Swamp cooler Less Efficient in High Humidity - Chico CA - White Glove Chimney & DuctFor most people, keeping cool means staying inside with air conditioning, but you are not most people. For you, keeping cool means staying inside with swamp cooling turned on. After all, it pays to keep cool the nontraditional way when you can save on your utility bill, and so far, swamp cooling has worked fairly well for you. What you may not have noticed, however, is that it works best on days when the air is driest. It is helpful to understand that keeping cool with swamp cooling can be problematic in high humidity, since swamp coolers run less efficiently in more humid conditions.

Swamp coolers, also known as evaporative coolers, use evaporation of water to cool the outdoor air. An air blower draws the hot outdoor air through wet pads, which allows the air to absorb some of the pads’ water as the water evaporates. This process is almost like sweating but keeps your entire home cool instead of just you! Air that is hotter and dryer will absorb more water, therefore keeping your home cooler. Finally, the air blower circulates the cooled off air throughout your home. This cooling process has the potential to lower the temperature of the outdoor air by up to 30 degrees in low humidity, but in high humidity swamp cooling does not work as well.

Humidity levels make a big difference in the efficiency of swamp coolers. How well a swamp cooler keeps your home cool depends on both the temperature and humidity of the outside air. The higher the humidity, the less effective evaporation will be as a cooling method. For example, while the air is at 10% humidity, the swamp cooler can drop temperatures by up to 20 to 30 degrees, while at 50% humidity, the swamp cooler can drop temperatures by about 10 degrees. Moreover, when the heat approaches triple digit levels, then the humidity will negatively impact swamp cooling at even lower levels. According to USA Today, “When the outside temperature soars to 100 degrees (38 C), we’re in trouble if the humidity is much above 25%.” As temperatures rise, humidity must decline in order to effectively cool your home. While swamp coolers do make the air feel about five degrees cooler than it really is due to the air blower sending a breeze through your home, this does little good if high humidity prevents evaporation from significantly lowering the air’s temperature. Even more, swamp coolers add moisture to the air, which while relieving in arid conditions, may feel uncomfortable in high humidity.

To have your swamp cooler inspected or serviced, call the professionals at White Glove today or go online to schedule an appointment. With locations in Redding and Chico, White Glove serves a large portion of Northern California.