A swamp evaporative cooler can give you the best of cooling technologies without the disadvantages of air conditioning. Unlike air conditioners, swamp evaporative coolers require very little energy in order to work well, as long as the appropriate environmental conditions are met. Speaking of the environment, evaporative coolers are pollutant free because they work using nature’s own cooling mechanism.
The term swamp evaporative cooler is a bit misleading because an evaporative cooler actually has nothing to do with a swamp and in fact, wouldn’t work in swamp-like conditions. An evaporative cooler works the same way that cooling happens in nature, and the same way that our bodies cool themselves; by evaporation. If you’ve ever lived in a coastal climate or near a large body of water, you’re already familiar with evaporative cooling. You’ll have noticed that breezes coming off of the water are cooler than those coming from an inland direction. The reason for this is simple.
Nature always moves towards a state of equilibrium. So when a cooler area and a warmer area come into contact, the two temperatures will move towards each other and try to equal out. As warm, dry air passes over a body of water, it evaporates some of the water and is cooled by it. This same idea is reproduced in a swamp evaporative cooler. Hot, dry air from outside is pulled into the cooler by a fan. That air is pulled through a series of damp pads, where it absorbs water that has the effect of reducing the air’s temperature. As an added benefit, the pads also filter or clean the air as it passes through. Then the cooler, cleaner air is blown through into the room or office that you are cooling. In fact, the cooler keeps the air circulating in a room, meaning that you feel even cooler due to the slight breeze that the swamp evaporative cooler creates.
So in order for a swamp evaporative cooler to work efficiently, it needs to be used in a hot, dry climate. If your climate is more humid, an evaporative cooler is probably not the best choice for you. But where these coolers do work well, they work very well. They also save users money and energy. Some users have even had evaporative coolers converted so that they will work on solar power. Energy savings can be so significant that energy companies in states like California will offer rebates to clients who choose to install a whole-house swamp evaporative cooler.