What are Evaporative Air Coolers and Why Must I Get One?

Last updated March. 16, 2020


Evaporative coolers are taking centre stage on the life of many households around the world.

These machines have been around for centuries and have been used by many to address temperature issues in all kinds of places.

While some know what they are and appreciate the benefits they offer, some others see them as miniature air conditioners and cannot distinguish them or point out what they do differently.

Are you considering buying an air cooler but wondering if they are effective?

We will try to answer some of your most important questions by discussing in details what evaporative coolers are and the reasons that make them so effective.

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What are Evaporative Coolers?


By definition, evaporative coolers are devices that cool air through the evaporation of water.

Practically, they are air cooling solutions that use the natural evaporative cooling process to bring about temperature control in an environment.

Like air conditioners, they are used in residential and commercial places to control temperature and make the environment more conducive for humans.

One of the most important things to understand about air coolers is that they have been around for a long while.

Man’s use of the evaporative cooling process dates back to centuries ago when slaves fanned jars of water to cool rooms for their masters.

The very first evaporative cooling machines were invented centuries ago, long before the traditional air conditioners.

They have seen several modifications, however, and the machines we have these days are much improved with advanced functions to improve comfort.

Are Evaporative Coolers Different from Air Conditioners?


Yes, evaporative coolers, also called air coolers or swamp coolers, are different from traditional air conditioners.

While the air conditioner is more common, it was invented several years after the first air cooler was invented.

Air coolers differ from air conditioners in many ways. The most significant difference between them is in their respective methods of operation.

While air coolers cool air through the evaporation of water, air conditioners use vapour-compression or absorption refrigeration cycles.

The processes used by air conditioners involves chemical refrigerants but air coolers depend only on the natural elements of air and water to cool the air.

There are other differences pertaining to cost and other critical issues but we won’t discuss them at the moment.

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How do Evaporative Coolers Work?


As mentioned above, air coolers use only air and water to achieve cooling. Though modern machines are powered by electricity like air conditioners, they still depend on the natural elements to bring about cooling.

The electricity only propels the fans to absorb air, pumps water to the cooling pads and makes the fan system to blow the cool air into the space it is needed.

Evaporative coolers absorb hot air from the environment naturally. To fully understand how air coolers work, you need to know their critical parts.

These parts include the water tank or water source, a pump system, cooling pads, and fan system.

When they are working, the pump system ensures that water is pumped from the water tank/water source to the cooling pads to keep them wet.

The cooling pads serve as the evaporative surfaces where the actual cooling occurs. The fan system helps the cooling pads absorb the hot air from the environment.

When the hot air is passed through the cooling pads, a good portion of their heat energy is used up to cause the evaporation of water from the pads.

The resultant air is cooler and some of the evaporated water in the form of vapour is attached to the air. The fan system then pushes the cool, moist air out to the space that needs to be cooled.

The cycle continues with fresh hot air coming in and leaving as cool moist air.

To keep the process sustainable, the space to cool must have access to fresh air and means of expelling the moist air from the machine to prevent moisture build-up, which can affect the efficiency of the machine.

It is important to note here that air coolers are best for hot and dry climates. They are not very effective in highly humid climates so you have to confirm they will be efficient where you need them before buying.

Alternatively, you can use an evaporative cooler with a dehumidifier to prevent moisture build-up.

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Why Should I Buy an Evaporative Cooler?


We believe at this point you know some of the reasons evaporative coolers are favoured by many households.

If, however, you are still wondering why you should get one, here are some points to think about:


  • They are Less Expensive 

Air coolers are generally less expensive than traditional air conditioners. You will save a lot of money by buying suitable air coolers than investing in air conditioners. They also cost little in terms of installation and maintenance.


  • They Consume very Less Electricity 

Evaporative coolers are cost-effective machines. This is majorly because they consume very little electricity when compared to air conditioners.

Some consume as little as 15% of the energy air conditioners use to offer the same level of cooling. This means you can save more than 80% of the electricity cost by opting for them instead of A/C systems.


  • They Deliver Cool Fresh Air 

As hinted in the section about how they work, air coolers ensure that you are getting fresh cool air anywhere they are being used.

Unlike air conditions that recycle the same air over and over again, air coolers bring in fresh hot air and cool them.

At the same time, they work to expel stale air from the room/space they are being used.


  • They are Versatile 

Air coolers are very versatile due to their method of operation. Unlike air conditioners that work only in an enclosed space, air coolers can work in close areas as well as in open space.

They can be used to cool homes as well as hallways and outdoor living areas.


  • They are Environmentally Friendly 

If you care about our planet and want to help save it, buying and using evaporative coolers rather than air conditioners is one of the best things to do.

They are rated energy-star and have zero negative impact in your home and environment.

Evaporative coolers are excellent air cooling solutions for most people. We have tried to explain what they are and why you need them and hope that this helps you make the right decision about your cooling needs.

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

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