Learning the main difference between an air cooler and an air conditioner will help you choose which device will become your helpmate during hot days.
The most common option to keep cool is air conditioners. However, some ACs are expensive to install and maintain. In addition, they consume a lot of energy and can have adverse effects on your body and the environment. So what would be the alternative cost-efficient option to keep cool?
The most powerful air cooler
Evaporative air coolers are smart, portable, and cool the air exclusively in front of you. Let's compare a swamp cooler vs. an air conditioner to see which is more suitable for your living arrangements.
Evaporative Cooler vs. Air Conditioner: 6 Key Differences
We have been using air conditioners for a long time. So, what is the difference between a swamp cooler and AC? Let us see how a swamp cooler can be a better option than AC by analyzing each feature and explaining the difference between a swamp cooler and an air conditioner.
1. The Cooling Method
Most of us don't realize that the cooling agents are harmful. AC units use refrigerant gasses that don't smell, unlike the gas we use for cooking.
If an AC device isn't properly maintained or has a manufacturing defect, you might get poisoned without knowing what caused it. In addition, some refrigerants are bad for the environment, as they have to be disposed of after use.
What would be the difference in the cooling method when we compare evaporative air cooler vs. air conditioner?
Swamp coolers use the simplest and the most natural of all materials — water, for cooling. So, there's nothing to worry about as long as you use clean water. So, this is one of the main differences in the battle between AC vs. air cooler.
2. Energy Efficiency
Air conditioners aren't considered luxury items, yet they're an investment not everyone can afford. Individual air conditioner units cost less, but if you have one in every room of your house or apartment, the cost of maintenance and electricity bills adds up to a hefty price over time.
High energy consumption affects more than just your budget. The more power you consume, the more fuel will be required to generate that power in the first place. This can adversely affect the climate, especially if your area does not use alternative energy sources.
Where do swamp air coolers come when you compare the methods of evaporative cooling vs. air conditioning.
Great news! Swamp coolers don't need a massive power supply and can smoothly function on a low voltage. This means you save on utility bills and contribute to a safer environment. Swamp coolers consume from 200 to 400 watts of energy, so they can rightfully be called energy efficient.
3. Climate Considerations
You will be surprised when you see the role of the climate in the swamp cooler vs. the Ac comparison!
If you live in a dry climate, air conditioners will not work perfectly. Surprised? An air conditioner dries out the air — it will cool your surroundings and make your skin uncomfortably tight and leave you feeling dehydrated.
An air conditioner is a great dehumidifier. However, if the weather is dry and hot most of the time, you could purchase a separate humidifier or check out our other hot weather safety tips. Did you know that you need a constant 30% to 50% indoor humidity level to fight off viruses?
Air conditioners also aren't good at purifying the air, especially if you haven't replaced the filters on time or using a one-hose portable AC.
The hose recycles the air in a room repeatedly, so you don't get as much fresh air as with swamp coolers that allow you to keep the windows open or use them outdoors.
The air cooler vs. air conditioner battle winner is the air cooler in a dry climate!
Swamp coolers will only add to that if your area is constantly humid over 50% of the time.
However, if you live in a dry or normal climate, they can effectively cool down, humidify, and purify the air.
A standard air conditioner requires multiple cleaning steps. First, you have to clean the filters monthly or as recommended, and every year they need a deep clean and professional maintenance.
Add the extra cost of changing filters and adding new refrigerants whenever the season changes. All of these steps consume both your time and money.
If you compare the maintenance in swamp cooler vs. AC, swamp coolers only need cleaning once a month by a simple formula of soap and water. Some units have fiber or cellulose filters that require regular cleaning and replacements, but they aren't a necessity — water acts as a filter.
To keep your device in optimal condition, rinse the water tank before changing the water and replace the cartridges as recommended.
If you are still choosing between evaporative cooler vs. ac, this is the point that will make you decide.
An issue for light sleepers and those with a shorter attention span is the noise that accompanies every electric appliance. When they run for an extended period, air conditioners make it impossible to sleep peacefully. In addition, the noises these devices create are loud and distracting, disrupting not only your sleep but also your daily routine.
Luckily, most swamp coolers do not make any significant noise that can potentially disturb your sleep or divert your attention elsewhere. The low humming noise from a mini swamp cooler quickly gets mixed up with the soft background noises and can even be a white noise source.
6. Cost of swamp cooler vs. AC
It often comes down to money when creating a comfortable living space. Swamp coolers are a sustainable and economical solution to your basic need to keep the temperature down on a hot summer day. However, if we compare the costs of traditional air conditioners vs. swamp coolers, we will see that this factor sets these two devices miles apart.
You can buy a high-quality swamp cooler in the $100 to $300 price range.
On the contrary, the cost of air conditioners only starts at three hundred for a portable or window version. A mini-split system will cost you a couple of thousand, including installation.
Read also: Swamp Cooler Guide: Buying Tips and Examples
Why You Should Consider a Compact Cooler
Having compared swamp coolers and air conditioners, you can see that swamp coolers are a better option, considering the price, energy efficiency, maintenance, noise, and safety.
When it comes to swamp coolers, various options are available on the market. Unfortunately, many models are heavy and bulky, and you can't easily carry them around. However, you can find a compact model that is just as effective in cooling your personal space.
It is the Evapolar swamp cooler. – the number ONE winner of the ac vs. swamp cooler debate.
We will just clarify how to size it.
How do you size an evaporative air cooler?
Swamp cooler sizing differs from picking the air conditioner size because the devices serve a different purpose and use other cooling methods. Also, air conditioners use BTU (British Thermal Units) to measure cooling capacity, while air coolers work with CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute). However, it is common to see both units on evaporative coolers, so we made an evaporative cooler size guide.
You can also measure the evaporative cooling potential in BTUs. It won't be as precise as it is for air conditioners. However, it is also a commonly used unit and can be helpful as a general guideline.
Swamp cooler sizing chart in BTU
When sizing your evaporative cooler, make sure you also consider the ceiling height. If you are looking for a swamp cooler for the whole place and not just your personal cooling, the global rule is that an ideal evaporative cooler can replace the indoor air in under 2 minutes. This is where all the above calculations come in handy.
The cooling method differs between a portable air conditioner and an evaporative cooler. Air coolers use evaporation, making it a healthy and silent process.
Cooling power would be wrong to compare. Both ACs and air coolers use BTUs to measure the power. However, they serve a different cooling goal. Evaporative air coolers cool down your immediate surroundings within moments, while air conditioners focus on the whole room. So, if you are looking to cool down the entire area, you might go with an AC. However, if you need a personal cooling method, the air coolers will be more powerful.
With the Evapolar compact air cooler, you get the following benefits:
It can follow anywhere you go. So you can carry this unique cooling gadget with ease.
It is easy to move the cooler around, as it is lightweight. Moreover, it comes with a handle.
It cools your personal space. Evapolar only functions on the person close to it and effectively cools down their temperature according to their preferences.
It's durable. Evapolar's construction material is highly durable. Additionally, the devices' moisture pads (or filters) are made from the patented evaBreeze material.
Read also: The Best Portable Air Cooler in 2021
Note that the Evapolar swamp cooler does not require any extra work to start using it.
Is a Swamp Cooler Better Than an Air Conditioner: Wrap Up
Swamp coolers are gaining well-deserved popularity due to their ability to effectively cool down an area without harsh chemicals and for a much lower price than AC. If you look at how much people pay to buy, install, and maintain an AC unit and how much power they consume, a swamp cooler is a more affordable option in the long term.
If you buy an Evapolar cooler, you will get a mini electrical companion that will cool down your personal space, wherever you are!