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Old 03-27-2008, 01:39 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
45 posts, read 73,136 times
Reputation: 77
Default Swamp Cooler Questions

Tim, do you know more about leaving the chimney dampers open for the swamp cooler?

Do people actually do this? We have a gas fireplace that we never use.

Sounds like a great idea that we will try this summer. I never would have thought of that!

We have been perplexed about this issue also. During our first summer here in ABQ, I fell and broke three toes during my daily opening and closing of the small window over our bathtub for the swamp cooler.

We live in a single story house too, and that's the only window we feel comfortable leaving open when we are not around it. I had thought about putting bars on that one window, but didn't really want to go to that much expense.

There's just gotta be another way.
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Old 03-27-2008, 04:41 AM
 
469 posts, read 745,708 times
Reputation: 132
Again, may be a dumb question but what the heck is a swamp cooler? I'm from the midwest where we just have central air.
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:07 AM
 
145 posts, read 303,337 times
Reputation: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrod2828 View Post
Again, may be a dumb question but what the heck is a swamp cooler? I'm from the midwest where we just have central air.

A swamp cooler cools air by evaporation

Q: What the heck is a swamp cooler and how does it work-Jack W., Washington D.C.
A: A swamp cooler (more formally called an evaporative cooler) is essentially a large box-like frame containing a big fan and walled in by water-wetted pads, usually made of cedar shavings or cellulose. The fan whooshes the hot outside air through the dripping pads (which are continually soaked by a water pump), cooling the air by about 20 F as the air evaporates water molecules from the pads. The fan then blows the water-cooled air through the house and out a deliberate vent.
[RIGHT]Right: [ASAP Heating & Cooling] Cut away photo of a swamp cooler[/RIGHT]
Wet the back of your hand -- then blow on it. Your skin surface feels cooler. That's evaporative cooling.
Folks differ on why it's called a swamp cooler. Some say because it makes the house feel like a muggy swamp-but that's only when the late summer rains come and the cooler is less efficient. On dry days-which is almost every day in a desert-a swamp cooler works fine. In high humidity areas, like Washington D.C., they don't work at all because the water does not evaporate appreciably and thus the air is not cooled.
Swamp coolers are popular in the southwest because they are relatively inexpensive, use a quarter as much electricity as a refrigerated unit, are easy to maintain by the average do-it-yourselfer, and add a comfortable level of humidity to the dry desert air. The smell of fresh cedar pads on the first hot days of summer is delightful.


source: A swamp cooler cools air by evaporation




"some people use bars on their windows for decorative reasons" Thats really classic. personally I have a short barrel pistol grip 12 gage for "decorative reasons".
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
1,444 posts, read 2,956,634 times
Reputation: 517
Great post jghoo!
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:54 PM
 
1,764 posts, read 3,718,115 times
Reputation: 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pit Bull Dawg View Post

Tim, do you know more about leaving the chimney dampers open for the swamp cooler?

Do people actually do this? We have a gas fireplace that we never use.

Sounds like a great idea that we will try this summer. I never would have thought of that!

We have been perplexed about this issue also. During our first summer here in ABQ, I fell and broke three toes during my daily opening and closing of the small window over our bathtub for the swamp cooler.

We live in a single story house too, and that's the only window we feel comfortable leaving open when we are not around it. I had thought about putting bars on that one window, but didn't really want to go to that much expense.

There's just gotta be another way.
Dawg - I haven't yet tried the open damper idea - I just came up with it about a week ago! But it seems like a good idea, and I can't really think of any reason why it wouldn't be o.k. Most probably, though, you'll need to open some windows too, so as not to put too much strain on the swamp fan.

I'm including a few pics of the setup I mentioned above. To be honest, once a window is in a secured, open state, there no reason why it couldn't be left in that position for days. Swamp-cooled air during the day, fresh, outside air at night.

When you look at the picture of the wood 1x4 in the window, keep in mind it sits inside a ridge/gap in the window base. The alarm is two-piece; one piece is attached to the window, the other the frame. When the magnetic field is broken, it's 90dB of ear-piercing, burglar-scaring alarm.
Attached Thumbnails
Swamp Cooler Questions-p1010056.jpg   Swamp Cooler Questions-p1010055.jpg   Swamp Cooler Questions-p1010054.jpg  
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Chihuahuan Desert
2,480 posts, read 4,991,289 times
Reputation: 1120
Default Stupid Swamp Cooler Question

I know regular A/C (refrigerated air) helps to block pollen from outside coming inside, but do the pads on swamp coolers act as blockers to outside pollen/irritants?
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:33 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
909 posts, read 1,163,310 times
Reputation: 586
Quote:
Originally Posted by yukon View Post
I know regular A/C (refrigerated air) helps to block pollen from outside coming inside, but do the pads on swamp coolers act as blockers to outside pollen/irritants?
Since an open window is necessary when running a swamp cooler, you'll be letting in what the air conditioner keeps out (pollens). The air conditioner recirculates the same air, but a swamp cooler brings in new air from the outside.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Chihuahuan Desert
2,480 posts, read 4,991,289 times
Reputation: 1120
That's what I was afraid of. Thanks! Guess I better go buy a window AC unit
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
2,802 posts, read 4,178,267 times
Reputation: 1627
The issue isn't so black-and-white as that.

One thing swamp coolers do is raise the indoor humidity. We've all been brought up to believe oh no, humidity is bad, but in this case, they're doing you a favor most of the time.

The only thing worse than pollen on a nasal membrane is pollen on a nasal membrane in ultra-dry air, which we have here even in the summer.

If the humidity is less than 20%, it's unhealthy, and you're more prone to allergic attacks, illnesses, and bloody noses. Swamp coolers eliminate that risk. Further, an open window with a swamp cooler will have positive pressure, meaning pollen does not generally come in that way. Pollen may get sucked into a cooler, but by the time it gets to the wet pad, it tends to clump up and not stay airborne in the same way. Swamps definitely bring in things from the outside, but bear in mind that's typically a good thing, since indoor air is almost always worse than outdoor air.

Refrigerated can be nice, but all else being equal, I'll take a swamp for the above reasons. It also doesn't hurt that it costs less than half what central air costs to run it most of the time. And don't waste your money on a window A/C unit; they use twice the juice of central air units for the same cooling effect.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
196 posts, read 378,176 times
Reputation: 37
I never thought about the pollen with the swamp cooler. Very infomative thread!

-such a girly girl...
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