What are Evaporative Air Coolers?
The Evaporative Air Coolers goes by many a name such as Evaporative Air Conditioner, Swamp Cooler, Desert Cooler, and Wet Air Cooler! This is a machine or an appliance that primarily cools air through the mechanism of evaporation of water. This is the same mechanism as the most common phenomena we experience every day; our body feels cold as we come out of our bath or a swimming pool, only because the water droplets evaporate from the surface of our skin, much like the evaporative air cooler.
How does an Evaporative Air Cooler work?
The evaporative cooler uses the transformation of liquid water to water vapour as an evaporation process where the water absorbs a substantial amount of heat to evaporate, thus lowering (cooling the temperature) as the end result. Thus, the temperature or the heat intensity of the dry air decreases axiomatically. The working for air conditioning is very different in evaporative coolers than the compression or absorption refrigeration cycles, prevalent in other air conditioning appliances. Direct cooling is highly convenient in extremely dry climates as the evaporative cooler not only brings down the air temperature considerably but also humidifies the air with moisture for additional comfort for the users.
In the process of direct cooling through evaporation, the hot air is transitioned to cold and moist air, without any change affected in the energy of the air. The hot air from outside is drawn through a fan through the cooling pads, which are continuously sprayed and thus saturated with water, and provides the surface for evaporation of the water vapour and transforming to cool air. The excess water is circulated back to the top of the cooling pads in a recurrent manner.
How is it most effective?
Evaporative cooling is the most common and effective form of cooling because of substantially lower consumption of energy and thus cheaper than any other mechanism of air cooling or conditioning. This cooling mechanism was in use much before the onset of the modern air conditioning system. Evaporative Air coolers are most effective in areas and locations which are arid and therefore have lower relative humidity. However, the following tips can help to find out the means to get the most comfortable and coolest efficiency of an evaporative air cooler:
➢ First and foremost, the user or consumer needs to measure the area for installing the cooler as any size inappropriate and not to the nearest accuracy level of the area that needs to be cooled down, which will work as a deterrent to be the most effective.
➢ Keeping the water reservoir clean and dry during dormant times is the best way to prevent any mildew or mold growth, not only keeping the cooler free of maintenance but also ensure clean and hygienic air once in use.
➢ Lastly, it is a strange opposite to traditional Air Conditioners, where Air cooling is possible only in a sealed enclosed area, the Evaporative Air Cooler needs the window open for being most effective! The open window not only allows the constant supply of dry warm air into the cooler but also provides a gateway for the excess humid air in the cooling environment to pass through. However, the caveat is to find the right amount of slit in the open window and that can only come through hit and trial experimentation!
➢ An unventilated or a closed environment is ineffective for the optimum cooling utility of an Evaporative Air Cooler, therefore, the bottom-line criteria to be kept in mind before going for the same by any user.
Best Climates for Evaporative Air Coolers:
As they work best in dry climates, evaporative Air Coolers are best in areas as the North and centre of India, e.g., Punjab, Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Karnataka, which have extremely dry and hot climates. Because of the additional advantage of humidifying the air, apart from lowering the air temperature and cooling it, evaporative cooling is a boon to the people in deserts and desert areas, where the moisture in the air keeps them hydrated without damaging the skin.
Thorough cleaning in every season and regular maintenance of your Evaporative Air Cooler is the only way without any other option, to keep it running and functioning in a sustained and most effective way. Some of the tips for maintenance are here as a helping guide for the users;
- Prevention of unwanted sediments, fungus or algae inside the cooler are needed when the Air Coolers are in regular use in hot and dry climates.
- Cleaning and replacement of the cooling pads, whichever is necessary can be ideally twice in the season of operation and sometimes even once a month depending on the amount of usage.
- Using a little fragrance to the water and adding chemical tablets do well in terms of freshening the air as well as for a sweet smell, however, it is prudent that the water is neither stale nor dirty nor contaminated which is used in the tank.
- There can be mineral deposits, corrosion, and rust in the water tank and even there can be cracks in them. Repairing the same and painting the tank before use, is a good tip to maintain your Evaporative Air Cooler.
- In the dormant times, during the winter season, cleaning the inside (clogged holes, pipes, dirt, and dust on the inside as also the outside keeps the Air Cooler in great shape.
- Lastly, to prevent electrical damage due to power fluctuations, it is always advisable to detach the plug from the PowerPoint, when the cooler is not in use. Also, it saves energy.
Final Buying Tips:
The best of the Evaporative Air Coolers from top brands are these days available for purchase online, it is therefore very much essential to be guided with this handful of suggestions as useful buying tips:
The size and thickness of the cooling pads: which are directly proportional to cooling. Bigger size and higher thickness of cooling pads in an air cooler will result in higher water absorption and hence, a better cooling effect.
Speed regulator gives the convenience of controlling the fan speed to your liking and comfort.
The water level controller / Floatball helps you preset the level of water in the water tank and therefore giving no chance of excess seepage.
Auto-Air Swing not only offers the convenience of wider air distribution in the entire cooling area but avoids the direct flow of air onto your body.
Power Consumption: an efficient air cooler ensures the economy in running costs year-on-year, which is one of the prime differentiators for bias towards an Evaporative Air Cooler.