Swamp Cooler Guide: Buying Tips and Examples

Jun 11, 2020

It’s getting hotter, and the electric bills are starting to go up. Looking for ways to stay cool while cutting down on expenses? You have come to the right place.

A lot of people use air conditioners, but those are expensive and environmentally destructive. Is there an effective, money-saving alternative to AC? A swamp cooler is precisely that.

Here you will find a comprehensive guide on these awesome home appliances with essential information on what they are, what they do, and what to consider before making a purchase. Want to learn more? Let’s dig in!

Content:

  1. What Is a Swamp Cooler? Mechanism and Benefits
  2. How Does an Evaporative Cooler Work?
  3. Benefits of Using a Swamp Cooler
  4. Tips for Buying a Swamp Cooler
  5. What's the Difference Between a Swamp Cooler and an Air Conditioner?
  6. Best Swamp Coolers
  7. Wrap Up

What Is a Swamp Cooler? Mechanism and Benefits

It’s a water-based cooling gadget that uses an age-old technique. Back in ancient Egypt, people used wet bed sheets to find relief in the scorching weather conditions. Thanks to physics, we now know that the difference in temperature creates a mild wind that cools down the surroundings.

Can’t you do that with a fan? No, because you also need water to affect the temperature. A swamp cooler combines the two variables, allowing you to lower the intensity of the heat in its vicinity.

How Does an Evaporative Cooler Work?

How does an evaporative cooler work?

Swamp coolers are built on one distinctive property of water — it can draw a good amount of heat to evaporate. During this process of liquid turning into vapor, the temperature of dry air can drop. We have a similar mechanism in our bodies whereby when it’s hot most of us sweat, and this helps the body cool down.

The swamp cooler makeup is pretty simple. It has either an inbuilt or detachable container for water that can be refilled with a water bottle or straight from the tap if you have good water running down your pipes. Certain builds also allow for connecting it to a water pipe to get a continuous supply of water. This option is more useful in window swamp coolers and other models made for bigger spaces.

There are two more key features in a swamp cooler — pads and a fan. The fan is there to power up the evaporation process and delivery of cool air. A major part of the device’s innards is a pad, also called a cartridge or sometimes even a filter, that provides a surface for evaporation. It’s made from moisture-absorbing materials, which is usually cellulose, though it’s not the best choice for something that is often in contact with water.

How Does an Evaporative Cooler Work?

Benefits of Using a Swamp Cooler

  • Air quality

Evaporative coolers simply use water, and if it’s the same quality as the one you can drink, you have nothing to worry about. Water is good at holding onto dust, which helps clear the air. And thanks to the additional source of water, the gadget contributes to the humidity — helpful for maintaining a healthy level indoors.

  • Cost

Swamp coolers are an economical solution in summers. They save almost 90% on energy costs when compared with typical air-con. Moreover, the installation costs of AC are pretty steep, while with evaporative-type coolers you have negligible installation costs.

Moreover, they are not very costly to buy. Just make sure you don't buy the cheapest one either. A middle-range high-performance durable swamp cooler will last you many seasons.

  • Ease of installation

The standard fitting of a typical air conditioner is challenging, expensive, and you cannot do it by yourself. The air conditioners require ductwork and refrigerant lines that have to be installed by a licensed contractor.

The swamp coolers, on the other hand, just need to be attached to a water connection and plugged in. This is far more affordable and more accessible than hiring a professional and paying them hundreds of dollars.

  • Range of applications

A swamp cooler can be used anywhere, be it your living or work space. Some models are heavier than others, but the bigger ones have wheels so it's not a problem to move them around. In summers, when the heat is unbearable and the air is dry, they are most helpful, indoors and outdoors alike. They can be your best friend in the backyard or by your patio area, as much as in your indoor spaces.

Swamp coolers are also available for use in industrial and commercial sectors.

Tips for Buying a Swamp Cooler

Before we move any further, it's worth noting that although swamp coolers are more affordable in the long run, they are made for drier climates. Plus, they come in such a variation of sizes and performance capabilities that there's quite a bit to consider before you find the one that suits your personal preferences, space availability, and mobility requirements.

1. Make Sure It’s Suitable for Your Climate

The primary factor to consider before buying an evaporative cooler is to make sure that the climate of your region is suitable for one. If you live in a humid environment, then a swamp cooler is not the best solution for you as it adds moisture in the air.

However, if that’s not one of your concerns, then these swamp coolers would make your summers dreamy — eradicating the heat and discomfort and making the environment pleasant.

As the swamp coolers tend to add moisture to the air, they are great in hot, dry areas.

2. Consider the Cooler Size Against Your Available Space

A lot of swamp cooler models aren’t the smallest appliance you can have at home, so consider the measurements of each model against the space you have available. Or consider a personal cooler that can be placed on any available surface near you and usually looks much nicer.

The size is also about the CFM rating, i.e., the amount of air that passes from the cooler to your environment per minute. If the size of your room is approximately 250 sq. ft., then the recommended CFM rating is 750 CFM.

You should look for a swamp cooler with higher CFM if your ceiling is higher than standard height or if the space is exposed to direct sunlight. The more people are present in a particular area, the higher the CFM should be.

Any heat-generating appliance present in your room can also affect the performance of your cooler.

3. Compare Water Supply Options

When considering any swamp cooler model, look at its water supply system. Some coolers can be connected to a water pipe with a hose and use the same water as what comes through your pipes, while others use internal water containers as their source of moisture. You can, of course, find hybrid options.

Swamp coolers that can be directly connected are considered more suitable because you do not have to refill the tank, but they are expensive.

