Have you ever licked your finger and then held it in the air to check the wind? If so, you’ve used the principle of evaporative cooling. Not only is this a form of air conditioning, but it’s also the same principle as drying off after a few lengths in the swimming pool.
While swamp coolers are effective and don’t harm the environment, they also have some problems. Therefore, it’s important to fully understand how they work before you decide on a solution for your home or business.
History of Evaporative Cooling and Swamp Coolers
As you may know, the human body drops in temperature after getting out of a swimming pool. If you were to stand two people next to each other, one dry and one wet, the wetter individual would be colder. This principle is the theory behind evaporative cooling, and it’s the reason ancient Egyptians used to hang a wet blanket over their door.
As the hot air passed over or through the wet blanket, the air would cool. Suddenly, those inside the property would benefit from this cool air. Wealthy Egyptians would have servants fan them with a jug of water between the two. Once again, the water-cooled air as it passed over the top and the wealthy Egyptian would sit comfortably even in the sweltering heat.
While standard air conditioning systems rely on refrigerants in copper coils, swamp coolers work without refrigerants. Considering that Freon, an old refrigerant now discontinued in Australia, was found to be harmful to the environment, this is great news for those who want to reduce their carbon emissions.
The warm air from the room enters the swamp cooler, passes over a wick (a wet pad), and then leaves the other side. Thanks to the ancient Egyptians, you know that the air that comes out the other side is much cooler because it has passed through the wet pad.
Are Swamp Coolers Worth It?
The technology is both primitive and amazing, but are swamp coolers worth it in 2021? Well, the fact that these coolers aren’t everywhere suggests that they have problems, and this is the case. For instance, you need the right climate for swamp coolers to work effectively. It’s not enough to be hot, you also need it to be dry. If the atmosphere isn’t dry, the cooler just won’t have a huge impact.
The wet pad inside a swamp cooler adds humidity, so this is ineffective if it’s already humid. What’s more, the humidity that the cooler creates even in the right conditions can cause mould, mildew, rusting metal, and more. While you can fix this problem with a heat exchanger, even this solution makes the system less effective.
Finally, swamp coolers also tend to need more maintenance compared to a standard air conditioning system. You need to change the pads regularly because they will start to smell after a while. Also, the water evaporates, and this causes a build-up of minerals. Professionals will need to check the filters, pads, pump, and reservoir.
Another issue with swamp coolers is that other effective solutions exist. As well as standard air conditioners, you can also invest in aluminium fly screens from Bulleen Screens. These allow you to keep the door open to invite cool air inside without letting flies and other pests in too. Therefore, there are more effective solutions than this traditional form of air conditioning.
Of course, they do work if you have the right climate, so consider your location and whether a swamp cooler would waste your money or prove a good investment.