Chiller Vs Air Conditioner

Updated: Jan 16, 2023 10:29 PM
Dehumidifier vs Air Conditioner

The differences between an air conditioner vs an air chiller can be subtle, especially regarding the cooling processes. This is unlike a box fan vs an air conditioner. There is no contest there. However, their uses and costs vary greatly, so you should consider what you want to use your appliance for before buying.


  • You can expect to use an air conditioner in your home or other small spaces, usually with an indoor and outdoor unit.
  • Air chillers are used in each facility or factory for many manufacturers and cooler open spaces because the chiller can reach lower temperatures than an AC.
  • Air conditioner and air chiller processes resemble each other greatly, but there are subtle differences in their uses and efficiency.

The best air conditioners remain the ideal option for raising or lowering the temperature inside your house. If you want an option for your home, consider learning about the advantages of an air conditioner vs a ceiling fan.

Insider Tip

An air conditioner cools the house without using an additional refrigerant.

Air Chillers vs Air Conditioning Units

Both air chillers and AC units cool your home, but the entire process differs slightly. They often aren’t used in the same instances, with the same energy cost price, or with the same degree of dehumidification. For a more powerful effect on humidity, decide whether air conditioner vs dehumidifier solutions suit your house better. Additionally, if you need a unit that can be easily moved from one room to another, check out our Homelabs 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner review.


Air conditioning systems are used in many buildings. These systems effectively lower the temperature in smaller spaces. The ducts and vents quickly disperse colder air throughout your area. As a result, A/Cs are the default.

You likely have seen the effects of an air chiller in larger spaces, such as factories. Additionally, chillers are useful for cooling large machinery as well. However, most homes and businesses do not include an air chiller because AC works well.


Chillers may be water- or air-cooled, which refers to where the heat goes once extracted. The refrigerant passes through heat exchangers and produces chilled water, eliminating the heat using a condenser. A similar system is used in air conditioning systems. These devices use either vapor-compression or absorption refrigeration cycling. Air-cooled chillers often work outside, while water-cooled chillers work inside your building.

Air conditioners remove heat and dehumidify. This removal occurs during a refrigeration cycle. These appliances feature condenser and evaporator coils. You will have an outdoor unit and indoor technology. The heat is released outside while the cool air passes through ducts to be released into your house.

Air Cooling Power

Most people set their air conditioners around 60-70 degrees, depending on their climate. However, an air conditioner cannot efficiently cool a building below about 60 degrees. Although this is perfect for an air-conditioned house, there are instances when the desired appliance needs to reach lower temperatures.

On the other hand, air chillers can significantly lower the temperature of an environment. Because of this ability, manufacturers may use a chiller around their machinery and throughout their factories. In addition, other colder or larger spaces use water- or air-cooled chillers.


Air chillers are often more efficient than AC in terms of time. Air-cooled chillers, including fan-coil units, are less efficient than water-cooled chillers. It takes less time to cool a space with a chiller because of the system’s capability to remove heat quickly from the space using a refrigerant. However, the efficiency comes with the drawback of high water consumption, making it difficult in arid areas.


An air conditioner cannot decrease the temperature enough for some large spaces, so an air chiller can be used instead.


What is an HVAC System?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. An HVAC system is an element that cools, ventilates, or heats your space.

How does an HVAC system work?

An AC system passes the heat source in the air through many elements, including condenser coils and evaporator coils, and removes the heat alongside moisture. The chilled air is then released into your house.

How does an air chiller work?

An air chiller cools the space by removing heat from hot water and then dispersing the chilled water throughout the building. Heat rejection typically occurs through water or outside.

STAT: MRI machines, cooling equipment, assembly processes, and tooling equipment use chiller-driven refrigerants. (source)

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