If you’re trying to find an efficient way to cool your home, you can entertain several options. Portable air conditioners, window-mounted ACs, ductless mini-splits, central AC and various fans are all popular choices. They each have their advantages, and they may vary greatly in terms of cost. Another option to consider is getting a swamp cooler. You may have heard the term before but are unsure about what this system entails. This overview will give you a better idea of what a swamp cooler is and who might benefit from having one installed.

Swamp Cooler Basics

A swamp cooler, also known as an evaporative cooler, relies on moisture as it works to cool a home. One of its main components is a cooler, hence the name. When you turn on the unit, that cooler gets filled with water through a water supply valve. A water line can be hooked up directly to the swamp cooler for convenience. The water will fill the unit until an internal float reaches a certain level and sends the signal that the valve should stop the flow of water.

When the cooler has enough water in it, the unit’s pump will engage. The pump moves water through distribution lines, which leads to evaporative cooler pads. This step is critical to the success of the swamp cooler.

Meanwhile, a motor is engaged in bringing air into the home. That air gets moved across the moistened evaporative cooler pads. The water on the pads evaporates as the air moves over it, and as a result, the air is cooled down. The system is then able to push that cool air through the home. A smaller unit might blow cool air directly into a room, and a whole-house unit could be hooked up to ductwork.

The history of swamp coolers dates back thousands of years to ancient Egypt. In those days, Pharaohs would use jars of water, ponds, and pools to cool an area. Water chutes would be installed in the walls of palaces so that water could be used to cool an area down. Obviously, the process has changed over the years, but the same science that was used then is behind swamp coolers today.

A Caveat

Swamp coolers are fairly simple in their design. However, you have to keep in mind that they require windows to be open. This is because the system requires a regular flow of fresh air to be brought in and cooled. If you want to use a swamp cooler to cool your entire home, you will need to open windows in every room. If you only want to cool certain areas, you can just open some windows. Typically, swamp coolers are better at cooling down a single room, as they can work quicker when used in a smaller area.

Made for Dry Climates

Swamp coolers don’t actually work well in swamps, despite their name. They’re intended to be used in dry climates. Homes in the western and southwestern regions of the United States typically get better results from swamp coolers than homes in areas with high humidity. That’s because water is being used to cool the air. If a home is already dealing with a lot of humidity, the temperature transfer can’t work as well. In this case, the system may continue to run without making that big of an impact on the temperature of the space where you’re using the swamp cooler.

Advantages of Swamp Coolers

The main advantage of having a swamp cooler installed is that this system is cheaper than a central air conditioner. The difference could be significant under some circumstances. It could be hard for some homeowners to pass up the opportunity to save a few thousand dollars.

Another reason why some people have chosen to install swamp coolers instead of central air conditioners has to do with energy efficiency. A swamp cooler uses much less electricity than a central AC system.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have some questions about swamp coolers, their benefits, and how they work, you’re not alone. Here is a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about these cooling options.

Q: Do swamp coolers require a lot of maintenance?
A: They do require routine maintenance, just like any other component of an HVAC system. Swamp coolers should be cleaned sometime in the spring before the temperatures get too high. This gives a professional the opportunity to remove any deposits that may have been left by the water running through it. Also, the evaporative cooling pads may need to be replaced periodically, and other components, including the filter, may need to get cleaned. Fortunately, these are all easy tasks for someone who has professional experience in the industry.

Q: Where should a swamp cooler be installed?
A: Swamp coolers are installed on the outside of the home. Many people have them installed on their roofs. This is a convenient location, especially if your home has ductwork. They can also be installed at ground level, and smaller units can be installed in windows.

Q: What size should I get?
A: The size of a swamp cooler is measured in the cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air that it can bring in. A smaller model could have a rating of 3,000 cfm, whereas a larger unit could have a rating of 25,000 cfm. You’ll want to bring in a lot of fresh air in order to effectively cool your home. The good news is that you don’t have to do the calculations yourself. An HVAC company can help you figure out which size would be best.

Q: How much water do swamp coolers use?
A: This depends on how much you use your system and how hot it is outside. Swamp coolers that are installed in areas with a moderate climate only use a few gallons of water each day. You can also cut down on the amount of water that your swamp cooler uses by only using it to cool a smaller area in your home. There are several ways to reduce water consumption. First, new models capture water that drips from the pads and recirculates it through the system. Regular maintenance and inspection can also help you conserve water. Plus, you can save water by using the swamp cooler’s vent function (in which the fan operates but the water doesn’t evaporate) when it’s not too hot.

Need More Information?

The team at Aace's Heating, Air Conditioning & Swamp Coolers is happy to help you choose the best cooling option for your home. Our team of heating and cooling experts are licensed to repair, maintain, or install any type of home cooling option. Based in Victorville, Aace's Heating, Air Conditioning & Swamp Coolers is a locally owned and operated company that prides itself on working with our friends and neighbors to keep their homes comfortable. In addition to swamp cooler installation, be sure to ask about our air conditioner installation and repair services, indoor air quality solutions, and more. Contact Aace's Heating, Air Conditioning & Swamp Coolers today to find out why homeowners in and around Victorville have trusted us with all of their heating and cooling needs for years.

company icon