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Evaporative cooling instead of AC?

Posted by mayberry (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 18, 12 at 7:53

We're considering installing a Breezeair evaporative cooling system instead of AC in our south facing high desert retirement house. Anyone have experience with this type of system?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Evaporative cooling instead of AC?

p.s. Or evaporative cooling in general?

RE: Evaporative cooling instead of AC?

When I lived in Tucson 20 years ago, they were used extensively there. Water is more expensive and more highly mineralized now so I don't know if that is still true. They work great except July when the humidity approached 30% for a few weeks. Comfort is increased by raising humidity in general. Initial equipment costs are lower, but more maintenance is required. (As you age, you might not be able to do it any more and have to hire someone.)

You have to weigh water costs, energy costs, installation costs, and water costs. You could consider two-stage evaporative coolers that use heat exchangers, but they will cost more. You need to find someone that is familiar with this kind of cooling. If not common in your area, it could be difficult. You also have to consider the building code in your area.

RE: Evaporative cooling instead of AC?

Hi ionized,

Thank you so much for your helpful response! We're in Reno, Nevada, and the humidity is often higher than 30%. And, as we age, we're more sensitive to heat.

Appreciate your thoughts.

RE: Evaporative cooling instead of AC?

I don't have experience with the 2-stage/heat exchanger types. They might work where you are building.

RE: Evaporative cooling instead of AC?

Today it was 109 degrees and 16% humidity where I live. The local news had a story about how asphalt and concrete down town was about 143 degrees. It was hot.
We have central AC, and also a swamp cooler. Today we were having our refrigerator worked on and I turned off the AC and turned on the swamp cooler to blow smoke out of the kitchen; the repairmen had to do some soldering with a torch. Anyway,with the swamp cooler running the temp gauge in our kitchen said 79 degrees. It was comfortable. Not bad, I recall thinking.
Humidity where I live is generally low, so evaporative coolers work very well. But on days over 100 degrees AC is the way to go, imho. I'd recommend both. Also, with evaporative coolers I'd recommend staying away from brands that use honeycomb type pads because the pads can be very expensive and I've read they are toxic to pet birds. If you live in an area with very hard water expect to change pads at least once a year as the pads will become hard as concrete from the hard water. If you are concerned about dust and dirt from an evaporative cooler an easy solution is to get quilt batting, bonded polyester, cut it to size and use aluminum tape to tape the pads on the outside of your cooler. The air filter pads are washable with a water hose and generally last about a full season or longer if the cooler is in a shaded spot. Hope that helps.

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