Check the average humidity in your area. Evaporative coolers work best with very low relative humidity and hot temperatures. If the average humidity in your area is 40-50%, an evaporative cooler will not work properly.
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Check your water supply. Your swamp cooler will need a lot of water—as the name implies, it works by evaporation, so make sure you have plenty to go.
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Assess your house ventilation. Swamp coolers will increase the humidity in your home significantly, so you need to have very good ventilation. Homes built for evaporative coolers will have the ductwork in place, but for most retrofit installations, you’ll want windows opened. I know, you grew up with your dad telling you “close the windows, we aren’t cooling the neighborhood,” but with swamp coolers that’s exactly what you want to do!
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Method Two of Three:
How Much Swamp Cooler Do You Need? Edit
Calculate your CFM rating. Swamp coolers are rated by how much air the cooler can move, and is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM).
Use this formula to calculate the CFM needed to cool your home:
- Determine the area of the space you want to cool.
- Multiply this figure by the height of your ceilings.
- Divide that number by 2 (120 for European measurements).
- The result is the CFM rating for the evaporative cooler you need.
- For example: If you have a 1,500 square foot home with 8 foot (2.4 m) ceilings:
- 1,500 square feet x 8 feet (2.4 m). ceilings = 12,000 ÷ 2 = 6,000 CFM.
- You need a unit rated at 6,000 CFM or higher.
- Example 2, in CMS (cubic meters per second): If you have a 140m 2 home with 3m ceilings:
- 140m 2 x 3m ceiling = 420 ÷ 120 = 3.5 centimeters (1.4 in).
- You need a unit rated at 3.5 centimeters (1.4 in) or higher.
By the same token, high-capacity coolers are more convenient since you won’t need to replace the water as often.
Some suggest using a swamp cooler and an air conditioner in tandem. This is foolish if you are trying to conserve energy and help the environment. Instead, on really hot days, use the swamp cooler to cool down your house at night. Turn off the swamp cooler during the day, shut windows and blinds to keep the cool air in, and run your standard AC as needed to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Some swamp coolers use dump pumps to remove the impure water from the filtration system. You can recycle this water on plants or grass that can take water with a high saline concentration (salt is the primary impurity in water). If you have nothing that will take high-saline water, try diluting the mixture with more water.
Maintain, maintain, maintain. While swamp coolers have become much easier to use, they do require some maintenance. Make sure everything is clean and working properly, especially before an expected heat wave.
High-capacity swamp coolers are not always the best. Look for coolers that are efficient and use low amounts of water. Also, it may be difficult to transport large quantities of water from the water source to the cooler.
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