Evaporative Coolers: The Perfect Accessory for Arid Environments
If you live in an arid environment and you're looking for a way to stay cool, consider an evaporative cooler. Evaporative coolers are perfect for arid environments. They're cost effective and they provide cool air quickly. So if you live in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah or any other area that's hot and dry, an evaporative cooler is the best way to combat the intense heat you'll experience this summer.
Different from other air conditioning systems, evaporative coolers cycle hot air dry air through moist pads, then circulates cooler air into the room. For this system to work, a window or door must be open. A room air conditioner draws hot air in from the outside and recycles it through a filter.
For a room air conditioner to be effective, you must keep all the windows and doors closed. Room air conditioners lower humidity levels too, and in areas where humidity levels are already low, this might not be the best option. Evaporative coolers release both cool air and moisture into the air, providing a cooler, balanced living environment. Technically, evaporative coolers aren't ideal for areas already steeped in humidity; however, for those living in arid environments, an evaporative cooler balances humidity levels, thus providing an atmosphere that's healthy and good for your home.
A Little History...
According to the Consumer Energy Center, "In the Arizona desert in the 1920s, people would often sleep outside on screened-in sleeping porches during the summer. On hot nights, bed sheets or blankets soaked in water would be hung inside of the screens. Whirling electric fans would pull the night air through the moist cloth to cool the room." The concept behind evaporative cooling is the same. Arizona is as hot today as it was then; in spite of this, technological advances makes staying cool a lot easier. There's no need to sleep outside, surrounded by wet blankets with an electric fan. With an evaporative cooler, you can sleep in the comfort of your home.
The Consumer Energy Center describes the cooling process as follows: "An evaporative cooler produces effective cooling by combining a natural process - water evaporation - with a simple, reliable air-moving system. Fresh outside air is pulled through moist pads where it is cooled by evaporation and circulated through a house or building by a large blower. As this happens, the temperature of the outside air can be lowered as much as 30 degrees." Consequently, evaporative coolers provide cool air but also add viable moisture to the air too.
According to USA Today an indoor humidity level less than 30 % is too dry. This causes "dry-home syndrome" in which wall paneling, wood trim, hardwood flooring can shrink and cause joints to open. Wood furniture can become loose and pianos can go out of tune. Humidity levels that are too low can cause such health problems as dry noses, throats, and colds. Conversely, there are healthy humidity levels. Some of the benefits include:
It's important to note that humidity levels should not exceed 50%. According to USA Today an indoor humidity level of about 45% is ideal. Consider how an evaporative cooler will keep you cool and successfully balance humidity levels in your home.
On a Budget?
An evaporative cooler is a cost effective option that will keep you cool this summer. There are many energy efficient models to choose from that boast an Energy Star rating, programmable thermostats, timers, and other beneficial amenities.
The Consumer Energy Center indicates that "evaporative coolers are achieving a new popularity," and that "swamp coolers use as much as 75 percent less electricity as air conditioning." They cite the Sacramento Municipal Utility District having estimated the electricity savings at approximately $150 a year. And for hotter desert climates, the savings can be much more. They also indicate that evaporative coolers cost about half as much as air conditioners that cool the same sized area. In today's economy, this is a significant savings.