Swamp coolers are an effective method for cooling indoor spaces. However, depending on the climate where you live, evaporative cooling might not be the most effective option for you.
Thus, understanding how evaporative air coolers work will help you decide if this is the right cooling solution for you.
How Evaporative Cooling Works
Evaporative cooling occurs naturally all around us. For example, you feel it when you step out of a pool on a hot day and immediately feel a chill. These cooling effects occur because as dry air passes over water, the dry air will absorb some of the water.
This absorption occurs when the temperature and vapor pressure of the water attempt to equalize with the air. As a result, water molecules turn into gas molecules and heat switches from the higher air temperature to the lower water temperature. Since the air circulates naturally, the area around it is cooled.
To consistently cool your home, residential evaporative air coolers build on this natural phenomenon, using a fan to draw warm, stale air inside the unit, where it passes over water-moistened pads to be cooled.
During this process, the air is cooled up to 20 degrees. Then, the cool, rejuvenated air is circulated throughout your environment. Since the cool air is continually circulating and creating a breeze, your ambient temperature will feel lower than the actual temperature.
The key to effectively cooling your home with an evaporative cooler is hot, dry air such as what is found in desert areas like the southwestern United States. In fact, evaporative coolers are most effective during the hottest times of the day and when humidity levels are below 60 percent.
Although the name “swamp cooler” sounds like it would cool muggy, swamp-like conditions, these machines would actually be ineffective in warm, humid areas like the southeastern United States because the air is so heavily saturated with moisture.
Evaporative coolers tend to work best when relative humidity is 60% or less; however, evaporative coolers can work in humid conditions when they are used in semi-outdoor (loading bays and docks, garages) and outdoor conditions (sporting events, festivals) for moisture evaporation.
Because of the potential for moisture build-up indoors, an open window or door is required for use and not recommended for indoor use in humid climates. For people living in more humid climates who are searching for a cost-effective alternative to traditional central air conditioning systems, consider portable air conditioners or window air conditioners.
How do swamp coolers compare with traditional air conditioning systems in terms of cost-effectiveness, energy-efficiency, and environmental impact?
The goal of both of swamp coolers and traditional ACs is to cool your space. However, swamp coolers are available at a lower overall price point, are more energy efficient, and are much more environmentally friendly than traditional air conditioning systems.
Evaporative air coolers come in a variety of designs and capacities – evaporative coolers by brands like Hessaire, Whirlpool and Honeywell can easily be moved from room-to-room, or sit them outside on patios, decks, or pavilions. Further, brands like Portacool offer efficient swamp coolers for industrial spaces like barns, auto garages, hangars, docks, warehouses, and more.
More importantly, many swamp coolers require only minor to moderate setup, such as placement of air filters or window mounting.
- Energy-Efficiency: The use of simple technology to cool your indoor air helps portable air coolers excel at energy-efficiency. Compared to air conditioners that use compressors and refrigerants, swamp coolers use only water, a fan, and pump to saturate the cooling media to create cool air.
- Cost-Effective: A 36-inch evaporative air cooler operating for eight hours typically costs less than one dollar because the only costs associated with operating it are water and electricity. This is almost three times cheaper than traditional cooling costs, as operating swamp coolers costs up to 50 percent less.
- Environmentally-Friendly: For environmentally-conscious consumers, swamp coolers are an ideal solution for keeping cool without harming the environment. Unlike traditional air conditioners that use refrigerants to cool your home, swamp coolers use a natural process that cools the air using motion and water. This process won’t add ozone-harming pollutants or other chemicals to the environment.
Furthermore, swamp coolers actually work best when fresh air is available, such as from an open window or door. This constant circulation ensures that your indoor air is fresher than it would be with traditional air conditioners that require an airtight space to operate.
Plus, the evaporative cooling process naturally humidifies dry air – reducing dry air symptoms such as itchy eyes, throat, or skin.
Please note that this Scottsdale Real Estate Blog is for informational purposes and not intended to take the place of a licensed Scottsdale Real Estate Agent. The Szabo Group offers first class real estate services to clients in the Scottsdale Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area in the buying and selling of Luxury homes in Arizona. Award winning Realtors and Re/MAX top producers and best real estate agent for Luxury Homes in Scottsdale, The Szabo group delivers experience, knowledge, dedication and proven results. Contact Joe Szabo at 480.688.2020, info@ScottsdaleRealEstateTeam.com or visit www.scottsdalerealestateteam.com to find out more about Scottsdale Homes for Sale and Estates for Sale in Scottsdale and to search the Scottsdale MLS for Scottsdale Home Listings.