Evaporative Cooling vs Split System Air Conditioning

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Evaporative Cooling vs Split System Air Conditioning

Cooling systems is quite a huge industry, especially in a country like Australia which enjoys a generally warm climate. A large variety of cooling technologies are commonly used to cater to varying requirements. Two of the cooling systems that are most highly in demand are the evaporative cooling system and the split system air conditioning. They are both based on different mechanisms and provide different levels of cooling, hence, their cost, performance and optimum running conditions aren’t the same either. People choose one over the other depending on personal preferences.

No matter which system suits your needs better, All Climate Solutions has an option for you. We are an independently run company that provides end-to-end services for all kinds of climate control systems. We supply, install, maintain and repair cooling as well as heating systems from trusted brands only to ensure that you do not feel uncomfortable in any weather.

How Does Split System Air Conditioning Work

There are two parts to a split A/C system – the indoor and the outdoor units. The former contains evaporator coils while the latter has condenser coils. These two are connected by the compressor on one side and the expansion valve on the other. The condenser coils stay in contact with the air outside while the evaporator coils remain in contact with the air from the room or house, which is pumped in and out with blowers.

The coils are filled with a chemical refrigerant. When the thermostat signals the need to cool down the temperature of the room, the compressor increases the pressure in the coils to heat up the refrigerant. The outside air removes the heat and the refrigerant cools down to a liquid as it moves into the expansion valve.

The valve creates low pressure, forcing some of the liquid refrigerants to turn into gas by extracting it from the rest of the liquid. The liquid thus cooled, moves into the evaporator coils and cools down the air in the room that is circulating through the indoor unit. The cooled air is pumped back to the room while the liquid, now vaporised due to the heat it absorbed from the warm air from the room, moves back into the compressor.

How Does Evaporative Cooling Work

Evaporative cooling uses a much simpler process to cool down the air in your home. It has a single unit consisting of wet cooling pads which are connected to a constant water supply from a reservoir, often using a pump. Air pumps blow air from outside into the unit and make it pass over the cooling pads. The water in the pads absorbs heat from this air and evaporates, thus cooling down the air, which is pumped into the room.

The cooled air will also contain some moisture as it carries some of the evaporated water with it. In dry weather, this will make the room environment more comfortable. Another thing to keep in mind is that you must have some form of outlet, like an open window, door or ventilator through which the hot air in the room can escape as the cooled air takes its place.

Some evaporative coolers have systems for better cooling and finer control. For example, some use ice packs to further cool the air, some have fans with controllable speed and some may even have filters to remove allergens, spores and other pollutants that can affect the residents or the environment in the room. Some use two-stage evaporative cooling where a pre-cooler reduces the external air temperature using a heat exchanger with water as the refrigerant.

What are the Pros and Cons of Each Cooling System

Split A/Cs and evaporative or swamp coolers have very distinct working mechanisms. Hence, it is quite natural that each can work better in different conditions. Let us have a look at how each system suits different situations.


The split air conditioner is the better of the two in terms of performance because of mainly two reasons. The first is that the range of cooling temperatures of a split A/C is much more than that of an evaporative cooler. Moreover, you can accurately control the temperature in a split system. While you can enhance both factors in an evaporative cooler with fan speed and additional cooling accessories, it will never reach the level of a split A/C.

Running Costs

Running costs are much lower for an evaporative cooler compared to a split air conditioning system, often by 5-10 times. This is because an evaporative cooler only uses electricity for its fans and probably a pump, while the split A/C uses more machinery that requires power. However, an evaporative cooler requires a continuous supply of water which, depending on the supply and cost of water in the area, can affect your bills.

Climate Suitability

The evaporative cooler depends on water evaporation, the rate of which depends on the humidity of the region. The higher the humidity, the lower the effectiveness of the cooler. Moreover, since an evaporative cooler adds to the humidity of the room, it will make you more uncomfortable if you already live in a hot and humid region. Also, if the temperature in the region is too high, the lower cooling capacity of an evaporative cooler will result in lower effectiveness. In contrast, because the refrigerant in the split A/C is a chemical in a highly controlled set-up, external temperature and humidity have little effect on its cooling capacity.

