The rising temperatures of our time is very troublesome indeed; especially worse if you don’t live in the colder hilly regions. The unpleasantly hot weather makes it difficult to focus and work efficiently, given, the human body is most comfortable at 25 degree Celsius with 50% relative humidity.
Such scorching hot weather calls for an air conditioner or an air cooler, and though air conditioners prompt as the first choice to most of us, air coolers are an underrated ingenious invention, and here we will show you why you should go for an air cooler instead.
This debate of choosing between an air conditioner and air cooler is long ongoing. To cut short, if you live in coastal regions that experience high humidity levels, then you should go with air conditioners. Air conditioners, unlike air coolers, help regulate and control in-door humidity.
However, if you don’t live in coastal areas, let us see why you should go for air coolers instead of air conditioners without further ado.
Functioning of Air Coolers
Air coolers, also known as swamp and evaporative coolers, are basic box-like systems. They are self-contained, consisting of only a fan, water-soaked pads, and a pump. Their functioning is extremely simple as they work only on air and water – no refrigerants or additional mechanism/component required. Their working mechanism is evaporation induced cooling; they also act as humidifiers – hence unsuitable for coastal regions.
When you fill your air cooler with water, the pads completely get soaked in the water, thereby cooling the air as it passes through them – the reduction in temperature is up to quite a few degrees. This is actually an extremely old technique that can be traced back to ancient Egypt!!
Types of Air Coolers
There are two kinds of air coolers – desert and room air coolers.
Desert air cooler
The desert air coolers, as the name suggests, are used widely in arid regions. They are powerful (more powerful than your room air coolers), and thus provide better cooling. This also makes them capable of cooling a large room, however, they require more space, water and power. They are usually fitted/placed outside a window and take the air from outside. In these systems, the fan acts as an exhaust.
Room air cooler
Room air coolers, as the name suggests, are better suited for rooms (smaller capacity than that of desert coolers), and are also less powerful as compared to desert coolers. They are best suited for small rooms, and not-too-high temperatures. They are placed inside the room (in question), placed on a trolley, thus can easily be moved around. The fans in these systems are used to force the air out.
They are further classified into three types based on their functioning – direct evaporative coolers, indirect evaporative coolers and two-stage evaporative coolers.
Directive Evaporative Coolers
These coolers use the latent heat of evaporation that changes water to vapor for producing cooling. They are most widely used.
Indirective Evaporative Coolers
These coolers operate on some form of a heat exchanger, ensuring that the cooled moist air doesn’t come in contact with the outside environment.
Two stage coolers, as the name suggests, have two stages of cooling. First, the air is precooled using a heat exchanger. Next, this precooled air is passed through the water-soaked pads. These coolers produce a relatively less humid air.
They are found in almost every air cooler model. The most common design is the honeycomb cooling pads; they ensure a low pressure drop and maximum cooling while providing longevity. The ideal pad thickness for efficient cooling is 90mm.
Electric thermostats provide varying fan speeds and automatic pump switch on-off, thus improving overall efficiency.
Water level controller
Water level controllers maintain pre-set levels of water in the unit, preventing flooding of excess water from connection to the cooler tank.
Water level indicator
Water level indicator indicates the level of water in the water tank. It curbs the need to open the cooler to manually check the water level ever-so-often.
Automatic shutoff dampers
These are flaps that open when the fan is on, and shut close once the fan turns off. This way, they help cover the cooler when it is not in use, thereby minimizing the cooling loss.
Adjustable temperature & speed
A lot of coolers provide variable speeds along with cooling modes – such as low cooling, medium cooling, high cooling. This helps you control the temperature and speed as per your liking.
Movable air coolers are provided with castors at the bottom. They help move the cooler freely, making it easier to drag it across rooms.
The newer models now come with remote controls for ease and convenience, and allows you to customize the modes.
Some air coolers are provided with a timer that allows you to set a sleep time, after which it will turn off. This way, you won’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to turn it off.
One of the first major advantages that an air cooler has over an air conditioner is its price. It is a much better economical alternative, almost one-fourth of the price of air conditioners; their starting range is Rs. 5,000 unlike air conditioners whose starting price range is Rs. 35,000. While having low initial cost, they also have low running cost as they are energy efficient, leading to a 40-50% reduction in the electricity bill – much more economical in the long run. Thus, you needn’t sweat it (quite literally) if you find air conditioners out of your budget; air coolers to the rescue!
Quality of Air
Air coolers use fresh air from outside, cool it, and then provide it, unlike air conditioners that circulate the internal air of the room over and over again, with no ventilation, providing stale impure air. Thus, the quality of air provided by air coolers is much better – preferable for people with asthma or dust allergy.
Air coolers only need air and water to provide cooling. Unlike air conditioners, they don’t work on CFC (Chlorofluorocarbons) or HFC (Hydrofluorocarbon). These units don’t emit any harmful or greenhouse gases, hence extremely eco-friendly.
Easy Installation & Portable
Air coolers don’t require any installation, which makes them best suited for buildings that prohibit or don’t have enough room for installation. Not only is the installation process cumbersome, but it also requires a professional. With an air cooler, you can forget all about installations; an air cooler can be placed anywhere in the room. What’s more, air coolers are portable and can easily be moved around. Most of them even come with castors for mobility. And though few AC models are portable, they still require installation-uninstallation every time you move them from one room to another!