Swamp Coolers Out of the Question Here!

MoccasinAugust 21, 2010

I finally looked up "swamp coolers" and found out what they were. No wonder they were never discussed in this area....

Those are evaporative coolers, and they are great where the climate is dry and the humidity is basically low. Definitely NOT here in south Alabama!

But I could see them being useful and cheap to operate in places like Arizona, if you had a source of water to evaporate. They say that sometimes it evaporates up to 15 gallons of water a day.

One way of cooling that I like in a hot and humid climate, would be what the structures in Asian jungles do. Sort of a peaked roof. The building on stilts. And around the outer and lower rim of the bottom floor are air vents, or maybe the sides of the walls roll up and allow a chimney effect of the hot air to rise to a central opening in the center of the roof. I onnce designed a house like this for a friend. I also designed a bed suspended on a platform in the center of the pyramid of walls, so that sleeping space was just under the roof opening. That is idea if you believe in the restorative powers of pyramids.

The spaces below this would be the utility core of the house. Maybe even the kitchen and the bathroom. Around the outer edges would be social areas, for sitting, doing your pleasurable tasks, an office, and totally open with movable walls made of screens.

Such a free flowing supply of air would work in a humid climate such as ours, and more so if it was in zone 9 where minimum temps were never below freezing. But changing the vents from sucking in fresh air to sucking in air from heating ducts would not be too hard to allow for.

Anyway, thinking about swamp coolers reminded me of this really pretty style of construction that works in some parts of the world.

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flgargoyle

They even used to make swamp coolers for cars! They hung in the passenger side window.

My uncle's house in CT has an old A/C unit that uses well water as a coolant. It actually works, but does nothing to remove humidity, which those of us in the southeast know is the real problem.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 5:33PM
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wantoretire_did

they are great for Arizona and like climates. Don't have the drying affect of AC. But, NOT good in a humid atmosphere!!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 7:06PM
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Shades_of_idaho

We love our swamp cooler and it has burned up. DARN!! My skin is parched now. Waiting on new motor to arrive. Since we are very dry here with high desert climate a swamp cooler works really well and cost about $2.50 a month to run.

ML I am so sorry for your stifling heat this year. I have a friend in Birmingham and she has suffered this year with the humidity. I do not know how you all deal with the heat. I remember living in Brooklyn and taking a shower and feeling like I could not get dried off and hard to get dressed with clothes sticking to me.

Cooking dinner so time to munch on down.

chris

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 9:07PM
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Moccasin

Shades, it is stifling this year. When it rains even a little, the air has a haze in it. It could be like a heavy fog. Sort of like living underwater.

sorry you lost your swamp cooler motor. I cannot believe it operates on just $2.50 per MONTH? Wow, what a bargain.
I have ceiling fans in just about every room now, and that is the only way I can deal with it. My a/c is set on 81, and the unit struggles to get it to that. No need to set it for 72 or anything unreasonably low, because it simply cannot get it close to that.

Besides, if it did, when you came inside it would shock your system. If I start feeling hot inside, I stick my head out the door for a while, and come back in. When the temp and humidity are both around 90 plus, even 10 degrees less is enough to keep you going.

Stay cool.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 9:42PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

We've had a hazy, humid summer, too. It's been like August all summer--makes me miss the high desert, and the 'swamps.'

My DH likes to keep the AC cranked up. In addition to the cost factor, I think it's too cool, so when he's not looking, I set the thermostat on 80 degrees.

Thinking of jungle structures reminds me of mosquitoes, which we have to excess this year. We have to keep an eye on anything that holds stagnant water. And, we just had a massive rain storm that will have filled all the ditches, again.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 10:52PM
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marti8a

We had a swamp cooler in the TX panhandle when I was growing up. I remember that it kept the house nice & cool then, but even the panhandle is more humid now than it used to be (not that I would ever call it humid) and most people have central air there now.

When we lived near Lubbock in the late 1970's, we had a swamp cooler on the roof that was ducted into every room. Let me tell you I thought we were really uptown with that. lol But there were days that were humid and it didn't feel like it was cool. Most of the time it was great.

No way could we have one here, though some people have them in their garage/shop where a refrigerated unit wouldn't work well since the doors are open all the time. This summer has been miserably hot and humid.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 11:03PM
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desertsteph

'I onnce designed a house like this for a friend.'

I saw on a home tv program that back when they built 'things' in the center of houses (and thru the roof) for that reason. can't remember what the 'things' were called tho...

I prefer a swamp cooler to a/c. they don't work as well during our monsoon season tho - mostly August. I'd like to have one but maybe best I keep the moisture out of the house because I'm allergic to mold...and my water supply isn't dependable since it's hauled here in a truck (when I need it I call them).

I've kept my bedroom cooler this yr than most in the past because of my girl - she wears a fur 24/7. She's in her elderly yrs now and overheats quickly. The humidity is difficult for her also. like mother, like daughter... lol!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 11:15PM
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