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What Exactly Is a Swamp Cooler?

man-with-electric-fanWe live in a very hot climate, obviously. That means that you not only need a great air conditioner that will reliably cool your home, but you also want one that won’t cost too much to run. After all, you don’t want to be draining your budget just to live comfortably.

Because we also live in a very dry climate, though, you really don’t want your air conditioner drying out the air in your home further. During the cooling process, as refrigerant evaporates and draws heat out of the air, moisture condenses and is drained away by a traditional AC. How do you prevent your air from drying out excessively? You could use a humidifier, or you could use an entirely different cooling process — one that actually helps you to add humidity to the air.

How Does It Work?

Very simply, actually. Unlike a traditional central air conditioner or heat pump, an evaporative, or swamp, cooler does not rely upon a refrigeration cycle in order to remove heat from the air in your home, disperse it outdoors, and recirculate cooled air throughout the house. In fact, the evaporative cooler shares more in common with a humidifier than it does with a traditional AC, to a certain degree.

Ideal for climates like ours where humidity levels tend to be low, an evaporative cooler actually cools air coming into the house by releasing humidity into it. Air is drawn in from outdoors, and is passed over water-saturated pads in the cooling system. This causes water to evaporate into the air, cooling it by 15-40 degrees in the process.

Great Energy Efficiency Awaits!

Because there is no refrigerant cycle to facilitate, swamp coolers use far less electricity than traditional air conditioners do. Keep in mind that you are only going to get the most efficient and reliable performance possible from your system if it is of the right size for your home, installed properly, and regularly serviced. Due to the element of water in the cooling system, evaporative coolers actually require more maintenance than standard central ACs.

Pads have to be replaced, generally at least twice throughout the cooling season. There are filters that will have to be replaced, a reservoir to clean, and a pump that will need to be kept in prime working condition. You should also remember that not all swamp coolers are as efficient as others. The process is inherently efficient, but newer, two-stage models using a pre-cooler are even more effective and can save you more energy.

So Too Does Great Indoor Air Quality!

When you run a swamp cooler, you actually need to leave your windows open a bit in order to bring in fresh air that can be passed through the cooler. When you compare this to the operation of a central AC, which will usually lead homeowners to seal up their homes to conserve energy, the advantage in terms of air quality is clear.

Not only will a swamp cooler keep your home cool and comfortable efficiently, but it can also keep the air well-humidified and of a high quality. They’re not right for every home or situation, naturally. If you think that you could benefit from the use of an evaporative cooler, though, be sure to give us a call and have the job done right.

Contact Goettl Air Conditioning with any questions that you may have. 

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