Air Cooler Vs Air Conditioner: Which Is A Better Option?

Most Indian cities suffer from extreme heat during summer. Many Indian families desire to own an AC. But AC is still a costly affair for middle-class Indian families. Then what is the option? Keep suffering from this extreme heat?

Not really. You can always buy an Air Cooler. Obviously, you won’t get the same cooling effect from an air cooler. But at least it is better than having nothing.

Both Air Cooler And Air Conditioner has their positives and negatives. This article is all about discussing the differences between An Air Cooler Vs Air Conditioner and finding out which one is more suitable depending on various conditions.

When You Should Use An Air Cooler?

Air Coolers are suitable for dry climates. Air Cooler needs a constant supply of water to deliver cool air. That is the reason it makes the room more humid.

air cooler vs air conditioner

Consider a city like Delhi or Hyderabad where the humidity is very low. All we get is a dry heat that can create a burning sensation on your skin. Dry heat is also not good for your health as it can lead to Heat Stroke.

To protect yourself from dry heat, you can use air coolers that will improve the humidity level and will also deliver cool air.

When You Should Use An Air Conditioner?

As the name suggests, an air conditioner conditions the air to fulfill your cooling need. It takes away the heat from the room and that is why you feel cold. It has nothing to do with the humidity level as it does not add water to the air. Although it reduces the humidity level.

air cooler vs air conditioner

Since air conditioners can not improve the humidity level, it is more suitable for humid climates like what we see in Kolkata, Mumbai, or Chennai.

Air Cooler Vs Air Conditioner

We will find the difference between an air cooler and an air conditioner based on many parameters listed below which will give a fair idea of which one is better.

Cooling Effect

We buy an AC or an Air Cooler to get the cooling effect. Both these machines offer the same. However, Air coolers will give you more of a humid cooling effect whereas an air conditioner will deliver a dry cooling effect.

Depending on your climate condition, you can choose anyone between the two. However, air conditioners have an edge as the cooling effect that it delivers is more soothing to your body.

Cooling Coverage

You will get better cooling coverage in an air conditioner. An air conditioner can cool the entire room whereas an air cooler can only cool up to certain areas where the air is flowing.

For example, if there are four people inside a room, probably only 1-2 people will get the cool air who are there directly opposite the air cooler vent. So in terms of cooling coverage, an air conditioner is a better option.

Air Circulation

Air Circulation is better in air conditioners. It can cool an entire room whereas an air cooler can cool up to certain areas of the room.

For an air conditioner to cool your room, the room needs to be closed. In the case of an air cooler, you can use it in a closed space or open space as per your requirement.


No doubt, the air conditioner provides the best comfort. It can deliver a cooling effect instantly and retain the same for some period of time even after you turn off the AC.

In the case of air coolers, although the cooling effect is instant, it can not retain the cooling effect. On top of that, air coolers will increase the humidity which is not good in terms of comfortability.

Health Concern

Air conditioners use refrigerant to absorb the heat from your room. Refrigerants are not good for health and the environment. Although new refrigerant does not pose a health risk, it is still a bad idea in the long term.

Air coolers use cool water to deliver cool air by evaporating it. There is no chemical involved in the whole process. That is why it is a safer option.

Air coolers maintain the humidity level which is again good for our skin and overall health.


Air conditioners are more durable than air coolers due to the reason that there are more moving parts in air coolers. On top of that, air coolers were never designed considering durability in mind.

Generally, an air cooler last for 3-5 years, whereas an air conditioner can serve you up to 10 years.


You will get more functions in air conditioners. You may also get different air filters which will give you healthy air. It also comes with different modern technologies to save power.

On the other hand, air coolers are meant for only delivering cold air. Not much of innovations are happening for air coolers.


You can move air coolers anywhere you want without any help. Whereas moving air conditioners would be a painful affair and may need to call a technician to set up things again.


Maintenance is easy in air coolers and cheap too. All you need is to change the absorbent sheet regularly and you are good.

In the case of air conditioners, you will have to change the refrigerant every year. You may also need to do the regular maintenance of costly components like the compressor, evaporator, PCB, circuit board, and pipes. If anything fails, you may need to spend a lot of money to fix it.

Power Consumption

Many people don’t buy air conditioners as it is one of the most power-hungry appliances in the household.

After the invention of inverter technology, air conditioners do not consume as much electricity as before, but still, it consumes more electricity than an air cooler.

Here is a power consumption comparison of a 5 Star 1.5 Ton Inverter AC against a 40-liter air cooler. This is based on the assumption that you will run the machine for 8 hours per day.

From the below figure, you can see that You will be saving around 498 units of power per year if you use an air cooler and not an air conditioner. That’s a good number. Is not it?

DescriptionLG 1.5 Ton 5 Star Inverter ACSymphony HiFlo 40L Cooler
Power Consumption54 Units Per Month12.5 Units Per Month


Air Conditioners need a heavy investment. You will have to shell out a minimum of 50K INR to get a decent air conditioner.

In contrast, air coolers are damn cheap. Branded air coolers cost between 7K-15K INR which delivers a decent cooling effect. The maintenance is cheap too.

Air Conditioner Vs Air Cooler [ Summary]

Air CoolerAir Conditioner
Decent cooling effectBest cooling effect
Poor coverage areaBest coverage area
Too much noise Almost no noise
You may experience a bad smell if you don’t change the water regularlyNo such issue
More number of moving partsFewer moving parts
Increases the humidity levelYou only need to change the water daily
Does not deliver a soothing cooling effectIt can improve your comfortability
Low maintenanceHigh maintenance
You need to call a technician to move itNeed to change refrigerant every year
Less durableMore durable
Cheap maintenance billCostly maintenance bill
No effect on healthBad effect on overall health
You can move it anywhere you wantYou need to call technician to move it
Cheap spare partsCostly spare parts
Air coolers are cheapAir conditioners are costly

Verdict: Cooler Vs AC

So, here is the deal. If you want a better cooling effect, have a good budget, and do not mind spending a good amount of money every year on maintenance, go for an air conditioner. Otherwise, air coolers will suffice your need.

Please remember that the air cooler can be messy at times if there are any water leaks (Mostly it happens after 1-2 years of usage). So if you are someone who likes to keep your home clean and hygienic, air coolers are not for you.

Also, you may need to change an air cooler every 2-3 years as those are not durable. So, if you think wisely, an investment in air conditioners is not a bad idea considering the other benefits that you will get.

FAQ | Air Cooler Vs Air Conditioning

Cooler Or AC Which Is Better For Health?

Coolers are better for your health as it does not play with your room’s humidity level. It just evaporates the cold water to deliver cool air.

In the case of AC, it uses refrigerant to absorb the heat from your room. Refrigerants are not good for your health and the environment.

What Is The Difference Between Air Cooler And Air Conditioner?

Air coolers use cold water as a medium to deliver cold air whereas Air Conditioners use Refrigerant to deliver cold air.

Air coolers don’t require any outside ventilation, while air conditioners must be vented.

Air coolers consume less power whereas air conditioners are power-hungry machines

Rajib Is The Founder And The Key Brain Behind RiansDeal. A NIT 2004 Graduate In Mechanical Engineering With Close To Two Decades Of Experience In Designing Large Appliances And Consumer Electronics Products.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Buying Guide

Latest Articles