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An evaporative cooler (or swamp cooler) cools by forcing fresh outdoor air through moist pads. The air is cooled by water evaporation, then circulated by a blower through a building or house. Using a swamp cooler can lower indoor temperatures by up to 30 degrees.
Swamp coolers offer an environmentally friendly, inexpensive, Freon-free method of cooling. They use only 25 percent of the energy required to run central air conditioning, and they're inexpensive to maintain. One of the biggest advantages is that they allow building occupants to breathe fresh outdoor air.
Though evaporative coolers offer an inexpensive, environmentally friendly form of cooling, they require large amounts of water to operate. On average, a standard household-size swamp cooler can use between 15 and 66 gallons of water each day, depending on the size of the unit and the heat. Systems with bleed valves and sump dumps use the most water. In areas where water supply is short, thermostats and timers can be used to regulate how often a cooler runs, saving water and energy. Set thermostats at the lower-end of the cooling range and use a timer to run the cooler only when you are home.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|