Evaporative or swamp coolers are an energy efficient alternative for cooling air during a summertime heatwave. They work on a simple principle: when water evaporates, it takes a little bit energy (heat) away with it. This creates a cooling effect like the one we experience when our sweat evaporates.

Evaporative or swamp coolers use this cooling effect to create and distribute cool air in a room or home. However, as those on the U.S. East Coast know only too well, evaporative cooling doesn't happen when the air is already saturated with water vapor--a condition we call high humidity. And high humidity doesn't just occur outside; a home, room, or even the inside of a car (during an amorous escapade) can become highly humid. Because of this, rooms cooled by evaporative coolers need to be well ventilated. Without ventilation, evaporative coolers will turn your home or room into a humid sauna. Below are more tips and info...

Evaporative Cooler Info and Tips

  • Won't work in high humidity - If the air is already saturated with vapor (humidity), evaporative coolers WILL NOT work.
  • Require ventilation - Unlike air conditioning, where we try to keep all doors and windows closed "to keep the cool air in", an evaporative cooler needs ventilation and air flow so that it can distribute cool air through the home AND expel warm, moist air. In effect, this means several windows or doors should be left partially open (2-4 inches) to provide an "exit path" for air circulation.
  • Energy efficient - Since the blower motor only needs to move air (and not compress a refrigerant as with a/c), evaporative coolers operate with less energy.
  • Easy self service and repair - With just a little mechanical knowledge (and a screwdriver and adjustable wrench), an evaporative cooler can be maintained and repaired without calling in a professional technician.
  • Inexpensive replacement parts - Parts are cheap and easy to obtain in the hardware stores of areas where evaporative coolers are used.
  • How to know if an evaporative cooler will work for you - Go to your local home improvement center or hardware store. If they stock evaporative coolers and parts, most likely they are used effectively in your area.
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