What kind of cooler can I use on my work desk or small work space?

We are experiencing dramatic changes in the world’s climate. The temperature of most of the regions is getting increased. So we need a cooler at our work desk or air conditioning. Many people are working as freelancers either at their home office or desks in co-working spaces.  Unfortunately, most of us may not able to access a central or air conditioning in our workplaces- because either their expenses or technical details put an obstacle to access them in our small office rooms or communal offices.

However, we have alternatives in these tricky/challenging situations. Here the cooler for our work desk; A general rule of thumb for arid or dry weather air coolers and for humid and coastal weather air fans are cheaper and less hassle-free options compared to air conditioners (ACs) for your home office, small office and working desk.

cooler for work desk
Fans of AC

What kind of cooler can I use on my work desk or small work-space?

Don’t expect cool air as ACs provides:

The ACs, portable ACs and/or central cooling systems have a stronger technical structure that enables them to provide cooler air capacity for the offices. (Figure 1) Understand how each system works and decide which one will cover your needs Both fan and air coolers provide more comfort while working with an eco-friendly option.
I can also find them healthier than ACs since they don’t decrease the temperature to a level that has a negative impact on your health. Most people do not aware of the fact that working under cold central/ACs units cause flu, cold, even worsen their chronic illness such as asthma and allergies.

Operating costs for an air cooler are 1/10th of a traditional air conditioner:

Portable evaporative coolers cost significantly less to install and operate than central air conditioning systems, although they have much less cooling power. They’re lightweight and require only water and electricity to function, which means you can put them to use in your home or office.

What is the working system of Air coolers and fans?

What are the optimum weather conditions such as temperature and humidity for air coolers?
‘Evaporative cooling is a common form of cooling buildings for thermal comfort since it is relatively cheap and requires less energy than other forms of cooling.’
‘The construction of an evaporative cooler is such that filter pads are located at the back or sides (or both) of the machine and the surrounding warm air is sucked into the machine through the pads.
The pads are kept damp either by water being pumped from an internal reservoir around and through the pads or from an external water source. 
As the outside warm air moves across the wet pad, the water is evaporated, removing the heat from the air. Therefore, when that air exits the machine it is in a cooler state than when it entered the machine.’
Now let’s figure out how much air cooler units/fans do you need for your small office While the ACs are calculated in British Thermal Units, (BTU) Air coolers are calculated in how many cubic feet of air per minute (CFM) the unit can pump.
Fans cannot operate in closed environments and in regions where air velocity exceeds 6.4 kilometres an hour. If ambient temperatures are above the body’s natural temperature (37℃), a rotating fan will heat the body instead of cooling it.
Air coolers:
The three most important climate considerations are dry-bulb temperaturewet-bulb temperature, and wet-bulb depression during the summer design day. It is important to determine if the wet-bulb depression can provide sufficient cooling during the summer design day.
By subtracting the wet-bulb depression from the outside dry-bulb temperature, one can estimate the approximate air temperature leaving the evaporative cooler. It is important to consider that the ability for the exterior dry-bulb temperature to reach the wet-bulb temperature depends on the saturation efficiency.
A general recommendation for applying direct evaporative cooling is to implement it in places where the wet-bulb temperature of the outdoor air does not exceed 22 °C (71.6 °F). However, in the example of Salt Lake City, the upper limit for the direct evaporative cooling on the psychrometric chart is 20 °C (68 °F). Despite this lower value, this climate is still suitable for this technique.’

An air cooler can actually lower indoor temperature by nearly 5℃

Although the energy consumption of a ceiling fan and air cooler is similar, the cooling effect is considerably different. Air coolers can cover a larger area, actually cool the air, and work noiselessly. The air coolers work best in dry, arid conditions, whilst they can still provide a cooling effect as long as the humidity is below the saturation point.
In other words, air coolers are effective until the air humidity reaches beyond 50%. Swam/evaporative coolers enable “a multistage filtration system that cleans a spectrum of airborne pollutants and harmful micro-organisms.
The cool air passes through several filters before it is released into the room. These filters can cleanse the air and water to provide a healthier indoor environment. Dust, microscopic pollution particles, bacteria, odours, and allergens are all filtered by this innovative system.” “Lower levels of humidity will give you much better performance.
With an average humidity of 20 per cent, for example, you can expect a temperature drop between 16 and 22 degrees. In regard to temperature, hot air can hold more moisture than cold air, allowing for greater cooling effectiveness, though this applies mainly to dry climates in places like the Western U.S., particularly Arizona, Nevada and Utah, where the hot air isn’t already saturated with moisture.
(In the United States, the western/mountain states are good locations, with evaporative coolers prevalent in cities like DenverSalt Lake CityAlbuquerqueEl PasoTucson, and Fresno./Wiki).


