So, what is a swamp cooler? An Evaporative Cooler window unit (or Swamp Cooler) is a household device that cools air using the evaporation of water. Swamp coolers are usually found in the American Southwest, an area with high temperatures and low humidity. They can be useful if installed correctly and used in the right environment.
Are They Air Conditioners?
Yes and no. Evaporative Coolers are air conditioners, but don’t cool air in the exact same way.
Conventional air conditioners use vapor compression or absorption to refrigerate air while swamp coolers use the process of water evaporation to cool air. Evaporative Coolers are air conditioners, but they condition the air in a different way than a standard air conditioner.
Evaporative Coolers are an open system. They rely on the air flow in a house to cool the air, but unlike a conventional air conditioner, an Evaporative Cooler also need a way to displace old air. For an Evaporative Cooler to work effectively, it needs to have open air flow both in and out of the house.
Traditional air conditioners also dry the air as they cool it while Evaporative Coolers actually humidify the air as a consequence of evaporation.
There are two types: portable and window-mounted evaporative coolers. Both types of household evaporative cooler do the same job with size being a prime determining factor to the size of space they are able to cool.
How Popular are Evaporative Coolers?
Evaporative Coolers and swamp cooler window units are currently found in just 3% of total U.S. households, but in certain areas like the Rocky Mountain Range, they are in as much as 26% of homes.
What are the Benefits of an Evaporative Cooler?
- Use less energy to run
- Humidifies air as it cools
- Doesn’t use Freon or other chemicals that add ozone-harming pollutants into environment
- Open system keeps air fresher than conventional air conditioners
- Require very little maintenance to keep running
Things to Remember About Evaporative Coolers
While Evaporative Coolers can be a viable option for some homes in place of conventional air conditioners, keep in mind that they’re not for all climates. An Evaporative Cooler works best in areas with high temperatures (80 degrees Fahrenheit) and less than 30% humidity. Areas with lower average temperatures and/or higher humidity won’t benefit much from an Evaporative Cooler.
Also keep in mind that while Evaporative Coolers require much less electricity, they do require much more water to be effective.
Make sure to get the correct size window swamp cooler unit for your living space. To do this, you need to calculate your ideal CFM (cubic feet per minute), which is the amount of fresh air cycled through your house each minute. To find your CFM, use the following equation:
(sq. ft.) x (ceiling height) / 2 = CFM
For example, a home with 500 sq. ft. with 7 foot ceilings would require a swamp cooler with a minimum 1,750 CFM.
500 x 7 / 2 = 1,750CFM
The SANI-TRED® Solution
A DIY evaporative cooler is only as good as its ability to keep and circulate water. SANI-TRED® is a versatile waterproofing material that can keep water in your evaporative cooler flowing, which will cool down your home and save you on energy costs. SANI-TRED® can waterproof anything you need done, from basements to evaporative coolers and everything in between.