Rocketman Plumbing here in Albuquerque, New Mexico offers fast repairs done right. We handle your residential and commercial HVAC and plumbing needs to keep your home or business running smoothly all year long. We’re asked quite often what the advantages or disadvantages of a swamp-cooler cooling system are as opposed to an HVAC air conditioning unit.
Most people in Albuquerque and in the surrounding area started off with swamp coolers, and many, many homes have converted swamp coolers to air conditioning. Today, I’ll go over the differences between these two types of home cooling systems so you can make the best choice for your needs.
Refrigerated Air Is Colder Than Swamp-Cooled Air
The temperature that an air conditioner can reach inside your house is much, much cooler than a swamp cooler. If a swamp cooler is up and running and in good condition, and if your house is well insulated and has double-pane windows, the max a swamp cooler will cool your house is about 15 degrees lower inside your house than outside. This means that in the summer, when it gets up to 100 degrees, you’re only going to be able to cool your house down to about 85 degrees. With an air conditioner, you don’t have that problem. You can set it at 72 and it will take your house down to 72 degrees.
Air Conditioners Cost More to Install Than Swamp Coolers
A refrigerated air system does cost quite a bit more to install than a swamp cooler. They also use more electricity than a swamp cooler. However, an air conditioner uses no water, whereas a swamp cooler can go through up to 2,500 gallons in a season, which is quite a bit. Your swamp cooler can go up to about 15 gallons a day if it’s running all day.
So to make the most financially sound decision for your home, you have to weigh the cost of water usage against electricity usage.
Air Conditioners Are Easier to Maintain Than Swamp Coolers
With an air conditioner, there’s basically no maintenance involved other than changing out or cleaning the filter once or twice a season. A swamp cooler on the other hand has to be routinely cleaned. It has to have all new pads, and everything including the pump and motor have to be checked each season by a qualified technician. It’s more involved than using an air conditioner, and it’s not as good at cooling.
Air Conditioners Work in Humid Environments, Swamp Coolers Don’t
During our monsoon season in Albuquerque, the humidity goes up quite a bit. And when we get up above 40% humidity, your swamp coolers stop working. They stop cooling at all because they aren’t designed to operate in humid environments. Some years we don’t even have a monsoon season, but when we do, we get lots of calls saying, “My swamp cooler isn’t working!” Well, nobody’s swamp cooler’s working when it’s above 40% humidity. That’s another good reason you might consider upgrading to a refrigerated air system, because those will work no matter the weather outside.
Call Rocketman for Expert Air Conditioner Installation
My advice is, if you’d like to be more comfortable, it might be time for you to upgrade to refrigerated air. Call us at 505-375-6602 and we’ll come out in a flash to give you an estimate on how much it will cost to upgrade your house from a swamp cooler to a good AC unit.