Difference between Cooler and Air Conditioner

Air coolers and air conditioners are popular electronic appliances that help cool down a room’s temperature. But these two appliances operate in completely different ways and provide different set of features.

A cooler is also known as an evaporative or air cooler, which generally works by pulling in the hot air from the room and passing it over the wet pads, where it causes the water to evaporate and cools the air. The air that has been cooled is now circulated back into the room by lowering the room temperature. Coolers are more energy efficient comparing it to the air conditioners and it is best option for the climates of dry and hot, it adds the moisture to the air.

A refrigerant is used to cool the air in an air conditioner. It operates by passing refrigerant gas through an unrestricted system of coils and a compressor. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air inside the room and expels it outdoors, keeping the air cool and comfortable. Air conditioners are better suited for hot and sticky climates because they remove humidity from the air, making the terrain more comfortable.

Read this article to find out more about Cooler and Air Conditioner and how they are different from each other.

What is a Cooler?

Air coolers depend on the principle of evaporative cooling. The best part of the air cooler is that you can keep the doors and windows partially open to ensure constant circulation of fresh air. It consumes less energy compared to the air conditioning system.

The Air cooler contains small water tanks that are capable of providing cooling for hours. The water in the tank must be changed on a daily basis to prevent bad odours from accumulating and the water from becoming stagnant.

Here are the types of coolers available in the market −

  • Desert air coolers − They are generally used to cool larger rooms, and they are suitable for regions with a dry climate. Desert air coolers contain a large water tank capacity, a big fan, and a powerful motor. It can cool down a larger space, such as a large living room, party hall, outdoor area, shop, or restaurant.

  • Personal air coolers − They are generally used to cool small rooms or certain areas of the room. Personal air coolers contain a small water tank capacity, a small fan, and a motor. It can cool down a small space, such as a bedroom, small office, dining area, or hostel room.

What is an Air Conditioner?

An air conditioner is an electronic device that is used to remove moisture and heat from a room, and they are more effective than coolers. They don’t depend on the principle of evaporative cooling. It is also used to dehumidify and cool rooms containing heat- generating electronic devices like computer servers and power amplifiers.

Air conditioner contains a refrigerant which needs to refilled on a regular basis. It contains the various components and there are fans, a control system, a grille, and a tray.

Air conditioners can be of the following types −

  • Window Air Conditioners − They used to cool a single room. Warm air is ejected from the back of these air conditioners, while cool air is ejected from the front. The air in this conditioning system is not supplied to the room through a duct system.

  • Split Air Conditioners − These air conditioners consist of two types of units, such as an indoor and an outdoor unit, which work together to cool the room. It performs a noiseless operation and occupies less space in the room. Its operation is very similar to that of window air conditioners, which operate on the same basic cycle as vapour compression refrigeration.

  • Central Air Conditioners − They are generally used in larger homes and apartments because of their cooling systems. And it circulates the cool air into the entire building using a network of ducts.

  • Portable Air Conditioners − They are also called as a stand-up air conditioner. The primary function is to take the air from the room and cool it, then release it back into the room. It is used to cool only one room and is very easy to install. Due to the presence of wheel at the bottom it can be moved around so easily. It is considered as a next generation cooling system.

Difference between Cooler and Air Conditioner

The following table highlights the major differences between Cooler and Air Conditioner −


Air Cooler

Air Conditioner

Water Source

It uses water to cool down the room's temperature.

It does not use water to reduce the temperature of the room.



Not Budget-Friendly

Maintenance Cost

Lower Maintenance Costs

high maintenance cost


It is used both inside and outside.

It is only used indoors.


Simple to set up

More complex to install


More Energy-Efficient

Less Energy-Efficient


In general, coolers consume the less energy than air conditioners, but they are less effective in extremely humid and hot climates. On the other hand, air conditioners are more effective in all the climates but they use the more energy and releases the harmful gases.

The decision to choose between an air cooler and an air conditioner, is completely depends on the factors like climate, the size of the room, and the budget of the customer. Air coolers should be used in the climate of dry, whereas air conditioners are the best option for the both climates of humid and dry.