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Is an Air Cooler Energy-Efficient?

Last updated Feb. 24, 2021

If you are buying an air cooler for the first time, a lot of questions will likely cross your mind when you are trying to make up your mind to purchase it.

This is understandable as the world is full of products that are advertised to be wonderful but deliver very little value to users. This is not really the case with air coolers.

Back to the real question: is an air cooler energy efficient? The simple answer is yes - an air cooler is an efficient air cooling solution that offers a lot of other wonderful benefits.

To help you fully understand why it is regarded as energy efficient, we will discuss the machine in details below:

Air Coolers 

Before we fully delve into what makes an air cooler energy-efficient, we need to make it clear that it is an entirely different machine from the air conditioner.

Some people mistakenly refer to it as an energy-efficient form of the air conditioner. This is far from the truth. An air cooler is an entirely different machine, and the principle of operation differs significantly from what obtains with an AC.

It is also important to note that the air coolers are not modifications of air conditioners. The air cooler has actually been around before the first air conditioner was invented.

It has existed in several forms, operating with the same principle.

What we have now are the modern versions of the age-old air cooling solutions.


The Energy-Efficient Air Cooler

Another important fact we have to establish is that every air cooler is energy-efficient.

While some may be better than others to some degree, every air cooler is energy-efficient and will significantly help you to cut down on utility bills in your home or even a commercial property/building.

As hinted earlier, air coolers are energy-efficient because of their principle of operation. They all use the evaporative cooling process to bring about air cooling in a given space.

This is a natural principle that makes use of water and air. We will discuss the principle in detail later.

Why Air Coolers are Energy Efficient?

Here are the major reasons an air cooler is energy-efficient:

The Design 

The way the air cooler is designed contributes to making it an energy-efficient solution. The machine has a very simple design with few functional parts.

A typical air cooler is a box with a water tank, a pump system, cooling pads, and a fan system.

The few essential parts highlighted above are enough to bring about the evaporative cooling process. The fan and the pump systems are basically the only parts that need electricity.

A little amount of electricity is enough to get these parts functioning optimally.


The Principle of Operation

If you are conversant with air coolers, you will know that they are touted to use more than 50 percent less electricity than air conditioners.

Some air coolers can use as little as 15% of the electricity an average traditional air conditioner will use to achieve the same level of cooling.

As stated already, this high level of energy-efficiently is due to the principle of operation.

Air coolers work by passing hot, dry air through evaporative surfaces (which are basically moist cooling pads).

The machine can absorb the hot, dry air from the environment, thanks to the combined effort of the moist cooling pads and the fan system.

The role of the pump system is to ensure that the cooling pads are always moist by supplying water continuously.

When the hot, dry air is passed through the cooling pads, some of its heat energy is used up to cause the evaporation of water molecules from the pads (which are the cooling surfaces).

When this happens, the temperature of the air can be reduced by as much as 20 degrees.

The water molecules that have evaporated from the moist cooling surface (now vapours) will be attached to the cool air.

The resultant cool and moisturized air from the air cooler will be pumped out from the machine by the fan system. When positioned the right way, the cool, slightly humid air will be blown towards the section of the home, office, or commercial space that needs to be cooled.

To keep the evaporative cooling process going smoothly, there must be adequate ventilation for proper air exchange. This will ensure that the air cooler gets adequate air supply.

At the same time, it will help to remove the stale moist air and prevent moisture buildup.

How to Keep Your Air Cooler Energy Efficient

Energy-efficiency is a desirable quality of an air cooler, and there is a need to optimize it. To keep it optimal, however, you will need to use the machine the right way. Here are a few ways to do that:

Use the right size of air cooler for the right space 

Buying the right size of an air cooler is the first important step towards enjoying energy efficiency with the machine.

The wrong machine in the wrong space will not deliver optimum value and will certainly be as energy efficient as it is built to be. Obtain the CFM requirement of your space and buy a machine that meets the need.


1. Maintain adequate ventilation 

As stated earlier, proper ventilation is needed to keep the evaporative cooling process going smoothly.

You may need to open your doors and windows to let in the air and expel stale air at the same time. You will also need to position the air cooler properly to take full advantage of the airflow.

Maintain the water level in the tank

The air cooler cannot work without water. Failure to maintain the water level in the tank can even lead to the breakdown of the machine.

Make sure there is always an adequate water supply to drive the process.

Maintain the Air Cooler Properly

Proper maintenance is also important to keep your air cooler energy-efficient. Clean the machine regularly and call in the technicians for regular maintenance.


An air cooler is an efficient air cooling solution in a hot, dry climate. It uses very little electricity to achieve cooling in home and commercial settings. To enjoy the full benefits of the machine, make sure you buy the right size, use it the right way, and maintain it properly.

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