and post Mistbox install. That means the A/C isn’t running as much because it’s more efficient … that means the house cools sooner and saves bucks on electricity. If you have an intelligent thermostat like a NEST, the savings can really add up. And literally there’s almost zero service, save the annual filter change.

Before you ask, yes … there’s an app … only iOS phone … for the moment. Android app is on its way.

Simply put, it’s one of the most useful, common-sense inventions to come along in years. It appeals to treehuggers, geeks, tightwads and anyone with a desire to stay cool. Due to the bizarre governmental tax laws, the solar cell on the computer qualifies for a tax credit … it’s a win-win scenario for anyone who has ten minutes to spare.

Such a cool idea …………….

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