Indoor Coolers vs. Indoor/Outdoor Coolers: What’s the Difference?

As the summer quickly approaches, the hunt for the perfect cooling system has become a priority. With the high cost of regular air conditioners, and the limitations of fans, the perpetual hunt for cost-effective coolers has made room for  the evaporative air cooler to gain popularity.

Evaporative air coolers provide instant relief from hot, dry weather by cooling the immediate area, which varies in strength depending on the size of the unit,  humidity level in the air, air circulation, and blower strength. Air coolers blow cold air on those in the immediate vicinity of the unit, bringing instant relief from the unforgiving heat.

Since air coolers sit nicely on wheels, they can be easily moved from room to room, or from inside to an outdoor area. Air cooler manufacturers produce indoor/outdoor units, as well as indoor only units, making the concept of air coolers so popular and versatile in hot, dry climates.

Indoor Air Coolers

Indoor only units in general tend to be cheaper than indoor/outdoor units since they don’t have added protection to withstand the elements. They can be found in various sizes, with an average maximum cooling capacity of 300 square feet, and are suitable for both home and commercial use. They would best suit offices or homes that don’t have a patio. Since air coolers work by cooling incoming hot, dry air, before releasing cool air through the built-in fan through the process of water evaporation, they need a fresh supply of hot air to treat, which means that indoor coolers must be placed in a room with an open window, which is not something that is a concern with outdoor units. Indoor units also have a formula for deciding which size would be large enough for optimal cooling. The formula for determining the right size air cooler for indoors is to figure out your CFM (cubic feet per minute of air needed to cool a room), according to one manufacturer: Square feet area X ceiling height, divide by 2 = CFM of airflow needed.

Indoor/Outdoor Air Coolers

The most beneficial part of indoor/outdoor air coolers is the option to use them outside. It’s not very pleasant to sit on your patio in the sweltering heat, to host a garden party, or attend an outdoor wedding when everyone is so uncomfortable and looking for a quick escape into an air-conditioned room. These specially designed units are fitted with outdoor grade electrical components, and are built to be both weather resistant and UV resistant. With an outdoor rating of IPX4, indoor/outdoor coolers are also highly water resistant. Since fans only circulate existing air,  air conditioners cannot be used outdoors, and misting fans result in lots of water dripping on the floor, indoor/outdoor coolers provide spot cooling outdoors that cool those in the immediate area, and provide the best combination between a fan and an air conditioner. As the name suggests, indoor/outdoor air coolers can also be used indoors, so they provide an all-in-one alternative if you need a powerful air cooler in all situations.

Points to Remember

The main differences between the indoor only air coolers, and the indoor/outdoor units are cost, versatility, size, placement and cooling capacity.

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