How to Choose the Best Evaporative Cooler


Cooling your home is critical – and you want to choose the best possible system. Understanding the benefits of an evaporative “swamp” cooler can help you to decide if it’s the right investment for you. The best evaporative cooler can provide you with an affordable cooling solution that is also energy-efficient.

Why You Should Buy an Evaporative Cooler

There are countless reasons why you should buy an evaporative cooler, but it often comes down to what makes a swamp cooler unique.

Evaporative coolers are capable of adding moisture into the air. When you live in a hot and arid environment, the dry air can take a toll on your sinuses, your skin, and more. The added humidity level can help you to be more comfortable in your living spaces.

Evaporative coolers are affordable. They’re considerably less than HVAC systems and they don’t require the need for installing air ducts, which can add to the overall installation cost.

You need to cool your home quickly, and an evaporative cooler can often start cooling your home within minutes. Portable units even offer a plug-and-play solution with no installation required.

And if you need another reason to buy an evaporative cooler, consider how it is more eco-friendly than an HVAC unit. Many consider traditional AC systems to be environmentally destructive because of the use of freon. Swamp coolers require minimal amounts of energy and water to operate, making them better for the environment.

What is an Evaporative Cooler?

Whether you call it an evaporative cooler or a swamp cooler, they are the same. So, how do they work? What makes this cooler unique?

This type of cooler has been around for a significant amount of time because it doesn’t use a lot of technology. Instead, it depends on the process of evaporation. Of course, newer models have more bells and whistles to help you control the process and ensure that the air is being dispersed evenly throughout the room.

Air from the outside travels over a cooling medium, which is a water-soaked pad. The water is absorbed by the air, which drops the temperature. Depending on the temperature of the air and the humidity level, temperatures can drop by 20 or 30 degrees. Then, the air goes through a blower so that it is dispersed.

Depending on the model of the cooler, the water comes in through a water line or there is a detachable container for water to be placed into the unit.

The benefits of an evaporative cooler are numerous, starting with the air quality. The level of water in the air can actually get rid of dust and allergens, allowing the air to be cleaner. The units can also be used in indoor and outdoor spaces alike, ensuring that you get the cool temperatures that allow you to be comfortable.

The Differences Between Evaporative Coolers and Air Conditioners

It’s important to understand the differences between evaporative coolers and traditional air conditioners as they are quite different from one another.

First, evaporative coolers will add moisture to the air while air conditioners tend to draw moisture out of the air. Due to the evaporative process used in swamp coolers, it’s also important to note that they only work in low-humidity areas where the humidity is generally less than 40%. HVAC units will work regardless of what the humidity levels are.

Evaporative coolers depend on a water-soaked medium to cool the air while air conditioners require freon. If you live in an area with a limited water supply, operating an evaporative cooler may be difficult.

There’s also a difference between a closed and an open system. Air conditioners work based on a closed system. You have your doors and windows closed and the air continuously circulates through the system. Evaporative coolers work based on an open system. You should keep doors and windows open so that you get a continuous amount of fresh air. It will keep the system running more efficiently and you’ll get cleaner air.

Operating costs are quite different between the two systems as well. Evaporative coolers only use a small amount of energy in comparison to an AC unit. In many instances, evaporative coolers can operate for about $1 a day.

5 Tips for Buying Your Evaporative Cooler

Once you decide that you want to buy an evaporative cooler, there are a few tips to follow to ensure you get one that meets your needs.

  1. Address Your Climate

Evaporative coolers work best in hot and dry climates. If the air is too cold or too humid, your system won’t work efficiently.

  • Determine the Size of the Space

You want to make sure that you buy an evaporative cooler that is sized properly for your space. Coolers are based on CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air that is cooled. The larger your space, the more CFM you’ll need. The good news is that units can vary from 1,000 CFM all the way to 25,000 CFM.

  • Explore Water Supply

A swamp cooler will need water to run properly. Based on where the unit is going and what kind of water supply you have, you can decide whether it will be connected to a water pipe for continuous supply or if you’re going to use an internal water container that you will need to fill periodically.

  • Explore Features

Evaporative coolers have a number of features, so you’ll want to determine which ones will be necessary for your comfort and convenience. Some are capable of oscillating, and some will have controls to help you manage the blower and humidity – either manual or remote.

  • Decide on Maintenance Requirements

Not all units are built the same in terms of how they need to be maintained. Some will have sensors to tell you when they need attention while other units will need to be manually inspected periodically.

As you shop for the best evaporative cooler, it’s important to work with a reputable company. Experts can help to determine the best size for your residential evaporative cooler so that it will offer the cooling capabilities that you demand. By working with experts, you can ensure that you get your money’s worth and that it works well for your space.