Swamp Coolers, a Resourceful and Environmentally Friendly Way to Cool Your Home

Swamp coolers, also known as Evaporative coolers are resourceful and useful machines for cooling. They can take the place of air conditioners in dry states like Nevada and Arizona and are an excellent way to use nature instead of electricity to cool a home or business. Swamp coolers are so much less expensive than air conditioning, that some owners have been known to feel a little guilty pleasure in feeling they are getting something for nothing.

Swamp coolers are an energy-saving alternative to refrigerated air conditioners. These coolers use about one-third the energy that air conditioners use. While the coolers are energy efficient, they do use a lot of water. In places like Nevada where the water contains minerals, more water is required to flush the minerals through the system.
Swamp coolers work in a very simple way. There is a small horsepower motor which pumps the water from the floor of the cooler to the top, where it proceeds to fall down the sides, along porous filter pads. A second small motor drives a fan which pulls air from the outside, through the filter pads, and pushes the cooled air into a hot room. The significant cooling action is the water evaporating as the air passes through it. The water level is kept constant with the help of a floating sphere functioning similar to the one that is found in the tank of a toilet. The hot air enters the cooler, where two small motors power nothing more than a fan and a pump sending cool air throughout the home.

A basic example of how a swamp cooler works would be to wet the back of your hand then blow on it. This is known as evaporated cooling, working to cool off your skin.
Of course people have different opinions as to why it’s called a swamp cooler. Some say it’s because it makes the house feel like a swamp. If they are used in a climate where it rains almost everyday, then the cooler is less efficient, that is why they are more suited for dryer climates.

In high humidity states, like Florida, swamp coolers will not work at all because the water does not evaporate fast enough so the air is not cooled. But people who own swamp coolers in Nevada and Utah swear by them and would never go back to air condition systems. There may also be a second advantage to owning a swamp cooler.
There is a second advantage to owning a swamp cooler. As water evaporates from the pads, dissolved salts and minerals are left behind. As mentioned before, this concentration causes scale to be left on the pads, making them hard and less absorbent. To keep this from becoming a problem, some type of bleed off is installed to remove the water. Newer models come with timers that remove the water from the pan after a certain number of hours of operation. This water can be stored and used even though the salt content will be high it may still be used for salt tolerant species, or can be diluted further to lessen the harshness of the water.

Swamp cooler or Evaporative coolers seem to be a good resource to use to cool your home if you live in the Western side of the United States. For us that live in the Eastern portion, I guess we will still have to live with our air conditioning systems. Luckily, with technology always looking for environmental ways to better our way of life, the Freon leaking air conditioners of yesterday are gone, and we can feel less guilty for relying on them.

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