Swamp Cooler vs Air Conditioning

By | March 8, 2020

Swamp Cooler vs. Air Conditioning
Swamp coolers and air conditioners work very differently in how they cool.

A swamp cooler uses evaporation while air conditioners use pressure to cool the surrounding air.

Should you buy a swamp cooler or an air conditioner here are the differences and some things to think about.
Evaporative Coolers
Swamp coolers work great in dry climates that don’t have any humidity.
Swamp Cooler vs Air Conditioning
The mechanics of how they work is the same as getting out of a swimming pool wet on a windy day.

When water evaporates from a surface it cools the surrounding area which is what makes a swamp cooler work.

There is not much to a swamp cooler and they have been used for many years long before air conditioning came along to cool homes.

A swamp cooler works by pumping water to the top of a cooler which drip down on porous pads.

A blower fan blows air into a home, as the air passes the pads the water evaporates and is cooled.
Swamp Cooler or Air Conditioner
If you live in a dry climate such as the American South West than you have probably seen or heard of evaporative coolers as they are used a lot in such climates.

Areas that have high humidity don’t allow such coolers to work and use standard air conditioning units instead.

The advantage of a evaporative cooler is mainly the cost.

They are cheaper to buy and use less electricity than an air conditioning unit.

Since they are simple machines they are also much easier to work on which many DIY type people take advantage of.

For example, if a water pump goes bad another can be bought and simply plugged into the power outlet and water line.

As stated above the number one disadvantage of an evaporative cooler is they don’t work in high humidity.
Air Conditioners
Air conditioners have the advantage of working in any climate, hot, dry, and humid.
Swamp Cooler vs Air Conditioner
Their main disadvantage is cost. They are much more costly to buy and install and also costlier to run.

The reason they cost more is they are more complicated and require more parts to operate.

An air conditioner works by cycling refrigerant in a closed cycle that pulls heat from a home.

This requires a compressor to cycle the refrigerant, a blower motor to cycle air into a home, and a condensing fan motor to pull heat away from a unit.
Evaporaitive Cooler vs. Air Conditioning
All these parts are more expensive to buy and to operate compared to a swamp cooler.
If you are trying to decide whether an air conditioner or a swamp cooler is the best option for your home your location and spending budget will be the main concern.

Every scenario will be different.

An air conditioner will always cool a home even if it cost more.

Even areas that are usually hot and dry have rainy humid days that will render a swamp cooler ineffective.

An ideal situation is to have both installed to take advantage of the best unit depending on the temperature and humidity levels.



One thought on “Swamp Cooler vs Air Conditioning

  1. Gerry Finney

    This is very informative especially for people who don’t know the difference between swamp cooler and air conditioning systems, providing insights on the age-old debate.


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