It is not hidden that in countries like India, the temperature goes up to 50 degree C every year, due to which tower fans and air coolers have become an essential part of a majority of the households all over the country. Both of these cooling devices are considered great for effective cooling, but which one is better than the other?
It becomes highly essential to go through the difference between tower fan and air cooler to answer this question. Even though they serve the same purpose, i.e., cooling, there are a few significant differences between an air cooler and a tower fan. This article covers all you should have a basic idea about while purchasing one of these devices alongside making it a crucial consumer decision.
What Is A Tower Fan?
Even though most of us have heard the term “Tower Fan,” we don’t have a clear idea about what is tower fan. So, a tower fan can be defined as a tall heightened fan in the shape of a tower and is positioned on a base over which it oscillates. A small outlet on the side of the fan enables the air to enter and blow at a 90o angle, which in combination with the height of the fan, makes the cold air circulate more widely and efficiently.
A majority of the tower fans come with inbuilt air purifiers and dehumidifiers. In case the tower fan is equipped with ionizers, you may even push the ionizer button to purify the air. Tower fans nowadays are available with fully functional remote controls as well.
Tower fans can provide a significant amount of cool airflow with an impressively small and compact unit. The most distinctive feature is its tower design; its shape allows these fans to fit into spaces that would not otherwise be fair to accommodate a fan unit. They feature a detachable air filter that helps in pulling in the dust and pollen particles. A few additional features available with tower fans include a timer and a diffuser. A diffuser enables you to add essential oils according to your preference for both health and atmosphere benefits.
Pros And Cons of Tower Fans
Let us now have a look at tower fan advantages and disadvantages.
1. Tower Fan Advantages
Some tower fan models come with ionizers that cleanse the air and remove dander, dust, and pollen. In a household with more than one person prone to allergy, an ionizing tower fan proves to be a great choice. These fans are easily mobile and can be transferred from one place to another with utmost ease. There’s no issue in moving a fan to wherever you want to when you need various rooms to be cooled at different times.
A tower fan’s speed is adjustable. Hence, you can control the speed depending upon the temperature on a hot sunny day. During the hottest hours of summer, you may set them to full blast and bring them down to low once the outside temperature starts decreasing. As far as looks are concerned, the best tower fans are sleek and elegant in design as compared to other appliances like AC or Coolers. They fuse readily with the existing aesthetics.
Tower fans are easy to clean and maintain. This is a major benefit for the people who are often busy with work and do not get time for doing regular cleaning. A tower fan is at no risk of moisture-related problems/damage. You will not have to worry about mold forming on your hardwood floors or fan when you use one.
A tower fan operates effectively in both high humid climates as well as low humid climates. This can be attributed to the fact that it does not require water to cool the air.
2. Tower Fans Disadvantages
A tower fan does not cool the air for real. In the case of hot summer days, despite having your tower fan at the highest speed setting, it just pushes around the hot air. This may make you feel stuffy and overheated at your home.
A tower fan doesn’t work as well as an air cooler or an air conditioner to cool a big area. It won’t make a significant difference even when it oscillates continuously. A tower fan fails to help efficiently in drier climates and extra humid areas. This is because it does not use moisture, for which the air will continue to remain dry, resulting in skin and eye issues.
To make a room colder, tower fans must operate continually. Compared to an AC or Air Cooler, their cooling effect tends to last for a while after being switched off. Hence, A tower fan may not be the ideal choice if you want a lasting effect.
What Are Air Coolers?
Most of us often confuse air coolers with air conditioners. However, let me tell you that both of them are entirely different. Unlike ACs, air coolers do not consist of complex parts and systems. Air coolers are instead equipped with smaller and cheaper units as compared to air conditioners. Air coolers contain a damp honeycomb filter that pulls in the warm air passing over them. A cold-water tank ensures the filter to be moist. Once the water is evaporated, the air is cooled and spread around the room through an internal fan. A few distinct features of air coolers:
- They require no outside ventilation.
- They function the best when kept near an open window or door.
- Most of them can be utilized as a humidifier as well.
