Air Conditioner vs. Air Cooler: What’s the Difference?

Many people believe that air conditioners and air coolers are the exact same things that can be used interchangeably. However, this is a common misconception. While there are obvious similarities between these devices, there are also significant differences.

Understanding what these distinctions are can be of crucial importance, especially in large-scale applications, as is the case in commercial and industrial settings. Here, knowing the differences can determine whether the operation remains safe and productive – or the exact opposite.

In this guide, we’ll lay out all the key distinctions side-by-side, so you’ll be able to confidently make the choice of whether to go for Riverside County portable AC rental or its counterpart, a portable air cooler.

What’s the difference between a portable air conditioner and a portable air cooler?

Portable ACs and air coolers differ in several major aspects, including:

  • Operating principles & functionality;
  • Cooling power & effectiveness;
  • Humidity control;
  • Energy consumption;
  • Portability & installation;
  • Initial investment & operating costs.

Now, let’s break these down.

Operating principles & Functionality

  • Air Conditioners work by extracting the warm air from the surroundings, cooling it down using the refrigeration cycle, and then reintroducing the cooled air into the environment. 
  • Air Coolers also extract warm air from the space, but cooling is done by moving that air through the cold water-saturated pads. As the air passes through the system, the water evaporates, cooling the air which is then blown back into the environment.

Humidity control

  • Air Conditioners also draw excess moisture from the air, dehumidifying it in the process. This side-effect can be a desirable feature in certain settings, but also pose disadvantages in others.
  • Air Coolers do the opposite of ACs – they actively humidify the air, which can pose an advantage in specific applications/environments, same as with ACs.

Cooling power & effectiveness

  • Air Conditioners are, in general, more effective than coolers. These devices excel in high-humidity high-heat environments, where they can significantly lower the ambient temperature while providing a notable degree of humidity control.
  • Air Coolers feature slightly lower cooling power but are much better suited for dry, low-humidity climates since water evaporation can help maintain comfortable humidity levels throughout the premises.

Energy consumption

  • Air Conditioners are generally less economical than their counterparts, as their build and operating methods demand larger amounts of energy to function at optimal levels.
  • Air Coolers are typically more energy efficient, primarily because of their simpler build and operating principles.

Portability & Installation

  • Air Conditioners tend to be slightly bulkier and heavier than coolers. Some models also require an exhaust hose to be vented, which limits their portability and complicates installation, albeit not significantly.
  • Air Coolers, being simpler in construction, often feature lighter build without complex installations or venting systems, making them slightly more portable and versatile than their counterparts.

Initial investment & Operating costs

  • Air Conditioners tend to demand a larger upfront investment compared to coolers, as well as being more costly to operate due to their higher energy consumption.
  • Air Coolers are typically more affordable, both in terms of initial investment and ongoing operation, which is a direct result of their simpler build that demands less energy to run.

What's the difference between a portable air conditioner and a portable air coolerWho in Riverside County near me offers quality portable AC rental?

For nearly five decades, Aerco Systems LLC. has been the preferred supplier of portable coolers and heaters for commercial and industrial applications anywhere from Corona to Blythe and throughout Riverside County, CA.

We are known for our prompt and expertise-based service, as well as cutting-edge equipment that meets all safety regulations and the highest quality standards. Reach out to us today and let us help you maintain a comfortable, functional, and profitable operation!