How Do Coolers Work? Why They Stay Nice & Chilly

- Jan 18, 2021-

Can you imagine the tailgate, reaching into the portable cooler and finding that it is not cold at all? The refreshment of the drink will decrease, the sandwich will become soggy, and the fruit and vegetables will deteriorate and become coarse. Talk about party killers!

Fortunately, you can rely on a portable cooler to maintain the right temperature for a long time. How does this work? What is the science behind the cooler? Keep calm and prepare to learn all the details!

How does the cooler work?

The portable cooler keeps cold by virtue of the magic of heat preservation and ice. The insulation layer is usually made of foam or plastic and is lined inside the cooler to slow down the circulation of hot air. At the same time, ice keeps the inside of your refrigerator cool and cold.

The heat insulation layer inside the cooler reduces the speed of the warm air through a convection process. If you did not concentrate on studying in science class, that is when hot air travels through space and raises the temperature.


The process of heat spreading through airflow in a closed space.

This is inevitable-convection will eventually take place in the cooler. However, due to insulation, it occurs slowly. Ultimately, this helps keep the object cold for a longer period of time.

Nevertheless, the science of coolers is more! Since the warm air decelerates from the insulator, the process called conduction is also not possible. This is when an object loses its temperature and affects other objects nearby. 


The process of spreading heat from one object to other objects in the immediate vicinity.

Convection and conduction will not cause serious damage to the cooler because the insulating layer is a strong barrier. At the same time, ice is performing its magical effect and ensuring that the temperature remains fairly cold. But remember this only works when the lid is kept closed. Every time it is turned on, warm air can sneak into the interior, making the temperature rise faster. Avoid this serious party foul on your next barbecue or backsplash!

How long can ice last in the cooler?

In addition to insulation, most coolers require some kind of ice to stay cool. The ice cubes in the cooler can last for a week, depending on whether you are using block ice, dry ice, or ice cubes.