4 Ways to Save Energy with an Evaporative Cooler
Are you looking for a low-cost alternative to air conditioning? In low-humidity areas such as Denver, evaporative coolers provide a natural and energy efficient method for staying cool. These swamp coolers condition outside air by passing it over water-saturated pads. The water evaporates, cooling the air as it goes by. The 15°- to 40°F-cooler air is then circulated throughout the home, and the warmer air gets pushed out through the windows.
The cost of an evaporative cooler is about one-half of the cost of a central air conditioner. Another plus is that uses only a fraction of the energy, saving you money on utility bills.
However, the downside to evaporative coolers is that they do require more frequent maintenance than refrigerated air conditioners.
4 ways to save energy with an evaporative cooler
Swamp coolers will only save you money on energy costs if they are installed properly and operated as intended.
1. Proper sizing and selection.
Evaporative coolers deliver from 3,000 to 25,000 cfm of cool air to your home. To get the best results from your cooler, you need to make sure it is the correct size for your space. If it is too small it will waste energy trying to keep the area cool.
To find the correct size for your needs, use the following formula: (length of the room x width x the height) / 2
2. Proper installation.
You can connect your swamp cooler to your ductwork or place it in a central location. The latter works best in smaller homes with an open floor plan. Ducted systems are best for bigger homes and or one with multiple bedrooms.
3. Properly operating the cooler.
Make sure your evaporative cooler has at least two speeds and a vent-only option. The vent-only option blows air without humidifying it. This allows you to enjoy air circulation during times of high humidity or mild weather.
By opening windows in the areas you want to cool and closing them in unoccupied rooms, you can control the flow of air through your home.
4. Evaporative Cooler Maintenance.
As we stated earlier, evaporative coolers require more maintenance than central air conditioners. Drain and clean the unit regularly. Sediment can build up and can cause performance issues. Check the pads, filters, reservoir, and pump at least once a month. You will probably need to replace the pads several times during the cooling season.