Different types of air coolers available in the market:
Personal Coolers: As the name suggests, these air coolers are utilized for personal uses and are specially designed to fit into small spaces such as hostel rooms, bedrooms, small offices, etc. They consume a very small amount of energy and produce less or no noise at all. Personal air coolers are compact and portable.
Desert Coolers: These coolers are best suited for hot and dry regions. They have a tank capacity of about 90 L and are considered appropriate for medium and large rooms such as prayer halls, classrooms, restaurants, office spaces, etc. These coolers can be installed in outdoor spaces as well, like the backyard or terrace.
Tower Coolers: These are comparatively slimmer and suit best for places with space crunch. They feature honeycomb cooling pads, an empty tank alarm, a smart humidity controller, and a feather touch panel. Tower coolers are available in capacity ranging between 25-50 L. If you are a little confused between tower coolers and desert coolers, you can look at our article differentiating the two air coolers.
Window Coolers: These coolers are designed so that they would fit right into your windows. Since they are fitted in open windows, they consume a very little amount of floor space. Window coolers are best suited for small and mid-sized rooms. They are available with a tank capacity ranging between 40-60L.
Another type of air cooler we have not mentioned above is whether an air cooler has a fan or a blower inside it. This makes a big difference in an air cooler and should therefore be checked before an air cooler is bought.
Pros And Cons Of Air Coolers
Let us now have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of Air Coolers.
1. Air Coolers Advantages
Air coolers help in adding humidity within the air via their cooling process facilitated by evaporation. This eliminates most issues resulting from dry air, such as chapped lips, dry eyes, skin, etc. The operation costs of air coolers are 75% less than that of the ACs. They usually also cost less money to buy and install and don’t need as much power to operate as air conditioners.
The filters fitted within the some of the best air coolers eliminate all the pollen and dust particles present in the air, thereby making it healthier to breathe. Air coolers are environmentally friendly appliances as they require no refrigerants or other chemicals for cooling purposes. The process of cooling is natural in the case of air coolers. With their evaporative cooling technique, air coolers freshen the air and make it healthier and smell good and add humidity to it.
2. Air Cooler Disadvantages
Because of the way air coolers function, they need constant maintenance for preventing any unpleasant musty smell or growth of molds. Air coolers that are not used regularly can turn into the breeding grounds of bacteria. Air coolers require a continuous supply of water to work. This might lead to excessively high expenses in locations where water is an expensive utility.
Another drawback of an air cooler is that it might give your home a “sticky” feeling. This can be attributed to the warm humidity it constantly puts out, due to which the condition can worsen in warmer weather. Air coolers work best in drier climates because these types of climates lack moisture in the air. However, the air coolers are not effective in humid climates. Therefore, it is probably a good idea to discover another cooling technique for your home in humid areas.
There is no method to adjust the temperature with air coolers, unlike ACs and tower fans. Air coolers are not suitable for homes with people with asthma or other respiratory illnesses since excessive humidity can worsen the symptoms.
It might cause undesired salt to build up within the air cooler in regions with hard water. This would require constant maintenance. Although a certain amount of moisture in a home is desirable, too much can lead to electrical issues because it can affect the conductivity of electrical appliances, ultimately leading to damage, malfunction, and corrosion. The optimal electrical humidity level is between 30 and 50%.
For maximum efficiency, an air cooler requires proper ventilation. To ensure ventilation, you must reorganize your space so that the cooler air can access ventilation. A continuously functioning air cooler can result in an excessive level of humidity within the air. This subsequently leads to the growth of mold on hardwood floors.
Difference Between Tower Fan and Air Cooler
Now that we have acquired an overall understanding of what is tower fan and air cooler, tower fan advantages/disadvantages, as well as air cooler advantages/disadvantages, let us have a look at the comparison between tower fan vs air cooler to explore the difference between tower fans and air coolers.
1. Air Cooler vs Tower Fan Cooling
To find out which one is better at cooling, we should first understand the working of both the units as they operate significantly differently. This would, in turn, provide you with a better insight into which would suit you the best as per your preference.
