Difference Between Air Coolers and Air Conditioners

Difference Between Air Coolers and Air Conditioners

When it comes to cooling, an electric fan is still probably the cheapest of them all. But if you want something better, you can get an air cooler or air conditioner.

The main difference between air coolers and air conditioners is how they achieve the cooling effect. 

Both devices use electricity to operate and help cool indoor air, preventing sweating and allowing people to live comfortably, even when it’s scorching outside.

Both machines give fresh air, although there is a complete difference between air coolers and air conditioners, and also a difference in their work mechanisms.

Definition Of Air Cooler

An air cooler simply cools the air, as the name suggests. It does this by making it more humid. It uses an evaporation technique that helps produce cool air, and the temperature of dry air can be dropped by passing it through liquid water to produce water vapor.

They are available in different sizes, large to small and even medium. They are typically used in buildings to cool any room at a designated temperature with fresh, filtered outside air.

Air coolers are used to cool an area for comfort purposes. They are widely used in developing countries as well as nations that have warm and humid climates.

Work Mechanism Of An Air Cooler

Air coolers work with the principle of evaporation. They are made up of three main components, which are the fan, the water tank, and the pads.

The water tank capacity varies; it could be 5 liters or more. You fill the tank with water, and the pads absorb the water, thus, soaking it.

The air cooler, when switched on, brings in hot air through the fan, and the air then gets cooled down by the water. Thus, creating cooler air which is then released into the room.

Definition Of Air Conditioner

An air conditioner, on the other hand, is an alternative cooler. It is commonly known as A/C and is a cooling system that is used to cool down the temperature in a room by removing heat and moisture from the room and replacing it with cool air.

The air conditioner can produce hot and cold air. It can control humidity and air conditions and keeps the internal temperature very comfortable.

The term air conditioning means changing the properties of the air, temperature, and humidity into more favorable or pleasant conditions.

Work Mechanism Of An Air Conditioner

Air conditioners circulate internal hot air from the room into its vent and then cools down the hot air with their cooling system or refrigerant.

Any excess moisture or excess hot air is passed through the coiled tube attached to the A/C, and it is expelled outside to the atmosphere. The cold air that was converted from the hot air is then passed through the front unit of the A/C into the room.

There are different types of air conditioners, and choosing the right type depends on your preference, how large the area it is needed for, and other factors.

The most common different types include;

  • The split unit air conditioning system is the type most suitable for homes.
  • Also, there is the packaged air conditioner. This type is more suitable for larger buildings or larger homes.
  • And lastly, the most common type of air conditioning system is the central air conditioning system, which is suitable for offices and gyms.

Other types include “the window air conditioner, portable air conditioning unit, e.t.c.

Since air coolers and air conditioners may seem alike because, in the end, they both provide more relaxed space or cooler air to rooms and the people in them.

Read on to find out the typical difference between air coolers and air conditioners and why to choose an air cooler over an air conditioner. Here below are some of them:

Notable Difference Between Air Coolers And Air Conditioners

Time Of Invention

Air coolers were introduced in the year 1929, whereas Air conditioners were invented in the year 1902 by a woman named Willis.

Quality Of Air

An air cooler pulls fresh air from outside and then cools it down.

In contrast, an air conditioner circulates the internal air in a room over and over again. It pulls in hot air from the room and replaces it with cooler air. 


Another apparent difference between air coolers and air conditioners is their portability. Air coolers are portable.

They are not usually installed in a fixed place, and they can be moved around when needed. Many of the air coolers come with a castor wheel which makes them easily portable.

Unlike air conditioners, which are not portable, they are usually installed in a specific area like on a wall, which doesn’t require them to be moved from one place to another. 


Air Conditioner can lower temperatures significantly below ambient level. The air cooler has limits and can only lower the temperature a few degrees below room temperature.

Some people improve efficiency by using chilled water or putting ice in the water source. It still isn’t as cold as the air conditioner but can lower the temperature a few more degrees.


Air conditioners, unlike air coolers, use chemical coolants or refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbon and hydrofluorocarbon, which can be harmful to the environment. Air coolers use water as their refrigerant, which makes them eco-friendly. They do not use any harmful cooling agents as air conditioners do.


Air coolers require more maintenance as compared to air conditioners. You need to fill up your air cooler with water every day before using them. On the other hand, air conditioners only need a bit of service from time to time.


Air coolers aren’t so effective in terms of cooling down a room or space faster. It takes a longer period to bring down the temperature of a room. It can not also be used in large places or places with a lot of crowds. In comparison, air conditioners are more effective and can be used in large spaces. 


Another notable difference that would be important to mention is their effect on a budget. Air conditioners are known for their heavy impact on electricity, and they consume a lot of power to work, which leads to high bill payments.

Air coolers use about 75 – 80% less energy compared to air conditioners. That is, it consumes a lesser amount of power to work.


Air coolers tend to increase the humidity in the room where they are being used. This is because it evaporates water into the air.

Therefore, it is not recommended in humid areas; a humid environment is said to slow down the evaporation process of air coolers.

In comparison, an air conditioner reduces the humidity of the air as water vapor condenses around the cooling coils; a good indicator of this is how air conditioners drip water outside. You can use air conditioners regardless of the humidity in the room. 

Value Of Money

Air cooler scores more when it comes to the value of money. Air coolers are sold at a lower price as compared to air conditioners.


Air coolers are designed in such a way that they do not work well in humid climates. This means they can not be used in coastal areas. Air conditioners, on the other hand, can be used in both dry and humid climates.


Air coolers are said to be better for people with allergies or people with respiratory problems. When air conditioners are not cleaned, they might lead to respiratory problems due to the accumulation of dust in their vents.


Unlike Air conditioners, air coolers take up space. This makes consumers reluctant to purchase air coolers. Industries are also working on how to modify air coolers to fit into people’s space.


The moist air produced by air coolers makes it uncomfortable for people after some time. Air conditioners produce rather drier air that doesn’t cause any form of discomfort to people.


Air coolers depend on air from the atmosphere to provide a cooling effect. Thus, when there is insufficient ventilation, air coolers do not function. On the other hand, air conditioners do not depend on ventilation. They work anywhere and anytime.

In conclusion, the use of air coolers has increased rapidly in many countries Worldwide. Its increasing demand can be seen by the increasing sales through companies that provide good products at low prices.

With all the difference between air coolers and air conditioners listed above, it should not be so difficult to decide on one that would be best for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like