Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Coming round the Mountain
The portable evaporative coolers, small ones anyway, are not much chop, just buy 3 or 4 pedestal fans instead. In areas that experience even slight humidity the evap coolers are useless, as all they do is pump cold water into the house. They are only capable of lowering the temperature by about 5 degrees on a hot dry day. We've got a big portable evaporative one in our workshop that cost about $2000, its as big as a mini and its as loud as a jet engine, but it does cool you down.
Refridgerated units are definitely the go, running costs are a fair bit more but well worth it. The only issue is whether or not to get window mount, which can raise some security and mounting issues, or there are also some good little units that have an external return air that can be placed outside the window, leaving the main cooling unit inside.
Harvey Norman are probably the easiest way to go.
Mess with the bull, get the horns!