3 Kinds of Evaporative Air Coolers that will Save You Money

There are several kinds of evaporative air coolers. Some are portable and others must be fixed somewhere to the wall; some fixed units blow air straight into the building, while others use duct systems to transfer air to multiple locations. However, evaporative air cooler ducts are often larger than conventional ducts, and the wrong duct system will decrease the effectiveness of your air cooler. Knowing the conditions of your home or shop will help you determine which cooler you want. There are three types of evaporative air coolers:

  • Direct evaporative air coolers
  • Indirect evaporative air coolers
  • Mounted “draft” air coolers

The air cooler you choose will depend on the size of your space, your geographic location and other considerations that are covered below.

Direct evaporative air coolers

Direct Evaporative Air Coolers

Often referred to as swamp coolers, these devices are arguably the most cost-effective temperature management solution. They’re inexpensive to operate, rarely require maintenance and are often portable enough to transfer anywhere you want. There’s also no installation required: they’re ready to go out-of-the-box; just plug them in and add water to the reservoir.

Cool Boss falls into the direct swamp cooler classification. These units use the natural cooling properties of water vapor to lower the air temperature in your shop by as much as 26°F on a hot, dry day. Warm air from the outside enters the evaporative media pad, where it gets trapped; air molecules are cooled by evaporation as water drips through the pad. The moistened (but still dry) air is pushed throughout industrial space by a powerful 30” diameter fan. Unlike some evaporative air coolers in this category, Cool Boss is 100% portable and cools over 2,000 sq. ft. That’s enough fan power to cover mid-to-large shipping and receiving facilities!

Indirect evaporative air coolers

These coolers are not swamp coolers, as they don’t add humidity to the air. They’re also not portable. On the other hand, the indirect cooling method allows industrial spaces, restaurants or other businesses to cool their spaces to temperatures that are lower than those offered by portable swamp coolers like Cool Boss. All evaporative cooler types have one thing in common: the hotter the outside air, the better the device works. Indirect coolers utilize a secondary air source that can be heated up before it even enters the evaporative media pad. Simply put, two air sources can be combined, heated and then chilled by one or two stages of evaporation. Sounds “cool,” right?

The downside is that these units are significantly larger and more expensive than Cool Boss, and they usually require a duct system to transfer air; operators will lose some of the money-saving component that makes swamp coolers and direct evaporative air coolers so appealing. Still, indirect evaporative air coolers remain cheaper than A/C.

Mounted Air Coolers

Mounted coolers

There is some crossover between direct and indirect coolers. Indirect air coolers must be mounted, whereas direct air coolers can be mounted or portable. There are three ways to mount an evaporative air cooler: on the floor, a windowsill or the roof.

Ground-mounting is the least popular method for installing air coolers; cold air falls and hot air rises, so there’s less circulation of cool air if it’s being generated close to the floor.

Window-mounting is a popular option for smaller rooms and work spaces. An air cooler that’s been window-mounted will always have access to a source of fresh air.

Roof-mounting evaporative air coolers is a common commercial/industrial practice but is not recommended for most private residences. These units require air ducts, and they’re more likely to need expensive maintenance over time. However, installation is simple, especially if the appropriate air ducts are already installed in the building.

Whether you’re looking for a portable evaporative air cooler (a.k.a. swamp cooler) or a more permanent solution, air coolers are much cheaper to run than A/C. Cool Boss uses the direct cooling method, so it’s arguably one of the most cost-effective air coolers available. If you have a large warehouse, shop or commercial workspace, the Cool Boss may be the best and least expensive way for you to keep cool when things get hot.