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Old 07-10-2013, 04:13 AM
10 posts, read 35,089 times
Reputation: 30


Okay, I read the entire thread now. I'm stil confused regarding the bet solution. I just want to be cool. If I set my thermostat to 70 degrees, that is what I want. I don't want 78 degrees or hotter just because it's humid during monsoon season. I think I'll give somd serious consideration to the conversion. I can't stand being hot. On this note, , I'm going to bed.

Last edited by PurpleSageRR; 07-10-2013 at 04:13 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:23 AM
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,310 posts, read 46,188,553 times
Reputation: 24273
Swamp coolers work by evaporating water into dry air. They will lower the temperature to the level where atmospheric water will condense (Dew Point Temperature) and no lower. On hot dry days, Dew Point under 60 deg F Humidity under 50%, they work well by lowering the temperature and increasing the humidity. On hot stormy days with Dew Point temps over 70 deg f and relative humidity over 75% they do not work very well. As you noticed they may actually add to the discomfort by raising the relative humidity.

Have you tried using your Swamp cooler as a whole house fan during the night with the windows open to cool the house down and maintain the “cool” by closing the house and shading the windows during the day? This can sometimes take the edge off the heat but the evenings will likely still be hot and uncomfortable. That is what fans and cold beer are for.

Before I would spend the money for refrigerated AC I would look up on this website your location. There is a graph of temperature, relative humidity and rainfall. I would use that information to estimate how many days per summer a refrigerated AC would do better than a swamp cooler. It may be very few and the increased comfort may not justify the cost of the new unit. If nothing else you could rent a motel room for a few nights and spend the miserable days at the library or mall for less overall cost.

I speak from the experience with hot and humid weather where I live in the Northeast. It is a completely different climate so Swamp coolers would not work. We use a whole house fan to cool the place down overnight and close it up during the day. The few nights we see with lows over 70 are uncomfortable but are so few we cannot justify even a one room AC unit. Hot evenings are handled by going out or the aforementioned floor fans and cold beer.

Please excuse me if these suggestions are redundant.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:17 AM
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
23,000 posts, read 35,211,728 times
Reputation: 26681
Originally Posted by PurpleSageRR View Post
Thank you very much for your advice. I didn't read the entire thread (just skimmed through it), but I plan to do so tomorrow. I was just desperately trying to get some insight before I get the handyman over and have to pay him for checking my swamp cooler out. Although he's HVAC certified, I plan to hire a company to do the conversion. He did give me a $6,000 to $7,000 quote for the conversion, but he assumed I have a furnace (which I don't). Since I have hot water (i.e. boiler) baseboard heating, I don't need a furnace. He said it would cost $3,000 to $4,000 to convert just the swamp cooler to refridgerated air. It's now 2:10 am and the temperature dropped a big whoopee 2 degrees. It's hotter inside my house than outside. I can't sleep because it's too hot and I have a lousy rotten headache from the heat.
We had our A/C and Furnace installed in August 2008. The A/C is a 4 ton Rheem unit, and we did not get the least expensive model.

We had been using two small 115 vac inexpensive window units in the hottest rooms, to help at night.

I did a lot of measurements over the years with various pads etc. I never got over 20 degree drop with the swamp coolers, but that was rare. Only on the hot 100 degree days with low humidity. The swamp coolers work better in the hot dry areas like El Paso and Phoenix...

It is imperative that you have windows open with swamp coolers. The swamp cooler is a big fan which sucks the outside air in, adds moisture, and blows it in the house. If you do not have enough open windows doors etc, you will not get good cooling...
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:31 AM
Location: Manson, WA
4,802 posts, read 4,195,380 times
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We get by here in Alamogordo (about 90 miles north of El Paso) with a swamp cooler, a big floor fan for our bedroom, and a wall-unit A/C in our bedroom. We just adjust accordingly to what the situation is, but our needs are pretty well taken care of here with these 3 items.

By the way, it does get very hot here, sometimes into the 100's (we've seen 108 a few times already this summer) and these three still take good care of us.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:32 PM
10 posts, read 35,089 times
Reputation: 30
I live in a PUD, which has an HOA. The rules are very strict about maintaining a uniform look for the outside of your house. Even if I didn't have to deal with a bunch of rules, my bedroom has patio doors, so a window unit wouldn't work. I've been thinking about getting one of those portable air conditioners on wheels so I can roll it from room to room.

I do keep some windows and doors open when running the cooler. I think a big part of the problem is that I have 5 windows and 2 patios doors that face east, so I get the sun from the time it comes up until the time it goes over the top of the house. I have 2 patio doors that face south, so I get the sun all day. Then there's the 13 skylights, even though they're opaque.

I grew up on the east coast, so I'm familiar with humidity from hell. That's what it's felt like for the past couple of days here. I live in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, which is about 15 miles northwest of Albuquerque.

I'm going to ask some of my neighbors as a lot of them have converted to refridgerated air. I have the money to do the conversion. I guess I just need to think about it some more.

Thank you to everybody for your advice. I really appreciate it.
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:52 AM
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,310 posts, read 46,188,553 times
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PSRR - If you cannot shade your doors and windows outside the units due to HOA restrictions you have little choice but refrigerated AC.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:28 PM
10 posts, read 35,089 times
Reputation: 30
Now, if I can just get some conversion people to come to my house and give me a quote. One person gave me a "phone quote" of $10,000 to $12,000 (I told him to forget about it). I've contacted Affordable Service Electrical, Air Conditioning, Heating, & Plumbing Service & Repair THREE times, but they still haven't gotten back to me to set up an appointment for a quote. I will try again tomorrow.
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:28 AM
Location: Albuquerque, NM
1,554 posts, read 2,568,779 times
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It is the busy season for HVAC contractors, you might have better luck and get a better price if you wait for a time when it's not too hot or cold out.

You should also have no problem getting multiple bids from companies within a few days, there's a lot of HVAC contractors in the area.
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:24 AM
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,310 posts, read 46,188,553 times
Reputation: 24273
FWIW - Fine Homebuilding Magazine just did an article on two types of refrigerated AC. One uses pipes to bring the coolant to small units installed in the refrigerated space(s) and the other uses ducts to carry the cooled air. Either can work as a heat pump (reversed AC unit cooling the outside and heating the inside space) as well.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:55 AM
Location: Old Town
1,905 posts, read 2,895,715 times
Reputation: 1761
Call TLC plumbing.
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