Using an air cooler can be a great alternative to refrigerated air conditioning.
For one it does not use nearly the amount of electricity a refrigerator air conditioner does. And it does not require a way to exhaust the heat.
Which can be a huge advantage when you have spatial constraints like say a personal office space or even the garage and most people’s houses.
And if you live in a dry region, evaporative air coolers do an excellent job of keeping the air cool and comfortable.
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But air coolers do have their disadvantages.
- Are not as cool as traditional air conditioning
- Cannot be set to a specific temperature
- Don’t work well and humid regions or circumstances
- Can be a source of excess humidity
- Require routine draining and cleaning
- High and low settings are fan speeds
- Can be a source of asthma triggers and allergens
- Only work well and ventilated areas
- Attract mosquitoes
How does an evaporative air cooler work?
Evaporative coolers work by drawing warm air through water soaked pads and blowing it out the other side.
When the air comes out the other side of the pads it is cooler in the same way that air blowing over a lake or body of water is cooler.
The mix of warm air and cool air cause evaporation to happen as a result.
1.Do not work in humid regions or circumstances
Evaporative coolers transform dry warm air into cool air by adding humidity to the dry air.
An evaporative cooler is essentially a large fan that blows air through a water soaked pad.
Since the air is dry, the moisture from the pad cools off the air and the indoor environment.
But if the air is already humid, adding more humidity to it will not cool it off.
But instead will cause the air to be more humid.
2.Can cause excessive humidity
Excessive humidity can make the outdoor temperature feel much warmer than it actually is.
When the humidity outdoors is already humid and you attempt to cool the air by using an evaporative air cooler, the result is not cooler air, but extra indoor humidity.
Excessive humidity not only feels warmer, it makes a room feel swampy and comes with some undesirable side effects like frizzy hair.
So you can see that using an evaporative cooler in a humid region can actually make the air feel warmer.
3.Do not cool as well as traditional air conditioners
There was a time not so long ago that evaporative cooling was the primary way people cool off their homes and businesses.
These days, refrigerated air conditioning by way of central heat and air or window and portable air conditioners have become the norm.
The truth is, evaporative air cooling does not provide indoor comfort of using a refrigerated air conditioning system.
The traditional AC is much cooler and can be controlled. Which leads to the next point.
4.You cannot set an evaporative cooler to a specific temperature.
Most of us are familiar with turning the thermostat up or down to control how warm or how cool we want it inside of the house.
If we walk into a room and the temperature is too hot, we simply turn the thermostat down and wait a little bit, in the AC adjust to revive the temperature that we dialed in.
That is a luxury you do not get with an evaporative cooler.
Just like you cannot control the specific temperature with a fan, evaporative cooling has no way of dialing in a specific temperature either.
5.Settings on evaporative cooler are fan settings
The high and low settings on an evaporative cooler control of the fan only.
6.Require a routine draining and cleaning
Air coolers require quite a bit more maintenance than a conventional AC.
Where conditional ACs require you to change a filter once a month or so, evaporative air conditioners require you to drain and change the water fairly often.
This is because standing water can be a source of airborne bacteria, mold spores, and other allergens.
Legionnaires’ disease can be fatal especially in people with weakened immune systems.
Legionnaires disease is caused by inhaling airborne bacteria that has grown on water.
Its origin has been traced back to industries and businesses that had left their rooftop evaporative coolers full of water where it stagnated and became full of bacteria.
Another point related to the importance of keeping the water in an air cooler drained when it is not in use is the fact that mosquitoes hover around stagnant water.
Mosquitoes can also carry disease.
8.Not good for asthmatics
Humid air is thick and can be harder to breathe. Asthmatics can find breathing humid hair air difficult.
Humid air is also known for being a source of nutrition for dust mites and mold spores. These allergens thrive in conditions of high humidity.
Both are asthma and allergy triggers.
Since evaporative coolers are essentially large fans, the noise level for them are relevant to what setting you have the fan on.
A fan on high speed is noisy.
Some coolers are louder than others and if you have your cooler on the roof then the sound of the fan is not an issue.
But if you’re using a portable evaporative cooler in your room, then the noise level can come into play.
Air coolers work best when you can open up the windows on the other side of the house for air flow.
When you use an air cooler in a room with no ventilation, the air can become muggy and not provide the level of cool air that is needed.
Air coolers are a great alternative for cooling the air.
Refrigerator air conditioners require that you exhaust the heat coming from the unit outdoors.
Sometimes you just do not have an access point to be able to do so.
In situations where you need cool air but cannot facilitate a hose, the evaporative cooling is a great alternative to look into.
But they do have their issues.
Evaporative coolers have a lot of disadvantages and side effects that you need to know about before you dive into purchasing one.
Namely they do not work in humid conditions, and they do require the extra maintenance of draining and keeping the water clean.
They also do not have the luxury of being able to set them to a specific temperature.
And for people who are sensitive to allergens, air coolers can raise the humidity inside of the home to an unsafe level that can make the air uncomfortable to breathe and be a source of allergy and asthma triggers.