If you look around at Albuquerque homes, you’ll see plenty of swamp coolers. These evaporative coolers are useful in dry climates like ours. But are they really the best solution?
There are several reasons that refrigerated air systems are actually a better bet for many homes around town. Let’s take a look at these reasons.
Will a Swamp Cooler Cool Enough?
A swamp cooler is only capable of reducing indoor temperatures 15 degrees. That’s fine if outdoor temperatures stay below 90. But if temperatures reach the mid-90s, it’s going to be 80 degrees indoors.
There are plenty of days when our temperatures are above 90. The high temperature record for Albuquerque was set in July 1994 when the heat climbed to 107 degrees at Sunport. With a swamp cooler, the indoor temperature would have reached 92 degree temperatures.
Stay Cool Despite Outside Temperatures with Refrigerated Air
With a refrigerated air system, you control the indoor temperature. No matter how hot it is outside, you can have comfort inside. If you already have ducting for your swamp cooler, then all that needs to be done is to swap out the swamp cooler on the roof for a refrigerated air system.
Swamp Coolers Are Less Effective During Monsoon Season
Our monsoons start in mid-June and can last through September. Yes, we have a dry climate, but summer monsoons frequently take our humidity to 50% and above. Last year, our humidity levels were above 50% for most of July and one day, humidity reached 96%.
When the humidity reaches 50%, you only get a 10-degree reduction of indoor temperatures, not 15. If it’s 90 degrees outside, it’s going to be 80 inside.
The more humid it is, the less cooling effect you’re going to get from a swamp cooler. That’s because swamp coolers operate on an evaporative basis. When water running through evaporative pads meets hot, dry air drawn in by the blower, the process of evaporation cools the air before it is forced into the home. When the outdoor air is more humid, there’s less evaporation and the air circulating through the home is warmer as a result.
And because swamp coolers add humidity, your indoor environment is going to be unpleasantly sticky as well as hot.
Remove Humidity from Your Home
Most people don’t know that refrigerated air systems remove humidity from indoor air. In addition to cooling the air, it will be less damp. This means more comfort and less mold, mildew and fungus.
Indoor environments will then not only be more comfortable, they’ll also be healthier. Anyone who is sensitive to molds or fungi will have an easier time breathing. That includes those with allergies or asthma, or anyone who has a lung disease. It also includes those whose immune systems may be suppressed. For people in these situations, a refrigerated air system might be a healthier solution. Check with your healthcare professional to find out for sure.
Keep Pollutants Outside
The most common types of pollution in Albuquerque are ozone and particle pollution (from burning wood, gas, diesel, etc.). Swamp coolers provide minimal filtering of outside air.
Pollutants are unhealthy for all of us, but those most likely to suffer from Albuquerque’s air quality problems are:
- Children under 18
- Adults over 65
- Anyone with COPD, heart disease or asthma
- Current or former smokers
- Those who are obese
- Anyone with lung cancer or diabetes
A person suffering from these health problems can experience relief with a refrigerated air system. Chilled air systems can reduce indoor ozone levels to 10% to 30% of outdoor ozone levels. Indoor concentrations of particle pollution can also be reduced by using high-efficiency filters.
Outdoor pollutants are continually driven inside your home by the blowers in swamp coolers. By contrast, refrigerated air systems filter and recirculate indoor air which reduces the intake of contaminants.
Increase Your Home Value
Because of the growing popularity of refrigerated air systems, upgrading your system now adds value to your home when it’s time to sell or refinance. If your potential buyer is choosing between your home and one with a swamp cooler, knowing they don’t need to upgrade the system after purchase can be a powerful incentive.
Benefits of Refrigerated Air
Here are the benefits you can enjoy by upgrading from a swamp cooler to refrigerated air:
- You’re in control. You maintain the indoor temperature you desire, no matter how hot it is outside.
- Reduction of humidity. Your home stays comfortable even when outdoor humidity is high.
- Cleaner air. Indoor air quality improves which can mean more comfortable, healthier breathing for anyone with allergies, asthma or other health issues.
- Increased home value. With refrigerated systems becoming more popular, having one increases your home value.
- Less water use. Helpful in drought years.
Switching from Swamp Cooler to Chilled Air
With an increase in the value of your home, greater comfort every summer, cleaner indoor air and less irritation from pollutants, it might be time for you to make the switch to a refrigerated air system. You’ll be in control of your indoor environment with just the touch of the thermostat.