The summer months are tough for air conditioners. Not only is the thermostat set temperature likely lower due to the scorching heat, but the outdoor AC unit needs to use more energy to cool the warmer-than-average room air to that below-average indoor temperature. As a result, you end up paying a lot more on your electricity bill.
Mistbox wants to make the hottest months of the year a little more bearable with version 2.0 of its energy-saving smart device. Mistbox 2.0 is designed to reduce the air temperature around the AC unit by gently spraying water whenever its built-in sensors and weather forecast tell.
Available for pre-order now on Kickstarter, the second-generation Mistbox offers some key upgrades over its predecessor. It still connects to the external AC unit and you will find similar sprinkler accessories that spray water from the garden hose, but Mistbox 2.0 now runs on wind power rather than solar power.
Specifically, it comes with a small wind turbine attachment that relies on exhaust air from the unit’s condenser fan for power. This is a smart upgrade because you can depend on the fan exhaust rather than worrying if your Mistbox is getting enough sunlight. (Outdoor AC units consist of a compressor, condenser and secondary fan.)
The new Mistbox also uses cellular data instead of Wi-Fi. Partly because of this, Mistbox changed its payment system to a subscription service. I’m not a fan of monthly subscriptions, but a cellular network makes sense in this case. I installed and started testing the original Mistbox unit in my home over a year ago, only to run into a series of errors during the Wi-Fi setup phase. I guess my router wasn’t close enough to where my outdoor air conditioner is.
Mistbox says more has been done to treat the water sprayed around your air conditioner with the second version of the gadget. Apparently, untreated water can damage your cooling system with harmful bacteria and other allergens.
In addition to these major changes, Mistbox 2.0’s design looks much better at first glance. It may not really matter, since it will be installed outdoors on the AC drive, but it could also result in greater ease of use. We just have to see for yourself.
Mistbox has raised over $ 180,000 on Kickstarter so far; its original funding goal was only $ 10,000. Units are expected to ship internationally in August starting at $ 89 for a one-year prepaid subscription (which converts to around £ 70 or AU $ 115) or for $ 399 to buy it outright (plus a subscription fee of $ 49; $ 349 converts to £ 270 or AU $ 455).
At the end of the crowdfunding campaign, the Mistbox devices will be available for purchase starting at $ 10 per month. Non-Kickstarter customers can also opt for a $ 99 prepaid annual subscription. A $ 39 activation fee will also apply to all purchases, unless pre-ordered via Kickstarter.