13 Differences Between Air Coolers and Air Conditioners

Differences Between Air Coolers and Air Conditioners

While air conditioners and coolers help keep your home cool in the summer, they are not the same.

Air coolers and air conditioners might look similar from the outside, but their inner workings are completely different. How do you know if your home needs an air conditioner or an air cooler? 

It depends on what you’re trying to achieve and how much money you want to spend. To help you decide which device to buy. 

Learn more about the differences between air coolers and air conditioners, their features, and which is best for your home.

Here are the biggest differences between air coolers and air conditioners to help you make the best decision for your home.

What is an Air Cooler

An air cooler is a device that uses evaporative cooling to lower the temperature of the air. The device consists of a fan, water reservoir, and honeycomb-like material. 

The fan pulls in hot air, which passes through the honeycomb. The water evaporates, absorbing heat from the air passing through the honeycomb. The fan blows out cooled air, lowering the room temperature.

What is an air conditioner?

 An air conditioner is a device that uses refrigeration to lower the temperature of the air. The compressor compresses refrigerant gas, then passes through the condenser, where it’s cooled by passing over cold coils. 

The gas expands into the evaporator, transferring heat from inside your home to coils. Finally, this cooled refrigerant goes back to the compressor for another cycle.

Differences Between an Air Cooler and an Air Conditioner

  1. Air coolers use evaporative cooling to lower the air temperature, while air conditioners use refrigeration. 
  2. Air coolers are less expensive to operate than air conditioners. 
  3. Air coolers are not as effective at lowering the air temperature as air conditioners. 
  4. Air coolers do not dehumidify the air as air conditioners do. 
  5. Air coolers can be used in humid climates, but you can not use air conditioners in such climates.

Here are the differences between air coolers and air conditioners in these 13 application areas.

1. Installation

Air coolers are much easier to install than air conditioners; you only need to place the cooler in a window and plug it in, and air conditioners require a professional to install them. The installation process can be expensive and difficult, requiring an HVAC technician or contractor. If you don’t want to pay an installation fee, then an air cooler might be the right choice.

2. Running Cost

The cost of both types of units varies depending on the size and features offered by each model. On average, it’s safe to say that an air conditioner will cost more than an air cooler. An air conditioner may require a professional installation which can range in price from $300-$1,000 or more, depending on the circumstances. 

Additionally, an HVAC technician is needed to service the unit at least once every two years for maintenance. In contrast, an air cooler usually requires no installation costs or professional service other than filling up the water tank with distilled water when needed (usually around once every 3-6 months).

3. Space Requirement

One of the most important differences between air coolers and air conditioners is the space required for each unit. Air coolers typically require more space than air conditioners, and this is because air coolers need room to circulate, while air conditioners can be placed directly against a wall. Air coolers may also come with fans that take up additional space. 

4. Water Supply Requirement

One of the differences between air coolers and air conditioners is that air coolers require a water supply, whereas air conditioners do not. It means you’ll need a water source nearby to use an air cooler. Evaporative cooling works best in dry climates, and air conditioners use refrigerants to cool the air, making them more effective in humid climates.

5. Safety

One of the main differences between air coolers and air conditioners is safety. Air coolers use evaporative cooling, which adds moisture to the air. 

It can be a problem for people with respiratory problems or allergies. On the other hand, air conditioners use refrigerants to cool the air, making them much safer for people with respiratory problems.

6. Cooling Capacity

Air conditioners can cool a room much faster and at lower temperatures than air coolers. It is because air conditioners use refrigerant to cool the air, while air coolers circulate the air in the room. Air conditioning is your best bet for maximum cooling power.

7. Repair Costs

Air conditioners usually require more repairs than air coolers. They have more moving parts, which can break down over time, and they also use more energy, leading to higher repair bills. Additionally, air conditioners typically have a shorter lifespan than air coolers.

8. Size

One of the first things you’ll notice when comparing air coolers and air conditioners are the size difference. Air coolers are usually smaller than air conditioners, and this is because air coolers don’t have to compress Freon as air conditioners do. Compressing Freon takes up a lot of space, so air conditioners are typically larger.

9. Energy Efficiency Standards

The first big difference between air coolers and air conditioners is that coolers are much more energy efficient. They use about 60% less energy than air conditioners, making them a great choice for those looking to save money on their energy bill. Additionally, coolers don’t release harmful chemicals into the air as some air conditioners do.

10. Power Consumption

The first big difference between air coolers and air conditioners is power consumption. Air coolers typically use 80 watts, while air conditioners use around 3,500 watts. You can offset the CostCost of running an air cooler by turning off unnecessary lights or appliances when you’re not using them, and you can’t do that with an air conditioner, meaning it will cost you more all year round.

11. Noise Levels

One of the key differences between air coolers and air conditioners is noise levels. Air coolers tend to be much quieter than air conditioners, and this is because air coolers don’t have compressors, typically the noisiest part of an air conditioner. So, an air cooler may be the way to go if you’re looking for a quiet option.

12. Ventilation Type

The first big difference between air coolers and air conditioners is the ventilation type. Air coolers use a natural draft, while air conditioners use a forced draft. Natural draft means that the cooler uses the difference in density between hot and cold air to create a flow of air. 

You often see air coolers with fans on top – to help move the hot air out faster. Forced draft, on the other hand, uses a fan to push the hot air out of the cooler, making air conditioners more energy-efficient than air coolers.

13. Maintenance Cost

ACS requires regular maintenance and tune-ups to keep them running properly, while air coolers generally do not, and ACS will cost more to operate than air coolers over the long run. ACS also have filters that need to be replaced regularly, while most air coolers do not have filters that need to be replaced. 

Filters can help reduce noise and dust and improve your AC’s performance. There are no warranties on air coolers, so if anything goes wrong with them, you are out of luck, but there are usually warranties on new ACs for at least one year. Finally, many people find that their homes feel less stuffy with an air cooler in the summertime because they typically use a lower temperature setting, allowing for better airflow into your home.

Conclusion

There are several differences between air coolers and air conditioners. Air coolers are cheaper to operate and require more maintenance, and air conditioners are more expensive but don’t require much maintenance. 

Additionally, air coolers use evaporative cooling, while air conditioners use refrigerant-based cooling. Finally, air coolers can be used in humid climates, while you shouldn’t use air conditioners in humid climates.

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