Energy Efficient Cooling Options for Hot, Dry Summers
When it comes to hot, summer days, we often think about practical ways to cool our home, backyard, patio, balcony, or summer home, but we may not always consider how much the climate in which we live actually dictates the best cooling solutions.
Hot dry, air allows for some excellent cooling options, specifically with evaporative coolers, otherwise known as swamp coolers. Evaporative coolers add some moisture to the air so they are ideal and recommended for dry climates. This is a huge benefit for those sweltering from hot, dry air, since as our summers become progressively hotter, our electricity bills become progressively higher and air coolers can offset that cost.
The U.S. Department of Energy discusses here the benefits of evaporative coolers in hot, dry climates. These benefits are partly due to the low cost of operating them, since they use much less electricity than air conditioners. In addition, there is the benefit of fresh air that is only possible with an air cooler, since there is a constant flow of fresh air coming in through an open window.
In an interesting report published by the Washington State University Extension Energy Program, they explained that evaporative air coolers “…offer an economical alternative to refrigeration based air conditioning. They use one-tenth to one-quarter the electrical energy and are much less expensive to buy. Compared to central air conditioners, Evaporative Coolers also operate without ozone harming chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used by refrigeration based systems.”
The good news is that evaporative coolers can also be used outside in your backyard or on your balcony, since there are indoor/outdoor models that are weatherproofed and built to withstand the elements. These units are portable and can be moved inside or outside quite easily, so one unit can serve two functions. Since evaporative air coolers add humidity to the air, they are not as popular in humid climates, like Florida, for example, so this is why the consensus is to focus on them as cooling solutions in dry climates only.
Purchasing a dual purpose unit will save you money. In comparison to air conditioners, using evaporative coolers will reduce electricity costs. There are additional cost savings in the purchase price since the same unit can be used for multiple rooms and locations–both inside and outside your home–which saves on the need to buy more than one unit. It is a perfect solution that you can move outdoors whenever you need to cool off your patio or backyard event, so it will make your summer so much more comfortable, especially since it is easily portable. When you use it inside you home you can continue to enjoy fresh air from the constant flow of fresh air. It is also ideal for cottages or summer homes and provides the best of both worlds since you can comfortably sit outside whenever you wish, yet enjoy the outdoor experience inside with open windows and a cool breeze from the evaporative cooler.
Examples of Indoor/Outdoor Models
CO30XE Indoor/Outdoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
This unit has been built to withstand the elements such as heat, rain and wind. It is a nice sleek design and works equally well both indoors and outdoors—even during the hottest days of summer. It has an attractive and user-friendly control panel and a much need remote control so you can laze around the cool air and adjust the settings from across the room. It also has a large water tank, so you can fill it up and leave it for an entire day instead of worrying about refilling it every couple of hours. As with other portable evaporative coolers, this unit just needs to be plugged in and it is pretty much ready to go. It is a no-hassle, yet effective solution for all of your cooling needs in a sweltering, hot, dry
climate. The humidity that the unit adds to the air may also be a welcome relief from the dry air.
CO25MM Indoor/Outdoor Commercial Evaporative Air Cooler
This is a robust model that is suitable for both commercial and residential use, and for indoor and outdoor use. It is a powerful unit that is ideal for outdoor spaces at home, or for restaurant patios, garages, balconies, porches, or inside offices, restaurants or homes. Since evaporative coolers are intended for spot cooling, this unit will cool any area in the immediate vicinity of the cooler. The oscillating fan is a great feature and aids in optimal cooling. The unit also has sturdy wheels for easily transferring the unit from room to room. This is a versatile unit that meets the needs of a wide range of people, since it can serve both the commercial and residential markets.
Evaporative air coolers built exclusively for indoors are also extremely popular and tend to decrease air conditioning use, if not replace it completely in dry climates. The nice breeze, and fresh air that flow through the room are great advantages of all indoor units in hot, dry climates. The added moisture to the air is a relief since the indoor models also add just enough moisture to make a room comfortable, yet cool.
Examples of Indoor Models
CL25AE Indoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
This unit is ideal for homes or offices and can cool rooms up to 300 sq. ft. This is an elegant, sleek design that would suit any decor and blend in nicely. It is a powerful and efficient cooler and has sought after features such as a convenient remote control, oscillating fan, timer and sleep options, and four fan speeds. It is also a relatively quiet unit and is easy to transfer from room to room due to its sturdy wheels. This would be win-win for any indoor space.
CS10XE 21Pt. Indoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler
This unit has a beautiful design and comes with a remote control, an angled LED control panel, low water alert, and detachable water tank. It is an excellent cooler for smaller rooms. Since air coolers are “spot coolers” and not meant to mimic air conditioners, they work excellently in low humidity, with great airflow, if used in the appropriately sized room. This particular unit has had great success in bedrooms, studio apartments, or any other small room. Since it is one of the smaller units as far as water tank capacity, it needs to be filled more frequently than the CL30XC 63 Pt. Indoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler, for example, but it also costs less than the 63Pt, unit, so both are great options. It all depends on the size of the room and how often you can fill the unit, and on your schedule and lifestyle.
Evaporative coolers are the number one solution for finding relief in dry, hot summer air, but the style, model, strength, fan speed, size, water tank capacity and indoor or outdoor units are all factors that you need to consider when choosing a cooler that is right for you.