When buying an AC, you have to choose between an evaporative and refrigerative cooling system. The primary difference between these two systems lies in how they cool the air. Evaporative ACs cool the air by passing it through cold water. On the other hand, refrigerative systems cool warm air by passing it through a refrigerant, which absorbs the heat.
These two air conditioning systems are inherently different. Therefore, you need to choose the best one for your home if you want fresh, cool air at all times. Here is a detailed comparison between the two options based on various determining factors.
Cost of Cooling
If you have a tight budget, evaporative cooling is the most affordable option. The AC takes hot hair from the home to the outdoor unit, where it is cooled by water and circulated back into the house. The use of water makes it quite affordable and energy-efficient in the long run.
On the other hand, refrigerative systems take the hot air and run it through the refrigerant. The refrigerant absorbs the heat, cools the air and sends it back into the home. The refrigerant switches between liquid and gaseous states, a process that consumes a lot of energy.
Need for Both Heating and Cooling
Before buying an AC system, think about whether you need heating as well. If you already have a heating system, opt for evaporative cooling. You only get the cooling functionality while keeping the costs low. However, if you don't have a heating system, you may want to install a refrigerative cooling system.
Refrigerative ACs are reverse-cycle cooling systems, which means they can heat and cool the home. An example is a ducted AC that can circulate both warm and conditioned air. Getting one of these can save you the cost of installing a separate heating system.
Evaporative air conditioners work best in dry climates, as moisture in the air can affect the ability of the water to cool it efficiently. If you live in a humid environment or an area with unpredictable weather, go for a refrigerative unit. These systems perform effectively and cool air in all climatic conditions.
Closed vs. Open Operation
You can use an evaporative air conditioner while your doors and windows are open. This option allows you to enjoy fresh and clean air at all times. You don't have to worry about having recycled air in your home.
On the other hand, refrigerative systems have closed operations where you have to close the windows. Leaving them open puts stress on the AC due to the fluctuations in indoor temperature. However, refrigerative ACs are great options as they come with zoning features which allow you to regulate temperatures in individual rooms.
Choosing between evaporative and refrigerative ACs depends on these factors. Talk to a residential AC contractor if you're having a hard time choosing between the two.