5 Ways to Make Your Swamp Cooler More Efficient

Humidity is a very important factor in cooling a home. Too much humidity makes cooling a more difficult task. In a dry climate, however, humidity is an efficient tool for cooling a room. Swamp air coolers, or evaporative coolers, are cooling machines that use humidity to lower the room temperature in a dry climate. They work best as a complement to a central air conditioning system, but can operate alone in small dwellings. The unit can lower your electric bills by reducing the amount of time that the air conditioner runs. Swamp air coolers can only perform this task if they run efficiently. You can make your swamp cooler more efficient than it is currently.

1. Measure the room to ensure that you have the proper swamp cooler for your room size. Measure the length and width of the room. Multiply those numbers together to get the square footage. Multiply the result times the height of the ceiling to get the cubic footage of the room. Purchase another swamp air cooler that can cool a room of similar size, if needed.

A swamp air cooler that is incorrectly sized can cost you in energy bills each year. According to the California Energy Commission Consumer Energy Center, you find the correct evaporative cooler by measuring the cubic square feet of a room and dividing by two. The swamp coolers are given a rating by the amount of cubic square feet that they can cool. Match your result to the rating on the cooler to find the correct size for the room. For example, a 10,000-cubic-square-foot room requires a 5,000 CFM swamp cooler. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute, the amount of space that the evaporative cooler can blow. Find the cubic square feet of your room by multiplying the square footage by the height of the ceiling.

2. Install a thermostat onto the cooler to regulate the amount of time that the machine runs. The thermostat will turn the cooler off when the room is sufficiently cool. Follow the instructions that come with the thermostat for installation.

3. Inspect the swamp air cooler. Vacuum out any dust from the vents and wipe away any debris. Soak the dry pads inside the unit in water and adjust the pump so that the pads are being dampened appropriately at all times. Refer to the swamp air cooler manual for details. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that you change or clean the pads in the swamp cooler once a month during very hot months. The mineral buildup from the water collects faster during this time. You can usually clean the pads with soap and water. Replace any that can’t be cleaned.

4. Turn off the swamp cooler when the central air system starts. Running the two systems simultaneously only adds unnecessary energy costs to your bill. The thermostat should turn the cooler off when the room cools down. However, you may have to manually turn the unit off the moment the central air kicks on, as the air may still be heated.

5. Test the air pressure in the room. The pump only cools efficiently when the same amount of enters and leaves the room at the same time. As cold air is created by the swamp cooler, the current air must leave. You can test the air flow in a room by turning on the cooler. If the door to the room closes on it own slowly.

References:

http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12360

http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/home/heating_cooling/evaporative.html

http://www.srpnet.com/energy/evap.aspx#efficiency

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