A tower fan helps in cooling you by circulating cool air within the room. They work by utilizing the floor level cool air to blow it out in the entire room, leading to creating a wind chill factor. This entire process replaces hot & humid air with cool & drier air. They are utilized most of the time together with an AC unit to assist in circulating the cool air blown out by the AC. You should note that tower fans DON’T cool the air.
On the other hand, air coolers function quite differently. They work by sucking in the warm air through the wet pads into their cooling unit. The wet pads decrease the temperature of the air pushed into your room, thereby reducing your room’s temperature while providing moisture or humidity to your room. The addition of moisture to the air won’t work for everybody and also can cause certain problems.
In hot dry conditions, air coolers function best because they absorb dry air and release moist air. This implies that in regions that are already wet, air coolers are not going to work properly.
So, it depends on the climate of the region you are residing in. However, a tower fan can function efficiently in both dry and humid regions, while an air cooler will work best for only hot dry regions.
2. Tower Fan vs Air Cooler Space
Tower fans generally come in almost similar sizes and don’t tend to vary much in size. Tower fans can range up to 60 inches in height. Even if a few models feature large motors adding up to the bulk of the whole product, the size difference is almost negligible compared to air coolers. A majority of the tower fans are designed to fit into small to medium-size rooms.
However, air coolers have a broad range of sizes, ranging from small personal coolers to whole house coolers that can cool around 800 sq ft of space. Most of the coolers are portable, but apparently, some are more permanent fixtures.
3. Air Cooler vs Tower Fan Energy Usage
One of the most important things to consider while purchasing a cooling appliance is its energy consumption and its costs. However, both air coolers and tower fans are quite budget-friendly when it comes to power consumption compared to air conditioners. If we consider figures, the tower fans on full power use up to 100w. On the other hand, a medium-size air cooler consumes around 75w that cools approximately 475 sq ft.
Nonetheless, both of the appliances come with several energy-saving features such as Timers, Speed variation options, and Light dimmer settings. All of these features aid in saving a lot of electricity, thereby reducing your bills.
4. Tower Fan Vs Air Cooler Features
Now, let us explore the differences between the purpose that these cooling devices serve, along with the key characteristics they have. Although both air coolers and tower fans help keep you cool, let us find out which one is better in terms of different features.
Stability: Nobody wants a fan or a cooler that is always close to tumbling down. Thankfully, most of the contemporary air coolers and tower fans have been designed keeping stability in mind.
Portability: In case you notice that different parts of your home/office need cooling at different times, you probably want an appliance that is very easy to shift or carry. Tower fans are often more portable in this aspect as compared to air coolers, but air coolers are meant to be easily mobile.
Usually, a tower fan or air cooler that takes a lot of space is not considered an ideal one. However, tower fans take up less space than air coolers.
Ionization: Certain varieties of tower fans are provided with integrated air ionizers. The ionizer also cleans the air and removes dangerous bacteria and particles in addition to the air cooling.
Remote controls: While remote controls are not completely necessary, they add convenience, especially when you wish to enable or deactivate the device from the bed. Both of the devices come with remote controls.
Timers: A lot of air coolers and tower fans come with a timer option. You can set the hours for how long the appliance will function as per your convenience. This, in turn, saves a lot of energy.
Noise: Noise produced by tower fans is negligible as compared to air coolers. You won’t even hear tower fans while they operate. Whereas Air coolers tend to make a lot of noise which is something you should take into account if excess noise bothers you.
Air direction: Most tower fan models let you control the order in which the air blows by oscillation or manual adjustment.
Aesthetics: While buying electric appliances like air coolers and tower fans, it is also essential to consider the aesthetic appeal and their utility. In general, tower fans appear more aesthetically pleasing due to their tall, slender, and sleek look. However, even though air coolers can be stated, they are not aesthetic because of their large, rectangular, and bulky build.
No matter what you choose, an air cooler or tower fan, both of the cooling devices are intended to make your home more pleasant and livable, along with providing a healthy environment at the peak of summer. With temperatures rising up and up with each passing year, try using “this tower fan vs air cooler” guide to select a cooling unit as per your requirements and convenience.