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Should You Buy an Air Cooler? Why and Why not?

Are you wondering why and when you should buy an Air Cooler or when to avoid? This article will help you to get rid of your confusion.

Searing summers are just around the corner. It is time to think about getting an air-cooling system. Traditionally, people have trusted and relied on air conditioners. However, air-conditioners have become increasingly expensive nowadays.

Due to the ever-rising temperatures, it has become difficult to stay indoors comfortably thanks to global warming. You certainly need some cooling system to make your indoor environment cozy and comfortable. Air coolers have emerged as the next best thing. Many are regarding them as the game-changer. But are air coolers actually worth your investment? Are air coolers a better choice over air conditioners? Should you or shouldn’t you buy an air cooler? You will find all the answers in this article.

should you buy air cooler

Difference between an Air Cooler and Air Conditioner

Air conditioners and air coolers have a completely different operating mechanism. Air conditioners (AC) circulate a room’s internal air repeatedly. Conversely, an air cooler pulls fresh air from the outdoor environment and cools it down.

Air coolers are also called evaporative coolers and swamp coolers. These units work on a simple principle- these blow the incoming hot air near the cool water to decrease indoor temperature. Hence, air coolers come with a built-in water tank to cool down the air. For a better cooling effect, you may add ice cubes or ice packs to the water.

ACs involve a completely different mechanism. These units rely on refrigerants. These are chemical compounds that absorb heat. ACs circulate and reuse the refrigerant through compressors to cool down an insulated room/space.

The key difference between both units is that the air cooler uses a motor, whereas ACs use compressors to cool the air. That’s the main reason why air coolers tend to be more energy-efficient than ACs.

However, air coolers aren’t as powerful as ACs when it comes to cooling the air. But that’s a relatively harmless compromise you can make because ACs generally consume more energy than air coolers. Air coolers work on a straightforward mechanism of evaporative cooling. These units don’t involve the use of fancy machinery or a cooling system. That’s why their price is comparatively lower than an average AC.

To learn more, check out this in-depth article on the comparison between Air Cooler vs. Air Conditioner.

mini air cooler featured

Which is Better In terms of Air Quality?

A significant difference between both machines is that an air cooler doesn’t make the air dry while an AC does. Considering the way it operates, it offers much better air quality for your room. Research suggests that air cooler’s circulated air is suitable for people with dust allergy or asthma. An AC cannot offer this benefit. Instead, it can trigger an asthma attack.

Furthermore, an air cooler is a far better option for everyday use around the home than an AC if you don’t want the icy blast an AC offers. After all, you don’t want your room to remain cold throughout the day and pay substantial electricity bills. Not only ACs are too big and expensive, but they are too loud as well.

What about Domestic Use?

For domestic use on a daily basis, or even for a small office or shop, an air cooler will be a better option. To cool smaller areas or rooms, an air cooler will be the most suitable and cost-effective solution from both short-term and long-term aspects. Since it performs evaporative cooling, it will make the indoor environment adequately chilled. You can consider them a powerful and cooler version of the standard fans. Cost-wise, they will come at a fraction of AC costs.

What about Portability?

Air conditioners have to be installed in the wall, as these are wall-mounted units. In contrast, air coolers can be placed just about anywhere because they are a portable option. You can transport them from room to room and make any room of your home or office instantly cool. However, you have to place an air cooler closer to a window or an open area so that the warm air could escape. There is a mountable window variety available in air coolers, which are called desert coolers. However, these are better suited for cooling larger rooms or areas. Other than that, a standard size air cooler is a more convenient option for homeowners as far as portability is concerned.

