Air coolers vs air conditioners

Air coolers and air conditioners both help to cool and regulate the temperature within a space, but the two operate very differently.

If you require a temperature control system for a building, it’s important to do your research and understand the different types available and how they each work before investing.

By learning about how different systems work, you can ensure that you make an informed decision and choose a system that will best suit your property and requirements to achieve the best results.

The two main types of air cooling system available are air conditioning units and air coolers. Here’s a quick guide to how they work and the advantages of each.

How do air coolers work?

Air coolers, sometimes referred to as evaporation air coolers, use the natural evaporation process to cool the air within a space. Air coolers contain a tank of cold water, a filter, and a fan. They take in warm air from a room and pass it over the damp, cold filter within the system. As the water evaporates the air is cooled and a fan sends the cool air back out into the room.

LimitaAir coolertions of air coolers

Air coolers can offer some great benefits when used in the right environment. However, the environments in which they offer the most effective performance can be quite limited.


Air coolers put moisture back into the air during the evaporation process and so are not best suited to conditions where the air is already humid.

Air coolers are efficient and effective when used in hot and dry climates and conditions.


Other disadvantages of air coolers include:

  • They can use a lot of water.
  • They are not able to provide as fast or effective relief as air con as they can only drop the temperature to the point of saturation and no lower.

How do air conditioners work?

Air conditioners contain a refrigerant gas which they use to cool air. Warm air from a room is drawn into the air conditioner unit. This air is cooled by passing it over an evaporator which is filled with refrigerant. Warm air then leaves the building via the air conditioner’s vent and the cold air is blown back out around the room.

Benefits of choosing an air conditioning unit

Whilst evaporative air coolers may be suitable in some environments, air conditioning units are far more flexible and can be installed almost anywhere.

Here are some of the benefits of choosing an air conditioning system.

Can be installed in any environment – Air conditioner units can be installed almost anywhere, whereas air coolers will not work efficiently in every environment and are most suited to hot and dry conditions.

Cool air very quickly – An air conditioner unit can significantly lower the temperature in a room very quickly, providing fast relief from uncomfortable conditions.

Can significantly cool a room – Air con units can provide more dramatic changes in temperature than air coolers are capable of.

Available in all different shapes and sizes – You will be able to find an air conditioning unit suitable for any conditions and property-type, from tiny offices to huge, sprawling warehouses.

Different types available –As well as coming in different sizes, air con units are also available in a variety of styles including wall mounted, ceiling mounted and floor units. There are also several different types of system to choose from, each functioning differently, including split units, variable refrigerant flow (VRF), and air conditioners with heat pumps. The wide variety of options available makes it easy to find a solution to perfectly fit your requirements and budget.

Sovereign’s bespoke commercial air conditioning systems

Here at Sovereign our team have over 30 years’ experience designing and installing bespoke air conditioning systems for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

To discuss your requirements in more detail and receive a free initial consultation, give our team of experts a call on 0800 243 638 or email

Author: Gareth Whalley
Sharing my vast knowledge in the Air Conditioning and Mechanical services field especially in HVAC installation, service and maintenance across a broad range of sectors, including Healthcare, Education, Transport, Banking, Retail and Commercial developments.