This post is the second in a multi part series on swamp cooler maintenance, repair, and replacement. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.
If swamp coolers are so efficient, why doesn’t everyone use them? (continued)
Many people who have lived their whole lives east of the Mississippi don’t even know what a swamp cooler is. They are used in parts of Texas, where they have a reputation as a low budget option that isn’t very effective. That’s because it’s just too humid for too much of the warm season for them to perform at their best.
In southern Arizona, it’s common to find homes that have both evaporative cooling and refrigerated air systems. In the spring and early summer, Arizonans run their swamp coolers because they’re so much cheaper to operate. Then, when monsoon season arrives, they switch over to refrigerated air to stay cool. The biggest downside to this arrangement is that is requires two completely different sets of ductwork – one set that is insulated for the cool, dry, refrigerated air and designed to circulate air through the structure with minimal air exchange to the outside, and another, simpler set of ducts for the swamp cooler that is designed to exchange all the air in the structure in mere minutes. This can make for a very complicated and maintenance-intensive system.
Fortunately for us, New Mexico is pretty much the sweet spot for swamp coolers. It’s hot, but not as hot as places like Phoenix or Las Vegas, Nevada, and minimal annual precipitation combined with Albuquerque’s average of 280 sunny days per year means it’s rarely too humid for them to work.
Check back soon for How to do swamp cooler maintenance, when to replace it, and what to replace it with, part 3. In the meantime, check out our page on swamp cooler maintenance.