If you ask the older generation if they know of the evaporative AC units, they may say no. However, the chances are that they would recognise the idea behind the technology. Before air conditioners, people would sleep outside on a screened porch to try and stay cool at night. They would hang damp sheets over the screen in an attempt to cool the air. As the warm air passed through, it was cooled, then the cold air would slowly circulate relieving some of the heat for the sleeping individual.
The same concept exists today in the form of evaporative air conditioner units. These machines have an excellent cooling mechanism for individuals who live in hot and dry climates. These coolers are also known as a swamp cooler, but that can be misleading since they will not work in swampy, humid conditions. The name came from the way the evaporative AC units add humidity to the air. Evaporative air conditioning units need dry, hot air to work because for the air to be cooled, it has to evaporate some of the water. If the air is saturated, it will not pick up any more water, and it will not be cooled.
Here is how an evaporative air conditioner works; the unit is composed of a fan that helps pull the hot, dry air inside the cooler, where is then passed through damp pads. The pads are kept moist using a pump that circulates water through the AC unit. As the dry air picks up water, its temperature drops, sometimes by as much as 30 °C depending on the climate. The chill air is then blown into your space. A bonus of an evaporative air conditioning unit is that the pads that cool the air also filter it. As the cold air passes through the pads, dust, dirt, allergens and other pollutants are captured in the pad’s fibres. So you are sure of breathing clean and more refreshing air.
If you’re wondering why you should buy an evaporative cooler over the conventional air conditioner, there is one more reason to go for it. The cost to run this type of AC system can be as little as 1/10 the amount it costs to run an AC unit. Some community power providers in hot, dry climates will offer residents a rebate if they install evaporative coolers because they know how effective and efficient these units are. If you are considering using these coolers, you need to contact your local AC company and look at the available options for you as well as cost estimates. With proper research, you will find a unit that serves your needs and one that is cost effective.