This is a MasterCool MMBT12 Mobile Evaporative Cooler. Yes, it may not look like it, but this is a portable swamp cooler. While it is primarily aimed at use in garages and workshops, Lisa looked over the specs and said this will work to cool our living room (which is also my office until we ever get the upstairs studio livable) during the hot weather that is just around the corner.
This afternoon during a lull in the post-Hugo-announcement storm (about which more presently), Lisa and I carried it into the house from the van. Despite appearances, it is not that heavy when there is no water in it. Lisa then assembled the pieces. A few days ago, she replaced the electrical outlet from which we will normally run it with a GFCI outlet, as electrical appliances that use water like this should always be plugged into GFCI-protected outlets. We plugged in the cooler and set it to pumping. Cool air poured forth. Even the low setting looks like it should do a good job of cooling the room in the summer.
Of course, this only works because we're in a very dry climate here, and even then, you're supposed to place the unit near open doors or windows, or in our case, toward other parts of the house that aren't normally occupied.
The irony of buying a new cooling unit is that we're in the midst of a cold spell. I've had to light the fireplace the past few days, and there's a threat of snow for tomorrow. Indeed, I need to get away as early as I can on Sunday in order to get out ahead of the predicted snow over Donner Summit by mid-morning tomorrow.