Not only are air coolers cheaper than ACs, but also more energy efficient and easier to maintain. Some varieties are portable and most enable user mobility as well
Alright, the summers have set in and it’s a toss-up between an air conditioner and an air cooler. An AC can cool well but isn’t portable and costs more to run. A cooler, on the other hand, is more budget-friendly and can also be moved from one room to another. Besides, coolers allow you to move around the house whereas ACs restrict your movement.
Nishtha Goel, a 27-year-old Gurugram-based entrepreneur was sure she only wanted a cooler for her room. She says- “We are living at the edge of a desert, with Rajasthan right next door and the air here is particularly dry and hot. I don’t like the idea of being locked up and the cooler allows for better movement and is an eco-friendly alternative.”
People are increasingly opting for higher-capacity air coolers this season. Says Srikanth K N, Director, Other Hardline, Amazon India: “In our experience, customers are mainly opting for higher-capacity coolers and their share has grown by about 500 bps YoY since 2022. Amazon offers the customer product specifications across i-pure technology, turbofans, touch screen and a range across density of honeycomb pads. We have all types of coolers such as personal, desert, tower, and portable. Such a wide variety helps customers choose the right cooler based on factors like room size, temperature and humidity.”
Amazon India has noticed great demand from Tier-2 and 3 cities, with 55 per cent of coolers sold on Amazon.in being bought in these towns.
Air coolers are available at various price points such as Economy (below Rs 10,000), Premium (Rs10,000-16,000) and Luxury (Above Rs 16,000). Most of the purchases on e-commerce portals such as Amazon India are made in a price band of Rs 5,000-7,000 or Rs 9,000-12,000. Some of the popular brands include Symphony, Crompton, Bajaj, Havells, Usha, Kenstar, and Voltas.
Air coolers are ideal for tropical regions and perform better in areas with hot and dry climate, says Ravindra Singh Negi, President-Electrical Consumer Durables, Havells. Asserting that using an air-cooler has its own set of advantages, he says, “Many people still prefer evaporative cooling appliances like air-coolers to air conditioners. Apart from being cheaper than ACs, they use less electricity, and offer easy maintenance and eco-friendly cooling with cleaner, healthier and breathable air.”
There are several reasons why consumers still opt for air coolers. Says Saurabh Baishakhia, President, Appliances, Usha International: “Air coolers are far more economical and much more energy-efficient. An air cooler cools the room evenly, adding moisture to the air. To put it succinctly, air coolers offer better quality air than air-conditioners.”
Things to check
When checking out the product, see if the area covered is equal to greater than the size of the room. There are five subcategories – Room Air Coolers, Desert Coolers, Tower Coolers, Window Coolers, and Personal Coolers. Personal air coolers are good enough to cover small or medium-sized rooms, while desert coolers work well in wider and bigger areas.
Says a Voltas spokesperson: “Many people who live in small houses prefer open spaces, where personal air coolers are the best choice. A window air cooler is designed to be adjustable and suitable for Indian households as it does not take up much space in the house. It has dedicated units installed in window frames due to which it takes less floor space. Desert air coolers can instantly decrease the temperature in the room. Voltas Fresh Air coolers (Personal) are sleek and compact and are particularly crafted for individual use. They work on an inverter and are suited for an area of up to 400 sq ft. They come with features like dust filter for fresh air, and an Eco Cool Mode.”
The basic principle of natural evaporative cooling remains unchanged. This cooling technology is essentially about taking hot air in and passing it through wet wood wool or honeycomb pads to make it cooler. So the first thing you should do is to clean the cooling pads as they tend to accumulate dust and pollen. In case they are in really bad shape, it’s better to replace them. Secondly, you must clean the water tank and ensure it has no leaks. Thirdly, a quick swipe over the fan blades will help improve the air-cooler’s efficiency. Proper room ventilation is the key to effective cooling. Unlike ACs, air-coolers work best properly ventilated spaces. Ceaseless airflow is necessary for air-coolers to cool effectively. Moreover, good ventilation is also required to push the humidity out of the room. Place your air-cooler in front of the window. Placing air-coolers on uneven platforms, dragging them while they are on, and interfering with the rotary blades can be hazardous and can also cause them to wear out quickly. It is always better to handle them with care to enjoy cooling in the long run.
