A swamp cooler is much different than the traditional air conditioner for cooling homes. One of the most important differences is that it utilizes evaporative cooling techniques that operate best in dry climates rather than the type of cooling used by air conditioners that work best in areas where humidity is higher. These facts and tips will help you maximize the cooling power of a swamp cooler for more efficient home cooling.
Does Seasonality Affect Swamp Cooling?
Absolutely! For light cooling, or just to move cooler air throughout your home, fans will work best. It is only once temperatures reach turn warm that swamp coolers do their best work. One way to improve energy efficiency when using swamp coolers is to wait until the temperatures reach 85 degrees. Most people find that a little too uncomfortable. The key is to wait until it is sufficiently warm and to only operate your cooling unit when the humidity is relatively low (below 70 percent).
How Does Climate Affect Evaporative Cooling?
Evaporative cooling works more effectively in dryer climates. This means swam coolers are essentially useful in high-humidity areas that dominate the Gulf region of the U.S. and many Atlantic states as well. Desert states and areas where there is little moisture are ideal climates for swamp coolers. You want the humidity to be 70 percent or less for optimal evaporative cooling, 74 percent maximum.
Will Opening Windows for More Airflow Help?
Few things offer better airflow to enhance the operation of a swamp cooler better than opening your windows. You do not have to open them far. An inch or two will allow a surprising breeze to blow through aiding the cooler’s function. However, there are added benefits to this as well. Not only does having your windows open to allow you to draw dry air into your home, but it also helps to expel moist air from your home, creating conditions that are ripe for swamp coolers to operate effectively.
8 Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Swamp Cooler Working Longer
If you rely on your swamp cooler to keep the environment inside your home comfortable throughout the year – or at least throughout the long, hot summer months, then you want to invest some time and energy into maintaining your evaporative cooling unit so that it serves your cooling needs even longer. These tips will help.
- Conduct yearly maintenance on your evaporative cooling unit. The best route is to work with a professional organization that has experience with your specific cooler so they can perform yearly maintenance to keep your unit running in tip-top shape and inform you of potential problems and essential repairs before they become major breakdowns.
- Run a dehumidifier if it is too hot to open your windows. This will help to reduce the moisture in the air helping the cooler to operate more efficiently and allowing it to feel cooler inside the home.
- Decorate your home with water-absorbing plants. This includes plants like cacti, succulents, aloe, yucca, English ivy, and various air plants. It is another tactic to reduce the moisture in the air inside your home. The added benefit is that these plants may help to filter impurities in the air inside your home in addition to the moisture.
- Turn the water pump on before turning on the fan. Wait at least five minutes after turning on the water pump before starting the fan so that the pads are saturated before the cooling begins. This creates a more efficient home cooling setup.
- Supplement the cooling power of your swamp cooler with fans. Ceiling fans and oscillating floor fans can be instrumental in helping to circulate the cooler air generated by evaporative cooling units in your home. It also relieves some of the pressure on these units helping to extend their lives and usefulness.
- Keep a weather eye on the water levels in the swamp cooler’s tray. If the water is not where it should be, adjust the float arm.
- Keep the cooler pads clean. The machine operates most efficiently when these vital pads are clean.
- Winterize your swamp cooler before putting it away for the winter. This ensures that your unit will be ready to put to work when the warmer season begins in the spring and summer months ahead. This includes draining the water completely, disconnecting the waterline, blowing out water (essential to prevent freezing during the winter), and cleaning out and draining water from the tray. Finally, you want to cover the unit so that it is protected from a variety of winter elements.
As you can see, there are many things you can do to help your swamp cooler operate more efficiently, which is good news when it comes to increasing the home cooling potential of your unit. These eight tips will help you keep your evaporative cooling unit in great running shape and improve the comfort level inside your home.
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