Evaporative coolers have been helping humans stay comfortable for thousands of years. Modern systems are highly effective, and with a little bit of evaporative cooling maintenance your unit could provide decades of trouble-free cooling.
In this article we’re going to go over the basic principles involved and what you can do to keep your cooler working efficiently year-round.
What Is an Evaporative Cooler?
An evaporative cooler is a type of ducted cooling that relies on heat absorption and evaporation to lower the air temperature. In an evaporative cooler, a central fan draws in warm outside air through cooling pads that are soaked with water. As the air passes through the cooling pads the water absorbs the heat, evaporating away in the process. The air is then blown into the home through a central duct system to provide cool air throughout the property.
The Benefits of Evaporative Cooling
When you think of ducted cooling solutions you probably think of systems like air conditioners. But evaporative coolers are increasingly popular, and they’re a system that offers great performance and a number of key benefits:
- Energy-efficiency – Evaporative coolers can produce a temperature differential of up to 14C while consuming only small amounts of water and power. This makes them far more energy-efficient than air conditioning.
- Cost – The simplicity of evaporative coolers means they’re typically cheaper to buy and install than air conditioning. If the up front cost is a concern, an evaporative cooler may be the best option.
- Fresh air – You’ll need to keep your doors and windows open while using an evaporative cooler. That means there’s always plenty of fresh air flowing through your home.
- Low maintenance – Evaporative cooling is based on simple principles, and that means the systems have low maintenance requirements. With a regular clean and a little bit of testing, your evaporative cooler can be kept in perfect condition year-round.
- Quiet operation – Your cooler uses a central blower fan to distribute cool air throughout the house. The blower fan is located outside on your roof, allowing for whisper quiet operation indoors.
How to Make Your Evaporative Cooler More Effective
Evaporative coolers are an effective and affordable alternative to refrigerated air conditioning. They have their limits though, and most coolers will only work during hot, dry weather. If you want to make the best use of your evaporative cooling system then there are a few things you can do to improve its performance:
- Create air flow – Evaporative coolers humidify the air in your home, so they only work if you can open your doors and windows to create natural air flow. Cross-ventilation will dramatically reduce the humidity inside your home and improve how effective an evaporative cooler is.
- Check the water levels – The body of your evaporative cooling system will have a tank with a small amount of water in the bottom. If this water evaporates completely or becomes soiled, it will prevent your cooler from working properly. During summer you’ll need to keep an eye on the water level and make sure everything is looking clean and healthy.
- Run it at the right times – Evaporative cooling uses the temperature differential between the water and the outside air to create a cooling effect. That means the cooler is most effective during the hottest parts of the day. Running your cooler at night or in lower temperatures will just humidify the air and make your home feel damp.
- Invest in regular maintenance – Like the other appliances in your home, evaporative coolers need regular maintenance. Maintenance ensures the system is always ready for action and protects your family from unwelcome mould growth.
Evaporative Cooling Maintenance
The good news is that evaporative coolers are simple appliances with low maintenance requirements! As long as you’re having your cooler serviced once per year, it should provide decades of efficient cooling to help you stave off the worst of summer.
The evaporative cooling maintenance process involves a few simple checks that will take your technician less than an hour. In most cases a technician will inspect the unit, clean the cooling pads, flush the water holding tank and test the thermostat. These simple tasks prevent build ups of bacteria, mould and minerals in the unit, improving its efficiency and the air quality inside your home. The best part is that a regular maintenance appointment gives your technician a chance to inspect the unit for minor problems. Small hiccups can turn into big repair bills if they’re left unchecked, so yearly maintenance can save you big money in the long run.