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How Air Coolers Work With Open Windows

Last updated March. 28, 2019


When it comes to efficient cooling, air coolers are the darlings of many households.

These machines are known for so many positive things including cost-effectiveness, environmental friendliness, and energy efficiency.

They are most effective in a dry and hot environment where the temperature gets too high and humidity remains low.

Even if you don’t use air coolers, it is likely that you have heard of them.

Though they have become more popular in the last few decades, evaporative coolers, as they are also called, have been around for centuries.

The principle used by the machine to cool ambient temperature has been applied centuries ago by different civilizations.

What we have now are just modernized versions of these timeless machines.

If you are conversant with evaporative coolers, you will understand that they are a lot different from other types of air cooling solutions.

In terms of efficiency and the way they are designed, the other machines that can be compared with air coolers are air conditioners.

Though they have some similarities, these two types of machines differ in so many ways.

They can both reduce the ambient temperature significantly, but they achieve that through different methods.

One of the most obvious differences between the air cooler and air conditioner is the kind of environment they work in.

Many people are always surprised when they learn that evaporative coolers work better when the windows to the rooms they are expected to cool are open.

This is in stark contrast to what is obtainable with the air conditioner. But then, the two machines are quite different.

Air conditioners use the refrigeration process to bring down the temperature of indoor space and that is why the room they are expected to cool are closed to prevent the cool air from escaping.

They keep recycling the air in a closed-up building. Air coolers or air coolers or evaporative coolers work by replacing warm dry air with cool moist air.


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Why Evaporative Air Coolers Need Open Windows


As stated in the paragraph above, the air cooler works with open windows for the right reasons.

This is basically because of the principle they use in cooling the air which is called evaporative cooling.

Evaporative cooling is the same natural principle that helps us to stay cool when we sweat.

It is the same principle that help individuals that step out from a pool during a hot day to stay cool even though the sun is still shinning.

It involves the use of air and water (two natural elements) to cool the environment.

As you know by now, air and water are necessary for the air cooler to work.

The machine is built in such a way that water is available either through connecting it to a water tap or the machine comes with a built-in water tank that will hold the water needed for the process.

The other important element for the process, air, has to be attracted from the environment.

This is basically why the window has to be opened for the evaporative cooler to work. It needs fresh hot air for the process to continue and will not recycle the same air in the room.

The air cooler also needs the window to be opened in order to prevent moisture build-up.

Since humidity affects the efficiency of the machine significantly, it is necessary for the air that comes out from the air cooler to leave the room after a while.

This is basically because the air cooler adds some moisture to the air it pushes out.

If the moist air does not make way for fresh dry air, the evaporative cooling process will slow down and the machine will eventually become inefficient.


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How Air Coolers Work


If you followed the discussion above carefully, you will understand why windows have to be opened while the air cooler is being used in a room.

How then does the machine perform when it has access to steady air flow from the open window?

The air cooler is a very simple machine by design. It is basically composed of a fan system, a pump system, and cooling pads.

When the machine is working, the pump system transports water from the tank or another water source to wet the cooling pads.

The cooling pads need to be moist at all times for the process to proceed seamlessly. When the window is open and fresh air is coming in, the wet pads are able to suck in the hot dry air from the environment.

As the hot dry air passes through the cooling pad, some of its heat energy is used up to bring about evaporation of the water on the cooling pads.

This often leads to about 200F drop in the temperature of the air. At the same time, a layer of moisture is added to the cool air.

As the air leaves the cooling pad, the fan system of the air cooler blows the cool air into the indoor space through the open end of the machine.

The process described above will be repeated continuously to ensure that the room the machine is being used to cool becomes as comfortable as possible.

To ensure that the process is not disrupted, there must be a fresh supply of fresh air and expulsion of the moist air from the machine. This is why the window has to remain open.


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How Open Windows Assist Evaporative Air Cooling


You can’t just open the window anyhow you want for the evaporative cooling process to proceed without disruption.

There is a certain amount of airflow that is needed for the process to be sustainable and the way the window is opened matters a lot.

When they are opened too wide, excessive hot air will move in and undermine the efficiency of the machine.

If they are opened too little, there will not be adequate dry air and moist air will not escape leading to moisture build-up.

The windows need to be partially opened. You need to experiment with different window positions until you ascertain just how much you need to open the window for the best result.

Evaporative air coolers work excellently when windows are partially opened. We have explained how this is possible.

We hope the information helps you to understand air coolers better and learn the best way to use them for the best result.

If you have any further questions, contact us and we would be happy to help you.

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