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Thinking About an Evaporative Cooler? Here’s What You Need to Know

waterYou may have heard about evaporative coolers as an alternative to using a conventional central air conditioning system. Evaporative coolers are popular now as small, portable units people purchase to sit on a desk and give a bit of extra cooling. But evaporative cooling is available as a way of air conditioning an entire house through a ductwork system. Using an evaporative cooler (also called a swamp cooler) offers a number of potential benefits to a home.

However, before you decide you’re going to replace your old AC with a swamp cooler, there are some basics you’ll need to know. Evaporative coolers are not ideal for all homes!

How the Evaporative Cooler Works

You regularly encounter the effects of evaporative cooling when you’re outside. If you are near a fountain or a body of water on a hot day, you’ll feel a cool breeze coming off it as the wind sweeps over it. As the warm air moves over the cooler water, the air loses some heat to water through evaporation. In fact, the reason the central fountain exists was that it served as a kind of air conditioning in the days before air conditioning.

The modern evaporative cooler uses fans to draw outside air indoors and then passes the air over a series of pads. These pads are kept damp by water pumps. The air cools down and then moves into the ductwork to reach the rooms as with a standard AC.

How This Can Be Beneficial

The big benefit of an evaporative cooler is that it costs less to run than a conventional refrigerant-based air conditioning system. The standard split-system AC must power two sets of fans and the compressor to operate, where an evaporative cooler only has to power one fan and the pumps.

Another benefit is that moisture enters the air as it passes through the evaporative cooler, which raises humidity levels during dry days. This is helpful in our climate, where the summers are often extremely dry.

The Drawbacks

Why doesn’t everyone have an evaporative cooler? Because there are some drawbacks that can make them the wrong choice for some homes. They are best suited to dry environments; despite the name “swamp coolers,” they do not work well in humidity. The more moisture in the air, the less heat will move from the air to the pads. They also aren’t as powerful overall as standard ACs, and are not as easy to control for precise temperatures. The extra humidity put into the air may be too much for some homes.

Trust Us With Your Comfort

We are Houston TX, HVAC professionals, and work with many types of cooling systems, including evaporative coolers. We’ve installed them successfully for many homes, and we also can recognize when an evaporative cooler is not the best comfort system for a house. We will make sure that you have the best new air conditioning system—because at the end of the day, it’s all about your family’s comfort.

At AC Comfort, Your comfort is our business! Serving Katy, TX and the surrounding areas—call today for air conditioning help.

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