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Evaporative cooling units have long been used as an alternative to air conditioners for cooling homes and offices. These units go by many different names, including swamp coolers, desert coolers and wet air coolers. This type of cooling is often used in dry climates, as evaporative cooling units are able to condition the air by adding moisture to it, making your indoor environment more comfortable. Here’s some more information that you’ll need to know about evaporative cooling before you pick one for your home, as well as some advice on how to pick the right design to bump up the value of your home.

How Does an Evaporative Cooling Unit Work, and How Does It Differ from Air Conditioning?

To put it simply, an air conditioner requires electricity in order to run a compressor that pumps chemicals or refrigerants that cool your home, whereas an evaporative cooling unit cools your home using water instead of refrigerants. In this sense, evaporative cooling works in the same way that perspiration cools your body. When perspiration or sweat evaporates, the vapour created by that evaporation is actually carrying the heat away from you, thereby cooling your body. In other words, when evaporation occurs, heat is lifted from the water that is still left in its liquid state, which makes the remaining liquid cooler. There is a basic principle at work in evaporative cooling: that water needs to have heat administered to it in order to change from a liquid to a vapour. Modern evaporative coolers are also easier on your hydro bill than compressor models or traditional air conditioners, as the energy demand for midsize cooling units is one kW during peak demand, as opposed to three to five kW. Most modern evaporative units also have options for thermostatic control and an automated flusher to rid the unit of reservoir water that might be harbouring contaminants.

Two Types of Evaporative Cooling Units

There are three kinds of evaporative cooling units: window or wall units, portable units and ducted units. If you’re looking to install a more comprehensive system in your home, you’ll likely be looking for a ducted unit, of which there are two basic types known as direct or indirect evaporative coolers. Indirect evaporative units pump water through a heat exchanger, and the air is then circulated in the unit as it is cooled by the water and then fed into the duct system, thereby cooling your home. However, these systems might not be your best bet if you live in a dry climate, as they won’t add any moisture to the air, which lowers their capacity to cool your home efficiently. Direct evaporative coolers make use of a fan, which pulls in the outside air through a series of pads that are made wet by water delivered from a small pump that pumps water into tubes, which then spray or drip on the pads. The water that your unit uses comes from a water reservoir that you fill with tap water, and the level of water used and needed is controlled by a float valve in the reservoir. One of the newest innovations in evaporative cooling is a two-stage unit, which uses both direct and indirect evaporative cooling. First, the system cools the air using the indirect method, then the cool air passes into a second stage where moisture is added to cool the air even further by using the direct method, giving the system a higher capacity and giving your home a more comfortable level of humidity.

What Is the Best Unit for Your Home in Terms of Style, Saving Energy, and Security?

As previously mentioned, if you’re looking for an evaporative cooling unit to cool your home, you probably won’t be looking for a portable or wall unit, and will therefore be looking for an outdoor unit that is functional and also compliments the look of your home. The look of the models you’ll have to choose from will also depend on the size of your home, as the amount of cubic feet per minute the cool air from your unit will have to cover will determine how large and concealable your unit will have to be. If you’re looking to cool a larger home, the best units will come in with casings ensuring that much of the insides of the machine will be covered, assuring an aesthetically pleasing look that could add value to your home. For your system to function correctly there must be a free flow of air leaving your home, which used to be accomplished by opening windows. Due to innovations in duct work and home cooling, your HVAC installation professional can now use ducts that are mounted in the ceiling, thereby allowing air to escape to your attic, which will also require proper ventilation to stop excessive moisture from building up. This kind of innovative setup will also keep your home’s security intact.

Ideally you’ll be able to find an evaporative cooling unit that might bump up the value of your home by looking good, functioning efficiently and promising long term durability. However, with so many options available these days, finding a suitable machine to cool your home shouldn’t prove to be too large of a chore. Your HVAC installation professional will be able to answer any questions you have in terms of your unit’s performance and durability, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, as you want to choose the right unit the first time.