Maintaining Your Evaporative Cooler This Monsoon Season

March 19, 2019 12:20 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Evaporative cooling is one of the most popular ways to stay comfortable in Arizona. The high heat and low humidity of the region are perfect for evaporative cooling—which uses moisture to deliver both humidity and cool temperatures to a living space. And, because of the year-round consistency of the American Southwest’s climate, it means you can rely on your evaporative cooler in Phoenix, AZ almost 365 days a year!

There is one big problem for evaporative cooling, however: monsoon season starts in June and lasts through September. And, when conditions are right, evaporative coolers are rendered far less efficient. Homeowners need to be aware of the effects monsoon season has on evaporative cooling systems and how to combat them.

The Problem with Monsoon Season

Arizona gets about 12.5” of rain during monsoon season. Low pressure fronts roll in, bringing higher humidity levels with them. This instantly reduces the effectiveness of evaporative cooling systems, since they rely on low humidity to cool. In fact, when humidity reaches 60 percent, evaporative cooling systems are all but useless, unable to lower the temperature in homes by more than about 10 degrees.

The high humidity brought on by an impending monsoon also makes an evaporative system work harder to cool your home. Your system may run for hours at a time, continuously, without affecting much change. This is bad for your energy bill and your HVAC system.

Fighting Back Against Monsoons

Your evaporative cooler in Phoenix, AZ may struggle during monsoon season, but just because it’s down doesn’t mean it’s out! Homeowners simply need to be smarter in how they use their system and remain diligent in their maintenance of it. Here are a few usage and maintenance tips for getting the most out of your evaporative cooling system during a particularly volatile monsoon season:

  • Pay attention to outdoor humidity levels. As low pressure fronts move through and pass, humidity can fluctuate wildly—as much as 10 to 40 percent in as little as an hour or two! Keep your evaporative cooler off when humidity is high and flip it on when that number drops to get the most out of its functionality.
  • Beware of haboobs! These are dust storms kicked up by monsoons before the rain starts to fall. Dust will get into your evaporative cooling system, clogging filters and making your system work much harder than it needs to. Check and change your filter frequently during monsoon season and check it right away after a dust storm blows through.
  • Don’t skimp on cleaning your cooler. This means filters, pads, the tank and the exterior of the unit. If you don’t want to make a habit of cleaning your cooler biweekly or monthly, find a way to keep it well protected from the elements, such as by covering it with a tarp.

Arizona residents know just how unpredictable and troublesome monsoon season is in its own right. Don’t let complications to your evaporative cooler leave you sweating the storms even after they pass!

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This post was written by Mike Nicolini

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