Evaporative cooling vs air conditioning: which system is better?

August 2 2023

James Patten


When the weather heats up and your business needs an indoor cooling solution, an air conditioning or evaporative cooling system is vital. But when deciding which of these systems to install to your business’s premises, which is better?

The truth is: evaporative cooling and air conditioning systems are not necessarily better than each other – they’re different, and each is better suited to certain environments than the other, and vice versa.

Read on to find out the key differences between these cooling solutions, and which is more suited to your business’s needs.

Which option is best: fresh air from outside or recirculating the same air inside?

The answer depends on where your business is located.

Evaporative cooling operates on an open system, meaning that windows or doors must be open (even just partially) to allow the warm air to escape. This is good for improving the indoor air quality, as it invites more fresh air inside your premises.

However, whilst this can be a benefit, sometimes it has its drawbacks too. People who suffer with allergies to pollen will experience this less when windows are shut on days when there is a high pollen count.

And as air conditioning operates most efficiently when doors and windows are shut, they are often the preferred cooling method in areas where the outdoor air quality is poor. Inviting polluted air into your premises can negatively affect the health of everyone in the building.

Best cooling solution for humid conditions

Something else to consider when choosing which commercial cooling solution is right for your business is the kind of climate you are based in.

Evaporative cooling works by passing warm air over wet cooling pads, setting off a process of evaporation and lowering the indoor temperature. Evaporation causes an increase in the indoor humidity of any building that has an evaporative cooling system installed. If you operate from a dry building, this increase in humidity will be a good thing.

However, if your business is based somewhere where the climate is already very humid, adding more humidity to the indoor air is not such a good idea. It increases the risk of mould or mildew inside your building. In this case, air conditioning might be the better choice, as an air conditioning unit operates efficiently in both dry and humid climates.

Best cooling solution for a large commercial building

Air conditioning is not the recommended cooling solution for a large commercial building, such as a factory or warehouse. Traditional air conditioning system struggle to perform efficiently in large, open buildings.

Conversely, evaporative cooling systems are ideal for factories and warehouses. They are cheaper and more efficient to run, will not run up your energy bills, and can still operate efficiently even when you have large warehouse doors open.

Whether your business is best suited to an air conditioning or evaporative cooling system, Heritage are here to help. Book a free site survey with us today, and one of our fully qualified engineers will assess which cooling system best suits your business’s needs. We can then offer full maintenance services, so your new cooling system operates efficiently for years to come.

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