Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What On Earth is a Swamp Cooler?

A swamp cooler is an ingenious invention which, unlike air conditioning, cools a house without refrigeration.  Working on the same principle that perspiration does, it works well in very dry climates like ours where the children won't go swimming unless the temp is at least 105 degrees.  A dry breeze blowing over a wet body makes that wet body COLD!  This is what a swamp cooler looks like:

Ours is on the roof.  Air is pulled into the box through wet pads that line the inside.  A small motor turns a fan that blows the cooled air into the house. There is also a pump in there, that circulates water over the tops of those pads to keep them wet. Hence, the air is continually cooled and so is the house. Keeping the windows open makes it more efficient and keeps the house from feeling damp.  It doesn't cost much more to run than a fan does, but it is somewhat noisy, and there is the dust. Probably if we would turn it on once a week through the winter, we would not have the dust problem from my last post.  Now why didn't we think of that seven years ago??? Merlynn, add this to your list of weekly jobs!

For those of you who are mechanically inclined, here's what the inside looks like:


Our swamp cooler (or evaporative cooler) can keep the house about 20 degrees cooler than the outside temp, so we run it until it is about 105 out.  After that we turn on the AC!  

You will not find a swamp cooler in Georgia or in Alaska.  :) 


9 comments:

  1. I love a good practical science lesson! Well done! When we first moved "out east" we had no idea what air conditioning was like because all we used in Calif was the Swamp Cooler ( ours was nicknamed squirrel cage)When we lived in the desert our home was 2ft thick adobe except the bedroom ( add on ) so the swamp cooler was in the add on. The rest of the house stayed cool on its own.

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  2. I don't think you'll find one in Florida either! Thanks for posting about it, that was really interesting...something I never would have known about living in the more "humid" climates of the east! You learn something new all the time! :D

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  3. I am glad you clarified what a swamp cooler is. I didn't have time to ask yesterday so I am glad someone else asked.

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  4. My Granny had one and we would sit in front of it and get spritzed! NOBODY has one where we live, because bringing more humidity into the house would not be...........cool.

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  5. I grew up with a swamp cooler in southwest Oklahoma. Yes, they are noisy!

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  6. Well, I've learned something new today. We live in the hot and humid south. AC is my friend.

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  7. Oh, how I hated our swamp cooler when we were stationed at Ft. Bliss! We had a very wet summer...and a dry basket of laundry would feel damp if left out in the "swamp cooler" air for more than a few hours!

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  8. We have not had ANY of that dampness problem here! Of course if the humidity goes up we switch to AC. It's a blessing to have that option. :)

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  9. I have never heard of such a thing! I guess I learned something new today. ;-)

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