In the air cooler industry, the primary growth drivers?are?high ambient temperature, low acquisition and running costs, and instant drive for comfort. This summer, Voltas, which is getting more popular in Tier-2 cities due to increasing disposable incomes and growing demand in the middle income group, has launched 38 SKUs of its Voltas Fresh Air Coolers under various sub-categories such as personal, window, tower, and desert.
Says the Voltas spokesperson: “Whether it is for dry conditions of north and central India, or the humid conditions of the south and the coastal belt, we have a range of air coolers to suit different requirements.” He adds that select models have features such as eco cool mode, mosquito repellnnt properties, WIFI connectivity, smart humidity controller, turbo air-throw, touch panels and pre-soaked cooling pads.
“With the IMD’s summer forecast of above normal temperature, we look forward to an increase in demand for this category,” the spokesperson asserts.
Havells’ premium air coolers such as Freddo, Fresco and Brina plus series are priced between Rs 11,190 and Rs 24,490, and are equipped with Breatheezee Technology, which reduces PM 2.5 and PM 10 particles. The specially processed anti-bacterial, anti-erosion, and anti-deformation honeycomb pads have good hydrophilic properties to absorb remaining dust particles and cleanse air thoroughly. Havells innovative air coolers have covered water tank to prevent mosquito breeding, auto drain for easy drainage of water, humidity regulator to regulate water flow on pads, temperature display, completely collapsible louvers.
USHA air coolers also have value-added features and technology. Says Saurabh Baishakhia, President, Appliances, Usha International: “We have been consistently working on product innovations based on the consumer insights we garner. Our range has features such as EcoCool Honeycomb pads, remote and touch-control panels, auto tank fill with float valve technology, auto drain, humidity control, anti-bacterial tank, auto-clean reminder function, intelligent low-water alarm, and ice chambers. All of these enhance performance and help keep the heat away.”
He adds that while there is a great demand for desert air coolers in hot and dry regions, the company is seeing higher demand for personal air coolers in humid regions. “At the moment, we are witnessing an upward trend in demand across markets in northern and eastern India,” says Baishakhia.
Table: Price list of some air coolers in the market
|Symphony Movicool Desert Cooler – 125L, Grey, (Model: Movicool L 125)||19,490||25 ltr; Tank Power Consumption – Cooling: 215 W; Cooling Area: 1,000 sq ft; 3 Speed Settings Type: Desert|
|Havells Freddo I Desert Air Cooler -70 Litres (White, Brown)||17,270||Capacity: 70 ltr; Air delivery of 3,500 m3/hr assures cool air circulation for big size areas; Motor type : Aluminum|
|Kenstar Turbocool Neo 70 litres Honeycomb Desert Cooler||15,490||Tank Capacity: 70 ltr; Honeycomb Cooling Pads, Air Throw Distance: 15.2 m (50 ft); collapsible louvre; motorised louvre movement; inverter compatible; castor wheels for easy mobility|
|Voltas Room Air Cooler Windsor 65||15,390||Gross Volume: 65 ltr; Honeycomb + Wood Wool Pad for Long Lasting Cooling; Mosquito Repellent; Works on Inverter|
|Symphony Cloud Wall-Mounted Air Cooler with Remote||14,999||Intelligent remote with 10-hour timer; Empty water-tank alarm; Auto-clean function; automatic water filling; 15 ltr (expandable) water-tank; Low power consumption- Consumes 255 watts* only|
|Crompton Gale DAC60 Desert Air Cooler||14,000||Everlast Pump works even with hard water; 4-Way Air Deflection; Fully Collapsible Louvres|
|Maharaja W||13,899||65-ltr tank; Hybrid Cooling Pads; 5,500 m3/h Air Delivery; inverter compatiblehiteline Bravo Hybrid cool 65|
|Usha Frost 50
|12,065||Flat-top design; carbon dust filters; low power consumption; water level indicator, dust filter|
|Bajaj MD 2020 Room Cooler||10,450||Sturdy, corrosion free design; thermally re-engineered plastic body; three speed blower control; four-way air deflection; inverter compatible; auto water level indicator|
Credits: TechSci Research