Do Evaporative Coolers Work? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Last Updated on August 7, 2021 by Kimberly Crawford

Evaporative coolers provide an energy-saving option when you are looking to cool off interior space. Whether you need to reduce the temperatures of a warehouse, factory, office building, or home, evaporative swamp coolers work.

Understanding how the coolers work and how they work in various situations can determine if they will offer the solution you need to drop temperatures anywhere between 15 and 40 degrees.

Related: Air Conditioner Not Turning On: Here’s How To Fix It!

How Evaporative Coolers Work?

swamp cooler maintenance

Evaporative coolers have earned the nickname of swamp coolers because of the evaporation process used to cool the air. The systems work by hot outdoor air passing over water-saturated pads (referred to as cooling media).

When this happens, the water evaporates, and the temperatures produced out of the system are cooler. The hotter air is, then, pushed out of the space through windows or doors, depending on where the unit is installed.

Evaporative coolers are low maintenance because they don’t require refrigeration. Further, the only thing you have to worry about is changing out the filter/media periodically. When the unit isn’t in use because of the weather being cooler, you can choose to winterize it.

Indoor and outdoor applications are available, ensuring you have a way to cool the air regardless of where you may be working. It’s why they’re popular with outdoor venues, commercial buildings, and residential properties alike.

The Different Types of Evaporative Coolers

old swamp cooler or evaporative cooler

You will quickly find that there are different types of evaporative coolers based on the setting that they will be used in. One manufacturer, Premier Industries, Inc, makes industrial, commercial, and residential evaporative coolers. They can be found in large and portable units depending on the needs of your location.

Features you’ll want to consider include:

  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Size of the cooling media
  • Forward curve or backward include blowers
  • Type of motor required

With so many options and accessories available, it’s possible for an evaporative cooler to be completely customized. Either way, stainless steel housing is used to resist corrosion. It ensures you have a system that offers very little maintenance. Additionally, water bleed-off kits can reduce maintenance even further by preventing algae and scale from forming/building up.

How Swamp Coolers Offer Various Benefits

The benefits are significant when it comes to swamp coolers. They are particularly popular in hot and arid areas of the country because of how quickly they can provide cold air.

Swamp coolers are notoriously more affordable than central AC units. There are two reasons for this. First, the installation costs are less because there’s no need to install ductwork. Second, the units themselves are a fraction of the cost – particularly if you need a portable unit.

The units are energy efficient. Since the cooling system relies more heavily on water evaporation than anything else, the energy input is considerably lower than traditional AC units.

The maintenance is minimal because there are not a lot of moving parts. The simple design makes it possible for most people to take a DIY approach to any repairs that need to be performed.

Swamp coolers will not only cool the air but also filter it. You can look forward to having pollen, dust, and other allergens removed from the air. You may find that there are fewer allergies in the space – and it can also reduce or eliminate odors and balance the humidity level.

Additionally, fresh air is being circulated throughout the space. It can reduce contamination and ensure that you’re not increasing the room temperature in the process.

With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why many people opt for evaporative air coolers. They’re budget-friendly and eco-friendly options when you need to deal with hot temperatures.

Related: How To Recharge A Window AC

Understanding How Evaporative Swamp Coolers Vary from Air Conditioning Units

Evaporative swamp coolers work differently than air conditioning units. Understanding the differences will help you to determine what will be the most effective solution given your needs.

One of the first things you’ll want to know is that evaporative coolers work best in arid conditions. The moment you start to get into high humidity areas, the swamp coolers don’t work as well. The reason is due to the evaporative water process. The water won’t evaporate as quickly if there’s already a lot of moisture in the air.

This leads to another big difference. Traditional air conditioning units will remove moisture from the air. It can lead to dry conditions, causing people to experience dry skin, sinus issues, and low-quality sleep. Evaporative coolers add moisture to the air. It’s similar to adding a humidifier into a room. It can offer a variety of health benefits and improve the quality of sleep that you get.

Another difference is the way in which air is circulated. Traditional AC units will recirculate the same air. While this is beneficial in some labs and work environments, it is not beneficial in others. Evaporative coolers will provide a constant source of fresh air. You won’t have to change out air filters as frequently because of it, but it can also allow more particles into the environment.

You’ll also find that evaporative coolers are eco-friendlier. They don’t require refrigerant or any other chemicals to run. They have a lower CO2 emission. Plus, they use less energy. Instead of depending heavily on energy, they require a regular water source.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, you have to consider what kind of environment you’ll be working in. Evaporative coolers do work, particularly in arid conditions where the temperatures need to be cooled by 20 or 30 degrees quickly.

While evaporative coolers work in many scenarios, it often comes down to exploring the various systems. You’ll want to decide where you want the unit to be installed and whether you need portability or not. Additionally, you’ll want to decide whether you can go with a basic system or if you’ll need a customized solution to meet unique demands.

You can save quite a bit of money by investing in an evaporative cooler over a traditional AC unit, particularly if you won’t need to cool your space all year long.