Climate Factor

First of all, you should examine the climatic conditions of your area of residence. If your home or apartment gets blisteringly hot during summers, you live in an excessively humid or hot area, or the rooms are larger, don’t go for an air cooler. During warm weather, evaporative cooling is undoubtedly a boon to cool indoor spaces. But it totally depends on the climate because evaporative coolers work most efficiently in regions where the air is hot and dry, and humidity is low. A desert is an ideal place to use an air cooler. Air conditioners are most suitable for more humid areas or homes that get exceedingly hot.

air cooler featured

Difference between Running Costs

Air coolers are far more energy-efficient than ACs. There are inverter-based options available that draw even lesser amounts of electricity than standard air coolers. On the other hand, ACs consume more electricity, and their running costs increase with the frequency of use. If you live in a scorching area, you might need to run the AC the whole day. This would naturally skyrocket your regular electricity bills. So, for such areas, an air cooler is a good option.

Air Coolers are way cheaper as compared to ACs. A standard air cooler unit takes around 80-85% less electricity and is very cheap to install. This cannot be said about an AC because their installation costs and running costs are higher. For instance, for a 200 sq/ft room, the most suitable air cooler would cost roughly $50 to $100, whereas an AC’s cost will be three times higher than this.

Pros and Cons Comparison

Here is a quick overview of the pros and cons of ACs and air coolers to help you make the right decision.

Air Conditioning Pros and Cons


  • Ideal for humid environment
  • Bring down the ambient temperature faster


  • Requires venting
  • High running and maintenance costs
  • Very expensive
  • Ineffective in open areas

Air Cooler Pros and Cons


  • Energy-efficient units
  • It is cheaper to run air coolers
  • More environmentally friendly
  • An ideal option for the dry climate and arid conditions
  • Doesn’t need an insulated space to operate as you can run them with doors/windows open
  • Suitable for asthma and allergy sufferers


  • These units use a lot of water if run continuously
  • Less suitable for humid areas

What Makes Air Cooler a Better Option?

The pros and cons comparison make it clear that an air cooler is a better option if you don’t live in a very humid region. Now let’s look at the various other factors that make air coolers a beneficial option.

Economical Alternative

If the value for money is one of your primary concerns, an air cooler is the better option for you. Though both an AC and an air cooler end up making the indoor air cool, there is a massive difference between their initial purchasing, installation, and running costs. You can expect up to 80% less electricity bill with a cooler than an AC. So an air cooler is an economical alternative.

An Eco-friendly Route

We all are concerned about going green. If you are also looking to switch to eco-friendly ways of living, go for an air cooler. ACs use refrigerants, which comprise harmful chemicals like CFC (Chlorofluorocarbon) and HFC (hydro-chlorofluorocarbons). These chemicals are hazardous to the environment. Air coolers are an environment-friendly option as they only use water as their refrigerant.  

Ease of Installation

You don’t need to install air coolers at all. While installing an AC is a cumbersome task. Whether you get a conventional window-mounted AC or a wall-mounted split unit, you will need to create a vent and make additional installation arrangements. An air cooler is a portable unit so, you can place it anywhere in the room. Most units come with castors to move them from one room to another, convenient for the user.

air conditioner maintenance

Low Maintenance

Air coolers are extremely low maintenance. You need to clean the water tank once or twice a month to prevent limescale or mold build-up. To perform a thorough cleaning, all you have to do is clean the cooling pad inside the unit. It can be removed easily. Maintaining an AC would be far more expensive and complicated as you will need a professional to refill the refrigerant and perform a thorough cleaning of the unit.

Should You Buy Air Cooler?

Air conditioners are costlier than air coolers, and their running costs are also high. These are an ideal option if you live in a very humid area or your rooms are large and very hot. Air coolers use water to convert incoming warm air into cool air. They are easy to move around and consume a lot less energy than an air conditioner. These aspects make them a cost-effective, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly option. 

Air coolers, however, won’t provide the same chilling effect as you can expect from an air conditioner. They will make the indoor environment comfortable and bearable during hot weather. You can use ice packs to add some extra chill to the air. You may have to refill the water tank and frequently add ice packs if you continuously run the unit. This is a lesser hassle compared to the hefty energy bills an AC may offer. 

Hence, the benefits of an air cooler are far too many to ignore. So, depending on your situation, you can now make the right choice for your home.

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