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Evaporative Air Coolers vs. Air Conditioners

Last updated June. 07, 2019

When it comes to keeping the home or commercial space cool during the summer months, there are two major types of machines considered by most people. While air conditioners are very popular, air coolers are becoming increasingly popular too.

Many people get confused when it comes to choosing between the two machines.

With two of them being efficient cooling solutions with different sets of benefits, there are several things to consider while choosing the type to install in any space.

To make it easier for you to decide the best option for you, we will compare the two machines in terms of their suitability to different climates and benefits.


1. Climatic Suitability

This is probably the most important factor and basis of comparison when it comes to getting an air cooling solution that will ensure you obtain the highest level of comfort during the hot times of the year.

While evaporative air coolers are considered efficient machines in hot and dry climates, they will not do so well in a hot and humid environment.

Due to their mode of operation, air coolers will add moisture to the atmosphere while attempting to cool the air. The amount of moisture in the atmosphere (relative humidity) will also determine how efficient the machines can work.

Too much humidity will impede the efficiency of the machine.

For air conditioners, humidity is not an issue. Actually, air conditioners can help to regulate excessive humidity as they take away moisture from the air.

This makes them the best machine for a humid environment when the temperature becomes an issue. In a hot and dry climate, however, air conditioners will make the air become drier while chilling it.

This may not be too good for some individuals as it affects the skin and eyes.

2. Economic Consideration

Another important point to consider when choosing between air coolers and air conditioners are the economic implication of using any of them. The first place to start is the price of the units.

Air coolers are generally cheaper than air conditioners. Asides from the purchase prices of the units, it is more expensive to set up an air conditioner than an air cooler.

With AC units, the extensive installation process is required. For air coolers, on the other hand, installation is simple and straightforward. Even if you are not going to install the unit yourself, you will be charged less by the experts to install an air cooler than an air conditioner.

Asides from installation, the cost of maintenance is another thing that differentiates air coolers and air conditioners in economic consideration. It is less expensive to maintain an evaporative air cooler than an air conditioner.


3. Energy Efficiency

We could have discussed energy efficiency under economic considerations since they are closely related but there is a need to consider it separately to make you understand the full implication.

By design and mode of operation, evaporative air coolers are very simple machines. They are composed of very few parts and use the natural evaporative process to cool the air.

This translates to low energy use. All types and models of evaporative air coolers are considered energy-efficient machines since they use very little energy.

Unlike evaporative coolers, air conditioners generally consume lots of energy. The refrigeration process is a lot more complicated than what is obtainable in air coolers and takes a lot of energy.

High energy usage directly translates to the high energy bill that can cause a strain on your pocket during the summer months. Using the energy-efficient air coolers means you will save some money while cooling your home or commercial space during the hot times of the year.

4. Air Quality

The quality of the air you will get from an evaporative air cooler will also differ from the quality of the air you will get when you are using an air conditioner to manage the temperature situation at home and commercial spaces.

As mentioned already, the two machines use different cooling methods.

With the air cooler, there is a need for air circulation. The machine works by taking in fresh hot air and pumping out cool air with improved moisture.

There must be a source of fresh air for the process to continue seamlessly. This often means that the window or door will be slightly opened to let in the fresh air.

The result of the process is a fresh, clean air that is breathable and good for your body. The only problem is when the air is not properly circulated and there is a moisture problem that can encourage the growth of mold.

For air conditioners, the quality of the air is often manageable in a humid environment.

By helping to reduce the amount of moisture in the air, the air conditioner forestalls the possibility of mold growth and keeps the air free of microorganisms.

On the negative side, air conditioners recycle the same air that is present in the room. This recycling of stale air may not be too healthy.

To be honest, the air quality you can obtain using air conditioners in a room is not often great as the cold dry air can cause irritation too.


5. Environmental Concerns

Asides from what happens in your room, evaporative air coolers and air conditioners have an impact on the environment. They emit CO2 which affects the environment in different ways.

Evaporative air coolers are considered environmentally friendly due to the fact that they release a very little amount of carbon dioxide. Air conditioners generally have higher emission, comparatively.

Aside from CO2 the chemical refrigerants used by air conditioners get into the air also and cause environmental concerns.

If you are also concerned about noise pollution in your office space, you will want to get air coolers instead of air conditioners as they mostly operate quietly when properly maintained.

Some air conditioners are loud and may not be too good for environments where noise level needs to be monitored.

Though they serve the same primary purpose of keeping homes or commercial buildings cool, evaporative air coolers and air conditioners are different in many ways.

We have discussed just the most significant differences between the two and hope this helps you make the right choice for your cooling needs.

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