Pros and Cons of Evaporative Coolers

"Swamp coolers" only work in dry climates, during the dry season. December 27, 2008

At IWF we looked at a couple of companies that offer evaporative coolers. They seem to the inexperienced to be a good solution for lowering the temperature in the warm summer months. Does anyone have experience with them?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor D:
15 years ago we sold a brand called the Cool Breeze. Pretty neat product. The Tampa Bay Bucs even bought a dozen or so for the sidelines. Now, I think most teams use the mister type. We no longer sell the product, as the company has been bought several times over and we've gone in a different direction.

I'll tell ya one thing, those filters on the side that the water runs through need to be cleaned on a regular basis, as dust builds up rapidly. Especially if it's solid surface dust. Depending on the size of the unit's water tank, we used to freeze 1/2 gallon milk jugs and toss them in the tank. Those swamp coolers would definitely bring the temperature down 10-15 degrees in the corridor that the air traveled.

From contributor R:
These coolers are only good in dry climates. Where are you located? Sizing them properly is important or you will swear they don't work. A 3 - 4 min air change of all the air volume in your shop is how they are sized.

From contributor K:
I have evaporative coolers in my shop here in the Texas panhandle. They work great during the early spring but because of the extensive irrigation in this area, the relative humidity jumps up during the summer, making them useless. I have found that once the humidity hits 30%, it is better to turn them off. They just make you sweat.

From contributor S:
We installed two fans made by Big Ass Fans. Not trying to advertise for them, but they are very impressive and inexpensive to operate and will not increase humidity. They will benefit both summer and winter months. Impressive. Maintenance free.

From contributor W:
If you are in a dry climate they work fine, although they will raise the humidity in your shop. To work best they need to pump air in from outside and exhaust to outside. I'm in a dry climate, and 10 months out of the year they work fine. When it rains and gets humid, my shop is miserable and everything swells up. Planning to add a ref unit for the two months it's humid.