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Refigerated versus evaporative air conditioners

If you’ve ever spent time in western New South Wales or the Australian outback, chances are you’ve seen the boxlike…

refrigerated air conditioners

If you’ve ever spent time in western New South Wales or the Australian outback, chances are you’ve seen the boxlike looking fixtures on the roof that indicate an evaporative air conditioner is installed.

But in eastern Sydney and other coastal areas, evaporative air conditioners aren’t that common for a host of good reasons.

Here’s an insight into the difference between refrigerated and evaporative air conditioners, and the areas each suits best.

Refrigerated air conditioners

Commonly used in split systems, refrigerated air conditioners comprise an outdoor unit with a compressor and indoor unit. They use a liquid refrigerant that easily converts from a liquid to a gas and vice versa, absorbing and releasing heat in the process.

That makes refrigerated air conditioners usable in any climate, regardless of humidity and also makes them suited to reverse cycling, where they can heat in addition to cooling.

Refrigerated air conditioners:

  • Are suited to any climate
  • Dry the air
  • Require regular maintenance
  • Are suitable for enclosed spaces
  • Use the air of the room to cool
  • Have advanced features

Evaporative air conditioners

As the name suggests, evaporative air conditioners use water to cool a space.

Comprising fans, a pump, and moisture pads, they require a constant flow of air. This air is pushed over the moisture pads to offer a cooling effect. But because their cooling system relies on water, they do tend to make a space more humid, and in an already moist and humid environment like coastal Sydney, their effect can be limited.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment goes on to explain: “Coastal locations (i.e. eastern Sydney) are not generally suitable for evaporative cooling systems as the humidity can be too high and the system will not operate effectively.

“Evaporative coolers will reduce air temperature by approximately 80 per cent of the difference between the dry and wet bulb temperature.

“If it is hot and humid, the gap between the dry and wet bulb temperatures is small and the cooler will not be able to lower the temperature of the air by much.”

That said, evaporative air conditioners do have benefits in suitable climates.

Evaporative air conditioners:

  • Work best in a dry climate
  • Humidify the air
  • Are more affordable to run
  • Require regular pad changing
  • Require a lot of water to operate

The final word

Should you be considering which air conditioning system would best suit your home, it’s important to seek professional advice on the system which effectively cool your home, and also warm it, if required.

Not only does the type of air conditioner play a role, but also its size and the physical properties of the location.

In the right climate, evaporative air conditioners can be a highly efficient and effective way of cooling the home environment, but Sydney, with its coastal humidity doesn’t lend itself to this cooling method.

Instead refrigerated air conditioners including split systems, multi-split systems and ducted air conditioning tends to be the preferred option.

About Climacool

Servicing the greater Sydney region, Climacool Air Conditioning prides itself on superior service and quality workmanship.

We work with the leading brands in the field of heating and cooling, and have an enviable reputation for meeting the needs of our valued commercial clientele in air conditioning installation, service, and repairs.

You can learn more about our commercial services here, or contact us directly for assistance in selecting, installing and maintaining the right air conditioning system for your business.