Less expensive to install and operate

  • Estimated cost for professional installation is about half or less that of central refrigerated air conditioning.[28]
  • The estimated cost of operation is 1/8 that of refrigerated air conditioning.[29]
  • No power spike when turned on due to lack of a compressor
  • Power consumption is limited to the fan and water pump, which have a relatively low current draw at start-up.
  • The working fluid is water. No special refrigerants, such as ammonia or CFCs, are used that could be toxic, expensive to replace, contribute to ozone depletion and/or be subject to stringent licensing and environmental regulations.

Ease of installation and maintenance

  • Equipment can be installed by mechanically-inclined users at a drastically lower cost than refrigeration equipment which requires specialized skills and professional installation.
  • The only two mechanical parts in most basic evaporative coolers are the fan motor and the water pump, both of which can be repaired or replaced at low cost and often by a mechanically inclined user, eliminating costly service calls to HVAC contractors.

Ventilation air

  • The frequent and high volumetric flow rate of air travelling through the building reduces the “age-of-air” in the building dramatically.
  • Evaporative cooling increases humidity. In dry climates, this may improve comfort and decrease static electricity
  • The pad itself acts as a rather effective air filter when properly maintained; it is capable of removing a variety of contaminants in the air, including urban ozone caused by pollution[citation needed], regardless of very dry weather.
  • Refrigeration-based cooling systems lose this ability whenever there is not enough humidity in the air to keep the evaporator wet while providing a frequent trickle of condensation that washes out dissolved impurities removed from the air.



  • Most evaporative coolers are unable to lower the air temperature as much as refrigerated air conditioning can.
  • High dewpoint (humidity) conditions decrease the cooling capability of the evaporative cooler.
  • No dehumidification. Traditional air conditioners remove moisture from the air, except in very dry locations where recirculation can lead to a buildup of humidity. Evaporative cooling adds moisture, and in humid climates, dryness may improve thermal comfort at higher temperatures.


  • The air supplied by the evaporative cooler is generally 80–90% relative humidity and can cause interior humidity levels as high as 65%; very humid air reduces the evaporation rate of moisture from the skin, nose, lungs, and eyes.
  • High humidity in air accelerates corrosion, particularly in the presence of dust. This can considerably reduce the life of electronics and other equipment.
  • High humidity in the air may cause condensation of water. This can be a problem for some situations (e.g., electrical equipment, computers, paper, books, old wood).
  • Odours and other outdoor contaminants may be blown into the building unless sufficient filtering is in place.

Water use

  • Evaporative coolers require a constant supply of water.
  • Water high in mineral content (hard water) will leave mineral deposits on the pads and interior of the cooler. Depending on the type and concentration of minerals, possible safety hazards during the replacement and waste removal of the pads could be present.
  • Bleed-off and refill (purge pump) systems can reduce but not eliminate this problem. Installation of an inline water filter (refrigerator drinking water/icemaker type) will drastically reduce the mineral deposits.

Maintenance frequency

  • Any mechanical components that can rust or corrode need regular cleaning or replacement due to the environment of high moisture and potentially heavy mineral deposits in areas with hard water.
  • Evaporative media must be replaced on a regular basis to maintain cooling performance. Wood wool pads are inexpensive but require replacement every few months.
  • Higher-efficiency rigid media is much more expensive but will last for a number of years proportional to the water hardness; in areas with very hard water, rigid media may only last for two years before mineral scale build-up unacceptably degrades performance.
  • In areas with cold winters, evaporative coolers must be drained and winterized to protect the water line and cooler from freeze damage and then de-winterized prior to the cooling season.

