How An Evaporative Air Cooler Or Swamp Cooler Works

A portable evaporative air cooler, or swamp cooler, is a great alternative for inexpensive cooling. These are both less expensive to purchase and less expensive to run over a portable air conditioner. Also, the mechanism is much less complex than an air conditioner small room cooler, so it should take less maintenance and upkeep.

An evaporative air cooler operates on the principle of an endothermic reaction. An endothermic reaction is a process that absorbs energy in the form of heat. The evaporative air cooler passes air by having a wet media (wick). As the air passes through the water in the wick evaporates and the reaction causes heat in the air to be absorbed.

This isn’t always so an easy task to understand, but the process is one that we experience every time we sweat. On a hot day, sweat evaporates off of your skin causing the same endothermic reaction as an evaporative air cooler does. Another example is getting out of a swimming pool on a breezy and hot day. Even though the temperature may be over one hundred degrees, the water rapidly evaporating off of your body may make you feel cooled or cold. A normal air conditioner uses a liquid like Freon to absorb the heat. It then places the heat outside of the area being cooled through venting. An evaporative air cooler instead cools the air by using the endothermic reaction described.

Evaporative air refridgerators are better suited for dry climates. More water can be evaporated in dry air than in humid air, making these much more effective when dampness is low. Also, unlike when using a normal air conditioner, the area being cooled should not be sealed up. The area should be ventilated so the humid air produced by the cooler can be overly enthusiastic and replaced by drier air.

Since a swamp cooler utilizes water, an acceptable water aquarium size is highly recommended. The rate at which an evaporative air cooler utilizes water is around half a liter an hour depending on the dampness level, so a six to ten liter aquarium is recommended. An evaporative air cooler should have an venting of at least 500 cubic meters hourly. Brands, such as the SPT evaporative air cooler cooler may offer other features such an ionizer or ice provides. These additional features add some cost, but prices for a portable evaporative air cooler is always under an equivalent portable air conditioner. Plus, they are cheaper to run and maintain.


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