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HomeGeneralSwamp Cooler Vs. Evaporative Cooler

Swamp Cooler Vs. Evaporative Cooler


Are you seeking a cooling system that is both efficient and affordable? If so, you’ve undoubtedly come across references to both evaporative coolers and swamp coolers.

There is no actual distinction between these two words. “Evaporative cooler” is a technically correct name that defines how the device works. “Swamp cooler” is a rather derogatory slang word that depicts what might happen to an evaporative cooler if it is not properly cared for. Here is a swamp cooler vs air conditioner for you.

Evaporative Coolers: How Do They Work?

An evaporative cooler is a word that defines how this form of (loosely defined) air cooling works. Evaporative coolers make use of the fact that evaporating a liquid needs a significant amount of energy. It’s the same effect that allows your body to cool down via sweating.

Evaporative coolers amplify this effect. They create a scenario in which heated air may evaporate a large amount of water. They achieve this using an evaporative medium. The evaporative medium absorbs water like a high-tech sponge, but it also allows air to move through. When a fan pushes or pulls air through an evaporative medium, much of the water evaporates, cooling the air.

The air temperature may be reduced by 30° F with just one run through an evaporative cooler. This allows evaporative coolers to offer efficient temperature control even when cooled air cannot be trapped or concentrated for numerous passes.

Where Did The Name “Swamp Cooler” Come From?

If the evaporative cooler is a technical explanation of how the devices function, swamp cooler is an emotive one – and what it inspires isn’t necessarily nice.

Where did this name come from? Nobody knows for sure, as is the case with many slang phrases. The most popular opinion is that the term relates to what occurred to old-style evaporative coolers if they weren’t properly cared for.

Algae and mold may develop everywhere there is standing water. An evaporative cooler boosts this potential by drawing in air that contains extra resources for these microbes to feed on, such as pollen, seeds, and other airborne detritus.

To make problems worse, early evaporative coolers employed evaporative media consisting of untreated wood wool, aspen wood fibers, often known as excelsior. These fibers would weaken and disintegrate, eventually dropping into the reservoir and moldering and decaying. This resulted in an evaporative cooler that looked and smelled like a swamp. As a result, they were known as swamp coolers.

How To Check That Your Evaporative Cooler Isn’t A Swamp Cooler?

There’s no reason an evaporative cooler should be called a “swamp cooler” these days. With contemporary materials and design, your evaporative cooler requires little maintenance to minimize smells and contamination.

Modern evaporative media, are cellulose pads – a type of paper. They are considerably better at absorbing water without breaking it down into detritus in your reservoir. They are also treated to prevent mold and algae growth.

To avoid smells in your evaporative cooler, clean it once a week. This dries out the evaporative medium. Meanwhile, empty the reservoir. Remove the evaporative medium and clean the reservoir with soap and water. Thoroughly rinse and completely dry. Then replace the evaporative media, refill the reservoir, and you’re ready to go.


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