What Is an Evaporative Air Cooler?

An evaporative cooler also known as a swamp cooler, desert cooler, or wet air cooler is a device that cools air through the evaporation of water.

When water evaporates into the air, the result is a mixture of air and water molecules. This process requires heat, which is taken from the air molecules  and results in a drop in air temperature.

The process of evaporation happens all the time. Our bodies, for example, perspire in hot weather. Through evaporation, the sweat dries and drops our body temperature. Whenever dry air passes over water, some of the water will be absorbed by the air. That’s why evaporative cooling naturally occurs near waterfalls, rivers, and lakes.

The drop in ambient temperature produced via indoor evaporative cooling depends on various factors, including initial air temperature, percent relative humidity level, area size, degree of insulation, and cross-ventilation. The temperature of the air emitted from an evaporative air cooler depends on the temperature and humidity of the air entering the device. The constant movement of the air created by the blower and the cooling breeze it creates make the occupants of a room feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler than the actual temperature.

Evaporative air coolers works best during the hottest time of the day. As the temperature outside increases, the humidity normally drops. In the early morning, for example, the temperature might be 70 degrees with a relative humidity of 60 percent. By mid-afternoon, when the temperature has climbed to 90 degrees, the humidity might well have dropped to 30 percent – conditions that are more conducive to efficient evaporative cooling.

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