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Old 07-07-2013, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,166,556 times
Reputation: 15656

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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
I have never heard of a swamp cooler, only air conditioners. Can anyone explain what a swamp cooler is/was?
I cannot, but I have a friend who remembers car trips in the baking Southwest when her dad hung wet towels or pillowcases in the open windows and that was their auto air conditioning.

 
Old 07-07-2013, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Florida
20,126 posts, read 20,242,014 times
Reputation: 23753
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
I have never heard of a swamp cooler, only air conditioners. Can anyone explain what a swamp cooler is/was?
How one works can be explained by googling but the main thing is that one adds moisture to the air so not something anybody using a name like in_newengland would be interested in
I only knew about them because a friend in Australia told me about them.
 
Old 07-07-2013, 08:33 AM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,316 posts, read 2,935,786 times
Reputation: 5131
Evaporative cooler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Swamp coolers - or evaporative coolers ADD water and humdity - thus cooling - to dry air. They are VERY common here out West where we commonly have humidity in the single digits all summer long. I've even experienced humidity as low as 3%.

You have to clean them out every year - sometimes once or twice during the summer if it's especially hot - and you're running them often - and change the filter pads often.

However, they are waaay less expensive than running air conditioning - like a third of the cost.

They will NOT work, however, if the humidity levels increase. In recent years this has been the case. Once the humidity reaches upward of 20% - they will not cool.

We installed an AC unit two years ago - when the rebates were available - because of the spike in humidity levels.

Also when your temps are over 100 - as they have been here consistently and very early this year - the swamp cooler cannot keep up. We switch to AC then as well.

In our last house we only had a swamp cooler - and ran it on the 4th of July - when kids in the neighborhood were shooting off fireworks. We had to shut it down - because it would draw the smoke from the fireworks into the house.

But other than that - they work fine.

Last edited by mlb; 07-07-2013 at 08:49 AM..
 
Old 07-07-2013, 11:27 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
20,317 posts, read 19,298,566 times
Reputation: 34738
Thanks for the explanation, I thought maybe it was just slang for something but it is a *real* thing. No, we don't need MORE humidity in the air around here, it's bad enough.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Table Rock Lake
971 posts, read 1,204,138 times
Reputation: 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Thanks for the explanation, I thought maybe it was just slang for something but it is a *real* thing. No, we don't need MORE humidity in the air around here, it's bad enough.
It raised the humidity in the house so much that when you sat on a fabric divan you could almost hear a "squish". LOL
 
Old 07-09-2013, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,166,556 times
Reputation: 15656
Not to change the subject, but just posting to express a huge sigh of relief. I just came from an estate atty's office, he is finally setting up revocable trust, our revised wills, durable powers, healthcare proxies. It's going to cost, and I no longer care. Anything we've missed? I can't wait to throw away the books, pages of notes and questions surrounding this whole thing. Now we can be free to plan the rest of our lives. A lot of thinking to do, but it should be pleasurable.
 
Old 07-09-2013, 03:58 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,627,864 times
Reputation: 22439
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Not to change the subject, but just posting to express a huge sigh of relief. I just came from an estate atty's office, he is finally setting up revocable trust, our revised wills, durable powers, healthcare proxies. It's going to cost, and I no longer care. Anything we've missed? I can't wait to throw away the books, pages of notes and questions surrounding this whole thing. Now we can be free to plan the rest of our lives. A lot of thinking to do, but it should be pleasurable.
That has to be a huge relief! Glad you can relax now and know you have taken care of everything.
 
Old 07-09-2013, 07:36 PM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,316 posts, read 2,935,786 times
Reputation: 5131
Congratulations.

It's hard enough to make sure your parents have this all in order.

And you know how I know that.

We are about to do the same for ourselves.

DO NOT FORGET - Advanced Directives.

What are Advance Directives? - CARING CONNECTIONS - NHPCO
 
Old 07-09-2013, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,017 posts, read 17,933,764 times
Reputation: 32336
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
I have never heard of a swamp cooler, only air conditioners. Can anyone explain what a swamp cooler is/was?
I can explain. A swamp cooler has no air conditioning compressor. It just has a water pump which pumps water over a filter (or filters) and a fan which draws in the air. As the air passes through the wet filter, it is cooled by evaporation and then passes into the house (or room). This type of cooling costs less money because it takes less electricity, but it will only work in dry climates. Therefore the name "swamp cooler" is a misnomer.

The first house we bought in Los Angeles in 1958 (I was 14) had a swamp cooler on the roof, and I remember helping my dad change the filters and/or service it. They are no longer in general use because they are not as effective as airconditioners, especially during periods of humid weather. I suppose it would be accurate to call them the poor-man's airconditioning.

You can approximate the effect by holding up a wet towel between you and a fan. The air that blows through the towel will be cooler because of evaporation. As soon as the towel is dry, there will be no more cooling effect. And if the air is very humid, there will be less cooling effect (and the towel will take much longer to dry).
 
Old 07-09-2013, 08:58 PM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,316 posts, read 2,935,786 times
Reputation: 5131
Perhaps not in Los Angeles, but in this Salt Lake Valley, pretty much every home built from the 60's to the 90's has a swamp cooler.

I suspect the same in other dry states.
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