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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Evaporative Coolers vs Portable Air Conditioners

So how does an evaporative cooler work? Well, essentially they work on the same principle as a cooling fan. The difference is, with a cooling fan it sort of relies on you being a little hot, and a little sweaty to work. Basically the air passing over a wet object causes the water to evaporate and this knocks about 5 degrees C off the temperature.

The way it does this is by adding humidity to the air, by dropping water over a filter and blowing that moist air back out.

So what's better? Well, you can run an evaporative cooler with the window open no problem, in fact it's a good idea to keep the window open as otherwise the machine is going to raise the humidity in a room to uncomfortable levels. They are cheap to run, there's only a little fan and pump to run so compared to portable air conditioners they are signficantly cheaper to run.

The downsides to the evaporative cooler are the raised humidity and the fact that you can never cool more than about 5 degrees from the ambient. Obviously the humidity means they can't be used to cool electronics and if it's over 25 degrees C ambient, you aren't going to be able to cool to comfortable temperature with one.