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Evaporative Coolers

What is an evaporative cooler?

The terms “swamp cooler” and “evaporative cooler” are often used interchangeably. These coolers are most popular in drier regions. Evaporative coolers are designed to circulate evaporated water through the air. This cools and adds moisture to the room or surrounding area and is a cost-efficient climate control method.

Evaporative coolers use very little energy, making them an environmentally friendly option for many homes. Installing one is a great way to keep indoor air fresh and cool, especially with the windows open. However, if they are not properly cleaned and maintained, a marshy or swamp-like odor can begin to develop. Changing the pads at least twice a season helps avoid this issue.

How does an evaporative cooler work?

An evaporative cooler works by reducing the nearby air temperature using evaporated water. The unit includes a fan, water reservoir, and internal motor, which passes dry air through a wet, internal filter pad. The air is quickly cooled and circulated throughout the room. Opening nearby windows helps renew the air every few minutes and keeps the breeze fresh.

Since evaporative coolers require dry, hot air for optimal function, they are best suited for warm and arid climates. In the U.S., they are most popular in southwestern states like Arizona and New Mexico. During the winter months, the cooler should be fully drained and disconnected. It should be covered and stored in an enclosed area.


Evaporative coolers vs. air conditioners

Evaporative coolers differ from air conditioners in several ways. Instead of recirculating stagnant air, evaporative coolers pull fresh air from outside. They’re also also less expensive to install. Running an air conditioner costs more than operating an evaporative cooler. However, air conditioners will work in any climate.

Swamp coolers require a hot and dry climate to run efficiently. Unlike air conditioners, their performance quality is not compromised by open windows and doors. 

Both swamp coolers and air conditioners are available as a large, central system or as window units. It’s important to note that swamp coolers add moisture, whereas air conditioners remove it. For this reason, it’s not fitting to use both in the same home. There are many pros and cons to both cooling systems. Assess your situation to choose the one that best fits your needs.

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