How to Use an Evaporative Cooler and an Air Conditioner at the Same Time

Conventional wisdom states that evaporative cooling and air conditioning are at odds by design, so it is never recommended to run them in the same house at the same time. Air conditioning removes moisture from the air and uses chemicals to achieve colder air. Evaporative cooling adds humidity and is all-natural, based on principles that trace back to Ancient Egypt, making it the environmentally friendly choice for home cooling.

Some homes have both an evaporative cooler and an air conditioner. They do not run at the same time. The evaporative cooler is the primary means of cool air, with a temporary shift to the air conditioner once the monsoon season establishes in the southwestern United States. The monsoon season raises the dew point, which results in higher humidity. Evaporative coolers work best in low humidity conditions, so the air conditioner operates as a temporary supplement in those types of weather conditions. Air conditioning is usually extremely cost prohibitive, so when both systems are present, the air conditioner is almost always used only as a supplement.

There are situations where both can be used at the same time, however. Due to the construction of some homes, an outlying room can occasionally run warmer than the rest of the house. It is possible to isolate the warm room and use a window air conditioner under certain conditions. Evaporative cooling requires fresh air, so doors and windows must remain open. A room with a window air conditioner must be shut off from the rest of the system. Doors and windows need to remain closed, and the vent for the evaporative cooler must be closed to bypass the room. If this doesn’t happen, the two systems will clash and overwork themselves as they try to compensate for the difference. As a result, the electric bill would rise.

Most homes tend to stick with one method of cooling. Evaporative cooling remains the recommended option, due to its energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. Still have questions? Our Customer Service Team is here to help! Give them a call at 800-643-8341. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 7:00 am – 5:30 pm CST.

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