Evaporative Cooler vs Portable Air Conditioner

evaporative cooler vs portable air conditionerIn winter, you would rather think about heating. Even in sunny California, temperatures decreases. Rainy spells add some humidity to our dry, arid air. During mild and short winter in Los Angeles, you would feel totally comfortable. But you are to think about summer comfort. Let’s compare evaporative cooler vs portable air conditioner. These devices look quite similar. But their operation and efficiency differ. Which one suits your climate and air humidity? Which portable device consumes more electricity and requires regular maintenance? A simple comparison helps you to realize the difference.

Do Portable Air Conditioners Really Work?

In winter, you won’t have to beat low humidity or heat. You can just open a window in your room to feel chilling. Now, it’s easy to reduce energy consumption, by turning down your thermostat. Increasing rainfalls make air in your city pleasant and comfortable.

In December, you still may want to buy a portable AC device. It’s more affordable than in summer. A top-quality unit would become a great Christmas gift for your relatives or close ones. What is it? A portable device works the same way as your best mini-split system or refrigerator. It contains basic essential parts and consumables, like:

  • compressor;
  • condenser;
  • evaporator coils;
  • refrigerant or Freon.

Do air coolers cool the room? They do it, by removing humidity from the air. An AC device draws in warm or hot air from your room. Condenser and refrigerant (low-pressure gas) reduce its temperature. It collects and eliminates moisture and condensation. Then a blower pushes cool air back into your room. This way, an air conditioner lowers temperature and humidity level in your cozy house.

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Do Evaporative Coolers Work as Well as Air Conditioners?

A portable device is essential in summer. It helps you feel comfortable in a hot southern climate. If you have no central HVAC system in your house, a portable unit is a great alternative. It might happen in a consistently warm climate where heating is simply not necessary.

Why don’t you prefer a compact and mobile device? It would be helpful in a small apartment. In a rental house, it helps you to survive one or two exhausting summers. Easy to move and efficient, a portable unit is helpful in your attic, basement or detached garage. Is portable air conditioner noisy? Let’s compare it to an evaporative cooler to realize the difference.

FeatureEvaporative CoolerPortable Air Conditioner
Operation simple area restrictions
Cost lower higher
Climate dry humid
Installation no yes
Daily Maintenance yes no
Noise Level, dB 50-5565-70
Heating Option no yes
Cooling Efficiency lower higher
Use indoors and outdoorindoors only

Thus, portable air coolers are much quieter. They are eco-friendly and simple in operation. But other, very important considerations exist.

Do Portable Air Conditioners Need a Window?

If you’ve got a grip of stellar rooms in your house, a central HVAC system is necessary. Will you prefer a multi-zone split system? It’s flexible and efficient. But professional installation is still essential. If you can’t afford it yet, don’t trip, dude. A portable air conditioner does the job.

It cools the air in a separate room fast and at a low cost. A portable unit is:

  1. compact;
  2. easy-to-install;
  3. versatile;
  4. simple to control the temperature;
  5. low-maintenance.

Air conditioners work in any climate. You’ll easily find a solution that fits any room area, small or restricted space. The only limitation is the need for a hole or window to direct airflow.

Do all portable air conditioners have to be vented out a window? Commonly, they do. It’s necessary to remove warm air out from your home. Fresh and cool air intake is also necessary. But if there is no window in your detached garage or workshop, don’t trip. Use a kind of sliding (swinging) door or a hole in a wall to put an exhaust hose through. Or opt for another, ventless cooling device.

Do Portable Evaporative Coolers Need to be Vented?

Air conditioner dehumidifies air. It benefits people that suffer from allergies to pollen and dust. But if you have no central HVAC system, another great option is available. It’s helpful when you want to reduce energy costs. If you need instant relief from heat, it’s a good solution.

An evaporative cooler is a device that emits cool air in your room or small office. It uses only a fan and some water to make you feel more comfortable. This perfect unit is:

  • lightweight;
  • mobile;
  • eco-friendly;
  • cost-efficient;
  • easy to transport and use wherever you need.

It consumes less energy. But a cooler lower the temperature in your room not so fast and efficiently, as your top-quality A/C unit. Do you need to have a window open with evaporative cooling? This smart device requires no installation at all.

It comes with reliable, easy-glide castors, being easy to move. But fresh air intake is essential. You are to direct it into your efficient device to avoid excess dampness issues.

At What Humidity Do Evaporative Coolers Become Ineffective?

A portable air cooler lets hot dry air absorb water. Therefore, reduces air temperature. A fan draws it across your room and you feel much better. It uses natural coolness of water to operate.

Therefore, these modern devices are especially useful in dry and hot southern climates. If you live in Arizona, Nevada or New Mexico, relative humidity is commonly low. It makes you feel awful in summer. Boosting humidity into arid air is beneficial.

Can you leave evaporative cooling on overnight? It’s completely safe if you leave at have one window open. During hella hot July and August nights, you may do it. In California, June gloom and May gray would make air cooling unnecessary in the morning.

In humid Southeast areas, like Florida, an evaporative cooler would not be useful too. It would only increase sticky feeling, but not grant you any relief. So, if relative humidity is higher than 50%, prefer an air conditioner. If you live on the east of the Mississippi River, it’s highly efficient.

Bottom Line

If you live in a rented apartment or a small house, a portable device is beneficial. It lets you feel comfortable fast, without heavy expenses and any efforts. Will you prefer an air conditioner or an evaporative cooler? It depends on your climate, cooling needs, room size and conditions. So, consider all available features and make your choice. Repair your roof before it starts raining and feel great in summer!


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