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My new Portacool evaporative cooler smells funny. Is it on fire?

It’s not on fire…well, if it is smoking it might be, but a strange smell is normal for about the first two weeks of usage.

Our unique design and manufacturing technique, together with our superior materials, enable our products to perform efficiently within a wide range of conditions. When installed correctly, our evaporative media products allow complete molecular evaporation of water ensuring a pure, clean stream of air. When new, it is possible that a small amount of aromatic molecules may evaporate along with the water molecules, which could be detected as a slight smell. This scent lessens in time. Our product does not, in any way, allow harmful chemicals to be evaporated into the air stream.

If the smell really bothers you, you can pour about a cap-full of fabric softener into the reservoir. It won’t hurt the pump or media. Just make sure to use fabric softener and NOT detergent.