Evaporative coolers (or swamp coolers) are handy appliances that can help keep you cool in the summer heat. But when it comes to reliable performance, refrigerated air is generally the better choice. If you’re looking to switch your swamp cooler out for a central air conditioning system, our technicians at Rocketman Plumbing can handle the installation for you.

Call us at (505) 243-1227 today and we’ll get your air conversion done in a flash.

The Pros and Cons of a Swamp Cooler

Before you decide to switch, you should understand the differences between swamp coolers and refrigerated air so that you can make the best decision for your home.


  • They are energy efficient.
  • They draw fresh air from outside.
  • They add moisture to the air.
  • They work great in dry climates like Albuquerque.


  • They don’t filter the air.
  • They don’t work well in high humidity, like the rainy season.
  • They only reduce indoor temps by 15 degrees.

If you don’t mind it getting warmer in the summer, then you might be alright keeping your swamp cooler instead of switching to refrigerated air. However, there are some nice benefits to making the switch that you should know about before you make your final choice.

The Pros and Cons of Refrigerated Air

When it comes to staying cool in the summer heat, refrigerated air is the reigning champion. Here are some of the pros and cons of using a refrigerated air conditioning system:


  • A working A/C will keep you cool no matter how hot it gets outside.
  • It works in any climate and any type of weather.
  • Standard filtration systems can improve the air quality in your home by removing pollutants such as dust and pollen.
  • It is much easier to maintain than dealing with swamp cooler repairs.
  • You can have a combination air conditioner and heater in one unit.


  • It does use more energy than a swamp cooler, so your electric bill may go up.
  • If you don’t already have ductwork in your home, you will need to get it installed along with your new air conditioner.

Overall, refrigerated air conditioning is the preferred choice for many people because it is faster, more reliable, and colder than swamp coolers.

If you’re curious about the cost and time it would take to switch your house over to refrigerated air, or if you want to know what kind of air conditioner you would need to get, call Rocketman Plumbing at (505) 243-1227. We can walk you through the process and give you a free estimate of time and cost to switch your home to refrigerated air.

Call Rocketman Plumbing to Schedule Your Air System Switch

When you are ready to make the switch from an evaporative air cooling system to a refrigerated air system, call Rocketman Plumbing. Our expert technicians will take care of all aspects of your switch, including:

  • Uninstalling your old swamp cooler
  • Disposing of your old swamp cooler for you
  • Getting ducts installed in your home, if needed
  • Installing your new air conditioning system
  • Answering any questions you have about the new system

We take pride in getting the job done right, so you can rest assured that your air cooling system will run smoothly for you all summer long with proper maintenance. We can also advise you on the size and type of air conditioner that would be best for you based on the size of your home and other factors.

Call us at (505) 243-1227 to schedule your switch from evaporative cooling to refrigerated air today.

Evaporative Cooling to Refrigerated Air Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will I save money converting to refrigerated air?

While converting from an evaporative cooler, or swamp cooler, to refrigerated air often does increase your energy bills, you get what you pay for in terms of reliability, ease of maintenance and overall comfort. Refrigerated air systems use more energy than a swamp cooler, but they work well in any kind of weather and humidity, and they provide enough cooling power to reduce your indoor air temperature to a level that’s comfortable for you. Swamp coolers, on the other hand, can only lower your indoor air temperature by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Refrigerated air also promotes a healthier indoor environment for you and your family. Equipped with standard air filtration components, these systems remove pollutants like dust and pollen—something that swamp coolers can’t do.

While refrigerated air systems, or central AC systems, do require some maintenance, it’s well worth the investment when you consider how well this system can cool your home or business. Central AC requires only light maintenance, like clearing away debris from the compressor and changing the filters regularly. Before the warm-weather months of the year, it’s wise to invest in a seasonal checkup to ensure your refrigerated air system is ready to cool your property when temperatures get hot.

Evaporative coolers require much more maintenance. Not only do they need to be winterized and sealed off each year, but the pumps can also wear out and require frequent replacement. If you’re like most people and you want to turn on your air conditioning and forget about it, investing in a refrigerated air system and routine maintenance from Rocketman Plumbing is the only way to go.

A refrigerated air system can also be called a central air system. They rely on a closed loop of refrigerated, cycled air to deliver crisp coolness that keeps homes and businesses cool regardless of the temperature outdoors. They use three key components to cool your property:

  • Compressor
  • Condenser
  • Evaporator Coils

Usually, the compressor and condenser are located in an outdoor air conditioning unit. Along with the evaporator coils, these components work in a way that pulls hot air into the unit, cycles refrigerant, rejects the heat and pulls the cold air back into your property through the vents.

Evaporative coolers, or swamp coolers, are self-contained air cooling systems that are normally installed on the roof. They don’t require any ducting, moving air through a building by changes in pressure. By keeping windows cracked in every room, cool air flows from a set of wet pads into a building and forces the warmer air out.

Unfortunately, swamp coolers are true to their name—they have the potential to harbor mold and mildew. The pads inside stay wet throughout the entire season as you use the unit, which means mold could grow, especially in more humid weather. If mold takes root in the unit, it can spread throughout your property every time you turn it on.

Whether you’re allergic to mold or not, swamp coolers can have a negative impact on your indoor air quality which decreases when mold is present. You may even find it difficult to breathe if your evaporative cooler contains mold.

If you operate an evaporative cooler at home, you need to keep the moisture level under control to prevent mold growth. Not only do you need to change the water pads every year, but you also need to clean the exterior of the unit every few weeks throughout the seasons you’re using it.

Investing in a refrigerated air system is a safer alternative for homeowners. Not only is it easier to consistently cool your home with a refrigerated system, but you also don’t have to worry about the mold or mildew concerns that often arise with swamp coolers. If you’re ready to experience the ultimate in cool comfort, reach out to the HVAC experts at Rocketman Plumbing to make the switch.

While there’s no clear-cut price when it comes to switching from evaporated cooling to refrigerated air systems to cool your home, Rocketman Plumbing can give you a feel for the range of costs based on your home’s square footage. In general, the cost to make the switch to refrigerated air for an average-size house (1,500 square feet to 2,000 square feet) can cost between $4,000 to $20,000.

Why such a wide range? There are several variables at play, including:

  1. Ductwork. If your home doesn’t have existing ductwork, making the switch to refrigerated air falls on the higher end of the estimate range provided above. During your initial consultation, your HVAC professional will evaluate existing ductwork if you have it, determining whether it can handle the demand of a refrigerated air system.
  2. Electrical. Most homes that don’t already have a central air conditioning system require an electrical upgrade to handle the load needed for the system to run properly.
  3. SEER Ratings. SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings apply to air conditioning systems, and they’ve shown great improvement over the years. Today, new air conditioners must meet a baseline 13 SEER in the U.S., but in a place like New Mexico, a good minimum SEER rating is 14 or above. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your system will be, ensuring your home can keep up with the hot summer temperatures outside.

Keep in mind that you can’t base your actual cost on just this information—use it as a starting point. Reach out to the HVAC experts at Rocketman Plumbing for a comprehensive quote, so you can get one step closer to enjoying crisp, cool comfort when the weather outside gets hot.

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