Swamp coolers, also known as evaporative coolers offer an economical and natural way to cool indoor and outdoor spaces in hot and dry environmental conditions. They are mostly used to cool rooms, small shops, garages, warehouses, and other indoor spaces.
How Do Swamp Coolers Work?
These coolers use the power of evaporation to turn hot air into cool air. They pull in hot air that is passed through a moist pad. The pad absorbs the heat and the moisture in the pad evaporates, cooling and humidifying the air. This cool air is then circulated into the room, generating a breeze that is similar to what you experience when sitting close to a river.
Best Environment for Swamp coolers
Swamp coolers work best in hot and dry weather conditions like we see in sand desserts. They’re not an ideal cooling solution for cooling coastal areas, where we see humid climate. In such areas, you can use Swamp coolers in outdoor or semi outdoor spaces but not indoors.
Some people will use evaporative coolers without water in humid climate, this is a good workaround but then you can achieve the same result with a cheaper pedestal fan.
It’s important to note that evaporative coolers work best in dry climates with low humidity. If you live in a humid area, the cooling effect may not be as significant. In such cases, using an air conditioner might be more suitable for effective cooling.
Correct Method of Using an Air Cooler
It is often a misunderstood fact that Swamp coolers work efficiently in closed door spaces. This is simply not true. In fact, this will increase the humidity indoors to a level that you will start feeling like sweating.
The correct way of using an air cooler is to allow for proper ventilation of air in the room. Position your air cooler right in front of a window and open few windows or a door in the opposite direction. It is essential to create good ventilation in the room to push the humidity out.
Choose the Correct Capacity of Air Cooler
The required air cooler capacity depends on the size of the room you want to cool. Here are some general guidelines for swamp cooler capacity based on room size:
- Small rooms (up to 150 square feet): For small rooms such as bedrooms or offices, a swamp cooler with a capacity of 1,000 to 2,000 CFM should be sufficient.
- Medium-sized rooms (150 to 250 square feet): Medium-sized rooms like living rooms or small apartments typically require a swamp cooler with a capacity of 2,000 to 4,000 CFM.
- Large rooms (300 to 500 square feet): For larger rooms, such as master bedrooms or open-concept living spaces, a swamp cooler with a capacity of 4,000 to 6,000 CFM is recommended.
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- Extra-large rooms (500+ square feet): If you need to cool a large open area, like a spacious living room or a combined living-dining area, you may want to consider a swamp cooler with a capacity of 6,000 CFM or more.
How to Make a Swamp Cooler Colder
To make a swamp cooler (evaporative cooler) colder and more effective at cooling your space, you can follow these tips:
- Increase Airflow: Ensure that there is proper airflow in the room by opening windows or doors on the opposite side of the cooler.
- Use Cold Water: Fill the water tank with cold water or add ice to the water reservoir. Cooler water will enhance the cooling effect of the evaporative cooler as it evaporates.
- Replace old or worn out Pads: If the pads are old or worn out, replacing them with new ones can improve the cooling efficiency.
- Shade: Provide shade to the outside of the swamp cooler unit to prevent direct sunlight from heating it up.
- Regular Maintenance: Periodically inspect and maintain the swamp cooler, including cleaning or replacing any clogged or damaged parts. This ensures optimal performance and extends the lifespan of the unit.
Benefits of Using Swamp coolers
Urban population is fast replacing swamp coolers with air conditioners in their homes. Yet there are still several takers for evaporative coolers, who are fascinated with their natural & holistic cooling, cost effectiveness, and few other advantages. Let’s look at the main advantages of using an Air Cooler.
Cost-Effective Cooling: Evaporative Coolers not only cost less upfront, they also save energy/electricity cost and maintenance cost.
Adds Moisture to Air: Swamp coolers are natural humidifiers, that add moisture to air, thereby reducing dry air symptoms such as itchy eyes, and itchy throat.
Environment-Friendly: The refrigerant used in air conditioners, irrespective of its type, is harmful to the environment. Swamp coolers on the other hand are completely safe for humans and the environment. They don’t contribute to global warming.
Fresh & Breathable Air: Unlike air conditioners, that circulate the same air repetitively, Swamp coolers pull fresh air from outside, humidify and cool it and then circulate it in the room.
However, if air pollution or allergens are a concern, consider using an air purifier alongside the evaporative cooler to improve indoor air quality.
Maintenance of Air Cooler
Air-coolers are easy to maintain. Usually, you only need to replace cooling pads every two years or so and are easily available online and at the neighborhood shops. Other parts that might need repair or replacement are the water pump and the fan motor, which again are easily available and replaceable.
Types of Swamp coolers
There are five main types of Swamp coolers that suit different environment and needs. These are Window Swamp coolers, Room Coolers, Personal Coolers, Commercial Swamp coolers, and Central Swamp coolers.
These were called desert coolers originally, but over time the definition seems to be changed. Now days, they are called the coolers that are installed outside the room, mostly in the windows. Such coolers usually need installation by a plumber and/or a carpenter. But you can also avoid installation if you are OK to fill cooler tank manually, and not care much about the proper fitting in window. They are the most convenient, efficient, and ideal Swamp coolers. I recommend these to all. These are the best room coolers amongst all types for domestic use.
They are the coolers that are ideal for desert like weather conditions – Hot & Dry. Such coolers are best suited for large rooms. These Swamp coolers themselves are large in size and will occupy a large space in your room. Room Coolers are portable and are placed inside rooms, ideally close to a window.
These are similar to room coolers except for their size. These are suitable for smaller rooms or shops.
As the name suggests, these are large size coolers, that are used in outdoor events, garages, workshops, warehouses, etc; where air conditioning is not possible, or not commercially viable.
Central Evaporative Cooler
Central evaporative coolers typically require ducting to distribute the cooled air throughout the building. Ducts help to direct the airflow to different areas and ensure efficient cooling.
Before you buy an air cooler, make sure you live in an overall dry climate, purchase one that is the right size, and ensure that there is proper ventilation in the room where you want to use the air cooler.