Be it for family picnics, road trips, long hours at workout sessions or hiking trips, food and beverages are something you need to carry and store for a long time. But there is no point in carrying that load if food is cold and drinks are warm by the time you eat. A cooler can allow you to keep all of your beverages bottles cold. However, nobody wants to do the job of filling the cooler with ice and lugging the heavy box around. As a result, iceless coolers are gaining immense popularity in recent times. An iceless cooler is a better option that can keep drinks cool for a long time. Read on to find out more about these coolers.
What Is an Iceless Cooler?
An iceless cooler is one that does not require any ice to keep things cold. Instead, the iceless cooler uses a power source and keeps food cool on the basis of the Peltier effect.
An iceless cooler is also known as a thermoelectric cooler. It functions when plugged into a power source so remember; you cannot use it if there is no power source available. Note: the cooler can function when plugged into your vehicle’s power source, so it is a great device to be taken along with you.
The thermoelectric cooler is an iceless cooler that uses the Peltier effect to create a temperature difference between two surfaces. This eliminates the use of ice and makes it easy to use the cooler, just by plugging it into a power source.
This system uses a circulating liquid refrigerant which acts a medium to absorb and remove heat from a particular place. This type is commonly used in household refrigerators and air-conditioners.
A carry-bag cooler is an iceless cooler that can be worn like a backpack or a bag as opposed to the electric cooler that is like a big box. It is useful to carry a few beverage bottles, water or items, like medicines, that need to be kept at a lower temperature. This is portable but has limited space.
How Do They Work?
The Peltier Effect
The Peltier effect was discovered by French physicist Jean Charles Athanase Peltier in 1834. It refers to the direct conversion of temperature difference to the electric voltage and vice versa. When the voltage is applied to a thermoelectric device; in this case—an electric cooler, heat is transferred from one side to the other, creating a temperature difference. Thus, one side of the device gets hotter while the other cools down. Using this effect, an iceless cooler can bring down the temperature of the storing compartment by about 20°C (36°F).
Advantages of Electric Coolers
Compared to traditional freezers, electric coolers are compact in size, and you can easily carry them everywhere.
No Leakage Issues
An iceless cooler does not use the vapor-compression refrigeration system, so it has no flowing liquid inside. This automatically ends any risk of leakage. There are no moving parts inside either, which makes it almost noiseless.
Less Impact on the Environment
An iceless cooler does not need high power to function; a car’s 12volt outlet will do. It does not release any chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) either and has a long life.
10 Things You Should Know Before Purchasing an Iceless Cooler
When you buy an iceless cooler, you want to purchase something that meets your requirements, is long lasting and low maintenance. There are various thermoelectric coolers available in the market. Don’t just buy one because it is cheap and fits in a small space. You do not want to end up with a cooler that is inadequate for your outings or work. You need to know what purpose you want them to serve, and buy accordingly. Here are a few things you should consider before you make your final decision on the cooler you want to get.
The main function of electric coolers is to keep your food and beverages cool for a few hours, and they are quite efficient in doing so. But if you are looking for something that keeps your food hot or which keeps items cold for extended periods of time, you may be disappointed. Keeping items hot is an additional function that some coolers offer, not these.
The temperature and storage capacity of your cooler depends on your use. If you are looking to carry medicines or just a couple of beverage bottles, a backpack cooler will work for you. Don’t forget that thermoelectric coolers will bring down the interior temperature of the cooler in range with ambient temperature. So if it is extremely hot outside, you cannot expect frozen foods to remain that way in your cooler.
Most people buy an iceless cooler for picnics, retreats or if work requires you to be on the road often. But remember that these coolers keep your foods cool or warm, not frozen or hot. Also, the coolers keep items cool only for a few hours, provided they are plugged into a power source and you do not keep opening the lid constantly.
This is the most important criteria you must consider before buying an iceless cooler. The cooler only runs when plugged into a power source, so if you are thinking of taking it to the beach or in the mountains, where most likely, there is no power outlet, the cooler will be of no use. Keeping the cooler plugged into your vehicle’s power source is not an issue if the car is running. But you cannot keep it plugged into the car for too long with the engine running, as this will drain your car battery.
Always check whether the cooler you plan to purchase comes with an adapter because not all do. You won’t need an adapter to plug the cooler into your vehicle but you might for a regular power outlet. You can also purchase an adapter separately, but you need to ensure that it is compatible with your cooler.
Ensure that the cooler you plan to buy has a tight lid that can be locked as well. Any loose lid will defeat the purpose of the iceless cooler and not keep your food items at the temperature you desire. Leakage will also be a problem if the lid does not have a good seal.
Comes with Wheels
Think about how far from your vehicle you need to carry your cooler. If you have a considerably large and heavy cooler, it will be cumbersome to carry it around so you can opt for coolers that come with wheels. These have a handle that can be used to push the cooler like a trolley.
If you are buying the wheeled cooler, it is important to check if the wheels to make sure it will suit and can handle your desired surface. Any cooler will do if you are going to be rolling it over a flat road, but other surfaces, like rocky paths or sandy beaches, might need special wheels. Make sure the handle height is comfortable and you don’t have to slouch to reach it.
Not every cooler gives you the option of keeping items warm. The main purpose of a cooler is to cool, so if warming items is not really a necessity for you, do not go for the dual option cooler.
You may prefer buying a big cooler in order to store more bottles or food, but you also need to consider how you will transport it. Coolers that fit into small spaces are better so they can be put into the car and also carried in hand whenever required. It is possible to fit coolers in enclosed spaces but having a bit of room on all sides is preferable as it is an electric item and will give off heat. If you travel often by air and wish to carry your iceless cooler on the plane, permitted size dimensions will have to be followed. The wheels and handle of a cooler can extend its size.
USB Ports for Charging Devices
This is an additional feature that many iceless coolers today provide. Having USB ports to charge your phones, tabs and other devices is indeed an extremely useful feature, especially when you are outdoors for a long time.
Taking Care of your Iceless Cooler
Just like all other electric devices, your iceless cooler needs regular cleaning and maintenance for optimum functioning. Do not use the cooler if any parts are damaged and follow all the necessary safety instructions. Be sure to also clean it out occasionally.
Are you ready to go iceless for your next cooler? It’s a great option, but you must find the one that suits you. Consider your requirements, and buy a cooler accordingly rather than purchasing something similar to what your neighbors have. An iceless cooler will give you efficient output provided it is used carefully, has the required power supply and you follow all of the instructions in the manual.