Health hazards

  • An evaporative cooler is commonplace for mosquito breeding. Numerous authorities consider an improperly maintained cooler to be a threat to public health.[30] 
  • Mould and bacteria may be dispersed into interior air from improperly maintained or defective systems, causing sick building syndrome and adverse effects for asthma and allergy sufferers.
  • Wood wool of dry cooler pads can catch fire even from small sparks.

Where are the best countries for air cooler uses?

Dry climate such as the west coast of America particularly Arizona, Nevada and Utah, Saudi Arabia and the southern (temperate) part of Australia, sometimes its use may be restricted in some parts of UK.

‘Several hot and dry regions throughout the world could potentially benefit from evaporative cooling, including North Africa, the Sahel region of Africa, the Horn of Africa, southern Africa, the Middle East, arid regions of South Asia, and Australia.’

cooler for work desk
Evaporative cooler working diagram

If there sometimes are restrictions, should you still consider air coolers?

  • “To integrate and offset mechanical cooling in high-temperature thermal load buildings when weather conditions permit
  • To provide a low-cost comfort cooling option for non-air conditioned buildings for those summer days that don’t justify the installation of a mechanical cooling system”

What should you consider in an air cooler and fans tech specs?

Air Cooler

Parts of the Air Cooler

Control panel, cooling pads, water inlet, ice compartments (not in every model and not always as effective as it was thought to be. ‘The level of humidity and temperature of the atmosphere determine determines the coolness, not the ice. Therefore, adding an excessive amount of ice could potentially slow down the process of evaporation. This can hamper the air cooler’s efficiency.) hose connector, water tank.’

What to consider when buying the air cooler

When buying an air cooler, buy the ones that have a power rating between 130–230W.

The efficiency of an air cooler depends almost entirely on the heat-absorbing prowess of the cooling pads.

Cooling pads:

As a rule of thumb, cooling pads greater than 85 mm in thickness are effective enough in absorbing heat from the outside hot air.

(Thinner cooling pads are not as efficient as thicker ones because the lesser thickness and lesser overall area results in them not being able to retain as much water as the thicker ones so as to sufficiently absorb heat from the air. As a result, the air is blown inside the room still remains slightly warm, thus causing the users to feel warm and uncomfortable.)

Air coolers have two types of cooling pads: cellulose and the other, aspen/wood wool cooling pads. The former is usually in honeycomb shape even named as ‘honeycomb cooling pads’. They are expensive but highly durable. The latter is in shape of dried grass and have a texture like that of wood shavings.

Which are more economical with lesser efficiency. “Aspen Cooling pads are generally more affordable and easier to replace or install. Furthermore, they are more biodegradable and more effective compared to the synthetic versions, but the synthetic versions last longer;” said the ‘Vankool.’

‘Cellulose pads are also referred to as honeycomb cooling pads. Just like the name suggests, these pads actually resemble a honeycomb. These are thicker than Aspen Pads, have minimal maintenance needs and provide longer durability. While they might cost slightly higher, they are more efficient. As a minimum, they should preferably be 90 mm thick to enable them to provide more effective cooling of air.’

Water tank/ inlet:
  • Hose Connector Some units come with a garden hose connector also known as an Automatic Water-level Controller. Through this connector, you can attach an ordinary garden hose to your unit. This will ensure there is a continuous and steady supply of water flowing to the cooler. This saves you the hassle of pouring water in the reservoir manually.
  • Water Level Indicator In the case of there is no water level controller feature in the air cooler, it should include a water level indicator instead. If there is no automatic water level controller, you’ll have to fill the water holding tank manually. So, this water level indicator will show when enough water has been placed in the tank subsequently, minimizing the risk of leaking or flooding the floor by filling in too much water.
  • Water Inlet and Drain Valve For optimal cooling, fill up the tank using a mug/water pipe through the tiny inlet. This is the easiest way to top up the water to the maximum level. The Drain Valve, on the other hand, enables frequent change of water to avoid mould and mildew growth.”
  • You should be aware of the electric motor is in good quality in the air cooler model that you like to buy.
  • With evaporative, it is about airflow and humidity. With humidity below 30% very effective, between 30% to 50% reasonably effective and above 50% humidity use refrigerated AC. Evaporative cooling works best with low humidity and if the temperature is < 40C.


