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Our mission is to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect sleep products.
We've dedicated hundreds of hours to testing mattresses and sleep accessories, and rely on a team of testers of differing weights, temperature preferences, and sleeping positions to evaluate each product.
Tested products are granted the Sleep Hero tested stamp of approval, a mark of our review's reliability.
If we haven't personally tested a product, please be assured that we invest significant time and energy into scouring the UK market and researching the best recommendations, and we work with a team of sleep experts who review our articles, ensuring that the insights we provide are not only relatable but also reliable.
What is an air cooler?
Before you start your search for the best air cooler UK, you need to understand exactly what you’re looking for.
Air coolers, also known as room coolers, swamp coolers or evaporative coolers, work on the principle of evaporative cooling. 💦
Unlike traditional air con machines that use chemical refrigerants to cool the air, air coolers rely solely on water evaporation.
Air coolers generally consist of a water tank, a fan, and a wet pad.
How does an air cooler work?
Air coolers work on a pretty straightforward cooling system.
The cool air is produced by drawing warm ambient air through a water-soaked pad, often with a honeycomb pattern.
The water evaporates as the air passes through the wet pad, reducing the air temperature.
The cooled air is then blown out into the room with the help of a fan. ❄️
Who are air coolers suitable for?
Find out whether an air cooler is suitable for you and your lifestyle.
Those looking for an affordable cooling solution
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly cooling solution, an air cooler might be just the ticket.
They are much cheaper than air conditioners and other cooling solutions.
People looking for a quick and easy cooling device
While they can’t compete with the cooling capacity of air conditioning, an air cooler requires far less effort.
And, of course, they are ideal for hot summer days when you need some refreshing, ice-cold relief in your bedroom or home office.
People looking for a portable option
Air coolers offer mobility, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking for a light breeze on their skin while working at their desk, relaxing on the couch, or sleeping in bed. 🌬️
Air coolers are far better for the environment than air conditioning units.
They use evaporative cooling to lower your space's temperature - just water, a fan and some wet pads. 🧊
In comparison, air conditioners use chemical refrigerants known to damage the ozone layer and contribute to climate change! 😲
How do air coolers compare to other cooling devices?
We took a deep dive into how air coolers compare to the most popular cooling solutions on the market.
Air cooler vs air conditioner
Air coolers and air conditioners differ in operation and cooling capacity.
While air coolers add cooler air to the room through evaporation, air conditioners (AC) extract heat from the air using chemical refrigerants, releasing cooled air back into the room.
As a result, a small air conditioning unit for your bedroom is more effective at reducing the temperature quickly and effectively.
For example, a 12000 BTU air conditioner unit can lower the temperature by up to 20 degrees.
However, chemical refrigerants used in air conditioning systems, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), are known to be potent greenhouse gases that can contribute to climate change and damage the ozone layer. 🌳
When these refrigerants are released into the atmosphere, they can cause significant harm to the environment and human health.
Evaporative coolers don’t use these chemical refrigerants, making them much better for the environment and your carbon footprint.
Air conditioning units also come with greater installation effort and higher acquisition and usage costs.
These prices are much higher than air coolers or fans, reflecting the difference in efficiency.
A cheap portable air conditioner is likely less effective and may not be worth the installation hassle.
If you’re looking for a budget option, an air cooler will likely be more effective in lowering your home's temperature and environmental impact.
Here’s a quick overview of the main differences between air coolers and air conditioners.
|Air coolers||Air conditioners|
|Cost||£||££ - ££££|
|Environmental impact||Use evaporative cooling, consisting of a fan, water, and wet pads||Use chemical refrigerants and potent greenhouse gases known to harm the environment|
|Power consumption||Between 150 - 300 watts per hour||Between 3000 - 3500 watts per hour|
|Portability||Most air coolers come with wheels to move around. Small desktop options are also available||Smaller portable AC units are available|
Is a fan better than an air cooler?
Fans circulate the air in the room, providing a cooling effect on the skin but not actually lowering the air temperature.
They offer a simple and budget-friendly option for those seeking a cooling effect on the skin.
However, even a fan with an ice compartment or bucket of ice in front of it can not compare to an air cooler or aircon unit at home.
Air coolers provide a more powerful and sustainable solution for reducing room temperature through evaporation.
How to clean your air cooler
Every air cooler comes with its own manual on how to clean the different parts.
However, as a general guideline, we recommend focusing on three areas: the wet pads, water tank and filter.
You should clean your air cooler pads at least every week and replace them entirely once a year.
Here is a quick overview of how to clean your air cooler honey pads:
- Turn off and unplug the air cooler.
- Remove the front panel or access cover to access the honeycomb pads.
- Gently remove the pads from the cooler.
- Rinse the honeycomb pads under running water to remove dust and dirt. You may use a soft brush to scrub any stubborn dirt gently.
- If the pads are heavily soiled, soak them in a mixture of mild detergent and water for about 15 minutes.
- Rinse the pads thoroughly to remove any detergent residue.
- Allow the pads to dry completely before reinstalling them.
You can follow the same process for regular air cooler pads without the honeycomb pattern.
Learning how to clean the air cooler water tank is important as it can become quite slimy after just a few days. 🦠
Follow these instructions:
- Ensure the air cooler is turned off and unplugged.
- Locate the water tank and detach it from the unit (if applicable).
- Empty any remaining water from the tank and discard it.
- Fill the tank with a mixture of warm water and mild detergent.
- Use a soft brush or cloth to scrub the interior of the tank, including the walls and bottom, to remove any residue or deposits.
- Rinse the tank thoroughly with clean water to remove any detergent residue.
- Allow the tank to dry completely before reattaching it to the air cooler.
Even if your water air cooler has a water supply connecter, you should remove the tank every few days for cleaning.
Your air cooler filter will collect dust and debris over the summer months. ☀️
Don’t worry, you can quickly clean it with these steps:
- Turn off and unplug the air cooler.
- Locate the filter compartment, usually at the back or side of the unit.
- Remove the filter from the compartment.
- If the filter is washable, rinse it under running water to remove dust and debris. Use a soft brush if needed.
- If the filter is not washable, replace it with a new one according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Allow the filter to dry completely before reinstalling it.
Make sure to clean your filter at least once a month to keep your air cooler in good condition.