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How Swamp Coolers Work

The evaporative cooler, colloquially known as a swamp cooler, is a type of air conditioner that works well in the hot, dry air of Colorado and the Southwest. This method of pushing air over water to create a cooling effect has even been used by ancient Egyptians who hung wet blankets over doors or had servants wave fans over jugs of water.

Location Matters

Swamp coolers, despite the name, do not perform well in swampy conditions, but rather in drier climates. The name may come from the fact that they add humidity to the air.

The Evaporation Process

Liquid evaporates by releasing molecules into the air, which is then converted into gas form. The hotter, faster-moving molecules are likely to dissipate quickly, cooling off the remaining liquid and thus cooling the warm air.

Swamp Cooler Mechanics

So we know the process of water evaporation causes the air to cool, but now there needs to be a way to circulate that air in your home. The swamp cooler contains damp pads that stay moist thanks to a small pump. A blower sits at one end of the box and pulls air from outside across the damp pads and pushes the now cooled air into the house.

The A/C Difference

An air conditioner works by recirculating air through a unit that passes over a set of coils cooled by a refrigerant or coolant, such as Freon. Air conditioners are different from swamp coolers not only in their mechanics but their output—swamp coolers humidify the air while air conditioners dry the air, making the swamp cooler ideal for dry climates.

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Winterization Checklist

Even though summer is over, your unit still needs maintenance. Denver Total Comfort can help you make sure your evaporative cooler is properly stored for winter. Give us a call or contact us through our website and set up a winterization appointment today.