4. Estimate the Necessary Tank Size Based on Your Needs

If you opt for a smaller model, they don’t have a continuous supply of water and instead come with a container for refilling. Its size is also essential when it comes to choosing the optimal option. That is because the volume of water it can hold affects how long a cooler can work efficiently — once the water runs out, most models work as an ordinary fan with no control of the temperature in its surroundings.

Usually, large-sized swamp coolers also have large water tanks, but some models have variations. So, find a balance between the cooler size and the tank size.

5. Choose an Optimal Set of Features

Swamp coolers are usually simple and don't have an elaborate design. There are just a few basic features you should keep in mind while buying them:

  • CFM rating — or how much space it can effectively cool down. This also affects power consumption.
  • Oscillation — constitutes the ability to move from side to side, affecting a wider territory.
  • Controls — some swamp coolers have digital controls while some are manual.
  • Water level indicator — this will let you know when your cooler is about to run out of water.

6. Study the Manufacturer’s Maintenance Recommendations

When it comes to the maintenance of swamp coolers, it is usually a three-step process that should be done at least once a month:

  1. Clean the outer surface of the cooler with a damp cloth.
  2. Clean the evaporating system of the cooler with lukewarm water and a light detergent.
  3. Dry all parts before reassembling it.

If you want to get the most benefits out of your swamp cooler, it’s recommended that you open windows so the air doesn’t get too humid — in this case, the device won’t be able to evaporate water as efficiently. It’s also more power-efficient when the difference between the temperature of the air and the water is drastically different. Try turning it on once the air reaches the mid-80s in Fahrenheit, which is around 29 on the Celsius scale.

What's the Difference Between a Swamp Cooler and an Air Conditioner?

Swamp cooler or AC?

Air conditioners tend to contribute to the greenhouse effect, and if you do not clean them adequately, they will allow bacteria to grow in the air filters. The viruses in the AC filters can cause nasal congestions and frequent colds.

Furthermore, AC produces dry air, and spending long hours in dry air will dry your skin and make it sensitive. There are chances of leaking of refrigerants in AC if not correctly used. On the other hand, swamp coolers are safer, effective, and reduce the temperature without causing any such side effects.

Swamp coolers are also portable and easy to clean. The coolers are quieter than ACs and consume 75% less energy compared to a typical AC.

A nice perk is that you can and should keep the windows open, letting in that fresh air. Instead, with AC you need to bung up all the windows and even doors and breathe overprocessed air.

Also, you can check our article Swamp Cooler vs. Air Conditioner: What Is the Most Cost-Effective Option?

Best Swamp Coolers

Here are a few examples so you can see how different-sized models for different purposes compare.

Evapolar — Personal Cooler

Evapolar Evaporative Cooler

The Evapolar is a smart and innovative air cooler. It helps cool down up to 33 sq. ft. of personal space. The small portable personal cooler cools, moisturizes, filters dust particles from the air, and makes it healthy for breathing.

This cooler is easy to understand and maintain. It runs on a battery for approximately 12 hours. You can simply use it as a fan if you do not fill the tank with water. It has a very reasonable price as well and is constructed with innovative technology such as the patented evaBreeze material. It is very affordable, starting from $99.

Learn more about Evapolar

MasterCool 4000 CFM — Window Swamp Cooler


It is a heavy-duty window air cooler that is intended to cool down an area of 2000 sq. ft. and runs from 115 Volts. The outer body is rust- and UV light-resistant and is of high quality.

The water pipe is fitted in the cooler for a continuous supply. It is pretty expensive, though, and the price starts from $685. Moreover, it is heavy and not portable.

Hessaire 3100 CFM - Outdoor Swamp Cooler


The Hessaire Swamp Cooler is also large, but it is portable since it has four caster wheels. The Hessaire easily cools up to 950 sq. ft. of space. It is primarily designed for outdoor use. It has heavy-duty fans and oscillating louvers to ensure proper distribution of cool air throughout the area.

The water tank can hold enough for three to four  hours of runtime. It has three-sided cooling pads and generates cool, fresh air. The prices of this swamp cooler start from $379.

Why Choose the Evapolar Compact Air Cooler?

There are various options on the market when it comes to swamp coolers. However, most of them are bulky. Instead, the Evapolar air cooler is effective in up to 33 sq. ft. of space and has several advantages over other swamp coolers:

  • It uses an innovative patented EvaBreeze material for filters. It is a non-organic nanomaterial that provides a better surface for evaporation. This material prevents the growth of bacteria and molds, unlike cellulose filters.
  • It’s all-around made from quality materials. Evapolar is made from durable plastic that doesn’t emit a nasty smell. The patented material helps not only to cool but also to purify the air.
  • It’s just the right size. You can place it in your bedroom, office, or anywhere. It is quiet and has a turnoff timer so you won’t have to get up in the middle of the night and switch it off.
  • It’s personal. It cools the person sitting next to it. The compact size of the cooler allows you to place it on your bedside table while you sleep. It has a noiseless operation, and the faint white noise it produces helps people relax and fall asleep.

Wrap Up

Swamp coolers are an effective, eco-friendly, and affordable way to bring the temperatures down. They work best in a dry and hot climate area. You should make sure to check the CFM rating, coverage area, and a few other features before buying one.

Qries

The Evapolar swamp cooler will allow you to cool your personal space without any worries. It has a reasonable cost and uses innovative technology. Moreover, it is environmentally safe. Buy a swamp cooler for your home or your office and enjoy working in a cool and calm place.