This post is the eleventh in a multi part series on swamp cooler repair, maintenance, and replacement. If you haven’t read parts 1 – 10, I recommend you do before continuing.
Two stage evaporative coolers – “hybrid” systems
Two stage evaporative coolers utilize the technologies found in both direct and indirect systems. This is why they are sometimes called “hybrid” swamp coolers. Two stage swamp coolers represent the apex of swamp cooler technology and design.
The first stage of a two stage swamp cooler is an indirect stage. Air is drawn in, moistened and cooled, and passed over a heat exchanger where it cools an isolated interior loop. This produces cool air without adding humidity. However, in the ultra-dry New Mexico summer, it’s often desirable for a swamp cooler to add moisture to the air. This is where stage two comes in. The second stage is a direct evaporative cooling stage. The already cooled air is passed through another moistened pad or membrane, further cooling it and adding back in some humidity. Since they incorporate a second stage, hybrid swamp coolers produce the coldest air of all evaporative units, without sacrificing comfort-boosting humidity in highly arid climates.
Unfortunately, the greatest strength of hybrid systems is also their biggest weakness. Since they incorporate both indirect and direct elements, they are more complicated and expensive than either direct or indirect systems on their own. They also require more fans with more power to work, meaning they consume the most electricity of all swamp coolers. However, they are still far more efficient than refrigerated air systems, and just as capable of producing chilly temperatures.
With so many options to choose from, replacing your old, obsolete swamp cooler with a new model can be a great option for staying cool and saving money. But it’s far from the only option.
Check back soon for How to maintain your swamp cooler, when to replace it, and what to replace it with, part 12. In the meantime, check out our page on swamp cooler repair and replacement.