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Is Evaporative Cooling Better Than Air Conditioning?

Evaporative Cooling vs Split System Air Conditioning

When weighing up different ways to keep your home cool during summer, it’s worth comparing evaporative cooling with refrigerated split system air conditioning.

There are plenty of important factors to consider for your home. For example, which is the most effective and energy efficient way to keep the heat out? Which type of air conditioning suits your home the most for both look and installation purposes?

When you’re comparing the different methods of air conditioning you don’t want to miss anything. So, let’s put the focus on both options so you can make the choice that best suits your household.

How Does Evaporative Cooling Work?

Here in Australia, evaporative coolers are quite popular. You’ll find them scattered throughout the south-eastern states where dry summers are common.

Evaporative cooling systems work by passing hot, dry outside air through water filled filter pads. This causes evaporation, which creates a cooling effect. The evaporative cooling process is similar to how a breeze on wet skin starts to lower the water temperature and the surrounding air temperature also begins to drop.

That’s why an evaporative cooler is also known as a swamp cooler or swamp box in some regions. You can also call it an evaporative cooling air conditioner (but let’s not confuse matters).

This method is ideal for dry climates. Evaporative coolers, sadly, do not suit the tropical regions in Australia’s north as the climate is simply too humid for the evaporation process to take place.

The outdoor unit is usually installed on the roof to collect the air and distribute it through the wet cooling pads. Cool air is then released into the home through the vents of the indoor unit.

Evaporative air conditioners only work with doors or windows open. This allows for a constant circulation of cool air through the vents while warmer air is forced out.

What are the Benefits of Evaporative Cooling?

There are many benefits to using an evaporative cooling system. Evaporative coolers are more energy efficient than other air conditioners.

Fresh air also helps those with skin irritation, meaning an evaporative cooler could be the perfect option for a number of Australians.

Evaporative cooling benefits include:

  • Minimal energy use with just a fan and water pump needed.
  • Filter pads stop dust and allergens entering the home.
  • Chilled air has a higher moisture content and will not dry out skin.
  • Air inside the home is not recycled throughout the air conditioner – you’ll always enjoy fresh air.
  • There are fewer upfront costs with savings on both the cost of the evaporative cooling unit and installation.

What Are the Benefits of Evaporative Cooling

What are the Cons of Evaporative Cooling?

Due to the method of cooling, evaporative cooling does have some drawbacks. The main one is having to take into account the climate you live in.

While a refrigerated air conditioner works well in any climate, evaporative cooling is best suited to dryer climates. In effect, an evaporative cooler increases humidity in your home, and that’s no use in Australia’s humid regions.

There are other important considerations with evaporative coolers, too. Potential disadvantages to evaporative cooling include:

  • Basic air filter systems can introduce irritants into the home.
  • Poor filter maintenance may impact those with asthma or respiratory issues.
  • Temperature control is limited.
  • Evaporative coolers cannot heat and you will need a separate heating system in winter.
  •  t can use up to 25 litres of water an hour.

How Does Refrigerated Air Conditioning Work?

A split system air conditioner draws the warm air from inside a room and cools it over a refrigerant-filled coil that absorbs heat. The refrigerant is then sent to the condenser in the outside unit, which releases the heat into the air.

The refrigerant-cooled air is then distributed into the room via the indoor unit’s vents with the help of a fan. This type of system is at its best in a well-insulated room with doors and windows closed.

What are the Benefits of Refrigerated Air Conditioning?

Refrigerated air conditioning does have some advantages over evaporative cooling. Perhaps the main benefit is working effectively in any kind of climate, including humid areas.

Here are some of the advantages of using traditional air conditioning systems:

  • An air conditioner reduces humidity in the room.
  • It removes dust, pollen, odours and bacteria – ideal for those with asthma or other respiratory problems.
  • Works effectively in all climates, including tropical and subtropical.
  • A 6 or 7-star rated air conditioner is energy efficient.
  • Reverse cycle air conditioners will heat as well as cool your home.
  • Ducted refrigerated air conditioning offers complete climate control.

A well functioning air conditioner essentially acts as a dehumidifier in the home.

What are the Negatives of Air Conditioning?

But there are some negatives to running air conditioning compared to an evaporative cooling system, such as:

  • More expensive to run than an evaporative cooler.
  • Higher installation costs for a ducted system.
  • Doors and windows must be kept closed for it to work at its best.
  • Outdoor units can be noisy, which may be an issue for neighbours.

Which is the Best Cooling System for You?

In terms of making a choice, you have a few main factors to consider. Anyone who tells you that one particular cooling system is ideal for all situations is full of hot air.

Cost is likely the leading factor, and that will vary. It’s all about the number of rooms you need to cool, installation constraints, and the kind of features you want.

Energy efficiency is a convenience that is also important. Evaporative coolers are the more climate friendly option, yet you don’t have heating and cooling in the same unit. Does that suit your needs, or not?

If you’re content with an affordable air conditioner that complements an existing heater, then an evaporative cooling will be perfect. Your household will feel the benefit of budget-friendly evaporative cooling when summer arrives.

But if you’re after complete climate control, split system air conditioning may well be the perfect option. Traditional air conditioning vs evaporative air cooler? It’s a tough choice. If you can’t decide, don’t hesitate to contact Mr Emergency.

We can assess your home and your needs to assist with the decision-making process and installation of your air conditioning.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.

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