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July 13, 2018

Beat the heat with this super-cool personal air conditioning unit

by John_A



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Summers would be so much cooler without the heat. In Florida, summertime means spending most of the day inside to avoid sweltering temperatures and sweat-inducing humidity. Hell, if it wasn’t for air-conditioning, Florida would probably still be a balmy, pristine, practically uninhabitable tract of land jutting out from the United States.

So it makes sense that a couple Floridians recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for what may be the next evolution in air conditioning — the Airwirl.

Taking the form of a fortified 7-Eleven Big Gulp, the Airwirl is actually a personal cooling (or heating) device that is small enough to fit in a cup holder and big enough to pack a punch of cool (or hot) air into your face, providing much-needed (albeit temporary) relief when temperatures reach certain extremes.

“Unlike battery operated fans, misters, or evaporative towels, Airwirl actually changes the ambient air temperature into refreshing, ice-cool air when it’s hot, or cozy, warm air when it’s chilly,” Steve Herweck, Airwirl’s co-creator, told Digital Trends.

The device features a cup and a lid, and works using thermal convection. Load the cup up with ice or activated heat warmers depending on your needs. Within the lid is a motorized turbine fan system and elongated air post that pulls air out of the chamber and sends it through a nozzle in the lid. An attachable hose allows for more flexible control. An insulated foam insert helps keep the cup’s contents at a steady temperature.

“By use of a turbine fan built into a motorized lid, ambient air is drawn inside a double-walled, vacuum-insulated container,” said co-creator Michael McCarthy. “When ambient air is allowed to flow through this system with ice cubes inside, the thermal energy causes a change in air temperature as it leaves the unit.”

The Airwirl is available through pledges of $129 through a Kickstarter campaign and 280 backers have pledged nearly $42,000 at the time this article was published. The Airwirl creators said they have heard interest from Disney World, postal workers, and bus drivers whose vehicles don’t have functioning AC.

As with any Kickstarter campaign, we suggest you read our explainer article on how to avoid getting burned by scams and fails before throwing your money out there.

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