It’s been a month since we hauled the MasterCool MMB12 from the truck to the shop, and we’ve had quite an opportunity to learn about it since then. When we first posted about it, we noted that in our use, it fell a good bit short of the manufacturer’s claims of 20-30 degrees of cooling — even in our 35% humidity shop in Texas.
However, we’ve come to realize that even 10 degrees of cooling can make all the difference — and you can achieve 20 degrees of cooling if you’re willing to make a few trips to the mini-mart for ice.
Let’s put it simply: it’s freakin’ hot in the shop down here. We’re not talkin’ “springtime warm.” We’re talkin’ triple-digits, even in the shade. So as you can imagine, when someone passes on a tip to keep things cooler, we listen.
When we were touring the shop at Unique Performance, we noticed that they had some very large “PortaCool” swamp coolers, so we asked the floor managers how well they work. Their answer: “Pretty ok, I guess, but much better if you dump a couple bags of ice in the reservoir every few hours.”
Damn. Why didn’t we think of that?
We tried it out yesterday, dropping a single bag of ice in the MMB12 when we fired it up first thing in the morning — around 7:30 a.m. — when the ambient temperature in the shop was already 89 degrees. Once the pads were wet, the MMB12 blew sweet, sweet 70-degree cool air. 19 degrees cooling — woot!
The bad news: The ice only lasted about an hour. While the ice isn’t all that expensive — $1.50 to $2 a bag — the practical problem is storing the ice. If we had a place to keep 10 bags of ice, we wouldn’t need the cooler.
We did learn that while the moderate cooling capability of the MMB12 isn’t enough to cool down a 102-degree shop, it’s often enough to maintain an 85-90 degree shop. So, the trick seems to be to get things rolling early enough in the morning that the temperature hasn’t creeped too much above 90. By doing that, we’ve managed to keep the shop at least bearable.
One Month Summary
After one month, we still have yet to see anywhere near the 20-30 degree cooling AdobeAir’s marketing materials insinuate you’ll see — unless you dump ice in the reservoir. We have, however, come to respect the 10-12 degree cooling that the MMB12 provides, as reducing a small area from 100 degrees to 90 degrees can really help if you’re the guy stuck in the small area.
And, as far as dumping ice in the reservoir goes, it can help you get the shop cooled down if you’re starting late. For that matter, if you head out for lunch, pick up a bag on the way back. Otherwise, don’t expect to be able to drop in enough to keep the cooling up.