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Old 06-24-2007, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Montrose
63 posts, read 315,344 times
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Both work well ...EV Coolers work great until it hits the 100s ..or the August Rains come..AC is Best then...

Some homes I have listed have both.. Neat idea..

HM
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:19 AM
 
Location: The 719
15,821 posts, read 23,744,588 times
Reputation: 14846
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeCalifornia View Post
Does such a thing exist? I know Colorado's dry climate is ideal for swamp coolers and they're a lot cheaper to run than traditional AC. But are there times when the swamp cooler doesn't cut it and AC really saves the day? Do they make units that can go either way at the flip of a switch?
They're a lot cheaper to run than traditional AC? I don't agree with that. We set our house to a max of 74 while we're at work and between 69 and 72 while we're at home during the rough months and we stay comfortable. Sometimes I even like the house to be cold and I can do that as well. If I go down to the basement while the AC is on, I need a blanket. It's nice having a finished basement. It's dark and cool in the summer.

My parents have a swamp cooler and I used to point the thing right on me when I took a nap. Theirs is mounted on the side of the house. They don't have this big water stain going down their roof, but I think that every swamp cooler drips water.

When we were having our home built, our builder recommended that we just get central air. He said that a typical system for our size home would cost 1600 bucks but he could do it for 800. I think that's about 300 more than the price of a swamp cooler. Now, with a sophisticated thermostat, we can keep the electric bill from getting too high and have something that works year round.
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,345 posts, read 85,970,489 times
Reputation: 17614
Quote:
Originally Posted by McGowdog View Post
They're a lot cheaper to run than traditional AC? I don't agree with that. We set our house to a max of 74 while we're at work and between 69 and 72 while we're at home during the rough months and we stay comfortable. Sometimes I even like the house to be cold and I can do that as well. If I go down to the basement while the AC is on, I need a blanket. It's nice having a finished basement. It's dark and cool in the summer.

My parents have a swamp cooler and I used to point the thing right on me when I took a nap. Theirs is mounted on the side of the house. They don't have this big water stain going down their roof, but I think that every swamp cooler drips water.

When we were having our home built, our builder recommended that we just get central air. He said that a typical system for our size home would cost 1600 bucks but he could do it for 800. I think that's about 300 more than the price of a swamp cooler. Now, with a sophisticated thermostat, we can keep the electric bill from getting too high and have something that works year round.
I think a swamp cooler would be a lot cheaper to run per hour as it probably uses a 1/2 to 3/4 horsepower motor (400-500 watts). A 2.5 ton 10 SEER A/C unit uses 3000 watts.
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:01 PM
 
Location: The 719
15,821 posts, read 23,744,588 times
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A horsepower is 746 watts, so you're pretty close. That's 373 to 560 watts. I have a stereo that puts out 1600 watts per amp (mono) to a 4 ohm load. These amps will drive a 2 Ω load; heck, you can weld with these babies. So when I rock out, I'm making that meter spin. When I fire up the amps and put in some Metallica, I'm burning about 8 and a half HP.

You say that my AC uses 4 HP. But it works. Out in Pueblo West it gets between 95 to 100 and with no AC the house can get above 80. A swamp cooler may be more efficient, but how about if it's running all the time and still doesn't cool the house down? My cats would puke all over our furniture if we let the house get above 75. A swamp cooler may cool down our garage or something like that. In eastern Colorado, people have Trane ACs for their homes. You don't see too many swamp coolers.
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Old 06-25-2007, 02:09 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 26,849,333 times
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mcgowdog,

In eastern Colorado, the humidity can get high enough on some days to impair the efficiency of an evap cooler. Also, more houses are using a combination heat pump/mechanical A/C system these days. The energy use for the A/C in summer is tempered by the energy savings of the heat pump system in both summer and winter.

In dry environments, though, the swamp cooler wins. I have family over in Colorado's west-central valleys and used to live there myself. On a typical summer day (using myself as the example when I lived there), I would close up the house when I left for work in the morning. The house was well insulated enough that the temperature would be about 78 degrees when I got home in the evening. I would open up the windows and turn on the cooler. It would quickly drop the temperature to 70-75, even on a 100 degree day. Usually by bedtime, it would be cool enough outside to turn the cooler to "vent," or off altogether. So, the cooler was generally running less than 5-10 hours per day, even on the hottest days. The other nice thing about the cooler was that it would add humidity to the house when the outside relative humidity was often in single digits. Mechanical A/C actually removes moisture from the air--great if you live in the humid Midwest or East, but not great in the arid West.

I knew a fellow who grew up in Phoenix in the 1940's. He said that no one there had ever heard of mechanical A/C until the town built up enough that the humid urban heat island effect came along from all of the pavement and lawn irrigation. Then the swamp coolers weren't effective anymore because of the higher outside relative humidities. Same in Denver. The house I grew up in there did not have evap or A/C and was comfortable on all but the hottest days of summer. The house I live in now has no A/C or evap either, but I'm at 6,200 feet elevation.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,345 posts, read 85,970,489 times
Reputation: 17614
I live near Monument at 7300 feet altitude, so I am probably 4-6 degrees cooler adiabatically from the Springs. My house doesn't have any cooling. (I've only been here one year but I did download three years worth of daily weather data before I moved here from LA.) Last year it never got above 86 in my house, but that was with a nice dry breeze blowing through (which fills the house with dust). Most of the time, most of us are at work or school. With central air you can't (shouldn't) close off supply vents because you may cause the cooling coil to frost up and block the air flow. That means you have to cool off the whole house - for one or two people. I hate to think about cooling off a whole house for one or two people - especially for maybe a dozen hot days a year. With well placed trees, few windows facing east and west, and ceiling fans you almost don't need air conditioning.

I'm just too cheap.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:52 PM
 
Location: The 719
15,821 posts, read 23,744,588 times
Reputation: 14846
I'm all about cheap. I don't know what the average RH is in Pueblo West during the summer months but I remember Greeley getting pretty darn humid during the summer-for Colorado, that is.

My parents live at about 6100 ft and it is usually 5 to 10 degrees cooler than Pueblo, but 95 is still pretty hot.

Two of my brothers live in Florida and one of them isn't very cheap. He drives an H2 and he has two air conditioners in his home. He has one for their bedroom and one for the rest of the house.
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