  • Air cooler airflow is also measured by CMH(m³/h) (cubic meters per hour). The CMH means the amount of air cycled into your area each hour. It is a good way to buy the right air cooler size by calculating the CMH(m³/h) required for your place.
  • The airflow also depends on a blower or a fan used by the evaporative cooler. Fans can create airflow with low pressure but in large volumes; they are usually used in big air coolers. On the other hand, Blowers can product high-pressure airflow at high volumes and often used to smaller air cooler models.
  • While choosing an evaporative cooler, you should also find the models with multiple speed settings. It is one of the ways to adjust the temperature in the room by controlling the airflow; most portable air coolers with a 3-speed regulator at least. Except, the feature of automatic louvre movement is especially important for swamp coolers, it can ensure the flow of cool air in all directions.” 
  • “Evaporative coolers’ cooling efficiency is rated in cubic feet per minute (CFM). To pick the right size cooler for your room, you must first determine how many cubic feet you need to cool. This is done by multiplying an area’s square footage by the ceiling height.

For example, a 250-square-foot room with an 8-foot ceiling has a cubic area of 2,000 feet (250 x 8 = 2,000). Then, you simply divide the cubic area in half (2,000 / 2 = 1,000) to find out how many cubic feet your evaporative cooler needs to be able to cool per minute. So, in this example, you would need a unit with a CFM rating of 1,000.” “To find the CFM, you’ll need the volume of the area and the recommended number of air exchanges per hour for a living room (typically six air exchanges per hour). Air exchanges vary by the type of space. Find a suitable air exchange per hour on this chart.

For example, if your living room is 420 square feet with 8-foot ceilings:

420 square feet x 8-foot ceiling = 3,360 cubic feet 3,360 cubic feet x 6 air changes per hour = 20,160 20,160 / 60 minutes = 336 CFM. – According to the equation, you would need a swamp cooler with at least 336 CFM for the size of your living room.

Here is a four-step process on how to calculate the room CFM:

  1. First Step – Use the above Air Changes per Hour Table to identify the required air changes needed for the use of the room. Let’s say it’s a conference room requiring 10 air changes per hour.
  2. Second Step – Calculate the volume of the room (L’xW’xH’).
  3. Third Step – Multiply the volume of the room by the required room air changes.
  4. Fourth Step – Divide the answer by 60 minutes per Hour to find the required room CFM.

So how to calculate CMH(m³/h) requirement of your Cooler with the example? 

There is a simple way to calculate. Just follow the example to calculate the CMH of the cooler.

Length of Room: 6 meters

Width of Room: 5 meters

Height of Room: 3 meters

Volume of the Room: Length x Width x Height = 6 x 5 x 3 = 90 m³

Number of times the air need to be replaced in an hour: 20 times The total volume of Air to be replaced in one hour: 90 cubic meters x 20 times = 1800 cubic meters per hour This is the CMH (cubic meters per hour) requirement for your cooler: 1800 m³/h So if the airflow of the single unit is 1800 CMH, you need one unit. Or if the airflow of the single unit is 900 CMH, you’ll need 2 units.

Tips on Performance:

Volume of the Room: Length x Width x Height = 6 x 5 x 3 = 90 m³The lower the relative humidity the better the performance of the cooler. Typically 70% are RH or below is good. • Cold or iced water does not make much difference to the cooling efficiency of an Evaporative Cooler. • Evaporative Coolers must only be used in areas with good natural ventilation or adequate mechanical air extraction units. Like humidifiers, it’s very important to clean your swamp cooler’s water reservoir or water pan regularly. If left to sit stale for too long, the water inside could become a breeding ground for mould, mildew, waterborne microorganisms, and other germs.