Maintenance Requirements

Split ACs require maintenance once a year in general. In comparison, evaporative coolers need to be more regularly maintained. The water pads and fans must be cleaned monthly to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi, which may cause serious health issues for the residents. However, when it comes to repair, the split A/C can become pricier due to the complex machinery inside.

Type of Space

An evaporative cooler circulates the air between the inside and the outside, which ensures that the ambient air in the room remains fresh. However, a split A/C reuses the air in the room and works best in a closed-off space that does not let heat in. Therefore, there is hardly any ventilation in this case. Moreover, a split A/C is more suitable for cooling a large space while an evaporative cooler is best for quick cooling a compact area.

Upfront Cost

A split air conditioning system has a much higher upfront cost than an evaporative cooler. Good-quality split A/C systems usually cost above $1000 and can go up to $2000 or more while you can get evaporative coolers for as low as $100. However, these evaporative coolers are not very effective and cool only their vicinity. Evaporative coolers meant to cool the entire house and provide a performance comparable to that of split A/Cs will cost over $2000, easily going up to $5000 or more.

In terms of installation, split A/Cs cost more due to the need for professional expertise. Some evaporative coolers can be installed by even slightly experienced non-professionals. The cost also could vary depending on the electrical and ducting requirements for both.


Why Choose Us

Trained and Experienced Professionals

All Climate Solutions specialises in cooling and heating systems in Melbourne. We have a highly trained team of professionals who work with ducted and hydronic heating, evaporative and ducted cooling, split air conditioning and more. We only work with trusted brands to ensure optimum performance and full customer satisfaction.

End-To-End Services

We are known for providing end-to-end services. We not only supply heating, cooling and conditioning units and accessories but also provide installations, repair and maintenance services. Moreover, we tailor the heating or cooling systems to perfectly suit the needs of the building or space you are installing the system for.

Competitive Prices

Despite being the leading climate control system company in Melbourne, we provide highly competitive prices in the city. We are independently owned and run and do not rely on contractors. This not only streamlines the process from start to finish but also reduces the time and cost of completing projects.

Evaporative Cooling or Split System Air Conditioning: Which is Better?

It is not possible to choose a winner between the two; both have their pros and cons. More importantly, they are better suited to different environments. A split AC provides better cooling, more temperature control, more versatility and is less affected by the weather. It also requires less maintenance than an evaporative cooler.

In contrast, an evaporative cooler is more cost-effective in terms of installation and running. If your cooling requirements are low, then the upfront cost will also be lower than a split A/C. It consumes less electricity, has a lower carbon footprint and is a more eco-friendly option as it does not use chemical refrigerants that raise environmental concerns.

Moreover, there are some neutral points to consider too. If you live in a dry climate, evaporative coolers provide more comfort while in a humid region, a split A/C will be more effective. Split A/Cs cool large, closed areas better while evaporative coolers are more effective in smaller, ventilated areas.

No matter which you decide to choose, you will find your requirements fulfilled at All Climate Solutions. In split A/Cs, our bestsellers are:

Both are of the Alira X series, which boasts built-in Wi-Fi, advanced purification technologies, reduced noise and improved cooling efficiency.

In evaporative coolers, we have:

The former has the sleekest design without compromising on quality while packing water-conserving technology that saves up to 45% water. The Advance series, on the other hand, retains the classic form, making it perfect for upgrades. It is also robust, powerful and efficient in performance.

Using evaporative coolers means you will need a heating system if you see colder winters. We have the perfect solution for that:

The BX320 is a ducted gas heating system that is economical, reliable and long-lasting while the BX520 is its 5-star rated version with exact fitting and higher efficiency.

To know more about our products and services, get in touch with All Climate Solutions today.

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