Swamp Coolers Versus Air Conditioning Part I

Swamp Coolers Versus Air Conditioning Part I

Posted on 10. Jun, 2013 by in Business

I never heard of swamp coolers until I moved to Las Vegas, NV. As I was touring my friend’s new home, he explained that instead of air conditioning, his home was cooled by a swamp cooler. If you currently manage properties in the West or Southwest regions of the U.S., chances are you’re familiar with these evaporative cooling systems that are typically referred to as swamp coolers.

Ideal for those in drier climates, swamp coolers stop cooling once outdoor humidity rises. Unlike conventional air conditioning systems, swamp coolers add moisture to the air by using water to cool hot outdoor temperatures. While many newer properties now use traditional air conditioning systems, many older multi-unit apartments and single family homes in this area still use swamp coolers.

So what do you do if your property’s cooling system is in desperate need of an upgrade? Is it feasible to convert existing swamp coolers to conventional air conditioning units, or should you simply upgrade or replace the current swamp coolers? Though pretty straightforward, this isn’t an easy question to answer. There are distinct advantages to both systems, depending on your circumstances.

In this post, I’ll highlight the advantages and disadvantages of swamp coolers – with the next post doing the same for conventional air conditioning.

Swamp Cooler Advantages:

  • For those on a budget, replacing an old swamp cooler with a newer model swamp cooler is much more cost effective than electing to convert to conventional air conditioning.
  • Swamp coolers use up to 75% less electricity than a comparable air conditioning unit, resulting in some impressive cost savings, along with a significant drop in energy use.
  • Swamp coolers use outside air, not re-circulated air, so the air inside the unit is fresher.
  • Routine maintenance, repairs, and parts are less expensive for swamp coolers than for air conditioning units.

Swamp Cooler Disadvantages:

  • While swamp coolers can save property managers considerable money by using less electricity, they do use a tremendous amount of water – a serious consideration during an extended drought.
  • Swamp coolers require more routine maintenance than their air conditioning counterparts.
  • Open windows are required for swamp coolers to work well. While this may be an advantage to some, it can post problems to those who suffer seasonal allergies or have security concerns.
  • Swamp coolers will only work in a dry environment, making them useless in the higher humidity areas of the Midwest and east coast.

In the next post, I’ll highlight the advantages and disadvantages of conventional air conditioning.

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