Cleaning- before summer
  • Disconnect power from the unit.
  •  Remove the weatherproof covers.
  • Detach the filter pads, then clean them thoroughly using a hose and if necessary, consider replacing with new ones.
  • Close the drains, then fill up the cooler unit with water.
  • Disinfect your air cooler with a biocide. Avoid the chlorine-based bleach or other substances that help harmful organisms to thrive.
Cleaning-  end of summertime
  • Disconnect power from the unit.
  •  Loosen all forms of sediment or slime using a brush.
  • Empty the pipes and the tank.
  • Clean the cooler tank using a cloth drenched in household bleach and then, pump and flush it using freshwater.
  •  Detach the cooler filter pads, including the hose. Then allow these components to dry.
  • Dry all of the internal components.
  • If necessary, consider fitting covers on every exposed component to avoid any form of damage.

Fan type vs blower type

Comparison of Air cooler, Fan and ACs
Type How it works Installlation Characteristics
Air cooler Cool air by filtering it through water, thus lowering its temperature. Produce humid air. he temperature of dry air can be dropped significantly through the phase transition of liquid water to water vapour (evaporation). Lower original equipment cost than air conditioners. Lower operating costs. Simple installation. Even the biggest model (i.e. desert one) consumes a measly 0.2 – 0.5 units of electricity per hour. Using much less energy than refrigeration.  Uniformly distributes the cool air all over the room over a fan. A little noisy. You have to check/control water levels. Energy-efficient, Environmentally friendly. Cost effective. Indoor and outdoor use
Fan An arrangement of an impeller and blades. Circulate the air around us rapidly, speeding up the evaporation of the sweat on our bodies, thereby, giving us a ‘cool feeling’.  Tower fans good options over air cooler in terms of noise. Tower fans give out a much stronger and powerful airflow. Covers a limited area of the room. It looks stylish and attractive, unlike a bulky looking air cooler. More stable, portable, and space-savvy. Lightweight, tall and slender. Less cool effect than air coolers. 
ACs Work by taking humidity out of the home. Work best in an airtight home. Vapor compression/ absorption refrigeration cycles. A typical 1.5-ton window air conditioner with a 5-star energy rating consumes approximately 1.4 – 1.8 units of electricity per hour. Removes humidity Air conditioners that require thorough cleaning each season. 2.2-ton split air conditioning unit can consume 2200 watts an hour.

Fan and blower are used for circulating and supplying air; however, technically they are quite different. The big difference between a fan and a blower is how the air is circulated. A fan is an electrical device to move air and the air around an entire room or a large area, on the other hand, a blower is a mechanical device t a blower is a mechanical device and moves the air to a specific location or point. In general, fans and blowers are used widely for cooling purposes in the industries. Also, both are widely used in electrical appliances such as evaporative air coolers, air conditioners, microwaves, and so on. They both produce air by the amount of pressure. Therefore, blowers can move lots of gas at a certain pressure while fans move largely of gas at a low-pressure.

In the following part, there is the comparison of brands.

What are the best AIR COOLERS for small/home office use?

The selected best AIR COOLERS for small/home office use
Brand Size Capacity Note Airflow/Noise Dimensions
GLAZIAR 20 Predator P20 Portable Evaporative Air Cooler Up to 35 m2 (375 sq.ft) 120 L water capacity 13 L / 455 oz 1300 m3/h airflow Low noise: 25-45db 99.5 x 42.8 x 38.8cm
GESUNDHOME 3 in 1 mobile 980 g USB Low 20.3 x 19.8 x 18.5cm
BASEIN Portable Air Cooler 4 in 1 mobile air conditioner 430 ml large water tank 971 gram, 7.50 watts Adjustable wind level and ultra-quiet NA
LIVIVO Portable 4L tank x 2L reusable ice blocks included 5.22 Kg weight 80W Medium noise 24cm x 26cm x 57cm
ElectriQ Arctic Mobile portable 48 Litre, tank cools 60 sqm room 13.3 Kg Powerful airflow- medium noise NA
Famgizmo 4 in 1 4L water tank, 2 ice pack Power supply: 230V/50Hz Airflow power: 400m3/h 25.7 x 27.5 x 59.5cm
Volwco 460 ml Water tank: 460ml UsbCooling power: 150-300W Noise level: 20-40 dB 13.5 x 13.5 x 17.5cm

If some of the products are sold out, you can find alternatives.

2 thoughts on “What kind of cooler can I use on my work desk or small work space?”

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