My AC unit is about 20 years old and it probably gets used maybe 1 to 2 weeks a year, so itís like new. I think it was last year or maybe the year before, but we had rain clouds hanging around for about a month. It wasnít actually raining except for a very little up in the mountains, but the humidity was high enough to make the cooler useless, so I ran the AC almost the whole time. My electric bill was close to $600 total for everything that month. Itís now running about $150, but I got 3 women and a baby living here so my washer & dryer is running all the time along with at least 2 TVs, 3 computers, and I donít even want to know what else.
I donít know exactly what I would save by upgrading the AC seer rating, but Iím pretty sure it isnít going to be over $450 a month. I would have to build me a whole new house with double the R rating to save that amount of money.
I may sit down and figure it out someday, but I also know that the blown-in insulation in the attic is not the same ďRĒ value as it was 20 years ago.
Home Depot had a little swamp cooler that a person was supposed to put in thier window.
They would be completely useless IMO for anyone around here with our 70-90% RH summers. But still people were buying them thinking that they were going to get a jump on the world. "how come they don't work?????"
I installed a swamp cooler in her house and set everything up for her with thermostat so she wouldn’t have to fool with it. I heard her telling my wife that it was not working very well, so I went over to check it out. I could not believe it, she had every door and window closed. It was like being in tropical rain forest and I believe it would have started raining inside at anytime. I quickly opened all doors and windows to get all the humidity out. It finally cooled down and she said that she was afraid to keep the windows open when she was alone. So I went straight to Home Depot and bought a whole house fan. Problem solved.
Lots of swampers in west and southwest Texas. People there don't want refer, they are happy with the evap coolers. Always wondered about the water thats being used especially since it's not in endless supply anymore.
A rather unsatisfying discussion. Similar to what I'm finding as far as trying to find a good swamp cooler contractor.
I think evap cooling is being treated as the "bastard stepchild" of the HVAC industry because there's too much maintenance and homeowner involvement required. If the average H.O. paid to have it done correctly (unlikely) the maintenance costs would equal his energy savings.
Those of us who spend about 4hrs/year fiddling with them ourselves couldn't be happier (.in Denver's climate anyway). Unfortunately, the 4 hrs. would have to be spread to about 6 service calls from a pro.
It costs me $20/month to cool a house that would run $160 with conventional A/C. The cooling season is roughly 4 months. Two more keys to cooler happiness: 1. Overcool your house at night, 2. Never run the swampie if the ambient temperature gets above about 80*.
Nowadays, to a professional couple who paid $500,000 to $1.5M for their house, this much involvement is unacceptable.
(Note to Garya505: Pollen gets scrubbed from the air that passes thru a cooler. I have seen a little mold on the inside of cooler occasionally, however.)
So here's my question - Does anyone make a controller that can run these things correctly?
I've only got one I'm responsible for. It's the make-up air for a big kitchen hood. The summertime rooftop RH here in the Pacific Northwest is pretty low so it's very effective in cooling the air. When I got it working and turned on the water, the cooks thought I had rerouted some AC. It's a pretty old unit that looks like it's had a lot of use. Only thing I'm worried about is remembering to isolate and drain the water line before freezing weather gets here. Didn't see any mold but it had set dry for quite awhile.
Commercial kitchen makeup air is often passed through a swamp cooler, even in humid environments. Better than nothing, since conventional AC is impractical for that much air volume.
If Evaporative Cooling (EC) replaced AC in all the cities and towns where it works well, this country would literally never need to build a new power plant. That's because all of our plants are severely underutilized except for a couple weeks in the height of summer when AC units are running full tilt. EC where effective would shave that peak demand, and brownouts would cease until we get enough photovoltaic and wind generation capacity installed. Then we can start decomissioning the coal plants, and voila, EC has solved global warming!