Evaporative-Swamp-Cooling in a commercial space

5 Ways Humidity Affects Evaporative Swamp Cooling

June 16, 2021 5:40 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Evaporative air coolers, commonly referred to as swamp coolers, are affected by humidity. It’s why they’re so popular in dry parts of the country such as Arizona and Texas. When you use evaporative swamp cooling in an area where there is already a lot of moisture (or your system is overproducing humidity), it’s important to understand the overall effects.

Will An Evaporative Cooler Work In High Humidity?

Swamp coolers are designed to compensate for low humidity levels in the air. As such, when there’s less humidity in the air, they can cool the air by more degrees. As an example, a 10% humidity level can result in the swamp cooler dropping the temperature by 20 to 30 degrees. When the humidity spikes to 50%, the swamp cooler may only be capable of lowering the temperature in a room by 10 degrees.

Why Don’t Swamp Coolers Work In Humidity?

Evaporative media, which are the pads being used to provide moisture into the evaporative process, are designed to work with hot or warm air. That air passes through the media where the water is present to create evaporation. If there’s already a lot of moisture in the air (humidity), there’s not going to be as much evaporation. This may also lead to more moisture in the system, which can lead to drips as well as rust if the unit isn’t serviced properly.

evaporative cooler humidity chart
Evaporative Cooler Air Temperature Relative Humidity Chart

Humidity Can Allow for Less Substantial Temperature Drops

There are big differences between hot and arid climates like Arizona versus hot and humid climates like Florida. In arid climates, it is often necessary to provide a 20 to 30-degree temperature drop in order to be comfortable. You’ll want to find out what the actual humidity is in the air around you.

Humid air is often able to hold the evaporation longer. This means that people in humid areas can be comfortable with only a 10-degree drop. It makes a huge difference in what the temperature feels like – and when the heat is unbearable, the humidity combined with the smaller temperature drop is desired.

Humid Air Needs to Move

Many people will find that they’re used to central AC. Swamp coolers work differently because of the humidity that is created. More specifically, when there’s already humidity in the air, it’s important to open up the windows. It can allow for the cool moisture in the air to escape partially. It ensures that the air remains as dry as possible so that the cooler’s efficiency is not impacted.

Does Evaporative Cooling Increase Humidity?

It’s important to understand that when there’s too much humidity in a space, it will cause an evaporative cooler to work on over-drive. When you are having a hot but muggy summer, you may want to pair the evaporative cooler with a dehumidifier. By doing so, you pull the moisture out of the air. Drier air will be blown out, which lowers the humidity in the room.

That dry air can then pass over the media in the evaporative cooler more successfully. It will allow the system to cool more efficiently so that you have the cool, comfortable atmosphere that you desire.

It’s important to understand humidity so that you know how it will impact the functionality of your evaporative air cooler. Whether you’re dealing with 10% humidity or even 50%, there are still a number of benefits that you can take advantage of with a swamp cooler.
Learn more about humidity and controlling the overall level of moisture in the air by contacting us at Premier Industries, Inc. We can work with you on the various systems to ensure you can explore all of the advantages of this type of cooling system.

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This post was written by Mike Nicolini

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