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Water Air Coolers: How They Work

Last updated August. 16, 2019

Air coolers are quickly gaining popularity for their many advantages.

Most people who live in climates where the temperature gets too high during the summer are most conversant with these machines.

Just like the traditional air conditioners, air coolers can significantly reduce ambient temperature and keep homes and commercial places cool and comfortable.

Though they perform the same function as air conditioners, water air coolers are very different from air conditioners.

They differ in terms of design, mode of operation, and suitability to different climatic conditions.

Commonly called evaporative coolers, air coolers, or swamp coolers, water air coolers are specially designed to work efficiently in hot and dry climates.

From the name, it is easy to figure out that these machines have a good relationship with water.

They use water and air to achieve air cooler.

The aim of this article is to enlighten you further about how water air coolers work.

Before we delve into that fully, it is important that we provide background information about the machine.


Overview of Water Air Coolers

The process of cooling air temperature with water has been in existence since the earliest civilizations.

In ancient Egypt and Persia, an earlier form of air cooling was reportedly used by several households.

Simply called windcatcher, shafts were positioned on roofs to catch the winds, which are passed over subterranean water in a qanat and discharged into buildings.

As the trapped air pass through the body of water, it becomes cooler and enters the building as cool fresh air to bring the temperature down and offer some level of comfort.

From the crude method of evaporative cooling, air coolers were developed as technology began to change the way men lived.

The machine became more refined and efficient around 1906 when wood wool pads were found to be helpful in facilitating the water-air cooling process.

The pads were experimented with and were found to be perfect media for a large volume of water and moving air to come in contact.

Air coolers were consequently built with cooling pads that provided evaporative surfaces and, water pumps that kept the pads sufficiently damp, and fans that blew the cool air that results from the contact of moving air and water into any place cool air is desired.


The Modern Water Air Coolers

In the 20th century, the evaporative cooler was the subject of numerous US patents.

Today, however, there are several companies around the world producing different kinds of water air coolers.

The machine is now widely available in different types, designs, and sizes.

The modern water air coolers are not so different from the older versions in terms of the method of operation.

There has been lots of improvement in the designs and aesthetics of these machines but the basic principle of operation remains unchanged.

What we have now are well-designed machines that are primarily composed of water tanks/water source, water pump, cooling pads, and fan system.

The components are housed in modern boxes made of different materials including aluminium and plastics.


How Exactly Do Modern Water Air Coolers Work?

As mentioned earlier, modern water air coolers use the same cooling principle used by ancient people to cool the air.

This is the same natural principle that helps us to cool off when we sweat during hot days. As sweat or water evaporates from the body, the body becomes cooler.

With electric power, it is easier for smaller units of air coolers to facilitate the evaporative cooling process and lower the ambient temperature of any given space in an efficient manner.

When a water air cooler is switched on, its different components go to work to bring about evaporative cooling.

The machine is designed to draw fresh hot air.

They are normally installed in places where they can easily have access to fresh air. Getting fresh hot air is not an issue for outdoor units.

When they are used indoors, however, it is necessary to take some steps to ensure that there is an adequate supply of fresh air for the machine.

They should be positioned in a way that makes it easy to get fresh air coming in from the window and blow fresh cool air to the areas of the home that needs cooling.

Windows are normally opened slightly too, to encourage air exchange.

Inside the water air cooler, the pump system works continuously to ensure that the cooling pads are damp at all times.

Water is pumped from a water reservoir or tank up to the cooling pads to keep them drenched.

Excess water from the pads is collected and channelled back to the water tank and pumped again in a cycle as long as the cooling process lasts.

Damp cooling pads serve as the perfect surfaces for evaporative cooling.

With the pump system working to keep them adequately wet, these pads are ready to receive moving air.

The hot air that is drawn into the machine goes directly to the cooling pads.

As the hot air passes through the damp pads, evaporative cooling occurs.

A good portion of the heat energy in the air is used up to bring about evaporation of water molecules from the cooling pad.

When this happens, the air becomes cooler when it gets to the other side of the pads. At the same time, the water that evaporates from the cooling pads is added to the air.

The cool moist air that results from the evaporative cooling process will need to be moved out of the machine to the parts of the building or outdoor environment that needs cooling.

This is where the fan system comes in. The fan blows the cool moist air from the machine to the space that needs to be cooled. Most water air coolers are not installed with ducts.

The portable units, for instance, will blow the cool moist air directly into the open space to improve ambient temperature and make the space more comfortable.

Whether they are used indoors or outdoors, water air coolers are always able to deliver efficient and cost-effective cooling. They are ideal for residential and commercial cooling.

They can also be used for outdoor activities like festivals, events, camping, and more.

For centuries, water air coolers have helped so many households stay cool during the hottest times of the year.

They are also widely used now for cooling of commercial spaces. They work efficiently in dry climates and are incredibly affordable.

Finding the right air cooler for any space will be helpful to households and businesses in so many ways.

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