This post is the second in a multi-part series on swamp coolers and swamp cooler start up in Albuquerque. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.
How do swamp coolers work? (continued)
A swamp cooler is just a clever way of taking advantage of the law of conservation of energy. The walls of the swamp cooler are lined in thick pads made out of a material called excelsior, or wood wool. Excelsior is a good material for this application because it holds a lot of water for its volume, but remains permeable to air.
Just like the ancient Egyptians soaked their linen cloths, the excelsior pads are soaked with water via the swamp cooler’s pump. Then, when you turn on the fan, it draws air in through the soaked pads and pushes it down into your house.
In the hot and dry conditions of New Mexico, the soaked pads produce a ton of evaporation. Because of the law of conservation of energy, all of the energy required to evaporate that water has to come from somewhere. In this case, it comes from the hot air flowing through the pads. This causes the air to cool down and take on water vapor before passing into your house, keeping you cool and moist!
Swamp cooler start up
Now that we know a little more about swamp coolers and how they work, let’s take a look at swamp cooler start up.
Since swamp coolers rely on regular tap water to do their work, they need to be winterized before the winter months. If a swamp cooler isn’t winterized, standing water inside the unit and connections will freeze. Since ice has a lower density than water, this causes parts of the cooler to swell and crack. This kind of cracking is one of the most common causes of swamp cooler leaks.
Check back soon for All about swamp coolers and swamp cooler startup – beat the heat! Part 3. In the meantime, check out our page on swamp cooler start up.