As temperatures start to rise in India with the onset of long and hot summer, people turn to cooling appliances to keep themselves and their homes and offices cool. Nothing brings more respite on a hot summer day than sitting in an air-cooled room, however, this cooling comfort comes at a price especially when you resort to air conditioners to stay cool. Summers and skyrocketing electricity costs go hand in hand which is no less than a nightmare for most home and office owners. This is where air coolers come to the rescue as they are far more energy efficient, provide fresh & healthy air, cost-effective and environmentally friendly in comparison to the power-hungry air conditioners.
Having said that, it is important that you invest in the right air cooler basis your requirements. While buying an air cooler may seem a simple task, people are often seen confused while making the selection given the different types, features and functionalities of air coolers available in the market. So, here we have compiled a buying guide to help you choose the most suitable air cooler for your home or office. Before we get to the various types and noteworthy features of air coolers, let us first understand how air coolers work and the benefits of choosing them over air conditioners.
How does an air cooler work?
An air cooler works on the principle of evaporative cooling wherein evaporation of water is used to cool the air. A simple example of evaporative cooling is sweating in humans. As sweat starts to evaporate, it extracts the extra heat absorbed in it from the skin in the form of gas thus resulting in a cooling effect. In case of air cooler, warm yet fresh air from the environment passes through an evaporating media, cooling pads in this case through which water is moved with the help of a water pump. The flowing water extracts the heat from the warm air and starts to evaporate leaving behind cool, fresh and moistened air which is thrown via a fan into the room. Many air coolers today come with dedicated trays for adding ice cubes which helps in chilling the water and thus resulting in fast and powerful cooling. The best thing about using an air cooler is that you can keep the doors and windows partially open to ensure a constant circulation of fresh air.
Benefits of using air coolers
Energy Efficiency – An air cooler on an average consumes up to 10 times less energy than a conventional air conditioner thus promising a significant reduction in electricity bills for consumers. Some air coolers today also come equipped with inverter technology which further reduces energy consumption. Orient Electric’s inverter air coolers powered by ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) technology provides up to 50% savings on energy and electricity cost in comparison to ordinary air coolers.
The added advantage is that the inverter air coolers make far lesser noise because of its Electronically Commutated Motor, thus making your working as well as attending a video call far easier and more pleasant.
Capital & Recurring Costs - Be it the upfront purchase and installation costs or the operating and maintenance costs, an air cooler is way cheaper than an air conditioner.
Environment friendly - Unlike ACs which use harmful chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), air coolers use the natural process of evaporative cooling with zero carbon emission which makes them an eco-friendly option.
Quality of air – Air coolers circulate fresh air as they pull hot air from outside and then cool it down. In addition, the circulated air is filtered, moist and easy to breathe and it also keeps your skin hydrated. On the other hand, ACs circulate the same stale air present inside the room.
Installation & Portability – Unlike ACs which require professional installation and work as a fixed unit, air coolers do not need installation, all you need to do is to fill the water tank and plug in the power cord. Also, air coolers are extremely portable and can be moved around with the utmost ease.
Types of air coolers
When it comes to selecting an air cooler, you will be overwhelmed by the myriad of options available in the market in terms of sizes, shapes, capacities, designs and features. So, before you begin your search for an air cooler, it is important to first understand the different types of air coolers. There are four main types of air coolers namely Desert air coolers, Personal air cooler, Tower air coolers and Window air coolers. Let us now take a look at these air cooler types in detail.
Desert air coolers
A perfect solution for dry climate regions, Desert air coolers are characterised by their large tank capacity, big blower or fan and powerful motor. These coolers are capable of cooling down large spaces with their superior air throw and delivery. With tank capacity of up to 100-litres, Desert air coolers can run for long hours to provide uninterrupted cooling. Large size does not mean they cannot be moved around, as most desert coolers nowadays come equipped with castor wheels.
Ideal for use in: Medium to Large Living Room, Gym, Party Hall, Shop, Restaurant, Closed Outdoors.
Personal air coolers
Compact and highly portable, Personal air coolers are more of a personalised cooling solution meant for use in small spaces or in areas that do not need open cooling. In comparison to desert coolers, personal air coolers consume far less energy and operate more quietly. These coolers usually come with castor wheels for easy manoeuvring. Taking much less space than desert coolers, personal air coolers work best when you are close to them. Available in a variety of shapes, designs and sizes, you can easily choose one that complements your home or workspace perfectly.
Ideal for use in: Bedroom, Study Room, Kids’ Room, Dining Area, Hostel Room, Small Office, Small Shop
Tower air coolers
Designed to fit in the smallest of spaces, Tower air coolers are slim, sleek and elegant. These coolers throw air at a higher point as compared to other types of coolers, so their foremost benefit lies in their height because when you are standing straight or sitting at a high desk, you want spot cooling with the air to be delivered right above your waist.
Ideal for use in: Bedroom, Study Room, Kids’ Room, Dining Area, Office Cabin, Reception Area, Small Shop
Window air coolers
As the name suggests, Window air coolers are meant to be fitted in the windows and thus they save you floor space which you can utilise for something else. These coolers are the best option for circulating fresh air inside the room as they pull the air directly from outside.
