I'm planning to buy an air cooler as it is less expensive to purchase and operate than an air conditioner.
Are there any air coolers that can achieve same, or close to, the cooling effect that an air conditioner can achieve?
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Those air coolers or swamp coolers as they are sometimes called, will only work in an area with very low humidity. They use what is called "evaporative cooling" to achieve a lower air temperature and while operating produce a lot of humidity. They will not produce air temperatures that are as cold as an airconditioning unit but they will lower the room temperature somewhat.
About 55 years ago, my soon to be "father-in-law" bought one of these units for use in Pittsburgh, Pa. His unit could be filled with both ice and water. He turned it on and said, "look how cold the air is". Yes, it was cold but the walls had streaks on them from the water that was condensing and running down the walls. Enough said!