swamp coolers`
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Thread: swamp coolers`

  1. #1
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    Question swamp coolers`

    Howdy yall, what is a swamp cooler? I used to have a buddy that said he would put one in his backyard for barbecues and such but I'm not sure how it would be beneficial. I'm from Kansas so we don't have these things here that I'm aware of and I was curious as to how they worked. Now before anybody gives a smart@ss answer, I'm a seasoned hvac vet, so no need to dumb it down. Thanks guys.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercoolER View Post
    Howdy yall, what is a swamp cooler? I used to have a buddy that said he would put one in his backyard for barbecues and such but I'm not sure how it would be beneficial. I'm from Kansas so we don't have these things here that I'm aware of and I was curious as to how they worked. Now before anybody gives a smart@ss answer, I'm a seasoned hvac vet, so no need to dumb it down. Thanks guys.

    Its changes sensible to latent heat thru evaporation.
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  3. #3
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    A 'swamp cooler' also known as evaporative cooling, is a box with a blower, drawing air through wet pads. The resulting evaporation cools the air.
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  4. #4
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    Wet the back of your hand -- then blow on it. Your skin surface feels cooler. That's evaporative cooling.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercoolER View Post
    Howdy yall, what is a swamp cooler? I used to have a buddy that said he would put one in his backyard for barbecues and such but I'm not sure how it would be beneficial. I'm from Kansas so we don't have these things here that I'm aware of and I was curious as to how they worked. Now before anybody gives a smart@ss answer, I'm a seasoned hvac vet, so no need to dumb it down. Thanks guys.
    I have one on my house. It cools by evaporating water. It cools the air by drawing air over a wetted fiber pad, then blows this cooled air into the house. It's pretty primitive but it works. It raises the humidity inside the house from about 20% to 40-50%, but you have to watch it in case the humidity starts getting too high. Oh, and when it's running you need to leave a window or door open for the air to exit the house.

    They only work in dry climates. Here in Albuquerque, it gets humid a few days a year and doesn't work well here either. It used to be the standard method of cooling here, but in the last few years a lot of people have been converting to refrigerated air, and almost no new homes are built with evaporative anymore.

    What else would you like to know?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by garya505 View Post
    I have one on my house. ... It used to be the standard method of cooling here, but in the last few years a lot of people have been converting to refrigerated air, and almost no new homes are built with evaporative anymore.

    What else would you like to know?
    Just visited a friend and wife in Albuquerque. He said they aren't allowed there any more. No? He actually has no AC, just opens windows for cooler night air. He is at 6200' elevation and thought that regular AC wouldn't work. Thought that strange but held my tongue since I no squat about both methods. He right?

    Seems like using water would result in huge water bills in arid places. Correct assumption?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerryd_2008 View Post
    Just visited a friend and wife in Albuquerque. He said they aren't allowed there any more. No? He actually has no AC, just opens windows for cooler night air. He is at 6200' elevation and thought that regular AC wouldn't work. Thought that strange but held my tongue since I no squat about both methods. He right?

    Seems like using water would result in huge water bills in arid places. Correct assumption?
    Straight AC would indeed work, regardless of the elevation or humidity or lack thereof. It would be sized differently, but it would work.

    As far as the amount of water used by an evaporative cooler in an arid area, I would also think that would be quite high, depending on the temp maintained in the home.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    As far as the amount of water used by an evaporative cooler in an arid area, I would also think that would be quite high, depending on the temp maintained in the home.
    They also require a large amount of bleed water or you will have a scaled up mess. Most want to see 12oz every 90 seconds, do the math that's a lot of water.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimj View Post
    Its changes sensible to latent heat thru evaporation.
    Perfect! Thank you everybody. It's pretty damn humid here in the summer months so it seems that it wouldn't work too well here. He swore by it, but he knew little outside of tinning.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerryd_2008 View Post
    Just visited a friend and wife in Albuquerque. He said they aren't allowed there any more. No? He actually has no AC, just opens windows for cooler night air. He is at 6200' elevation and thought that regular AC wouldn't work. Thought that strange but held my tongue since I no squat about both methods. He right?

    Seems like using water would result in huge water bills in arid places. Correct assumption?
    We actually are sitting on a huge underground aquifer, though you wouldn't know it being here. Evap coolers do use a lot of water though.

    I would suggest that you don't trust any personal advice from this friend.

    Evap coolers are still allowed here (I just saw them at HD the other day) and the only problem with AC is that you have to figure your sizing using sensible capacity only, since the latent load is very small.

  11. #11
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    Lowers the air temp to the wet bulb
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACFIXR View Post
    Lowers the air temp to the wet bulb
    Are they still putting evap coolers on new construction in Tucson? Are you doing a lot of conversions from evap to refrig?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by garya505 View Post
    Are they still putting evap coolers on new construction in Tucson? Are you doing a lot of conversions from evap to refrig?
    conversions yes, new construction no. Did 2 remodels last year on a ranch house and a city home both built in the early 1920's. Each owner has deep pockets and wanted evap cooling installed. They love evap cooling and spend a lot of time in their outdoor living area and keep the windows and doors open.
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