10 Functional Differences between Air Cooler and Air Conditioner

With a steady increase in temperature on a hot summer day, it is very difficult to stay under a fan alone. With the changing time and situations, one should look for alternatives to fans. An air cooler or an air conditioner is a very popular choice among Indian households.

While an air cooler is cheaper, an air conditioner can cost you double or triple the price of it. The air conditioners ensure efficient and effective cooling while air coolers do not work well in high humid areas.

Therefore, you need to check every difference wisely between the air cooler vs air conditioner.

What are the differences between Air Cooler and Air Conditioner?

Among a lot of differences, I have selected the major 10 differences between air cooler and conditioner. At the end of the article, you will be able to select which will be better for your requirements- air cooler or conditioner. The differences are based on the pros and cons of the following factors.

  1. Working Principle
  2. Working Condition
  3. Expense
  4. Positioning and Relocation
  5. Cooling Efficiency
  6. Effect on Health
  7. Maintenance
  8. Durability and Life Cycle
  9. Electricity Consumption
  10. Brands & Customer Service

Working Principle

The working principle of air coolers is based on the evaporation process. The hot air passes over the cooling water utilizing a blower. As a result, the air loses heat letting the water evaporate. Finally, you can get a colder breeze of air.

On the other hand, Air Conditioners work on the refrigeration cycle. It involves mainly a compressor, a condenser, and an evaporator. A refrigerating liquid is called a refrigerant. In this process, the cooling is more efficient.

Working Condition

Air conditioners can work in any weather condition irrespective of the outside temperature and humidity. But if you live in an area where the weather is humid, air coolers do not work well. In that scenario, a Portable Air Conditioner can be a good choice.


Air coolers are way cheaper than air conditioners. While the starting price of a good quality air cooler is around Rs 4000, an air conditioner from a reputed brand can cost you anywhere between Rs 20000 and 30000. So, if you are tight on the budget, an air cooler can suit you the most. Despite the high cost, an Inverter Air Conditioner can help you to lower electricity consumption.

Positioning and Relocation

You need to position the cooling appliance in such a manner that it should not blow the cold air directly towards you. It may cause illness. The position of the air conditioner should be decided carefully as per the room design. Once, it is fixed and the AC is installed, relocating it can cost your money and precious time.

On the contrary, an air cooler is easier to handle. You can relocate and position it according to the requirements.

Cooling Efficiency

An air conditioner is more efficient than an air cooler in performance. The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is far more because of the refrigeration system. While the cooling capacity of an air cooler increases with dry weather, it does not fluctuate in the case of an air conditioner.

Effect on Health

Both of the appliances can cause you health problems if used incorrectly. Cooling appliances should be fixed in such a manner that the cold air does not flow directly to your body. It can cause various health problems such as cold and cough.

A cooler is effective to minimize dust and pollen inside the room, reducing allergy problems. But, air coolers also increase humidity in the living room. Those who have a previous history of asthma can get into trouble.


Air coolers are more maintenance prone than air conditioners regularly. If the water in your area is hard, it can form scaling inside the water storing compartment of an air cooler. Removal of such scalings can be difficult.

On the other hand, air conditioners are mostly maintenance-free. If there is any abnormality, it’s better to call the customer service of your brand and get it solved. You can also give AMC to the manufacturer to do routine maintenance. Generally, user interaction for the maintenance of AC is less required.

Durability and Life Cycle

If operated and maintained properly, both the air cooler and conditioner can last for long years. The average lifespan of an air conditioner is around 15 years while coolers can last about 20 years. With time, gradually, both of these lose efficiency. All spare parts for standard cooling appliances are readily available in the market. So, do not worry.

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the split, window and portable AC may help you further choosing the right product.

Electricity Consumption

Consumption of electricity is a major concern for every household. However, installing an electrical appliance will lead to an increase in the electrical bill more or less.

Air conditioners consume more power due to the inbuilt compressor. A 1.5-ton split AC consumes around 1.5 kW power per hour. For a running time of 4 hours a day, 6 kW power will be consumed.

On the contrary, air coolers draw much less electricity, A standard air cooler consumes 0.2 kW of electricity per hour. For the same duration of time, it can cost you a price of only 0.8 watts of electricity.

Therefore, we can conclude that an air conditioner consumes around 7.5 times the electricity consumed by an air cooler.

Also, calculate power consumption using this online calculator to choose a suitable AC.

Brands and Customer Service

There are a lot of good brands to buy an air conditioner, such as LG, Blue Star, Whirlpool, Godrej, Voltas, Carrier, IFB. However, branded manufacturers for air coolers are limited. Some of the reputed air cooler manufacturers are Bajaj, Symphony, Generic, Crompton.

As you can see, most of the air conditioner brands are far more reputable compared to the air cooler. Brands gain popularity because of several critical factors like customer service, product quality, and performance.

FAQ about Air Cooler vs Air Conditioner

Which is better air cooler or conditioner?

In terms of working conditions, cooling capacity, maintenance, and brand reputation, an air conditioner can be a good choice for you. On the other hand, if you are more concerned about cost or relocation flexibility, you can choose an air cooler.

Air cooler or air conditioner which is best for health?

Both the air cooler and conditioner can create health problems if not used in the right way. Firstly, you must position and place it at a suitable location from which the cold air does not flow directly to the user’s body. Air coolers are known to minimize dust and other harmful allergens to an acceptable level. However, if you have a history of asthma, I recommend not to use an air cooler. Instead, try an air conditioner.

Final Words

Today every household needs an alternative cooling solution to the ceiling fans or pedestal fans. An air cooler or conditioner can be a great alternative with higher cooling efficiency. From the above analysis, you can clearly understand that an air conditioner is more efficient in terms of cooling.

If the budget is around Rs 20000 or 30000, AC is the best cooling solution for you. However, using an air cooler is not recommended if you live in a humid location or you have asthma.

Therefore, from the difference between the air cooler and air conditioner above, select the most suitable cooling appliance wisely as per your necessities. Tower Fans can also be a good alternative to air coolers too.

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Soumya is the editor-in-chief of Homeplace and a mechanical engineer with more than 8 years of experience. Having a long exposure to working with home and kitchen appliances in the fields of product development, manufacturing, maintenance, and quality control, he is an expert in this field.

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