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Mistbox promises to reduce your AC costs with old-school technology

On a hot summer day, all you might want to do is duck indoors and relax in an air-conditioned space. However, it could be costing you big bucks to keep your home cool and comfortable throughout the season. Now, Mistbox is here to lower your air conditioning bills by up to 30 percent, according to its creators.

Mistbox looks more like a portable radio with its small, boxy shape and its long, black antenna. However, this device houses a tiny computer, which is responsible for its functionality and efficiency. The computer has sensors that tell the Mistbox when to spray a cool mist toward air entering the AC unit. This process is known as evaporative cooling, and it’s been around for a while.

Related: Would you blow over $6,000 on this 3D-printed air conditioner?

In the 1920s, for instance, residents in the Arizona desert would sleep outside in screened porches, relying on evaporative cooling to make things more comfortable, according to the California Energy Commission. People would hang blankets, soaked in water, on the inside of the screens. Then, they’d direct electric fans toward the blankets, pulling the cool, night air through the moist cloth.

Through evaporative cooling, the temperature of the outside air can be reduced by up to 30 degrees. This is how the creators of Mistbox intend to help homeowners reduce their energy bills. If the air is already cool when it enters the unit, the AC doesn’t have to work as hard to lower the temperature.

After you attach Mistbox to your AC unit, you feed its tubing into a direct water source. Once it’s in place, you can start tracking your power consumption and savings with the Mistbox app on your phone. The device has built-in Wi-Fi, and it’s completely powered by solar energy.

After surpassing its $50,000 Kickstarter goal, Mistbox is now being made available for the retail market at $449. Its creators say you can recoup this amount over the course of one season, and you may even be eligible for a green tax credit. How about that for environmentalism?