How Do Water Air Coolers Operate?

Last updated Oct. 23, 2017

Evaporative air coolers powerful air cooling systems. They are used by many people who reside in hot and dry areas because of their natural efficiency and the refreshingly moist and cool air they provide inside homes and businesses alike.

They operate on a fraction of the cost of operating an air conditioner. They are easy to install and they save their users over half off on their energy bills.

New evaporative air cooling models provide state of the art technology to bring cool and fresh air at any time of the day or night. But how do they work? Their benefits are huge but how exactly does the water air cooler convert the air and what does it use to do so?

Let us explain how this innovative system works.

How Does It Work?

This cooling system works in similar fashion to a breeze blowing across a lake. As the breeze mixes with the water it cools the temperatures down. The evaporative cooler works on the same basic principle. It uses the evaporation of water to cool the air.

As water evaporates into the air it results in a perfect mixture of water molecules and air. This change needs heat so it is taken from the air molecules as energy or latent heat. When this is taken the temperature of the air is lowered.

As warm air is sucked in from outside it is forced through a pad that is made from either natural fibres or synthetic material. These pads are kept wet by a continuous drip of water coming from a water pump. The pads are kept saturated.

Hot air is blown across these wet pads and a fan blows the air into the home. The whole process is natural. The evaporative air cooler does not use harmful coolants or chemical liquids of any kind.

In this way, it is different than an air conditioner that uses chemical coolants to cool the air. The air cooler, on the other hand, is not harmful and keeps a constant flow of fresh air coming into the home.

It is recommended that the outside humidity should not exceed 60% for an air cooler to work sufficiently to cool a house. If it does the cooler will work but you will not experience the cooler temperatures that you wish. There are ways to get around the high outside humidity.

One way is to use the air cooler only in the heat of the day when the humidity is the lowest. The evaporative air cooler works better in areas of dry heat. These cooling systems can be used to cool the home during the hot months. They can also be used to humidify the dry air during the winter months.

Installing the Evaporative Air Cooler:

Air coolers need different installing procedures depending on the model you choose.

Large Units


Desert coolers are the largest models to choose from. These units can be installed by the homeowner using their instructions from the manufacturer. One of the common mistakes that owners make is installing the unit on the roof of the home.

This is not a good idea as water does tend to leak from condensation outside the unit. This then soaks into the roof of the building and can cause damage after a prolonged period of time.

Instead, install your desert cooler on the ground outside your home or work building. If water soaks into the ground then it will not cause damage. These units usually need air ducts to distribute the air throughout the home.

After air has been filtered, humidified, and cooled, it is pushed through the air ducts to cool the entire house or building.  The Desert cooler can be noisy and this needs to be taken into consideration when purchasing one. Newer models can come with noiseless options.

Window Units


These units are sized to fit in the space of a window. These are easy for the homeowner to install but help will be needed to heat the unit. It is not that heavy just cumbersome. Always install a window unit on a frame of some kind. Some units come with one. If yours did not then one can easily be purchased at a home improvement centre.

Never set the window unit in the window’s opening without some sort of support. Follow the directions that come with your unit for its individual installation procedures. These systems are usually fixed systems and operate on a water supply, permanent wiring and outside air.

Portable Units


These smaller systems are easy to install and can be done quickly. Follow the included directions. Portable coolers need to be put near a wall outlet.

The best location for them is close to a slightly opened window and an opened door or window on the other side of the room.

Some Helpful Tips:

  • Air coolers should not be used in tight enclosed places.
  • It should be installed and run in a room with doors or windows that can be opened to allow air to come in and out of the house.
  • When installing the air cooler, it must be level.
  • There must always be water in the tank.
  • The cooler will work better when installed near an open window. This way fresh air will be pulled in to the unit, cooled down and distributed into the home then the hot air will be pushed out the open window.

It is necessary to keep your system cleaned and well maintained. Evaporative air coolers must be cleaned twice a year. It is easy to clean them. Refer to your owner’s manual to cleaning steps.

This cooling system is low maintenance. Owners can fix them without calling a costly repairman. A well-maintained machine is one that will operate at optimum levels or peak performance.

Evaporative air coolers have proven themselves down through the centuries as being reliable and a constant aid in keeping the home and business cool when it is needed most. They work on natural elements of water and air. They are simple to install and operate and maintain. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

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


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