Swamp cooler in the AZ desert? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 05-10-2010, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Dh wants to get a swamp cooler to lower our electric bill costs. I grew up in a house that only had a swamp unit , but no AC. He claims that the newer plastic coated coolers are better than the dinosaur version. The problems I am concerned about are dust ( I have allergies), spiders crawling through it (pls don't laugh we have tons of black widows around our property) and mainly it is cost efficient.

We have really high temps here in the summer 112 + and record 122 degrees.

If you have one can you let me know your likes and dislikes and about how much $ you think you save.
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#2 of 10 Old 05-10-2010, 06:32 PM
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Dust - not certain how well it would perminate the filters, but it could happen I suppose, but when water is flowing thru those same filters, it would really be mud that sinks to the bottom of the filter. Growing up did you notice much dust in your house?

Spiders - they would have to be fairly itty bitty tiny to weave there way thru the filter, and not certain they would survive with water flowing thru that same filter they are crawling thru. Of course if it's not properly installed, and there are holes around where it enters your house, then that would be a possible issue, but if you install it correctly, it shouldn't be an issue.

Cost - the cost of running a fan and water pump, is way less than AC.
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#3 of 10 Old 05-10-2010, 11:35 PM
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My grandmother is in Tucson (all my life) and as far back as I can rember she has always had both. She runs the AC only when the swap cooler isn't getting the job done. It seems to work well for her...

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#4 of 10 Old 05-10-2010, 11:50 PM
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Swamp Coolers can only lower the temp. inside the house to 20 degrees cooler than outside temp. We have always had swamp coolers, we even have had the nicer "master cool" swamp cooler and they all cool fine when it is not too hot and it is not monsoon season.

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#5 of 10 Old 05-10-2010, 11:58 PM
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We have a swamp cooler in Utah. There are days in July and August where it just can't keep up. We run it on high 24/7 and it's still so unbelievably hot in our house (even with trees around our property). I'm sure AZ would be even worse.

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#6 of 10 Old 05-11-2010, 01:33 AM
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I love swamp coolers. I think when they're combined with a fan, they make the house extremely pleasant, but I've only used them in the 104-105 range, at the highest.

But still, a huge improvement over nothin', right?

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#7 of 10 Old 05-11-2010, 04:40 AM
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Swamp coolers do NOT work during monsoon season. Once the humidity starts to rise they are useless. So July, Aug, Sept you still need the A/C

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#8 of 10 Old 05-11-2010, 04:47 PM
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I'd pay the higher bills. Swamp coolers just don't help that much. We have 4 window AC units to make up for what the swamp cooler doesn't do. Our kitchen is at the end of the cooling line and it's typically 95+ degrees in there during the summer.

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#9 of 10 Old 05-12-2010, 03:02 PM
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I grew up with a swamp cooler in so cal, and there were times in summer it could not keep up. I lived in the Mohave and Sonora deserts for 10+ years and at our temps no way will a swamp cooler cut it.
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#10 of 10 Old 05-12-2010, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your responses. I think we are going to nix the cooler idea or at least postpone it. The only reason we jumped on the idea is because a major manufacturer is going out of business and selling their scratch and dents pretty cheap. Our friend bought a window unit for $40 and went back to buy a larger unit for $200. Problem is we have 2000sf and that is more $.

We would still have our AC unit on the house to use when the swamp wasn't enough ..but I still feel like it would be a disadvantage in so many ways. I have the feeling that we would still end up paying money out to remedy some of the problems that come along with it. Hard water would require an RO system. Our friend is already having white deposits on the grates of his unit.
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