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Portacool portable evaporative cooler, also called a swamp cooler

How Effective Are Swamp Coolers?

Swamp coolers, more technically known as evaporative coolers, are an air-conditioning alternative that can dramatically cool the air with relatively low energy demand. They can be very effective, but their effectiveness depends on the local climate and on the efficiency of the evaporative media.

Local Climate and Swamp Cooler Effectiveness

Swamp coolers work by evaporating water into the air. When the water evaporates, it takes energy from the air, which cools the temperature off.

The effectiveness of the process depends on how hot the air is and how much water (humidity) is already in the air. When the humidity is relatively low (say 20% relative humidity or less), swamp coolers are very effective, dropping the hot air temperature by up to 30 degrees. In this case, “hot” means 90° F or more. At lower temperatures and higher humidity, you will see less of a temperature drop.

At 2% relative humidity, a swamp cooler can drop 125° F air to 83° F. However, at 80% humidity, a swamp cooler can only drop 75° F air to 72° F.

These are, of course, theoretical potentials. The actual effectiveness of swamp coolers depends on the evaporative media and access to fresh air.

Evaporative Media and Swamp Cooler Effectiveness

Kuul evaporative media for Portacool evaporative coolersEvaporative media design can dramatically impact the effectiveness of swamp coolers. Ideally, you want an evaporative media that absorbs a lot of water and puts that water into contact with moving air.

The best evaporative media help swamp coolers reach 95% of their theoretical effectiveness. Poorly designed evaporative media might achieve only half that effectiveness.

It’s also important to note that evaporative media can degrade over time. Many evaporative media, such as aspen pads, degrade quite quickly. As they degrade, they lose effectiveness. Even the best evaporative media will lose effectiveness over time as they become clogged with debris. When possible, cleaning the inlet side of evaporative media is a good idea, as long as the media is designed to do this. Check the care instructions from the evaporative media manufacturer.

Air Access Is Crucial to Evaporative Cooler Effectiveness

Air conditioning units count on being able to recirculate air and cool it stepwise. Evaporative coolers, on the other hand, depend on access to fresh, hot air to work. If you have an evaporative cooler that is only taking in already cooled air, its effectiveness will decrease, because the air it’s drawing in is both cooler and more humid.

To be effective, an evaporative cooler should have access to hot air, either by being positioned outside, being next to an open window, or having an external air vent.

Portacool Evaporative Coolers maximize Effectiveness

If you are looking for a highly effective evaporative cooler, you’re looking for Portacool. Portacool uses Kuul Comfort evaporative media. Kuul Comfort evaporative media are highly engineered and utilize the best materials. This lets Portacool units achieve close to the full theoretical potential of evaporative coolers. The media is very durable, and does not lose effectiveness quickly, so that you don’t have to replace it very often. In addition, Kuul evaporative media is specifically designed to be used with Portacool evaporative coolers, ensuring the best possible results.

Portacool evaporative coolers have powerful fans that can suck in a high amount of outside air to cool very large spaces.

In addition, Portacool evaporative coolers have been made in the US since 1990. We offer best-in-class warranties and customer service to help all Portacool owners be happy and satisfied with the effectiveness of their evaporative coolers.

Visit a local or online retailer for Portacool evaporative coolers to learn which style might be most effective for your application.

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