Keeping it Cool – Why use Water as a Coolant?

When it comes to keeping things cool there are a million and one products on the market, all of them claiming to be the best at what they do. Yet despite all of this, the most popular product out there is still water.

So despite everything modern technology has brought with it, why is water still the best coolant? Let’s explore:

Why Water?

There are several reasons why water is better than many of its competition, some of these are due to the natures of water itself while others are purely based in economics. It is these properties of water that make it such an effective coolant:

Water Cooled PC

Image Source: Wikipedia

  • High specific heat capacity – water can absorb a lot of heart per particle with no disturbance, making it ideal to be used as a cooling solution.
  • It’s nontoxic – there is no issues with water getting too hot and turning volatile or being toxic to touch and damaging the materials used to contain it.
  • Readily available – water is readily available across the world, making it very easy to replace and dispose of, unlike some chemical coolants.
  • Low cost – water, even pure distilled water is very cheap to obtain compared to its competitor. Often it is the low cost that sways the decision to use this type of system.
  • Low viscosity – water flows very easily at a wide range of temperatures, apart from when it is nearing freezing temperatures water flows very easily.
  • pH neutral – at pH 7, water is neither acidic or alkaline, making it ideal for use in a simple system that doesn’t require special materials to prevent corrosion.

It is these properties that make it not only highly effective as a solution, but also extremely beneficial from an economic point of view. Because of this it is very difficult for a competitor to be introduced that includes all these essential properties at the same price or even lower.

Benefits of Using Water as a Coolant

Many of the properties of water are also huge advocates of using it as a coolant as well. Whether it is for simple home systems or complex commercial uses, the easy availability and low cost of water makes it an ideal solution. There is also very little that needs to be done to maintain it once it is flowing through the system – in fact it can stay in the system for up to a year without you needing to fiddle with anything.

When it does come to replacing the coolant in the system there is no need to employ a specialist, as the substance is not toxic or corrosive and therefore isn’t harmful. Simply drain the water-coolant from the system, run some hot water or a biological cleaning agent through the system and drain it again then refill with distilled water. Make sure you bleed the system to prevent any bubbles going through the pipes and slowing down the cooling process – if you’re using a reservoir then this trapped air will be removed naturally as the air makes its way through the system.


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