Evaporative Cooling – Cheaper, Environmentally Friendlier.
Evaporative cooling is a type of air conditioning that is very popular recently. Instead of relying on a refrigerant to cool air, it uses the natural process of evaporation. Evaporative cooling has many benefits over conventional refrigerant-based air conditioning systems. Such as the Split System or Ducted Reverse Cycle.
So what is Evaporative Cooling and to what extent could it be a better choice for your home versus other types of air conditioning?
Evaporative Cooling – Quick Introduction
An evaporative cooling air conditioner is cheaper to run and much more environmentally friendly than refrigerative air conditioners.
In certain operational conditions, an evaporative cooling air conditioner can consume 90% less power than a ducted air conditioner. Since it uses the natural process of evaporation to cool air, it is environmentally friendly and gives out less ozone-damaging emissions.
The air produced by an evaporative cooling system is not as cold and crisp as the air from a ducted reverse cycle or split system, but it is more comfortable. It has a much higher moisture content (due to the evaporation process), better on the skin and feels more natural.
If you like really cold air conditioning, go for a split system or ducted revere cycle. But if you like a more open, natural environment in your home, you should definitely look into an evaporative cooling system.
So How Does Evaporative Cooling Work?
Evaporative air conditioners cools air through evaporation. Warm air in a room is drawn into the air conditioner, passed through damp cooling pads, and blown back into the room.
As the warm air is forced through the cooling pads, evaporation happens. This significantly brings down the temperature of the air. The air will normally be cooled to about 22-25 degrees, which is reasonably comfortable. It will not, however, reach temperatures of 16-18 degrees which refrigerative systems achieve.
Evaporative Cooling uses a network of air conditioning ducts to distribute the cooled air. Similar to a ducted reverse cycle system. These ducts are usually hidden from plain sight (in roof space and behind walls), which gives it a very minimalist look. The air vents are also neatly installed into the ceiling and walls.
Key Benefits of Evaporative Cooling
Evaporative Cooling manufacturers such as Braemar & Breezair, invest heavily into R&D to ensure their evaporative cooling systems operate with the lowest noise emissions. Braemar for instance, boasts aStealth ® technology that makes the unit almost inaudible. Technological advancements to fan blade design, and the fact that no refrigeration is required, makes evaporative cooling systems very quiet to operate.
You can check the Db or debacle reading of evaporative cooling versus split systems and ducted reverse cycles, in the system specifications provided by manufacturers.
When it comes to efficiency, nothing comes close to the evaporative air conditioner. It truly is the lowest cost air conditioning system to run. Breezair, which manufactures the Super Cool system, provides that their unit could run at just one-tenth (1/10!) the power consumption of an equivalent 20kw ducted reverse cycle. This translates into a cost savings of $346 every year!
If low cost of running is your priority, you should go with an evaporative cooling system.
Efficient Water Management
Evaporative cooling uses water to cool air. Unlike the split system and ducted reverse cycle, which uses a refrigerant. Water is cheaper than refrigerant and more readily accessible. For instance, you will need to check your refrigerant levels regularly (usually during an air conditioning service) and top it up if you use a refrigerative system.
Top evaporative cooling manufacturers like Braemar and Breezair, have specialised water management system technology that minimises the amount of water required. Not only that, the system automatically drains the internals after each use, reducing mould buildup. All water is stored in a reservoir to avoid wastage.
How Does Evaporative Cooling Compare With Split System
This is a comparison often made by home owners during their pre-purchase evaluation. Below are some important considerations.
Evaporative Cooling Benefits
Do you live in an area that experiences high humidity? If this is the case, then an evaporative cooling system in your home or office isn’t going to be ideal. This is because an evaporative cooling system uses running waters to run the system’s filters and in humid and high heat, the evaporative process doesn’t work correctly, and the system does not offer the benefits intended.
Locations Northern Territory, Queensland and coastal parts of NSW can’t take advantage of the system due to intense humidity in the said areas. As for Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide, the evaporative cooling will work efficiently because of the locations’ appropriate temperature.
Meanwhile, the running cost of the system is also one of the major factors that consumers consider when looking for an evaporative cooling. For every hour the system is in use, you only require as 60 litres of water to use the unit. This type of system would only cost around $0,50 of electricity per hour or even less, a massive comparative saving which you are looking at traditional air conditioning units.
Split System Air Conditioning Benefits
On the other hand, a split system is comparatively cheaper to the other types of cooling systems. Split systems are wall mounted in a specific room and are suitable for individuals that are looking for a cool environment that is isolated in a specific room. While there is a cost for installing a split system, and space is required for the exterior condenser unit, the system will work in locations throughout Australia and will offer an instant heating or cooling function for any space.
Regardless if it’s summer or winter, the split system will still do wonders in heating or cooling your home. As well as this, a split system does not use water and only requires power and general maintenance as required.
Compared to the evaporative cooling system, a split system may consume more of your budget when it comes to the running costs. Some units may gobble us as much as $1.50 to $2 in electricity per hour using a 5kW unit running inside a small home. That said, you can find split system air conditioning models that offer inverter type technology that are more energy-efficient.