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The Fundamentals of Air Coolers

Last updated June. 22, 2019

An air cooler, also referred to as evaporative air cooler or swamp cooler is a machine that is ranked highly among air cooling solutions.

It is a device that cools air through the evaporation of water; a natural process that has been used for centuries in different civilizations.

Across the world today, the popularity of the air cooler is growing as people learn about its numerous advantages over the traditional air conditioner.

If you own an air cooler or are considering buying one, it will be helpful to learn more about how it functions and what make it so effective.

To help you understand that here are the fundamentals of an air cooler.


What are Air Coolers?

The air cooler is a simple machine that is composed of different parts that work harmoniously to cool a space with just air and water. Earlier forms of evaporative cooling were discovered thousands of years ago.

Ancient Egyptians and Persians used a form of wind shaft on the roof to capture air and pass it over subterranean water before discharging the cool air into a building.

In modern machines, the same principle is still used for cooling. It is manufactured by different companies all over the world.

1. Design

In terms of design, the air cooler is a very simple machine. Also called swamp box by many, the machine is basically an energy-powered box with cooling pads, a pump system, and a fan system.

A water reservoir with a level controlled by a float valve can also be part of the evaporative air cooler.

2. The Evaporative Cooling Principle

The principle at work in an evaporative cooler is the same natural principle that helps us to stay cool when we sweat on sunny days.

The evaporation of water from a body brings about cooling and that is exactly what the air cooler facilitates.

Basically, for water to evaporate, heat is required. The heat is expected to come from the body the water is in contact with.

In the evaporative cooling process, the heat that drives the process comes from the hot air that is drawn into the machine.

As stated earlier, an air cooler has cooling pads. These cooling pads are what serve as evaporative surfaces.

The pump system in the evaporative cooler supplies water to drench the cooling pads, ensuring that they are kept damp at all times.

The fan system in the machine draws the surrounding air (which contains heat energy naturally) into it.

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

As the air emerges from the other side of the cooling pads, it will be relatively cooler.

The cool air that emerges from the cooling pad is usually damper as part of the moisture that evaporates from the pads is added to it.

The fan system in the air cooler discharges the cool and damp air that results from the evaporative cooling process into the space that is being cool.

This process is repeated continuously as long as the machine is switched on and the condition remains ideal for evaporative cooling.


3. Ideal Condition for Evaporative Cooling

One bitter truth about the air cooler is that it doesn’t work efficiently in all environments.

There are some climatic conditions that are not ideal for the evaporative cooling process, and using an air cooling in such a climate is not viable.

The hot and dry climate is the ideal condition for the use of air coolers. In such environments where the air is relatively dry, the evaporative cooling process works efficiently.

An air cooler will not only bring down the temperature of the air in such places but will equally take care of the dryness of the air by adding moisture to it.

Improved humidity in a dry environment is counted as an added advantage of the evaporative cooler.

An air cooler also needs an adequate supply of fresh air to work efficiently. It works absolutely fine in outdoor settings, unlike air conditioners.

An air cooler can also work effectively in an indoor environment but there must be an adequate supply of fresh air to keep the process going.

The window may have to be slightly opened so that fresh air can come in and the cool humid air from the machine can leave to avoid moisture buildup.

4. Effectiveness

The evaporative air cooler is generally considered an effective air cooling solution.

In any climate the machine is suitable, it can efficiently take care of the air temperature and keep everyone in the space cool and comfortable.

If the air in the place is dry, it will also improve humidity and make everyone more comfortable.

There is a limit to the effectiveness of an air cooler, however. It doesn’t always drop the temperature to the extent a traditional air conditioner will drop it. This is especially true in places where humidity is an issue.

Actually, the machine cannot be used in a highly humid environment. It will not be able to drop the temperature significantly, and compounding the humidity issue can have negative health implications.


5. Benefits

The air cooler is known for so many positive things. It offers lots of benefits, which is why most people that live in places where it works efficiently are opting for it in place of a traditional air conditioner.

The first thing you can consider as the benefit is the fact that the air cooler is an affordable machine.

The price of a unit is normally cheaper than the price of an air conditioner of similar capacity. It normally doesn’t require a lot when it comes to installation.

Some models can be installed by the homeowner; even when there is a need for professional installation, the cost is often cheaper compared to what obtains with the installation of traditional air conditioners.

An air cooler also has little running cost. It consumes very little energy, which means you will be able to run the machine throughout the summer without having to pay too much for energy.

The quality of the air you get from an air cooler is often good too. It doesn’t recycle air at all but brings in fresh air from time to time to ensure that the air you are breathing is fresh and clean.

An air cooler is also an eco-friendly machine. Using it is not only beneficial to you but beneficial to the environment also.

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