Beat the Heat: Air Conditioner or Portable Air Evaporative Cooler

Tower evaporative air cooler in a living room

If you don’t know the difference between an air conditioner and portable air evaporative cooler, you may buy the wrong solution for your needs. Do that, and you won’t stay cool during the summer. Keep in mind that you also want to consider where you live as climate may play a larger factor. If you ignore this, you may spend more money than you anticipated. Read on to learn the difference between an air conditioner and portable air evaporative cooler and get the best cooling solution for you.

Everything You Need to Know about an Air Conditioner and Portable Air Evaporative Cooler

Infographic: Air Conditioner vs. Air Evaporative Cooler - Choose Your Cool to Beat the Heat

Air Conditioner

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An air conditioner is a machine or system that treats the air in a defined, usually enclosed area via a refrigeration cycle in which warm air is removed and replaced with cooler and more humid air. A complete system of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning is referred to as HVAC.

The major elements of an air conditioning system are:

  • Evaporator coil.
  • Condenser coil.
  • Fans to circulate the air over both coils.
  • Tubing to carry a refrigerant between the two coils.
  • Compressor to move the refrigerant through the system.
  • Metering device to regulate the rate of refrigerant flow.

Homes and buildings are cooled with air conditioning, and the two most common types are central air conditioners and room conditioners. The former circulates cool air through a system, and the latter cools only one room or small space. You may use a window unit or a Portable Room Air Conditioner. The latter is easy to move from room to room, reliable, and efficient. Since it’s portable, you can put it where it’s needed for more comfort.

If you have a home, your air conditioner unit will be outside, exposed to the elements. You may want to cover it with an air conditioner coil screen cover or heavy-duty, durable outdoor air conditioner cover. It will keep ice, rain, and leaves from collecting in and on the compressor housing. And the vents on all sides can improve airflow and prevent condensation buildup that could freeze and cause leaks. You may also want to hide it with a lattice air conditioner screen. It’s a great way to keep your backyard looking neat and tidy.

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Evaporative Air Cooler

An evaporative cooler, also known as a desert cooler, swamp cooler or wet air cooler, cools the air through the evaporation of water, which differs from central air conditioning systems that use vapor-compression or absorption refrigeration cycles. An evaporative air cooler uses a pump to circulate water from the reservoir onto a cooling pad, which then becomes wet. A fan draws air from outside the unit through the pad. The air is cooled by evaporation when it passes through the pad.

One or more of the following evaporative air coolers could work for you:

Portable Evaporative Air Cooler 

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Don’t sweat in the heat! Instead of blowing hot air around, the Portable Evaporative Air Cooler uses patented cyclonic cooling technology to provide refreshing breezes that can lower the ambient temperature by as much as 20°. You can cool off anytime with this portable air cooler. All you do is fill the air cooler with ordinary tap water and plug it in – no chemicals or compressors required. It’s perfect for a bedroom, family room, kitchen, office, or any area up to 250 square feet.

High Power Indoor-Outdoor Evaporative Air Cooler

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You can take the High Power Indoor-Outdoor Evaporative Air Cooler wherever you need it to bring instant cooling to areas up to 650 feet. The indoor-outdoor evaporative air cooler is heavy-duty and draws air from the outside and uses a powerful blower to push it through 3 water-saturated, rigid, cooling pads on three different sides of the cooler. Just fill the 10-gallon water tank or connect the unit directly to a garden hose, spigot or direct water line. The High Power Indoor-Outdoor Evaporative Air Cooler filters out airborne particles and uses up to 80% less energy than an air conditioner.

An evaporative air cooler doesn’t require much maintenance. All you have to do is wipe down the front of the unit with a damp cloth and clean the filter with lukewarm water and a mild detergent once every two weeks. When you’ve finished using your portable evaporative air cooler, wipe it down, drain the water (if any is left), clean the filter and water tank, and put the fan-only function on (if available) for 30-60 minutes to dry before storing.

Compared to an air conditioning system, evaporative air cooling is more cost-effective for cooling indoor spaces. However, you may or may not live in an area that’s suited for it. For example, if you reside in a state that has a desert climate such as Arizona and New Mexico, it’s a great solution in addition to central air. But if you live on the East Coast or in the Midwest, you’ll want to have central air or a portable air conditioner.

How Big of an Evaporative Air Cooler Do You Need?

You may be curious to know how big of an air evaporative cooler you need. Here’s a formula you can use:

Step 1 –Determine the square footage of the space you want to cool.

Step 2 – Multiply the above figure by the height of your ceilings. Depending on how old your home is, it may only have 8 ft. ceilings. New homes can have 9 ft. or 10 ft. ceilings, maybe even more.

Step 3 – Divide the above number by 2.4.

Step 4 – The result is the CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating for the evaporative cooler you’ll need for your space.

Here’s an example using the above formula:

Square footage = 500 sq. ft.

Ceiling height = 8 ft.

Calculation = 500 x 8 = 4,000

Result of 4,000/2.4 = 1,666.66 ~ 1,667

According to our calculations, you would need an evaporative cooler with a CFM of at least 1,667.

Which Cooling Option is Best for You?

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Now that you know the difference between an air conditioner and portable air evaporative air cooler, only you can decide which one is best for you. Of course, you may consider getting both. However, if you opt for a central air conditioning system, keep in mind that you’ll want to protect it during the winter with an air conditioner unit cover. Not only will your unit be protected, but it will add a decorative touch to your backyard.

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Posted in Home Improvement, Small Space/Apartment Living Tagged with: , , ,
Posted by: Amandah Blackwell
One comment on “Beat the Heat: Air Conditioner or Portable Air Evaporative Cooler
  1. Do gia dung thong minh says:

    I gonna furniture my new house and be confused about these two types of equipment. Your sharing is very useful for me, thanks a lot.

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