Evaporative cooling is a relatively new technology when compared to air conditioners, which have been around for decades. With that said, both are quite effective and have their respective strengths and weaknesses. As the two best air cooling systems in the market, it couldn’t be helped when they are pitted against one another in search for the better option. To be fair, several factors must be considered when determining the efficiency of evaporative coolers versus air conditioners.

Less energy consumption equals savings

Evaporative coolers and air conditioners rely on electricity to function. The amount of energy they consume depends on the model, cooling capacity, and running time a unit. Evaporative coolers use 25 percent less energy than air conditioners, amounting to savings of about $150 a year on electricity. That’s because they cool air by letting it pass through water-soaked pads. This unique air cooling system does come with a drawback. Evaporative coolers constantly need water.

The size and mechanism of an air cooler determines how much water it consumes. A portable unit usually takes up 4 litres of water per hour, while a larger cooler used as a central cooling system may need as much as 25 litres every hour. Models that pump air through pads only once seem to consume more water than models that allow air to pass through pads repeatedly. Despite the high volumes of water needed by an evaporative cooler, it is arguably a cheaper to operate. In contrast, air conditioners solely rely on electricity to produce cool air.

Tip: A well-maintained evaporative cooler (EC) consumes less water every hour. It is recommended that the pads are cleaned regularly and checked by an expert at least once a year.


When comparing evaporative coolers versus air conditioners, their viability must also be taken into consideration. Evaporative coolers are ideal for places with hot and arid weather, and that has reliable water sources. When used in humid conditions, an EC may produce moist air – a condition called “swamping”. Air conditioners, on the other hand, are preferable in cooler climates and places with limited availability of water.

How you intend to use a cooling system should also affect your choice as well. An air conditioner cools air more efficiently when used indoors with the windows closed. Meanwhile, an evaporative cooler may be used outdoors or indoors, granted that at least one window is left open for circulation.

Cooling Capacity

Air conditioners produce cooler air. But under the right conditions, evaporative coolers can match their cooling capacity. ECs are most effective when situated in a shaded area away from sunlight – even better if you can place them next to an open window. But these are ideal for reducing heat in industrial working areas where air conditioning is not an option, such as large factory and warehouse areas.

To learn more about evaporative coolers, please visit the website, here: http://www.evaporative-coolers.com.au/