Evaporative vs Refrigerated Cooling

Nobody wants to work in an office that’s too hot in the summer. Ideally, the office would be cool enough on its own, but often we need the help of commercial air conditioning. However, choosing the right unit for the office is rarely an easy choice to make. After all, there are many different models and types of cooling to consider, so it is wise to know what you’re getting ahead of time.

Main differences

Evaporative cooling

This type of cooling works with a central unit that’s installed outside of the building. It’s then connected with a series of well-placed ducts, and with the help of a water pump, cooled air is then dispersed throughout the property. It works best with open windows due to evaporation.

Refrigerated cooling

With this type of cooling, hot air is removed from your indoor environment, cooled down at an outdoor unit with refrigerant gasses, and then returned inside the office. This is done with the help of an indoor fan coils, and works best with closed windows.

Differences for climates

The two climates you have to consider for picking either evaporative or refrigerated cooling are dry and humid climates. In dry climates, such as Melbourne, evaporative cooling have an advantage. That’s mostly because outside weather usually has little effect on the cooling capabilities. However, if the humidity is higher, then you should consider refrigerated cooling as it offers more reliably cooler air, and is not as affected by the outside weather conditions.

General cost for cooling

When it comes to pure numbers, evaporative cooling is cheaper to use. However, refrigerated cooling has the benefit of keeping the office cooled down all the time, which is a huge benefit on its own. Also, make sure to continually maintain both systems and also make sure to have proper insulation when using both, as this will both have a positive effect on bringing down costs.

Quality of air

Evaporative cooling always circulates fresh air, while refrigerated cooling recirculates the same air. People with hayfever and other airborne allergies may prefer recirculated air, as there are less allergens. However, if the refrigerated cooling isn’t properly maintained, the air can get stuffy and stale. But as touched on previously, humidity is not a problem with refrigerated cooling, because the recirculated air has much less humidity than fresh air.

Impact on the environment

Both systems have an effect on the environment, as they both use electricity. In terms of the most efficient system refrigeration gasses also count as emissions, and evaporative systems have a further effect on the environment with their water usage. With either system you should also account for the size of the cooling area, for example, a whole commercial building with an evaporative cooling has a larger impact than a small office with a refrigerated cooling system.

Working in a cool office during the summer is important. Make sure to understand which type of cooling system you need before committing, so that you can enjoy a cooler working environment in the summer.