Air Conditioner vs. Swamp Cooler - What You Need to Know
What's the difference?
Standard AC units work by passing air over a set of coils filled with a refrigerant like Freon, which heats and cools as it's compressed and expands.
The air is cooled by the coils, sent into your house, and then re-circulated over and over through the machine, venting hot air generated in the process to the outside.
It's a closed process -- leaving a window or door open allows the cool air to escape and makes the air conditioner work harder to supply cold air.
Swamp coolers (also know as an evaporative cooler), on the other hand, are an open system. They rely on the flow of air through the building to direct the cool air. Opening and closing windows and doors controls the air flow from the swamp cooler to different parts of the house
Both systems can use either a large central unit or small window units, but air from the swamp cooler needs a way out. (source: How Stuff Works).
Benefits of Air Conditioner
- Cools in humid area
- Removes moisture from air
- Precise temperature control
- Low maintenance
Benefits of Swamp Cooler
- Cheap to build and install
- Low Operating Costs
- Energy Efficient
- Better for the environment
- Adds moisture to air
- No chemicals
Drawbacks of Air Conditioner
- Cannot be used in very dry areas
- May dry the air and make uncomfortable conditions
- Uses chemicals that emit CO2 emissions
- More expensive to maintain
- More expensive to run
Drawbacks of Swamp Coolers
- Does not lower temperature as much as AC can (temperature control is limited)
- Does not perform well in humid climates or during rainy periods (best used in hot & dry climates)
- Basic air filter system only, many airborne irritants or odors missed
- Not ideal for those with asthma or respiratory issues
- Need to be regularly cleaned (to avoid a swampy smell)
- Needs a regular supply of water (can use up to 25 liters of water an hour depending on the fan speed and humidity)
- Possible risk of water leakage from ceiling outlets unless fitted with covers
In our opinion, AC is superior in overall operation.
While AC units do cost more to operate, and use more energy, their major advantage is that they work in practically every type of climate.
They are suitable for both homes and commercial spaces. They remove moisture from the air, which makes it less humid and cool spaces quickly.