Post Fetaured Image

Types of Cooling: Fans, Evaporative Coolers, and Air Conditioners

Posted by: Marlena Spencer on Jul 20, 2022
Find me on:

There are a few different ways to cool a space. Fans, evaporative coolers, and air conditioners are great but in different ways and there's pros and cons to all three. Let's dive into each cooling option so you can find out which is right for your space and application.


We all know how fans work. An oscillating blade moves air in the space. While this cooling method doesn't actually bring the temperature down, it makes a mild environment more comfortable by ventilating the space. They do not help with humidity, though. 

Fans are inexpensive, easy to operate, and do not require much power. They are great if temperatures are mild or if the occasion/space is very casual, like a church barbeque or restaurant patio. They are also wonderful for keeping bugs away!

Evaporative Coolers

Evaporative coolers (sometimes known as swamp or desert coolers) don't require a lot to operate, just water and electricity. They are inexpensive to maintain and not very complex. Evaporative coolers use a water-soaked medium that air is pulled through by a fan. When the air is pulled through the medium, it interacts with the water and heat molecules are scrubbed from the air resulting in cooler, slightly moistened air. These machines work best in open environments with plenty of access to fresh air, so they are not recommended for use in offices, closed up tents, or retail spaces. This cooling option is recommended for drier environments like the southwest. Using them in humid areas like the southeast can often make the space more uncomfortable since it will make the air more damp and humid.

Unlike air conditioners, desired temperature can't be selected. How cool the space gets is determined by ambient conditions. Evaporative cooling systems are usually ready to use out of the box and operation costs are much less than that of air conditioners. Overall, evaporative coolers are a great option if the environment is dry and the space gets plenty of ventilation. It's one step up from fans but not full on AC. 

Air Conditioners

The most complex of the three, but definitely the most comfortable option. Air conditioners cool a space by passing the air over refrigerants to remove heat and moisture from inside a space. They use a fan to distribute the conditioned air that has been cooled, filtered, and dehumidified. The condensation from the air is stored in a reservoir or removed via a drain. Air conditioning can be a fixed system in a building or it can be small, individual units, like window units or free-standing units. 

Air conditioners work best in fully enclosed environments and can cool to a selected temperature. AC gives you the most control compared to fans and evaporative coolers. The biggest drawback to AC units and systems is cost. They are the most expensive to buy or rent, the install is more involved, and maintaining units is more expensive than the other cooling options. AC is the best option for cooling spaces that are hot, humid, and enclosed like offices, wedding tents and barns in the summer, and retail spaces like stores and restaurants. 

Our portable and temporary air conditioners dehumidify, cool, and filter air, giving you a cool, comfortable, and healthy space whether that is a special event tent, data center, office, restaurant, store, or hospital. We deliver, install, pickup, and clean every unit so you can focus on your guests, clients, or employees. Contact us to cool your space this summer!

Tags: Air Conditioning, Fans, Evaporative Coolers