Can an Evaporative Air Cooler Be Used in a Café?
The hot days of summer are coming and many are thinking on how to save on electric bills especially those kilowatt-hours that an owner spends in cooling his cafe. During these days of stiff competition and rising cost of energy it is just proper to economize on power usage in order to bring a few more pesos to the bottom line of a cafe’s financial statement.
During the cooler rainy days, using electric to drive the heat away may do. But how about this coming summer, will low-wattage evaporative air coolers do the trick? Above are the pictures of some similar models of evaporative air coolers that are available in the local market but do not take your pick yet. Take time to read what has been written about the product especially about its applicability to Philippine weather conditions.
According to Wikipedia, evaporative coolers (also called swamp, desert, or air coolers) are devices that cool air through the simple evaporation of water. They differ from refrigeration or absorption air conditioning, which use vapor-compression or absorption refrigeration cycles. Evaporative cooling is especially well suited for climates where the air is hot and humidity is low. The installation and operating cost of an evaporative air cooler can be much lower than refrigerative air conditioning, often by as much eighty (80%) or so. The maintenance costs are also low but lights flicker when ac turns on is one of the most common problems with this type of cooling systems.
With the apparent ease of installation (simply by plugging into an electrical outlet), lower first cost than air-conditioning unit and smaller power consumption, a café owner can be easily tempted to buy this equipment; however, the simple truth is that evaporative are coolers are not usable in the Philippines. Specifications by the manufacturers say that evaporative air coolers work best in hot and dry low-humidity areas (around 30% humidity or less), but they also work fairly well in moderate humidity (around 40–50%). Sad to say the Philippine weather during summer months is hot and humid with an average 80% humidity anywhere in the country.
For some feedbacks by those who had tried using evaporative air coolers in the Philippines, please visit a thread entitled Evaporative Air Coolers? Are They OK?.