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Swamp (evap) Cooler
Old 08-04-2008, 06:11 PM   #1
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Swamp (evap) Cooler

Just won a huge window evap cooler from a local hardware store (retail of about $460). I've always been afraid to try them fearing they wouldn't cool in our fairly high humidity here. So far we love it. 94 degrees outside today, 31% humidity, and a cool 74 inside. Been working like this for weeks. 74 inside even on a 103 degree day recently. Even working when our humidity has been over 60%. It really pushes a lot of air so there is a bit of noise from it, but it sure seems worth the trade. I just crack all the windows a bit and air moves pretty well throughout our 2,000 sq. ft. home.

Setting it up was a breeze and the inner workings are so simple even I can repair it.

People have warned me about mold and stuff but I have 2 in laws that have been using them for years and have had no problems.

Anything I should be looking for? Anyone else have any good or bad experiences?
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:44 PM   #2
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Had friends with them in Tucson (no good here in humid Florida) - they all thought it was a pretty mediocre compromise, did little when the temperature was over 95, or when the humidity was over about 40%. They can grow algae, so keep an eye on that.

Sounds like you're having a better experience than they did. Lots cheaper than central air if it works for you.
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:56 PM   #3
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As long as the humidity is low enough they are great! Just depends on where you live. In Phoenix they are great until Monsoon Season come with 50% humidity. Also, awesome for a workshop area.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:07 PM   #4
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Home depot here uses an evap instead of a/c and I hate shopping there on a hot day. Feels clammy the minute you walk in.

If your indoor humidity is over 50%, you're growing some mold or mildew somewhere. Its just a matter of where. Many homes draw excess moisture upwards into the attic...eventually. If you have a moisture barrier in the ceiling, which may be common in some northern US/canadian areas, or if you present excess moisture in the home you'll get growth in visible areas. With no moisture barrier, and without adequate attic ventilation you could end up with condensation in the attic that could damage roof and ceiling components, mold growth in the insulation, and it could head down the walls. I've seen a house stripped that used an evap for a couple of decades. All the studs were rotted since the moisture condensed on the underside of the roof at night and trickled downwards.

I go to pretty great lengths to keep my indoor humidity between 40 and 44% for comfort and to inhibit mold/mildew.

But dont listen to me. I think whoever thought indoor plumbing was a good idea should have been shot. Water and wood are a bad combination.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:12 PM   #5
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We had one in the dry climate of eastern Montana. It would about freeze us out even when the outside temps were near 100 deg. F. The humidity in the house did make the crackers and chips soggy though.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
But dont listen to me. I think whoever thought indoor plumbing was a good idea should have been shot. Water and wood are a bad combination.
Amen! Bring back the outhouse!
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:28 PM   #7
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Like Crazy Connie, we have them in Phoenix. We run them until the dewpoint gets over 55 degrees. We figure that it saves us 200 to 400 a year since we don't have the AC on in May or June. They pay for themselves in a year or two.

DW will clean out the coolers in July and give the pads a vinegar + chemical bath to stop any mold growth.

The humidity does get up to 70% inside the house when they are on, versus 50% with the AC. We leave the window cracked open when the swamp is running and it helps.
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