Air Cooler vs. Air Conditioner: Escape the Summer Heat

air cooler vs air conditionerSummer time is fast approaching, and if it isn’t already hot in your neck of the woods, chances are that’s about to change very soon. There are some of us that can handle these higher temperatures just fine, but many others feel like they’re melting during the summer months, and need any kind of relief they can get when the mercury starts to rise. Luckily for these hot-weather haters, most cars have functioning air conditioners that are able to provide a bit of respite on the drives to and from work and when running errands, but it’s the other places that they spend a majority of their time, such as work and at home, where they most need relief from the heat.

But what options are out there for them to cool off with? Today, we are discussing two of the most effective and popular options:  air conditioners and air coolers, aka swamp coolers, aka evaporative coolers, aka desert coolers. Each work with different technologies, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Also important to consider is what type of climate the machine will be used in, so whether you live in a place with dry heat, or moist heat (humidity), you’re going to want to wipe the sweat from your eyes, and listen up so you can find the best machine possible to help cool down with. If you’re more interested in how these machines work, then this intro course on engineering will let you know if this career path is right for you.

Cool Air vs. Conditioned Air – Which is Better?

It’s a question for the ages: should I buy an air conditioner or an air cooler? We’ll help you answer that question, and by the time you finish reading this article, you should have a pretty good idea of which one will work best not only for your temperature situation, but your financial one, as well. We’ll break down the main characteristics of these machines, and compare them side-by-side.

  • Technology

Let’s start off by explaining how each of these machines work, without getting too technical, of course. Air conditioners work much like refrigerators, except without doors. Using coils that are filled with chemicals such as coolants and refrigerants, an air conditioner physically alters, or modifies the condition of (hence the name), the properties of the surrounding air, making it not only cooler, but less humid. Air coolers, on the other hand, have a much simpler design. Best employed in dry climates, the air cooler takes the surrounding warm, dry air, then passes it through cooling pads, which are saturated with water that’s been pumped out of a reservoir in the machine. The hot air is cooled by the pads by evaporation, and the newly cooled air is blown out the other side by a fan.

  • Cost

In terms of associated costs, the air cooler almost always come out on top. They run about the same cost when purchasing, though the cheapest air conditioners are usually cheaper than the cheapest air coolers. But after that, the air cooler requires much less money. They cost less to operate, to maintain, to fix, and to install, and they use up to 75% less electricity than air conditioners. If you’d like to figure out if you have the money for one of these life-saving machines, then check out this course on creating a budget that works, and this article on the best budgeting software.

  • Air Quality

Like we said before, if you happen to live in a humid area, then you’re going to have to opt for the air conditioner, because the cooler adds moisture to the air. Because air conditioners work best when doors and windows are closed, in addition to using inside air, rooms being cooled by an air conditioner tend to become stale, whereas air coolers use outside air, and as a result, circulate fresh air, and don’t require windows and doors to be shut.

  • Environmental Friendliness 

We’ve already mentioned that air coolers use a significantly smaller amount of energy than air conditioners, but they are better for the environment in other ways, too. First off, while both machines put out carbon dioxide, the coolers emit much lower levels of the harmful gas compared to the AC. Though there are some ACs that run quietly, pretty much all types of air coolers put out very little noise pollution. If being “green” is important to you, then check out this course on energy economics and the environment to learn about the different aspects of our changing world.

  • Other Pros and Cons

When it comes to mobility, both machines are neck and neck. They can both be easily moved and transported from room to room if necessary. A con of both types of machines has to do with water. First off, though actual water consumption is very small, air coolers need a steady supply of H20 to keep in the reservoir. On the other hand, air conditioners not only emit water in the form of condensation, but they also need a place to vent, so for both reasons, they need to be placed near, or in, a window.

Now that you know a little bit about these miraculous machines, it should be pretty obvious which one will work out for you as the summer months quickly approach. Unfortunately, those in the humid parts of the world don’t have much of a choice, but those elsewhere can take their pick. If it gets just too darn hot for you in the Summer where you live, then pack your bags and head somewhere cooler, or to a different hemisphere, where it’s the opposite season, and this course on traveling safely abroad will give you the confidence you might need to travel far away.