best evaporative coolers in South Africa

Best Evaporative Coolers in South Africa in 2024

We offer a round-up of the best evaporative coolers in South Africa in 2024, to make it easier to decide which unit will best meet your needs.

Evaporative cooling is the healthy alternative to traditional air conditioning.

The average evaporative cooler costs about 50% less to install and uses a quarter of the electricity of an air conditioner. Instead of toxic chemical refrigerants, it uses water to chill the air, lowering the ambient temperature by up to 15° Celsius. It also improves the quality of indoor air.

Below see our profiles of top performers in their respective categories (including portable and fixed units for different applications), taking cooling power, aesthetics and price into account. Also see our FAQ for more information about evaporative cooling and how it works.

Best portable evaporative cooler for home cooling 

With a neat, elegant design and quiet operation, this portable evaporative cooler is ideal for residential use.

The polymer casing is tough, long lasting and resistant to rust and corrosion. Vents can be adjusted to direct air flow and automatically close when not in use.

The Aolan AZL-035 is an easy-to-clean home-cooling solution that can effortlessly be moved from room to room.

Key features:

  • low noise level
  • remote control
  • LCD display
  • 3,500 m³/h air flow
  • three fan modes
  • large capacity cooling pad
  • low maintenance costs.

Best fixed evaporative cooler for home cooling 

Easy to install and maintain, the CVQ series of Convair evaporative coolers offers value for money. All the components are designed with longevity in mind, and include a corrosion-proof and UV-resistant cabinet and failsafe water pump.

The whole-of-house evaporative cooler features innovative mini-cell pad technology to maximise output. A smart intuitive touchscreen control is complemented by a wall-mounted thermostat.

Key features:

  • low cost
  • comprehensive warranty
  • minimal noise output
  • expanded cooling capacity
  • 10,120 m³/h air flow
  • whole-of-house cooling solution
  • easy installation.

Best portable evaporative cooler for retail space or office cooling 

With an air flow of 6,000 m³/h, this portable cooler has the capacity to cool medium-sized office and retail spaces. The noise output is moderate and suitable for the working environment.

It features an attractive compact design and quality castors for enhanced mobility. A resilient outer casing and aluminium housing for the motor mitigate the effects of dings, dents and corrosion.

Key features:

  • remote control
  • variable fan speeds
  • low operating and maintenance costs
  • manufactured by a leading brand
  • maximised cooling efficiency.

Best fixed evaporative cooler for retail space or office cooling 

With an energy-efficient inverter motor and purpose-designed axial fan, this evaporative cooler is a high-performance solution for large spaces.

Due to a free flow water distributor that provides constant and uniform chill-pad saturation, the TBQI offers the highest cooling capacity of the Breezair range.

A security safety vent, sold as an optional extra, allows for the continuous cooling of the store or office with the windows and doors safely latched and locked.

Key features:

  • 11,050 m³/h air flow 
  • near soundless operation
  • integrated digital smartbox control
  • energy and water efficient
  • smart MagIQTouch controller
  • extensive 25-year warranty.

Best portable evaporative cooler for industrial or warehouse cooling 

This cooler is capable of cooling spaces of up to 120 m2 and is the go-to solution for warehouses, workshops, factories and even outdoor areas.

It has a robust build, heavy-duty castors and adjustable vents to enable directed air flow. A powerful three-speed axial fan, coupled with a high quality motor, provides maximised airflow.

Auto-cleaning functionality prevents dirt build-up, while an automatic water control system ensures there are no leaks or water wastage.

Key features:

  • 1,600 m³/h air flow  
  • large cooling pads
  • LCD control
  • heavy-duty mobility
  • indoor and outdoor applications.

Best fixed evaporative cooler for industrial or warehouse cooling  

A 40L tank, 87kW cooling capacity and 35,000 m³/h air flow make the KM35A the ideal choice for large commercial and industrial floor spaces – automotive manufacturing and assembly plants, full-scale factories and vehicle service centres.

Optimal performance at a low noise output is enabled by a powerful motor and fan. Features include auto clean and an air pre-filter to trap large particles and protect the integrity of the cooling pad.

Key features:

  • high quality cooling solution
  • LED display
  • bottom-end air discharge
  • low noise level
  • clean, compact design
  • resilient vented cabinet.

FAQ about evaporative cooling in South Africa

Below we offer answers to some of the most common questions about evaporative coolers.

How do evaporative coolers work?

Hot, dry outside air is forced through water-saturated cooling pads. As the air is pushed through the pads, the water changes from a liquid state into a gas and releases molecules into the air.

The suspended molecules absorb the heat in the air and lower the air temperature. A motorised fan distributes the cool air via vents or a system of ducts.

Are evaporative coolers suitable for South African conditions?

Evaporative coolers work best in hot, dry climates. This makes them ideal for use across much of South Africa – for example, including the Western and Northern Cape, Free State, North West Province and Gauteng.

Because of how they operate, the coolers are less effective in areas with high humidity.

What are the benefits of using evaporative coolers?

Evaporative coolors…

  • use anywhere from 40% to 80% less power than air conditions
  • do not contain toxic refrigerants
  • cost much less to install and maintain.

A constant flow of fresh outside air is filtered, cleaned, cooled and circulated around the room, thereby enhancing indoor air quality.

What are the drawbacks of using evaporative coolers?

A constant source of water is required for operation. Cooling pads must be cleaned regularly to remove salt and mineral deposits and prevent the development of mildew and mould. Water leaks from ceiling-mounted units can occur.

Which is best? A portable unit or ceiling-mounted evaporative cooler?

It depends on the size of the area you want cooled. Portable evaporative coolers are ideally designed for cooling smaller spaces, as they can easily be moved around as required. Ceiling or window mounted coolers are permanent solutions that work well in larger areas.

What to look for in the best evaporative coolers in SA for 2024

Look for units with oscillating vents, additional air filters and resilient, long-lasting exterior casings or cabinets. Added features like automatic water control systems, auto cleaning and smart control units are integral to saving time, money and resources.

Turbovent is a leading supplier of cooling and heating solutions, including many of the best evaporative coolers in South Africa. We also offer cost-effective installation and servicing of evaporative coolers. Contact us online or call 0860 266 537 to discuss your cooling needs and we’ll do our best to assist.

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