Switching to a Swamp Cooler

It’s not a secret: the average monthly electric bill keeps climbing. During an average summer, air conditioning comprises 15-20% of a residential electric bill. That jumps to 50-70% in warmer regions of the country, such as the Southwest, where summer temperatures regularly rest above 100° Fahrenheit. What do you do when “going without” to save money simply isn’t an option?

Savvy consumers are switching to evaporative cooling to stay cool while keeping their electric bill under control. The proof is in the numbers. An evaporative cooler, on average, uses only 15-35% of the electricity required to run an air conditioning unit. This method of cooling drastically reduces monthly energy costs during the sweltering summer months. Evaporative cooling is also environmentally-friendly; there are no chemicals needed to operate a swamp cooler!

Thinking about making the switch? There are a few considerations to keep in mind. The most important thing to understand about evaporative cooling is that it is ideal for regions with low humidity. A swamp cooler adds moisture to the air as it cools, so humid regions will not benefit from this process. Sorry, Florida.

Size matters. It’s important to purchase an evaporative cooler with the correct CFM rating for the size of your home. Multiply your home’s square footage by the height of your ceilings, then divide by two to calculate your CFM. The CFM rating is crucial because evaporative cooling works by constantly removing and replacing the air in a home. An undersized cooler will not be able to keep up with the demand, and an oversized cooler could add too much humidity to the air, reducing the effectiveness.

You might want to speak with a local HVAC technician to check your existing ducts to see if any alteration is required, as well as determining the best placement of a swamp cooler. Down-draft models sit on the roof while side-draft coolers mount to the side of a house. Periodic maintenance is required with evaporative coolers, so if you’re the DIY type, you’ll want to place it in an area that is convenient!

Why not both? Some people have air conditioning and evaporative cooling systems in their home. The swamp cooler is the primary cooling system, and air conditioning is only used as a supplement, such as during the Southwestern monsoon season, when the local humidity rises to levels too high for efficient evaporative cooling.

Consumers in low humidity regions are turning off their air conditioners and making the switch to evaporative cooling to save big money on their electric bills. 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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