Evaporative vs Refrigerated cooling system

22nd January 2020

Display Homes Design Sustainability First Home Builders Tips & Tricks

Keeping it cool with the right aircon system for your home

With both evaporative and refrigerated cooling systems being powerful air conditioners providing great comfort in your home, it is often a challenge to decide which system is right for you and your family.  With the continued rising temperatures over summer, it is never been such an important time as now to have the best AC possible!

Henley Design’s, Isabella Grlj, Colour Design and Electrical Consultant has come up with an easy to follow guide on both cooling systems to help you stay cool this summer.

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Staying cool with evaporative

Evaporative cooling works by drawing air from the outside in. The air gets cooled as it passes through moistened pads and then flows back into the home. As it’s always taking in air from outside, it stays fresh and won’t be recirculated.

Isabella adds, “However, if you have allergies to pollens, this may not be helpful. You do need to have airflow through the home for this system to work, so doors and windows would be open. This is important, as otherwise, the rooms can feel moist or potentially sticky, creating a more humid feel.”

Keep in mind with evaporative

Isabella adds, “Evaporative cooling will not provide the super cold air you would expect from your car air conditioner. As it works using natural air, the weather conditions can play a part in how effective the system will be. Evaporative is best where it’s hot and dry, as the system itself can create a feeling of humidity, as it works with moisture. As windows needs to remain open, you’re essentially not trapping the cool air in one space.”

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Get cold with refrigerated

“Refrigerated cooling works by removing the hot air and cooling air with gases which flow back through the home. The air recirculates, so it’s important the ducts and filters remain clean. This can be good if you are prone to irritants, as nothing external is entering the space. You would need all windows and doors closed with refrigerated cooling.” Isabella says.

Regardless of the weather outside, refrigerated cooling’s performance does not change.

“The beauty of refrigerated cooling is that it can be zoned to work and accommodate different areas of your family home.  Depending on the unit you purchase, reverse cycle refrigerated systems are available which can both heat and cool the home. So, one system that does it all may be good value in the long run, despite a larger upfront cost.” Isabella says.

More to consider

Evaporative cooling is easily the cheaper option and can be up to 50 per cent cheaper to install and more than seven times cheaper to run. Refrigerated cooling gives a better result but will have higher running costs.

“In terms of environmental factors, both systems use electricity, but evaporative also uses water. Evaporative uses far less electricity, as the cooling process is more natural. Whereas refrigerated works in two processes – removing hot air and filtering/cooling air. Healthy Homes are becoming the norm with sustainability and the environment becoming a more prominent issue. Evaporative cooling is considered a healthy way to cool air, as it mimics a natural process and uses less energy to achieve this.”

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“Like with anything, the cleaner the unit is (vents/ducts/filters), it will run better and more effectively. Usually the supplier can offer services to check over the systems to ensure they are running properly, which may be beneficial to do every few years.”

A final word

“To find the best solution for you, you will need to consider the area you live in, in terms of climate and also the way you like the cool to feel. Some people enjoy the very chilled refrigerated air, whereas if you are simply looking for relief from the heat, but don’t want to turn into an icicle, evaporative can do the job.”

Budget is always an important factor, but remember, these systems are focussed on cooling an entire home. If you spend all day and night in one room only, pedestal or ceiling fans can confine the cool to a small area, without having to incur running costs to cool the house, when you’re not using half of the rooms.




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