Air Cooler Working Principle | How an Air Cooler Works?

Undoubtedly, the Air Cooler Working Principle mechanism has grown multiple folds recently. Certainly, there were days when air coolers were just limited to aluminum case machine placed outside our home window during summers. But, nowadays air cooler working phenomenon has been tremendously innovated with the rust-free body, a powerful fan having intelligent louver system, & Autofill techniques.

Certainly, the evaporative cooler has come a long way but the working of an air cooler is not big rocket science. Least to say, the air cooler working principle is a simple phenomenon of evaporating water that is the driving force behind the cooling effect.

So, what makes the air cooler working so effective, power-efficient & eco-friendly? Let’s discuss details:

  • Detailed analysis of its working
  • How it is different from an air conditioner
  • Advantage & Disadvantages
  • Useful Tips

Basic Logic Behind How an Air Cooler Works?

The evaporative air cooler works according to the simple fundamental of evaporation causing cooling. Basically, the air cooler working principle can be explained in terms of a simple example of the wind blowing over a lake or general human perspiration i.e. sweating. As a result, the hot air is cooled due to the evaporation of the water of the lake or sweat leading to a feeling of coolness over the body.

Air Cooler Working Principle
Air Cooler Working Model

Air Cooler Components

All in all, an evaporative air cooler is quite simpler in its design, thereby making the air cooler working principle much simpler.

Firstly, it contains a tank for holding the water that would evaporate for cooling the air.  Secondly, it includes a fan or blower that circulates the air. In order, to cool the air the water from the tank is pumped through a submersible pump in the tank and is spread uniformly over the cooling pads which are back or side (or both) ends of the body. Basically, the cooling pads tend to increase the area for retaining the water in order to come in contact hugely with the hot air.

Detailed Analysis of Air Cooler Working Principle

To begin with, evaporative air cooler works to lowers the temperature and adds humidity to the air by using the heat of evaporation where the liquid water changes to water vapor during the process. Correspondingly, the warm air, as a result, changes to cool moist air. At this point, the process happens due to the heat of warm air that heats and evaporates the water.

Air Cooler Working Principle
Air Cooler Working Mechanism

Particularly, the evaporative air cooler works with a fan or blower that takes in the warm air. In fact, the warm air enters through a membrane of cooling pads which is at the back end or side of the cooler body. In general, Honeycomb pads or Aspen Wood wool cooling pads are chosen for the design. On one hand, Honeycomb pads are 85% efficient whereas Wood Wool cooling pads are about 75% cooling efficient. In short, the cooling pads tend to increase the surface area of contact between water and the incoming warm air.

Subsequently, a submersible pump generally pumps the water from the tank and spreads it across the cooling pad. In fact, many air coolers have cool flow dispensers that divide the water uniformly through the pads. All in all, the water is continuously sprayed so that the cooling membrane remains saturated. On the other hand, the excess water drips out of the cooling pad and gets collected at the tank where it is again circulated.

Simultaneously, the warm air is sucked into the air cooler through these wet pads. Hence, as the warm air moves in the water on the wet cooling pads is evaporated and this takes away the heat from the air. As a result. at last, the cool moist air exits through the cooler into the ambient room.

Talking About Humidity

Particularly, air cooler working principle has a lot to do on the fundamentals of humidity.

For instance, let’s assume air like a cotton ball. Certainly, a dry cotton ball has more absorbing limits when compared to a wet cotton ball. Similarly, the air in the coastal & humid areas already has moisture in it. Hence, the addition of more moisture won’t be possible. All in all, the cooling effect hampers highly under these cases. 

On the other hand, the air in dry arid areas and especially during summer remains quite dry. Altogether, this increases its tendency to hold water in order to bring its temperature down. Thus, the cooling effect remains highly appreciable.

Evidently, this is where the term Humidity comes into play. In short, if the air has 20% humidity it means that air and water mixture already has 20% water. Whereas, 100% humidity suggests that air contains all of the moisture it can hold and further addition of moisture to cool it down won’t be any good.

Undeniably, the evaporation of water is what drives the cooling effect of the air cooler. Typically, Relative Humidity (RH) below 70% is favorable for optimum working of air cooler.

Contrarily, the addition of moisture in the due process of air cooler working can also help widely in cool weather conditions, where the air becomes so dry it could start dehydrating skin & cause itching over the body.

In fact, some modern air coolers, nowadays,  have Humidity Controller in them to control excessive humidity of the circulating air.

Air Cooler Vs Air Conditioner

Meanwhile, with the cooling operations in the talk, it is quite natural for the people to compare the efficiency of the air cooler working principle & that of an air conditioner. On one hand, air cooler works by cooling the air with the help of moisture and adding humidity to it. Whereas, on the other hand, the air conditioner uses refrigerant compression-absorption cycle and takes out humidity from the air using dehumidifiers.

COOLING MECHANISMThe air cooler working principle is based on use of water.Uses refrigerant for cooling.
HUMIDITYHumidifies air for cooling. however, some air cooler has Humidity Controller for controlling excess moisture.Uses de-humidifiers to control the moisture.
VENTILATIONThe air cooler works good only in cross ventilation where fresh air flows continuously. So ideal to keep near an open window, balcony.The room should remain close isolated for optimum cooling effect.
POWER USEVery low to LowMedium to High.
PORTABILITYPortable in natureFixed to be in one place.
USAGEOutdoor and indoorOnly indoors.

Difference between Air Conditioner vs Air Cooler Working Principle

Advantages of Air Cooler

1. Indeed, the cost of an air cooler is quite less compared to air conditioners.

2. In addition, the installation of an air cooler is quite simpler as the air cooler working principle, and, thus needs no huge brains.

3. Subsequently, power use in the air cooler is about 75% lesser than that used in the air conditioner.

4. Particularly, air cooler use water for their working which makes them free from the use of harmful refrigerants.

5. Since air cooler doesn’t contain multiple components but just a fan & pump, its maintenance is very simple.

6. Moreover, the cooling pads through their design arrest much of air contaminants. Whereas, some modern air coolers like Symphony Diet 12T air cooler have in-built filters as well.

7. Last but not the least, due to their portability, they are convenient to shift and use as per one’s need.

Disadvantage of Air Cooler

1. Basically, it doesn’t lower the air temperature very down like an air conditioner.

2. Additionally, air cooler working principle widely depends on ambient air conditions. So, the higher the humidity in the air, the less would be the cooling effect.

3. Since it requires a constant supply of water thus a constant monitor on the water level in the tank is necessary to avoid pump burnouts.

4. Besides, if the quality of water is poor, regular cleaning of the tank becomes a must, to avoid unhygienic conditions build up.

Some Important Tips for Better Air Cooler Working

1. Firstly, ensure proper ventilation of the room, this is the most important aspect of air cooler working principle. Allow fresh airflow continuously for the smooth operation of the cooler. Thus, keeping the air cooler near an open window or at the balcony would drastically improve the cooling performance.

2. Secondly, better the water spread over the cooling pads better would be evaporation. As a result, while filling the tank operate the water pump to circulate water adequately so that the cooling comes in an instant when the air cooler is turned ON.

3. Particularly, many air coolers nowadays have ice chamber trays in them where the ice water drips into the tank and mixes with the tank water to improve the cooling of the air.

4. Also, make sure that the cooling pads are cleaned off regularly since due to air circulation much dust and contaminants are trap in their structure.

5. Not to mention, periodic cleaning of the water tank is a must to keep the water and tank conditions hygienic.

Also Read: Air Coolers Buying Guide | A Comprehensive Guide

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