Ideal for use in: Bedroom, Study Room, Kids’ Room, Dining Area, Hostel Room, Office, Small Shop
Key features to look out for
Understanding the types of air coolers is one aspect of the selection process. The next step is to understand the various features associated with air coolers so that you can decide on the one that best suits your requirements. People often complain about lack of adequate cooling, poor air delivery, constant need of refilling the water tank, etc. Here we have listed down some of the key features you should consider before making the final decision.
Room size matters
Since every air cooler is meant to cool a specified area, it becomes important to choose one as per the size of the room where it is to be installed. A small cooler in a bigger space may not do adequate cooling whereas a big cooler in a small space might create a lot of humidity. There is a simple, standard formula to choose the correct size of an air cooler for your room basis the airflow you will require for the available room size. For air coolers, the airflow is measured in terms of CFM (cubic feet per minute) which refers to the volume of air that the fan can blow per minute. The more the CFM, the larger would be the area that is covered by the cooler.
CFM of airflow = Room size in sq. ft * ceiling height / 2
For example, for a 250 square feet room with 10 ft. of height, the required CFM will be 250 * 10 / 2 = 1250.
Air throw distance
One of the important components in an air cooler is the fan and its blade profile. It makes all the difference since a good looking cooler may not perform if cannot throw good air. Also, the cooler is expected to cool the entire room which is where air throw distance becomes important. Longer air throw is achieved by the profile of fan blades which is where coolers that have high angled fan blades are able to deliver cool air to longer distances that translate to larger area being cooled. In this regard, Orient Electric has introduced fan blades with AeroFan technology in many of its air coolers, which ensure longest air delivery with low operating noise.
Tank capacity & Auto-fill function
Air coolers are available in different tank capacities and therefore you will have to choose the cooler with the right tank capacity as per your room size. The fundamental here is that that a large water tank will provide cooling for long hours and vice-versa. Another important thing you should look out for is the Auto-fill function as we are pretty sure you would not want to wake up in the middle of the night or be disturbed in the middle of some important work just to refill the cooler tank. An ideal cooler should run for the entire night without having to refill it. For smaller capacity coolers, Auto-Fill tank features come in handy as it replenishes the water on a continuous basis. In addition to that, one must ensure that the water pump of the cooler is compatible with hard water conditions and has a longer shelf life.
Quality of Cooling Pads
A good cooling pad can make all the difference in significantly keeping your room cold for a longer duration. For years, cooler manufacturing companies have used wool wood or aspen pads, however, with advances in technology and innovation in product designing, Honeycomb cooling pads are becoming more popular because of their efficiency in providing long-lasting cooling. In particular, Honeycomb pads with DenseNest technology are considered more effective due to their ability to hold and absorb more water that translates to longer and effective cooling. This coupled with even water distribution system results in even better cooling. Orient Electric air coolers use DenseNest Honeycomb media pads which accounts for 45 percent more water reduction thus resulting in 25 percent more cooling.
Mosquitoes breed in still and stagnant water of ordinary coolers which can pose a huge health hazard and increase the risk of diseases like Dengue and malaria which are quite frequent in the metros. Air coolers today come with Anti-mosquito breeding feature which is extremely useful in prevention of breeding of mosquitos inside the cooler. Orient Electric air coolers use Cymbopogon extract as Mosquito repellent, which has insecticidal properties and is very effective in repelling mosquitoes and their breeding. The extract is put inside a pouch which is then placed in the anti-mosquito repellent chamber. As evaporative cooling happens, the mosquito repellent gets mixed with air thus eliminating mosquito breeding. If you are in the market to buy an air cooler, make sure you ask for Anti-mosquito feature.
With air quality depleting day by day, it makes sense to use household appliances that can help in maintaining clean air indoors. A dust filter in an air cooler filters the dust and debris from the air pulled in from the environment. Orient Electric air coolers feature a carbon dust filter that uses activated carbon to remove air containments and impurities giving you fresh and clean air.
If you want your air cooler to provide quick and enhanced cooling, it is better to buy one that comes with an ice chamber. You can put ice cubes in the chamber to quickly cool the water ultimately resulting in faster cooling of the room.
If you happen to live in an area that experiences frequent power cuts, you must opt for an inverter-compatible air cooler to enjoy uninterrupted cooling. Orient Electric’s entire range of air coolers is compatible with inverter, so when you bring home an Orient cooler you do not have to worry about power outages interfering with your cooling comfort.
Convenience of control
A remote control comes in handy if you want to access the speed settings and other features of your air coolers without having to hop out of your bed or chair. You also have the option of choosing smart coolers nowadays which are IoT-enabled, work on Wi-Fi and can also be controlled with voice via voice assistants. Orient Electric is the only brand in the segment to offer a complete line of IoT-enabled and voice-controlled air coolers.
Gone are the days of bulky air coolers and their mundane design. Air coolers today come with distinct shapes, sizes and alluring designs so that you can pick the one that blends seamlessly with your interiors. With the new-age, trendy air coolers, you can not only enjoy the ultimate in cooling comfort but also the pride of ownership.
Now that you know the ins and outs of buying an air cooler, find the one that best suits your needs and beat the heat without burning a hole in your pocket.