Living in the Southwest my entire life, one of the most common sites in the neighborhood was the big blocky swamp coolers hanging off the side of nearly every house on the block.
Of course this was more like 25 years ago and these days, swamp coolers are a lot less popular, which in a lot of regards is a much better.
But the good ol evaporative swamp cooler has a lot of advantages if you know how to get the best out of one.
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Can I run my swamp cooler all day?
One of the best ways to get a swamp cooler to cool the house is to turn it on in the morning when the air is cool and let it run the entire day.
Provided you have the proper hookups in place to be able to run the water all day to keep the pads wet.
The reason I make that distinction is that evaporative coolers have become popular as standalone portable units and some are quite small.
If you have the type that you have to fill with a bucket, then running it all day may be too difficult to keep up with.
But regardless, if you can, starting a swamp cooler in the morning will cool the air nicely and give you a much better head start to keeping the house cool during the afternoon heat.
How to make a swamp cooler colder?
One of the easiest ways to make a swamp cooler feel colder is to take a garden hose and spray down the pads real well. Or if it’s an indoor evaporative cooler, saturate the pads using a bucket of water.
This will add an extra bit of kick to the swamp cooler when the sun gets high.
This is a technique I remember real well doing as a kid. It seems like I was constantly being told to go outside and spray down the air conditioner when the afternoon heat hit.
How to use an air cooler with ice?
- Lift out one padded side of the swamp cooler.
- Add ice or bottles of iced water into the water basin.
- Put the padded side back on by inserting it at the top and bringing it in at the bottom
Putting ice in the water tank of a evaporative cooler is a method of getting a cooler temperature out of a swamp cooler.
If you have plenty of ice, then dumping a bag of ice into the water will make the air coming from your cooler much colder for a little while.
And though you can add ice directly to the water, you will probably find that it melts faster than you want to keep at it.
One one way of making the ice last longer is to freeze water bottles (full of water of course) and put those into the water instead of adding the ice directly to the water.
How many bottles do you need? According to the size of your swamp cooler, anywhere from 3 to 6 bottles of Frozen water.
The point is to cool the water off. Not to replace the water with ice. If you completely replace the water with ice, the swamp cooler will not be able to run at all.
Many a lot of the popular brands of portable ventless air coolers come with plastic ice packs that eliminates the need for a DIY method like putting bottles of Frozen water in your swamp cooler
Air cooler not cooling?
If your air cooler is not cooling, There is only a handful of things that you can check to diagnose the problem.
1. Are the pads getting wet?
If the pump is running, but you don’t feel cool air coming from the cooler, there’s good chance that you’re you’ve got to stoppage somewhere or a disconnection.
Take the pad walls off of the machine and make sure that all the water hoses are hooked up correctly and that there is water flowing through them well.
2. Is there proper air flow in the room?
In order to get good air flow from a swamp cooler, you need have a window or door open on the opposite side of the house. If there is not a window or door open then the air coming from the machine does not have anything to pull it through the house.
Vice versa, if you have too many doors or windows open then the air coming from the cooler will just end up getting pulled out of the house and too much outdoor air will be allowed inside.
3. Do evaporative coolers work in high humidity?
If you’re evaporative cooler is not cooling and you’ve determined that you have proper water and air flow, you may just have a problem with the humidity being too high to tell that the air cooler is making much of a difference.
Unfortunately swamp coolers get their name because of the swampy feeling that you get when you add humidity on top of humidity.
When the humidity is already high, trying to cool off a room by adding more humidity only compounds the problem and can make you feel even hotter.
Can you use an evaporative cooler with a dehumidifier?
Using a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in the air with an evaporative cooler seems like it would be a good idea, right?
Doesn’t it make sense that if you could reduce the humidity with a dehumidifier, then all you would be left with is cool air?
But there is a couple of problems with that theory that don’t exactly pan out.
1. Dehumidifiers exhaust heat.
Dehumidifiers expel heat from the rear similar to what you have probably experienced by walking behind a window air conditioner.
Placing of the humidifier in the room to reduce humidity but not only reduce the amount of cool humidity that you are getting from the air cooler, it would also add the additional heat that it is exhausting in the process.
2. Dehumidifiers are expensive.
If you were going to purchase a dehumidifier to work with an evaporative cooler, you might as well purchase a window air conditioner or a portable air conditioner. Both the window ac and a portable air conditioner will dehumidify as they cool and most of the time they come with dry mode which will operate as a dehumidifier separately.