Factors to consider when deciding between a portable and externally mounted Evaporative Cooler:
With ever increasing electricity costs and the effects of global warming, we are all trying to be more mindful of our environment by considering alternate methods of cooling in these long hot summer months. An Evaporative Cooler is an incredibly energy efficient method of cooling, but there are definitely a few key points to consider when deciding whether to purchase a portable unit or installing a fixed model.
Like most things in life, it’s LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. In order for an evaporative cooler to perform efficiently, it requires fresh, dry air. I could ramble on about dry bulb and wet bulb temperatures, but as I’m not sure I have a steady grasp on the scientific formulas required, I’ll put it in layman’s terms. The dryer the air, the more effective the cooler works, and the greater the drop in temperature. In moisture rich environments, the effects are not very noticeable and you would be better off looking into alternate cooling methods. This is where the debate over the efficacy of a portable cooler comes in. If, for example, you had one in your home in Durban, initially you would receive cool, fresh air. The longer the cooler is running though, the more the humidity is increased, resulting in no temperature difference whatsoever. It may, in fact, make the air even more uncomfortable. An evaporative cooler works by drawing fresh air through moist pads, and the heat is then removed through the evaporative process. The result being that the cool air produced is rich in moisture. This is why a portable evaporative cooler is only a feasible option when your home has a steady flow of fresh dry air.
The Americans have termed it a swamp cooler, and whilst there are many ideas as to how the name came about, the most commonly held theory is that it creates a humid environment if not used under ideal conditions. With our dry Cape Summers, as far removed from a swampy environment as I can imagine, it can lower the temperature by as much as 15°C. An added benefit is that since it is incredibly dry here, the added humidity is welcome. So should you decide to buy a portable unit, you would have to ensure that there is a steady flow of air being circulated to avoid feeling clammy. If you don’t enjoy leaving your windows and doors open to the elements, an installed unit is your best bet.
What are my alternatives?
No need to despair if you are in a humid area, there are portable air conditioners available that are incredibly energy efficient and won’t break the bank. The benefit of a traditional AC in humid areas, is that of dehumidification. These units extract moisture and heat immediately, allowing for a more comfortable climate. If it is mobility you seek, then these light weight AC’s are ideal.
Likewise, the process of evaporation caused by moving air, will leave you feeling cooler without adding additional moisture to the air. Cooling fans which can be wall mounted or free standing, cause the natural phenomenon known as wind-chill. This basically means that even though the actual temperature isn’t dropping, you feel cooler. Our bodies are designed to sweat for exactly this purpose, the moisture produced when combined with moving air, leaves us feeling cooler. Fans merely enhance the wind-chill factor and can be used even with all the doors and windows closed.
So whether you live in a valley, or high on a hill, Evapcool has the solutions to help you chill.