Difference between Air Cooler and Air Conditioner

To fight the hot and sizzling heat of summers, people living in tropical and warm areas need some effective way to cool down and keep their homes and places of business fresh and airy, and air coolers and air conditioners are the best in this regard.

Both these appliances use electricity to run and help to make the indoor air cooler, which prevents perspiration and enables people to live comfortably even when it is scorching hot outside. Both these machines provide cool air, even though they are totally different from each other and operate with separate mechanisms.


air cooler vs air conditioner
An air cooler

An air cooler just cools the air, as is apparent from its name. It does this by making it more humid. It uses the evaporating technique which helps to produce the cool air and the temperature of dry air can be dropped by putting it through liquid water to make water vapor.

air conditioner
An air conditioner installed on the wall

An air conditioner, also popularly known as AC, produces cool as well as hot air. It can control the humidity and conditions the air and keeps the indoor temperature very pleasant. The term air conditioning means altering the properties of air, temperature and humidity, to more favorable or likeable conditions.

Air cooler vs Air conditioner

Air coolers and air conditioners are common appliances in many houses, offices and malls, and a large number of people all over the world use them to keep temperatures cool and comfortable.

The difference lies in the basic way they operate. Air coolers take the hot air in the room and add water in order to produce cooler air as it puts the hot air through water absorptive wet pads, which adds water to the air and in turn produces cool air. On the other hand, air conditioners make use of refrigerants and a complex system which cools the temperature. Not only do air conditioners cool the air, but they can also produce heat in cold weather and act as a dehumidifier when needed.

Another thing which sets air coolers and air conditioners apart is the way they are installed or used. Air coolers are portable and made for indoors as well as outdoors whereas air conditioners are heavy and must be installed in the window or the wall to work properly.

Air coolers use simple water to cool the air while air conditioners use a chemical coolant to cool the air as it is drawn into the device. Along with this, air conditioners are much more powerful than air coolers and make the temperature fall much below what air coolers can offer, due to their complex refrigeration system which requires more energy to function.

Comparison Chart

Air Cooler Air Conditioner
It just cools down the air It can cool down as well as heat up the air
It has only two main parts; a fan and a water pump It has four main parts; compressor, condenser, expansion valve and evaporator and works on the refrigeration cycle
It is portable and easy to transfer from one place to another It is really big and heavy in size and has to be installed on the wall in a window
It uses simple water to cool the air It uses a chemical coolant to cool the air
It throws out humid air It throws out dry air
They work on lesser energy as they are not very powerful They are very powerful machines and require a lot of energy to function properly
It only works in dry areas and does not work in humid areas It works in humid areas as well as dry ones