Of all of the cooling systems, evaporative coolers are one of the most power-efficient, inexpensive, and easy-to-install types available. They use a natural process of evaporating humid air to produce a cool sensation in both indoor and outdoor settings. Some of the best evaporative coolers can even bring the temperature of a room down by a whopping 20°F!.

Honeywell CL201AE

Honeywell is well-known for making some pretty fantastic portable air conditioners, but today, we’re going to see what their CL201AE Evaporative Cooler looks like and how it performs. Reports show that the CL201AE doesn’t live up to the hype. Let’s find out whether this is true or not.

450 to 659 CFM Airflow Rate

First things first, how well does the CL201AE perform? The CL201AE is designed to deliver between 450 and 659 CFM of air with three adjustable fan speeds. This is pretty impressive considering its compact size and lightweight build, and it should work beautifully in most indoor spaces (between 280 and 350 square feet).

Honeywell CL201AE Evaporative Cooler

Honeywell CL201AE

On its highest fan speed, the CL201AE should drop the temperature of a room by up to 25°F in areas with around 60% relative humidity (RH). This means cooler, comfortable spring and summer seasons.


The CL201AE is a 3-in-1 device that functions as an evaporative cooler, a fan, and a humidifier. The fan setting works like any—the evaporative system shuts off while the fan moves copious amounts of air in a room for better circulation.

The fan feature itself isn’t that impressive, but the humidifier, which is basically the exact opposite of the evaporative cooler function, is. With the humidifier, the CL201AE can be a reliable tool during the dry wintry months. Talk about versatility!

Digital Hygrometer for Humidity Control

On the CL201AE’s control panel allows user to adjust configure their desired RH level for maximum comfort. In general, the comfortable RH is anywhere between 35 and 50%, but you can opt for a higher setting if you choose.

The hygrometer’s accuracy, however, is questionable at best. There have been reports of there being up to 10% deviation from actual RH, so you’ll need to take this into account when setting it up.

Programmable Timer Up to 7.5 Hours

One feature we absolutely love about the CL201AE is its set-it-and-forget-it timer. The CL201AE can work for up to 7.5 hours straight before automatically shutting down when the timer has expired. However, be mindful of the water tank indicator; only the timer can deactivate the device, not a dried tank.

5.3-gallon Easy-Refill Water Tank

Speaking of the tank, the CL201AE features a large 5.3-gallon water tank that pops open from the side of the unit for easy access. The latch itself is pretty large, and pouring water down the port is super-simple.

Even though the tank indicator supposedly works in real-time to gauge how much water it has and how much more it can handle, you’ll need to go by eye. The indicator has a surprisingly laggy 20-second response time where the tank can overflow before the indicator reads it as full.

Honeywell CL201AE Evaporative Cooler Review

Honeywell CL201AE

Optional Ice Tray

If you’d like to further reduce the temperature of a room, all you need to do is pop a couple dozen of ice cubes into the tray. The evaporated air passes by the ice tray to introduce chilled air into a room.

Best of all, melted ice drips into the water tank to self-refill. Only place ice in the unit while it’s working, otherwise you’ll have a slippery mess on your hands (or rather, your floors).

Active Carbon Filter

Inside of the CL201AE’s compact casing is a handy active carbon filter that traps large particles and odor molecules to a limited extent. The filter isn’t exactly a reliable one, especially when dealing with tinier particles like pollen and dander which could end up recirculating the air.

Don’t expect perfectly clean air with this device. After all, it’s an evaporative cooler, not an air purifier.

Remote Control Included

To add to the convenience of using the CL201AE, Honeywell threw in a handy remote control where all of the programmable features can be configured. If only you could refill the tank by using the remote control, then we’re looking at a magical evaporative cooler. Sadly, it doesn’t come with batteries.

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Verdict: Should I Get the Honeywell CL201AE Evaporative Cooler?

We can see why some people dislike the Honeywell CL201AE in terms of convenience, but its overall performance is on par with some of the best models on the market. If you’re looking to cool down a limited space without the trouble of passing large vent hoses through windows, then an evaporative cooler such as the CL201AE Evaporative Cooler would be the perfect cooling system to go with.

Honeywell CL201AE Review

Honeywell CL201AE

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