Evaporative cooling is an economical choice for many home owners. The method of cooling employed by swamp coolers uses much less energy and it is ideal for places with dry summers. The way the cooling system works is by converting water to water vapor. The water needs heat and that it takes from the surrounding air, and then it converts to vapor. Thus, as the heat is taken by water, the temperature of a room is lowered.
Essentially speaking, higher the rate of evaporation, faster will be the cooling. There is a small problem though with evaporative cooling: It does not seem to be effective in places with high humidity. The reason for that is simple- in humid conditions; the surrounding air is already full of moisture. Thus, it is unable to take up much water, which slows down the rate of evaporation. There is a workaround though to this problem.
Making Evaporative cooling work in humid Conditions
In order to use swamp coolers in high humidity effectively and still keeping your energy bills low, use your air conditioner to the rescue. Air conditioners make the air dry, which can aid the functioning of a swamp cooler. Simply set your air conditioner to around 80 degree Fahrenheit. At that temperature, it starts to function as a dehumidifier. As the air becomes drier, you can then make use of the evaporative cooling to cool rooms of your house.
Adjusting air flow also works
For mild humidity, controlling the flow of air would probably be a better bet. Simply open a window to make sure that the amount of air that the cooler takes in is equal to the amount of air that leaves the room. How do you ensure that? Open a window and then see how the door of the room closes. If the door closes softly, the window is opened just right, and your cooler will be functioning optimally. However, if the door closes with a bang, the window is not open enough. Open it a little more and then notice the door again. On the other hand, if the door does not move at all, you have probably opened the window a little too much.
Use water at room temperature
Oftentimes, when evaporative cooling does not seem to work, people tend to make the mistake of putting ice in the water cooler. However, doing so is counterintuitive. In order for this kind of cooling system to work, the rate of evaporation needs to be improved. When you put ice, you are lowering the temperature of water, thus slowing down the rate of evaporation further. Instead, use water at room temperature. Don’t be misled into using boiling water though. The cooler will simply start throwing hot air at you.
Turn on the pump first
Many modern evaporative cooling systems come with a thermostat that automatically switches off the pump when the room reaches the desired temperature. However, if your cooler does not have one, switch on the pump first for a couple of minutes, and then turn the fan on. It will result in better cooling.
Before summers arrive, you need to ensure that swamp cooler is ready with these handy maintenance tips:
- Change cooling pads, and make sure you paint the body of the cooler with a protective paint. It will keep it cooler, improving its efficiency.
- Check the belt for any signs of wear and tear. Check the efficiency of the pump too. It should pick up enough water to wet all the pads equally. However, it shouldn’t drench them with water too quickly. Ideally, your float valve should be adjusted such that it maintains a water level of about three inches.
- Clean the water distribution tubes thoroughly to remove any kind of blockages.