Evaporative Air Conditioner

Can choice do an evaluation on Evaporative Air Conditioners ? Not portable.


Welcome @SCCL to the Community and I hope you find your membership here useful and worthwhile.

Where the Test Lab for CHOICE is located may make it a bit difficult to carry out efficient and reliable testing of the larger scale Evaporative Coolers. Obviously high humidity defeats the principle of how these work but I’m sure there enough members in this Community who currently or have in the past used them to give you some quality feedback on choices.

We ran them in the Central NT and Mt Isa years ago. I preferred the wood straw for the pads over the synthetic types. Stainless cabinets, drums & wires over mild steel and keeping salt buildup well under control rather than any particular brand were our main “choices”. We did prefer the larger CFM producing units over the small often Window installation models that tended to only serve a single room. This single household unit choice also required ducting to ensure good home coverage. Because of the volumes of air moved insulated ducting was not considered needful, but in one house we did pass the ducting under the house and the ducting vented into the rooms by baffle vents located at floor level.


FWIW that is Marrickville NSW, a SW Sydney suburb.

Regardless of make or model, this chart is the best case. If one is in even a mildly humid area the evaporative systems will vary from essentially useless to marginal on hot days. The numbers in the graph are best case air temperatures coming from the unit, prior to being warmed by ceiling cavity heat.



Thanks for the feedback. I’m in Melbourne so having mostly dry heat suits this type of air conditioner. My current unit (Breezair) is almost 20 years old and has/is excellent . I read somewhere that split systems had improved greatly and the advice was to replace the older ones even if still working ok because the newer ones were so much more efficient. Was wondering if this applied to evaporative systems also, though a suppose they work on a more basic principle.


I am in NE Melbourne. You may have noticed our climate is getting more humid lately. I have a 1998 vintage Celair, and in the last 2 years put in 2 splits, one 9.4kw and one 3.5kw. On moderate warm days the splits do not use much more power than the Celair, however on hot days they combined use 2-4X but always cool regardless of humidity. We use the Celair most of the time for the fresh air aspect but the splits come into their own when it gets much above above 30C, humidity dependent.

They are stone simple, but the newer motors are indeed more energy efficient. Whether it is cost effective to replace an old one that is working well for possible operating savings seems a stretch.