When I first moved to New Mexico, I kept spotting these yellow tarps on top of many of the houses. I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out what those things were. My husband finally clued me in about swamp coolers (or evaporative coolers). This Florida girl was completely taken aback. Why would anyone want their home to feel like a swamp? But I quickly realized how important moisture is here in the desert.
If you’re new like me, here’s the low-down on swamp coolers (aka evaporative coolers).
How They Work
Evaporative coolers work on the principle that evaporating water into the air creates natural cooling. Inside the machine, outdoor air passes over water-saturated pads. The air then absorbs the moisture before a fan pumps it into the home. And that wetter air is cooler air.
Swamp Coolers Are More Energy Efficient
Evaporative coolers use about one-quarter of the energy that an HVAC system would use provided that it’s the right size system for the home. PNM even offers rebates for some evaporative cooling systems.
Evaporative Coolers Do Require Maintenance
In fact, swamp coolers require more frequent maintenance than refrigerated air conditioners. To save on maintenance costs, it’s a good idea to drain and clean your unit regularly. This will prevent the build-up of sediment and minerals. You should also replace the pads once or twice a season. If the pads aren’t properly maintained, they could grow harmful bacteria or fungus. Lastly, have your unit professionally cleaned and serviced annually.
The Drawbacks of Swamp Coolers
While they help, swamp coolers don’t cool down the house as much as an air conditioner would. This is particularly true in very hot weather. They also can be bad for your roof. In addition, they use a lot of water.
Is Swamp Cooler Conversion Right for Me?
Some homeowners choose to convert their home’s evaporative cooler to refrigerated air. While the cost and energy savings are a real plus, some of us just really love to feel that ice-cold refrigerated air on our faces. So if you’re thinking about ditching your swamp cooler, just be aware of the trade-off.
Gustafson’s Heating Cooling & Plumbing
Our partners at Gustafson’s Heating Cooling & Plumbing service, repair, and replace all brands of swamp/evaporative coolers in Albuquerque and surrounding areas. They also specialize in air conditioners and would be happy to discuss converting your home to refrigerated air.
Gustafson’s Heating Cooling and Plumbing is a family-owned and operated company right here in the Albuquerque area. They believe customer service is not a thing of the past and really pride themselves on having positive interactions with their customers.
In addition to evaporative coolers and refrigerated air services, Gustafson’s offers leak detection, heating, water heater service, and plumbing services.
Find out more on their website. Or you can contact them here or by phone at 505-456-2426.