If the instructions say to add water or plumb a water feed to the machine, it is an evaporative cooler.
Evaporative coolers blow air over water laden pads which makes the water evaporate into the air. This in turn has a cooling effect on the surrounding air but also makes the cooled air high in humidity. Which is why all evaporative cooler units come with instructions to leave windows open for ventilation, so the moisture doesn’t stay in the house and become muggy. However, having the windows open will limit the effectiveness of the system as warm air will continually flow back into the room.
Evaporative coolers work best when the air supplied to them is hot and dry such as Australian conditions, as the evaporation effect is maximised. However, in New Zealand most of our towns and cities are within close proximity to the coastline, which means we live in a relatively high humidity part of the world and evaporative cooling is not as effective.
Portable Air-conditioning units use the same technology as your regular living room heat pump but instead of a split system that has a separate indoor and outdoor unit, the portable unit is enclosed in one machine. A flexible vent pipe is used to vent the hot air from the unit to outside usually through a semi-closed window.
Portable units work well in a smaller space such as a bedroom, or office, or small living area. They do tend to be noisier than a traditional split system air conditioner, so you will most likely need to switch it off, when cooling your bedroom, before going to sleep if you are a light sleeper.
While we don’t sell evaporative coolers at Climate & Plumbing, we do have Portable Air conditioning units available from $799 inc GST.