Swamp Cooler Pros and Cons: Should You Install a Swamp Cooler or Traditional A/C?

Are you thinking about installing a swamp cooler (also known as an evaporative cooling system) to beat the heat this summer? Swamp coolers work on a very basic technology – basically blowing air over a damp pad in order to cool it and send it to the rest of the house.

swamp cooler pros and cons evaporative cooling system colorado

Many people are seduced by the lower cost of operating a swamp cooler, but there are some additional swamp cooler pros and cons any homeowner should know about before going this route.

Swamp Cooler Pros

  • Swamp coolers are energy efficient – they can use up to 75% less energy than an AC.
  • They are also more environmentally friendly than a traditional AC because they don’t use refrigerants like CFCs and HCFCs.
  • They add humidity to the home (which can be great in dry climates like Colorado’s).
  • Minimal ductwork required. Because they don’t require existing duct work, swamp coolers are a good option for houses with hot water heat.
  • You don’t have to keep the windows closed – though the fact that some windows need to be open in order for it to work effectively might be seen by some as a con.

Swamp Cooler Cons

  • Though the operating cost is lower, swamp coolers can require more regular maintenance. You will need someone to come at the beginning and end of every summer to get it going and to shut it down.
  • Pads need to be replaced every two years, which adds another cost.
  • Some windows will need to be open for ventilation (see above – this can also be considered a pro).
  • You have less control over air temperature – though newer models cool much more evenly than the old models, you still won’t have the precision that comes with an AC.
  • Installation requires cutting a hole in the roof or side of the house, which adds a big additional cost.

Have any more swamp cooler questions? Contact Dan at 720.876.7166 or dan@sensibleheat.net to learn more.