Evaporative Coolers (Swamp Cooling) Breakdown

A set of metal ducts above a building

Last Updated on October 4, 2022 by Josh Mahan

The world of air conditioning is vast and filled with many different technologies that can seem groundbreaking to those not in the know. From advanced technologies signaling breakthroughs in the field to simplistic ventilation mechanisms using natural principles from the planet to guide their functionality, there are many different ways to approach air conditioning in people’s businesses and homes. One of these methods relies on evaporative cooling – however, many people may not know precisely what evaporative cooling is or how it works. That’s why in this article, we’re going to be going over what precisely evaporative cooling is, the science around it, and breaking down the different ways an evaporative cooler works. So, without further adieu, let’s get into the details!

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What Is Evaporative Cooling?

Evaporative cooling, which also goes by swamp cooling, is a straightforward idea when you break it down from technical jargon. In essence, it relies on the same principle as sweat does for the human body.

Consider this – when you sweat, the water on you absorbs the excess heat plaguing your body and evaporates into the air with it, leaving the much cooler liquid on your surface as residual, gradually giving you the means to cool down from the intense heat.

Evaporative cooling works very similarly to this. Using heavy machinery of various sorts, evaporative cooling recirculates the air in the environment around it, absorbing the heat around it in the water it has, and pushing this out of various towers that dissipate the heat to the outside world. It then makes cooler air inside the building and causes the surrounding area to cool. As can be seen, this is pretty simple – it works just like other principles seen in the world. No bells and whistles are found here!

What, Then, Is An Evaporative Cooler?

Evaporative coolers make evaporative cooling work as an actual, working thing. Their mechanism is simple – they push the air through various water pods meant to evaporate, which cools the remaining air that gets pushed back inside whatever building is at hand. Typically, the windows in the building need to be kept at least partially open to assist with air circulation. They allow the air to be continuously fresh, helping to prevent that stale carbon-dioxide air that’s well known and notorious in many environments.

One catch to evaporated coolers is that they’re only suitable for environments with low humidity. If one is in a relatively high humidity place, one may find that evaporative coolers don’t work as they should.

A thermometer in someone’s house

What Are The Different Elements Of Evaporative Coolers?

There are a lot of different elements to evaporative coolers, and it isn’t easy to fully summarize all that goes into maintaining them, what goes into installing them and all the parts of their working. Below, we cover the different aspects and elements of evaporative coolers.

The Size of Evaporative Coolers

Evaporative coolers are measured through cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air circulated through the building at hand. These can go from anywhere between 3,000 cfm to 25,000 cfm. These sizes all vary based on the unit at hand, and the choice that works best is different based on the building and rooms in which you will be installing it.

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How Does Their Installation Work?

Some many different parts and tidbits go into the installation of evaporative coolers. While we could go into all of the details at length, for the sake of time and space, we’ll be simplifying the process here. Save the cables and complexities, as we have you covered!

There are generally two different ways that the installation of evaporative coolers works. The first method involves air blowing into a specific central location, which allows air to circulate through the house via the doors and open spaces. There’s also the method of using ductwork, circulating the air throughout the house via specific ducts spread around. This helps for much larger places, with larger hallways and rooms more than anything else.

Operating Your Evaporative Coolers

The operating procedures for evaporative coolers aren’t too complex and breaks down into a few different elements.

First, we have the speed at which air circulates through the house. Generally, there are at least two speeds that can be seen – a slower speed and a faster speed. More advanced models can have more rates beyond this, allowing for a more extensive range of customization. They also may feature a vent-only mode, allowing the air to circulate calmly and efficiently around the house. It also works as a fan to boot, adding another range of usage.

You can also use windows to regulate the temperature and humidity of the house if there are any issues with their base standing.

Filters can help control the dust that floats in the air throughout the house and can help keep the water in the evaporative cooler system free from pollutants.

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Air conditioning units atop a building

Limitations of Evaporative Coolers

Like all things, evaporative coolers have some limitations you must consider before making any purchase. For one, they shouldn’t be used in any humid environment, as they’ll further add humidity to the house’s air and will likely not function as well as they could.

They also don’t cool down a house the same way an air conditioner might, so it’s essential to keep your expectations adjusted.

The maintenance on them is also supposed to be relatively simple, only needing it about once a month. Nonetheless, it’s more than what might be seen for traditional air conditioning units, so make sure to keep that in mind.

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Now That You Know

Now that you know what evaporative cooling is, how evaporative coolers work, and what they are, you can make an informed purchase the next time you’re searching for a home cooling system. Fret no longer with whatever choices you make, as these work can help you figure out what works for you and your unique circumstances. Have fun choosing the system that works best for you!

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