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Last updated May. 03, 2019
An evaporative cooler is an amazing machine that can keep you comfortable during the hot period of the year. The machine, which is also called a swamp cooler, can comfortably cool different indoor and outdoor environments without consuming so much energy.
This, in turn, translates to a lower electricity bill. Using air coolers instead of traditional air conditioners is a huge step towards green living and has so many important benefits.
Though they are incredibly wonderful and offer lots of health and economic benefits, air coolers are not for everyone. Don’t get it wrong: they do not affect humans in any way but may not work well in certain conditions.
The efficiency of the machine can be severely affected by high humidity. In fact, they can’t work properly in a highly humid environment.
It is imperative, therefore, that you understand the machine properly and determine if it is ideal for where you live before you buy.
To help you figure this out, we will take a closer look at the evaporative cooler before discussing the factors that affect its efficiency.
A good understanding of how evaporative coolers work will help you figure out why the interaction between humidity and temperature is important.
The machine uses the principle of evaporative cooling to bring down the ambient temperature. This is the same natural principle that helps us to stay cool when we sweat during very hot days.
The evaporative cooler is basically a box that houses cooling pads, a pump system that keeps the pads damp at all times, and a fan system that blows the cool air from the machine to reduce the temperature of the space it is being used in.
When the machine is switched on, the pump system supplies water from the reservoir to keep the cooling pads damp at all times.
The pads have several layers to increase their surface areas, which are the major places evaporative cooling occurs. The fan system and the cooling pads draw hot air into the machine.
When such hot air passes through the cooling pads, the heat energy it possesses is used to cause evaporation of water from the surface of the cooling pads. This process results in the air becoming cooler even as a layer of moisture is added to it.
The fan system will expel the cool air from the evaporative cooler to the room or space, bringing about a drop in the ambient temperature. The process is repeated continuously as long as the machine stays on.
As explained above, the evaporative cooler adds moisture to the air it releases into your living space or other places it is being used to cool.
This improves the humidity of the space, which is desirable in a dry and hot climate. The machine needs a fresh supply of hot and dry air for the process to continue seamlessly.
Air that is already laden with moisture cannot be properly cooled by the evaporative cooler.
Such air, no matter its temperature, will not accept enough moisture and will not lose a decent amount of its heat energy even as it passes through the damp cooling pads.
This also means the room or space that needs to be cool will not be adequately cooled.
You need to understand whether your environment will support the use of evaporative cooler before you buy one. It is not just about the humidity of the environment but the prevailing temperature too.
To make it easier for people to determine the suitability of the machine to where they live, there is an evaporative cooler humidity chart that shows the optimum condition for the use of evaporative cooler anywhere.
You will need to find the temperature condition in your environment and the relative humidity in order to use the chart which is provided below.
If you know what air temperature and relative humidity are, you won’t have any problem interpreting the chart.
For the benefit of the doubt, we will briefly explain what air temperature and relative humidity are:
1. Air Temperature
Air temperature refers to the degree of hotness or coldness of the air.
For the purpose of reading this chart, it is the temperature measured by a thermometer without other factors taken into account (dry bulb temperature).
2. Relative Humidity
This is a percentage that expresses how saturated the air is with water. Relative humidity takes into account the way temperature affects humidity.
In practical terms, it takes the amount of moisture in the air and compares it to the maximum amount of moisture that air in that temperature can hold.
A 100% relative humidity, therefore, means that the air has the maximum amount of water it can contain at its current temperature. This also means that evaporation is impossible in that temperature.
To use the chart you need to get the air temperature and relative humidity in the place you live in. Find the intersection of the two figures (temperature from the corner and relative humidity across the top).
The figure you get in the intersection is the temperature you should expect from an evaporative cooler.
If, for instance, air temperature is 800 and the relative humidity is 30%, the evaporative cooler will be able to bring the temperature down to 740 and no further. That condition is ideal for comfort.
While you can use the evaporative cooler in almost any place at all, the amount of cooling you will obtain will depend on the interplay between temperature and relative humidity.
From the region heightened green upwards in the chart, the temperature you can get with the evaporative cooler will be comfortable (750 and below).
Below the point marked green, the evaporative cooler cannot cool the air below 760, and that may not be comfortable at all.
If you live in a dry and hot climate, the evaporative cooler is the right machine for your cooling need.
If, on the other hand, you live where humidity is an issue, it will be necessary to use the chart and determine if the machine can work in your locality.
If from the chart, you find out that you can obtain temperature below 760, you should go ahead and buy an evaporative cooler. The benefits it offers are numerous.
If you have any further questions, contact us and we would be happy to help you.