DIY : What are the Benefits of an Evaporative Cooling System?

Evaporative cooling systems are made specifically to be used in hot, dry climates. They draw hot air from outside and pass it through wet pads. The dry air absorbs the water, dropping the interior temperature causing evaporation to cool the air. Opening windows in the rooms furthest from the in-flowing vent will allow colder air to be expelled which will cool the warmer rooms and expel odors.

This type of cooling system is ideal for those living in a hot climate with low humidity, especially those who want to lower their energy expenses. Utilizing a systematic system for cooling also increases the lifespan of your air conditioning unit, giving an added financial incentive.


Let’s take a closer look at the benefits you can reap from changing from a regular air condition to an evaporative cooling system. This is a very cost-effective method to cool your home or business; usually an 80% energy cost savings. The internal air becomes comfortably cool, not cold. Flow-through ventilation brings plenty of fresh air through your indoor environment. The constant flow cleanses the air by blowing away cooking or smoking odors. It is safer for people with allergies. This system has lower maintenance costs. The list goes on, but you get the idea.


There are several components that make up an evaporative cooling system. Evaporative coolers run on a much smaller motor than a regular air conditioning unit, which is primarily why they use less electricity. They utilize metal bearings for the drive shaft to turn. They have two pulleys — one for the blower and one for the motor. They have a V-belt, designed to create minimal slippage and ease on the bearings. There is a pump that moves water from a pan to the distribution cooler onto the wet pads. They have a drain pipe coming out of the cooler pan to prevent overflow. A cooler float sits in the cooler pan and a float valve and overflow tube are attached. Cooler pads are in each unit. Distribution tubing (also called “the spider”) distributes water from the pump to the cooling pads.


You need to know when to call a professional if your system is not working properly. (Skilled DIYers can do much of the maintenance themselves.) If you do not wish to tackle an issue yourself, call a pro when the motor stops working as it will have to be replaced. When the bearings squeak, lubrication may be all that is needed. Belts may need replaced if they appear to be cracking. The pads must remain saturated at all times; if the pads are not saturated, call your service provider. (Note that hard water can clog a pump, so check with your installer for maintenance products to prevent that.) If water overflows onto the ground or it’s time for the yearly replacement of the cooler pads, call. If air doesn’t seem to be cooling properly, the distribution tubing could be clogged.

These units are also known as “swamp coolers”, but are not efficient in climates with high humidity. They work on the same principle as a fan cooling sweat on your skin. By evaporating the moisture in the air, the temperature in the room cools. It uses a very simple physics solution for a very difficult climate. Those lucky enough to live in a hot, low humidity environment can save a great deal of money yearly on their energy expenses with an evaporative cooling system.


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