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Evaporative Coolers vs Air Conditioners

Air Conditioners and Evaporative Coolers bring up major demand when summer approaches in Australia and your thoughts revolve around how you are going to stay cool and what’s the best option of cooling for you because it’s more than just comfort. Evaporative Cooler and Air Conditioners are two most common options that come to our mind when we talk about cooling. Let’s talk about what these units are and how they operate to keep us comfortable in our homes.

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Evaporative Coolers

Evaporative Coolers also known as Swamp Coolers are more effective in dry, arid climates like those found in parts of Australia. It works by adding moisture into the air while cooling, which benefits, especially in low humidity conditions. It is generally more energy-efficient and cost-effective to run as well, making it a good choice in these areas.

While technically evaporative coolers, use the evaporation method to cool down the air, unlike air conditioners, evaporative coolers don’t need refrigerants to work. The hot air is pushed through the system, where it is passed through water-soaked filter pads. These wet pads cool the air, which is then pushed into the room through ducts with the help of a fan.

Air Conditioners

Traditionally, you are most likely to see a split-system air conditioner in use, with an outdoor compressor unit linked to an indoor unit which brings cool air into that specific room. You might also witness standalone air conditioners in smaller homes, or see ducted/vent systems in larger, newer builds and for commercial use.

Commonly air conditioners rely on refrigerants to cool the air. In a split system, warm air is pulled through fans into the indoor unit and passed over cold evaporator coils. The liquid refrigerant inside these coils converts into gaseous form and absorbs the heat from the air. The refrigerant is then condensed back into a liquid in the outdoor compressor unit, which eliminates the heat while the cold air is blown back into the home.

Things To Consider

When choosing which cooling unit to choose, there are certain factors to consider such as the climate and conditions of your location, as well as your cooling needs, budget, and installation options when deciding between evaporative coolers and air conditioners in Australia.


Evaporative coolers tend to work out a little cheaper if you’re looking at picking up standalone units. Keep in mind that as prices go down, efficiency will likely follow, so if you’re looking at standalone as an option, you may want to stretch your budget a little more initially to save a lot later on.

For those who are looking to build a system into your home, whether you’re adding onto an existing structure or working it into a new build, expectations may lead to paying well into the thousands for either system. Prices can go up or down depending on factors such as installation type, the scale of work required, and labor costs for your local area. If you need further help, you can always feel free to reach out to professionals at DGB Refrigeration Heating & Cooling at 03 7038 6918.

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Cooling Capabilities

Evaporative coolers not only provide cooling, but they are also capable of increasing humidity. So, you might not get the same breeze of cold air as you can get from an air conditioner. Most of the time, air conditioners also work as dehumidifiers.

The good news is that you can leave your doors and windows open while using an evaporative cooler. It will encourage the circulation of the air and manage humidity in the cooled space. So, the fresh summer breeze can be welcomed into your home.

For some, winter might be a distant memory, but it’s worth noting that certain air conditioners can also be used to heat your home too. For year-round capabilities, that gives a plus to have air conditioners.

Energy Consumption

One must consider the factors of energy consumption of a cooling system. As power usage is generally low in evaporative cooling systems because only the fan and water pump use energy. But this can also vary widely depending on features and capacity. Because of low power use, evaporative coolers’ ability to convert electrical energy into cool air is also limited whereas air conditioners are much more powerful at converting energy into cooling.

For air conditioner models, energy efficiency is available on each system’s energy rating labels. These help to compare the relative efficiency of different units at full load. However, you still need to choose a unit depending on your particular requirements like room size, local climate, and position of the outdoor unit.


Putting maintenance costs aside, it’s important to think about just how much of the effort will it take to keep your system running efficiently and safely throughout your season. While speaking of the facts, this is especially true for air conditioning units to be dangerous in the event of leaks as they contain refrigerants. On average, evaporative coolers will require more maintenance considering the special attention paid to the filter pads. Regularly cleaning and replacing to prevent mold and bacterial growth, keep the fresh air flowing, and manage mineral build-ups.

Comparatively, both evaporative coolers and air conditioners will require regular servicing and it’s generally recommended to get a professional in for maintenance. So, don’t hesitate to get in touch with DGB Refrigeration Heating & Cooling. Our experienced technicians are always at your service. Dial 03 7038 6918 and stay cool all summer long!

So, Which One Do You Choose?

Choosing which unit would work best for your home depends entirely on your personal requirements. So, if you’re environmentally conscious, and looking for long-term savings while living in the right area, an evaporative cooler might be exactly what you need this coming season. But in case you feel like humidity stalks your every move during the summer months, then a traditional air conditioner will likely appeal to your needs.

Whatever your choice, reaching out to a professional is always a good idea. They’re your best bet for sound advice, accurate quotes, and maintenance needs. Why not start right here and get in touch with Melbourne’s most qualified professionals at DGB Refrigeration Heating & Cooling by dialing 03 7038 6918 for professional guidance and tailored quotations?


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