Evaporative Coolers

For a more economical way to stay cool without the expense of air conditioning, evaporative coolers (swamp coolers) provide a cheap cooling solution for people living in the right climate.

That climate is one that has hot dry air during the hottest period of the year as you'd find in desert or other inland areas that are not close to large expanses of open water such as lakes or wide rivers.

portable evaporative coolerThis section of the site looks at the economical space cooling alternative to the rather expensive to run air conditioners which are covered in another section of this site.

I look more specifically at the following aspects of this type of air cooling device:

What Do You Want to Know?

If you have never heard of fixed or portable evaporative coolers before, this article is sure to help you to get to know them and understand how they do what they do. It will also help you to see why they're so much more economical to run than other popular forms of climate control.

Many people are quite unaware of this particular low-cost air cooling solution, believing that air conditioners are the only way to cool a home, workshop or office etc. While in most cases this may be true since the majority of the population lives in areas that have higher humidity levels (for example close to the coast and the moisture laden air naturally found near large oceans), there are many that live inland and have dry heat during summer.

This is because of the way these devices work, which I'll explain briefly below and in more detail in a separate article. I'm sure you'll be looking for answers on cooling questions to go forward with.

How Evaporative Cooling Devices Work

The workings inside one of these machines is much simpler than what you'll find inside an AC. In fact the only mechanical part is generally the fan and sometimes a small water pump, but many models don't even have one of those.

A vertical aligned, porous, water retentive membrane is connected to a water reservoir to keep it moist. This happens either by natural capillary action where the medium literally soaks up the water into itself like a sponge, or via a pump as mentioned above on larger machines.

The fan draws hot dry air from the room into the back of the unit, through the wet membrane where the heat is absorbed by evaporation. The chilled air is forced out of the front of the unit by the same fan and the air temperature in the room is reduced.

The air is also humidified by this process, so to maintain a cooling effect it is important to provide some cross ventilation by opening a window and a door to keep dry air circulating. This goes totally against the air conditioning philosophy of keeping all windows and doors closed to keep the cold air in, but that's how it works best!


If you live in such an area and you're spending a large chunk of your household or business budget on air conditioning to keep cool in summer, you could save a huge percentage off that budget by switching to evaporating cooling. The difference in energy consumption between AC and evaps is quite considerable, with the latter typically consuming around 1/20th the amount of power to provide a similar level of cooling effect.

The reason these units are so frugal in their energy consumption is because the only real energy consumer is the fan, which takes around 100-200 watts of energy depending on the size of the unit. Compare that to 2,000 to 3,000 watts (2-3kW) for a similar size AC and you can see at a glance the immense savings in per-kilowatt dollars!

The knock-on effect of making such huge savings in electricity consumption can be rather surprising if you never thought of it before (you can visit https://portableswampcoolers.com for more information). If you just start with the obvious savings you will make on your household budget, it's a switch well worth making!

More Info

This is just an overview of this type of space cooling alternative to AC. There is more information available in much more detail for those that want it in the collection of articles published in this section of the site. The titles are listed below for your convenience:

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