Sri Lanka is a tropical country. As such, the temperatures tend to get quite hot. Keeping your indoors cool and comfortable during the summer months is always a challenge. For us Sri Lankans, there are mainly 2 options to solve this issue. We can either pay and arm and a leg for an Air Conditioner or settle for something less expensive, such as an air cooler.
Most of you might have seen air coolers already being used in Sri Lanka. And some of you might already own one as well. But do they work? Some people would say no. The correct answer is that they’re not being used correctly.
To know how to use evaporative air coolers correctly, we need to understand how they work, and if it’s a suitable solution for you.
How Evaporative Air Coolers Work?
Check out the below video on how they work.
Air coolers work by evaporating water to cool the temperature. Evaporative cooling occurs naturally all around us. For example, you feel it when you step out of the bathroom after a shower on a hot day and immediately feel a chill. These cooling effects occur because water is evaporated into vapor by absorbing the heat of the dry air. Since the air circulates naturally, the area around it is cooled. This is also how sweating works.
There is also another key factor to effectively cooling the air by using evaporative air coolers. Humidity. Traditional air conditioners work well in nearly any weather conditions, but evaporative cooling is more suited to some conditions than others.
On hot, dry days, the air holds a lot less humidity, and evaporative cooling can decrease the temperature by as much as 1-2 degrees Celsius. As it gets more humid, however, evaporative cooling becomes less effective. This cooling method works best in hot dry climates like Sri Lanka’s Dry Zone, and worst in hot, humid climates like areas in the Wet Zone.
So, with this insight into how evaporative air coolers work and how humidity plays a big role in the ‘coolness’ we feel, we can, now, understand why some people complain that they don’t work.
How to use Air Coolers correctly (If you already own one)
If you live in the wet zone, try these suggestions first, before you decide to sell your air cooler.
- Ensure the house is well ventilated. Remember, air coolers add more moisture to the air. In humid climates this will only increase the heat and discomfort. Don’t worry about losing the ‘cool,’ as this is not an AC. Open a few windows, or a door to make sure the humid air has a way to leave the house.
- Keep the water tray in the air cooler filled up. Most people forget to top up the water tank in their air coolers. Air coolers generally come with an indicator if the water is running low.
- Add cool water to the water tray.
- Keep the air cooler with it’s back facing an open window or door. This way it sucks in fresh warm air and sends in cool air into the house.
Should you buy an Air Cooler?
Evaporative cooling is a simple, cost-effective method for cooling indoor spaces. However, depending on the climate where you live, evaporative cooling might not be the most effective option for you. If you don’t already own an air cooler, consider the following points before you purchase one.
- The key to effectively cooling your home with an evaporative cooler is hot, dry air such as what is found in Arid and Dry Zones of Sri Lanka. In fact, evaporative coolers are most effective during the hottest times of the day and when humidity levels are below 60 percent. Evaporative coolers tend to work best when relative humidity is 60% or less
- To get the best results from your evaporative water cooler, make sure it is the correct size for your space. For example, an evaporative water cooler that is too small for your area will have to work extra hard to keep the space cool, wasting energy. The CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) is the amount of fresh air cycled through your environment each minute. To find the CFM, follow this formula:
Square feet needed to be cooled multiplied by ceiling height (in feet). Then divide this number by 2.
For example, if your room is 450 square feet with 10-foot ceilings:
450 X 10 / 2 = 2,250 CFM
According to the equation, you would need an air cooler with a CFM of at least 2,250.
A Common Misconception – the Fan Mode
One misconception consumers have is the expectation of a strong wind blow from an air cooler. This is wrong. Air coolers, as the name suggests, cools the air in operating space.
Still Have Questions?
Not sure what’s best for you? We can take the guesswork out of decision-making. Contact our product experts at 0777-522224. We want to help make your indoor environment healthy and comfortable. You can also contact us online at the Laabai.lk Facebook page.