Air Cooler or Air Conditioner: Which is the Best?

Which one is the better option – air cooler or air conditioner? This is an on-going debate.

However, there is no definitive answer to this question. The right choice depends on the requirements of an individual.

In this article, we will be exploring the various features of both cooling options.

By the end of this article, I hope you will be able to decide on which appliance to choose.

Let us get started with a comparative analysis of both the cooling devices as discussed below.

Air Cooler Vs. Air Conditioner – A Brief Overview

Price Economical Expensive
Indoor Air Quality Circulate Fresh Air Re-circulate the same Air
High Humidity Areas Ineffective Highly effective
Eco friendly Yes No
Power Consumption Low High
Convenient For Both Outdoor and Indoor Indoor Only
Portability Yes No
Installation Requirement No Yes
Work on Inverter Some air coolers work on the inverter Usually, No
Daily Maintenance Yes. You need to fill the water tank daily No
Yearly Maintenance Cost Cheap Costly

A Detail Analysis of Each Feature:

1. Price

The price of an air cooler is cost-effective in comparison to an air conditioner. The starting price is Rs 3,000 and can range up to Rs 15,000, depending upon the size of the room. An air conditioner costs around Rs 25,000 and may go up to Rs 50,000, depending on the brand, unit, and type. If you are looking for a cooling device that is budget-friendly, you better go for an air cooler.

When considering the price, we should also talk about the operation cost. An air cooler is very economical when compared to an AC. The operating cost of an air cooler is so less that you can expect around 80% less electricity bill, as compared to an AC.

2. Quality of Air

The indoor air quality is yet another crucial factor for consideration. Air coolers work by pulling the fresh air from outside and cooling it down. They circulate fresh and cooler air inside the room. Whereas, an AC re-circulates the same air inside the room again and again.

An AC affects the quality of air inside the room and makes it dry. Since an air cooler offers better indoor air quality, it is highly preferable for people with any respiratory illness or dust allergy.

3. Electricity Bills

An air cooler is an economical alternative. They consume very little electricity, which is 20% less than what an AC consumes. They are energy efficient, and you can surely save chunks of money eventually.

Air conditioners use a lot of electricity. That means you can expect a huge electricity bill. Some brands in the market offer AC models that are energy efficient. However, they cannot compete with air coolers in consuming low electricity.

4. Installation

Air coolers require no installation.

Unlike air coolers, air conditioners require installation, which is a tedious task. It requires effort and professional service to fix an AC inside the room.

Also, the size of an AC suitable for the room and its placement is an essential criterion for installing. Install the AC in that particular location of the room to efficiently keep the room cool.

5. Portability

Air coolers are portable, and you can move them around easily. Many coolers come with castor wheels, which make it convenient to move them anywhere in your home.

On the other hand, air conditioners require a lot of effort to install or uninstall. Once fixed, you cannot move them without professional help. There are some portable air conditioners available in the market. If portability is a main factor for you, then you can choose this option.

 6. Comfort Level

Air coolers are not as efficient as air conditioners when it comes to working in humid weather conditions. There are a few brands that offer air coolers with a humid control feature. These work fine in humid conditions but not as effective as it.

An air conditioner works well in humid weather conditions like a monsoon. It acts as a dehumidifier in such conditions. An AC lowers the indoor humidity, purifies the air, and improves cooler airflow within the room.

7. Environment-Friendly

Air coolers are eco-friendly. Since they work on the principle of evaporation, they use water as a refrigerant, making it an eco-friendly option.

Air conditioners use CFC (Chlorofluorocarbon) and HFC (hydro-chlorofluorocarbons) as cooling liquids. These refrigerants are harmful to the environment.

8. Insulation Requirements

It is necessary to check for insulation for the air conditioning system, as this helps in preventing condensation. Any negligence towards this can affect the cooling inside the room.

To ensure effective cooling, ACs require properly insulated spaces. Air coolers do not require any insulated spaces because they pull fresh air from outside to keep the room cool.

9. Cost-Effectiveness

An air cooler is the most cost-effective option in comparison with an air cooler. Not only the upfront cost is less, but also the maintenance cost. In case of repair, the replaceable parts inside the cooler like the motor, pipeline, fan, etc., are much affordable.

Purchasing an air conditioner can be a costly option. It not only includes the upfront cost but also the installation cost, servicing cost (annual), and the electricity cost. In addition to this, you may require to purchase some like stabilizer, wall mounting bracket stand, extra copper pipe, etc.

10. Maintenance

An air cooler requires low-maintenance than an AC. All you have to do is to use an adequate amount of water to fill the water tank in the air cooler. You will have to do this daily before you use it. Air conditioners, on the other, only need timely servicing as a part of the maintenance.

When Should You Prefer An Air Conditioner Or An Air Cooler?

Be it an air conditioner or an air cooler there are some prerequisites for purchasing one. Keep the below things in mind as they can help you navigate through the process of finding the suitable option for you.

Prefer an Air Conditioner for…

reduce air conditioner power consumption

1. Rooms with Inadequate Ventilation

An air conditioner is a better option for rooms with inadequate ventilation or insufficient supply of fresh air. An AC works better for/in a closed room and can be a blessing for those living in cities like Delhi. We all know that an air cooler needs fresh air and proper ventilation to keep the room cool. If your house does not have well-ventilated rooms, do not go for an air cooler.

2. Tall Apartments

While living in high-rise buildings can help you enjoy a better living experience, there are some challenges, too. Withstanding the high heat problems during summers can be a significant concern. The tall apartments are susceptible to more exposure to heatwaves. This qualifies for getting heated and staying hot for a longer period.

In such conditions, an air cooler will be an ignorant choice as it is highly inefficient. All you need is lower temperature levels in your room, and the air conditioner does this job like a pro.

3. Airborne illness and Allergies

With the increase in airborne illnesses over the past few years, many people have become sensitive to these triggers. As mentioned earlier, an air conditioner does not allow outside air pollutants to penetrate inside the room. The dedicated air filter system filters any allergens in the outdoor pollutants and keeps your room cool and healthy.

Prefer an Air Cooler for…

air coolers

1. Budget-Focused Choice

I am sure that by now, you are aware of how inexpensive air coolers are in comparison to air conditioners. If you have a budget constraint, then an air cooler is the most preferable choice.

2. Dry Environments

As discussed earlier, air coolers work best in dry and hot conditions. The evaporative cooling process of the air coolers adds moisture to the sir, further reducing dryness.

3. Compact and Portability Needs

Apart from being affordable, air coolers are portable, too. They are available in various sizes that are ideal for small to large rooms. Depending on your requirements and your family’s requirements, choose an air cooler designed to meet all your cooling needs.


I hope this article helped you clear the air. As you can see, both air coolers and air conditioners have their own charm and space. It is up to you to make the right decision. Whatever be your choice, do let us know in the comments section below. Add some chill to your summer by making your home cool with an AC or air cooler.

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