General Question

k2times's avatar

Do people still buy swamp coolers for their houses, or are they in the dustbin of hvac now?

Asked by k2times (40points) August 7th, 2007 from iPhone

when I was growing up a lot of people in my home town had big, noisy swamp coolers as air conditioners. Are they still in use?

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5 Answers

donok's avatar

I bought one last year. They are coming back into style - for one thing, it's only 60 watts to cool a room. Here is the big caveat: they really only work in humidity under 50%. Otherwise you are just adding more water to the humid room and that doesn't help things.

Mine came with these cooling tubes and a couple of ice packs that you freeze. It really is rather quiet and holds enough water to get you through a day. Makes the cooling pretty great. But now in my second summer in LA with this, I am just using the fan function and haven't bothered with the ice and water.

My two cents.

Perchik's avatar

I've never heard of them but that's because its always humid in SC. I think it depends on the weather where you are.

kevbo's avatar

They're super common in the desert southwest. Being on the roofs of many New Mexico homes, it's also quite a cultural badge of honor. There's a good bit of lore and ritual associated with them here including putting off the set up until the heat is unbearable, trips to the hardware store to purchase a new pump or what have you, complaining about how useless they are during the monsoon season, and then getting fooled into shutting them down for the fall, only to have the hot weather return. Columnist Jim Belshaw of the Albuquerque Journal has illustrated much of this sub sub
culture in his "Ask Doctor Swamp Cooler" series.

In Albuquerque, though, more and more new construction is going the way of refrigerated air due to the increasing humidity.

segdeha's avatar

I used to live in Albuquerque as well. kevbo speaks the truth. Swamp coolers are kind of cool (no pun intended) because they're so dang simple, just a pump that soaks some filters with water and a big fan to pull the air through. No nasty chemicals, etc. But, yes, they only work when the humidity is low.

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