Traditional air conditioners work by running warm air over cool refrigerant and then sending the air back into the living space. In contrast, evaporative cooling works by letting warm air run past water droplets that cool the air. This process is similar to how your skin feels cool when you get out of a pool on a hot day and the water starts to evaporate from your body.
You can choose both options for your home, but here are a few signs that you may want to think about evaporative cooling.
1. You Want to Save Money
In most cases, evaporative cooling systems are less expensive to run than traditional HVAC cooling systems. You don't have to worry about losing cool air through the duct work, and evaporative cooling systems don't require as much power. However, in extremely hot climates, traditional air conditioners may be more efficient simply because they have more power. A heating and cooling professional can help you identify the right choice in your situation.
2. You Live in an Area With Relatively Low Humidity
Because evaporative coolers rely on water, they tend to add extra water to the environment. Because of that, these coolers used to be referred to as "swamp coolers", and they became particularly popular in relatively dry environments. That said, modern advances have changed evaporative coolers so they don't release as much water into the air, so they certainly don't need as low of humidity as they did a generation or so ago. However, they are still a good option for those areas.
3. You Don't Have Ductwork in Your Home
If you don't have ductwork, you can't add a central air conditioner to your home without doing a lot of construction work. In these situations, your main options are a window air conditioner or an evaporative cooler. Evaporative coolers don't force you to give up your view, and they tend to work better than window units.
4. You Want to Cool a Small Area
With most evaporative coolers, the warm air runs over a pad that is full of moisture. Then, the cool air blows into your space. Typically, these coolers work best in relatively small areas. For instance, if you have a modest size home with an open plan, an evaporative cooler may meet your needs. At the same time, if you already have an HVAC system and you just want to cool your garage or a home addition, an evaporative cooler may be perfect in those spaces as well.
Contact local HVAC companies for more information about evaporative cooling.