Jump to content
Chapala.com Webboard
johanson

evaporative cooler or Air Conditioning

Recommended Posts

One of the things that I have noted is that when it gets a little hotter in the house that I like, that the relative humidity is usually quite. low.

that means I can cool my house very economically, not with an Air Conditioner that uses a lot of electricity but with an evaporative cooler (sometimes called swamp cooler) which uses much less electricity.

But should it be both hot and very humid like it is in Texas, for example, there is no way I would use an evaporative cooler. Rather I would be forced to use the much more expensive alternative, an air conditioner.

I'm curious, how do most of you cool your homes when it gets too hot?  Are you lucky enough to have very dry air when it gets too hot?

At the moment the outdoor humidity is only 32%. Which means that I could cool the house with an evaporative cooler.

My whole house rooftop cooler on low only uses 450 watts and twice that on high,

 

I would love to hear what you all do to cool your home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Johanson,

I'm only a few miles from the Lake. I just open the windows and usually get a nice breeze, If not, I turn on my ceiling fans, Never needed more here in Chapala Haciendas.

Tu amigo, Sid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sid:   Being from the Seattle, WA, Vancouver, BC area what I find very hot probably is not that hot for folks from hotter areas. 30 C or 86 F is way too hot for this heat sissy.

It's 79 F right now and it is almost getting uncomfortable

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right on Pete. It's what you get used to. Right now in PV it's 76 and with the strong sea breeze I've had to close most of the windows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, johanson said:

Sid:   Being from the Seattle, WA, Vancouver, BC area what I find very hot probably is not that hot for folks from hotter areas. 30 C or 86 F is way too hot for this heat sissy.

It's 79 F right now and it is almost getting uncomfortable

There is a handy table at the bottom of the page at http://www.air-n-water.com/common-swamp-mistakes.htm .  Our ranch east of Napa reaches 45C in the summer, and being a dry heat it would be susceptible to swamp cooling, but the house is a pure 'passive solar' design and a small AC unit works, mas o menos.  Thought about putting up a solar array to run it, just on principle.  For a psychedelic experience, visit the tropics, like Bali - 40?C and 95?% humidity...at night.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the web page link and it was a document like this that I read years ago when I first moved here because I could not imagine that a swamp cooler would work

In 1997 all I had in my brand new (to me) house in upper Ajijic with a properly sized roof top evaporative cooler for the house.  Before the summer of 1998 arrived I added a wall mounted A/C for my bedroom thinking one was needed (I couldn't imagine that an evaporative cooler would work).  I turned that air conditioner on about 5 times that summer. Most often the evaporative cooler worked just fine and my newer rebuilt one still does.  (I later sold the A/C unit) 

Now not all houses have as low a relative humidity as do people who live far away from the lake up in the Ajijic foothills. I brought this cooling topic up just to hear what others are doing to cool their homes here along the shores of lake Chapala

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find the ceiling fan works for us. Close all the doors and windows about 10 or 11am and open the house again about 9pm. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ceiling fans do it for us 1/2 block from the lake. BUT, there are usually a couple afternoons during April/ May where our ACs in the bedrooms earn their value. With climate change who knows? This year is turning out warmer. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i saw a homemade swamp cooler on youtube. it was made from a 20L cubeta(plastic container like paint comes in), two holes 1/3 way from the bottom that had pieces of pvc pipe coming out. on the top a large hole was made in the lid, big enough for a small fan to be inverted, and a plastic jug full of frozen water inside...looked like i could make it myself, maybe i will...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can find them on Mercadolibre as enfrigador evaporativos. I wonder if Home Depot has stores in dryer locations, Baja, Rosarito, or?? That could ship to a Guadalajara store for pick up? Or a special order?

I have had one on every one of our multiple Nevada homes for 25+ years. Much more cost effective than AC and the added benefit of not drying you out ( unless you like less humidity)

The shell of the unit is almost bullet proof, but getting pads ( wetting media) could be an issue as it is bulky and should be replaced once the minerals in the water render them useless. Fan motors are pretty durable, pumps are most likely to wear out in a few years, but are cheap and easy to mule. Same with belts. They are simple machines used world wide in arid climates. I had one from Australia in use for years.

If you know the average humidity during the hottest months and temps, you could use the charts to determine if one would work for you here.

If you do make a decision to get one, PM me I'm pretty handy with their operation, repair and yearly maintenance. I could walk you through everything from sizing, installation, balancing the cooling through out the house etc.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our house in Arizona has a swamp cooler on the roof, as do most older homes. However, the high cost of water/sewer has caused most to abandon them in favor of Air Conditioning.  Fortunately, our house has a new HVAC system, so the swamp cooler just sits idle and we have not replaced any pads, tubes, or belts.  Homes that have no AC & do use swamp coolers are rare, but the occupants complain of humidity and odor; probably from lack of fresh pads annually. 

In Chapala, we used only tower fans occasionally in the brief hot season, and one radiant propane heater, on the lowest setting, in the living room on occasion in winter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Evaporative Cooler update. I just tried the cooler for the first time this year. In upper Ajijic the outdoor temperature is 87 F and the humidity is 22%. At the weather station the temperature is 88F and the humidity is 25%. At 4 PM

After running the outside air on the roof through my rooftop Swamp cooler, the Temperature is dropping to 65 F as it enters my house. I am running at slow speed using perhaps 450 to 500 watts which is a fraction of what a normal A/C would cost.

As long as the humidity is low when it gets hot here, which is usually the case, evaporative coolers are much much cheaper to operate than an A/C and work just great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use a fan in the bedroom at night and have two fans on our outdoor terraza where we spend a lot of time.  No need for anything else.  However it is noticeably cooler down by the lake than up by the carretera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I am a heat sissy. When I was in the Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, I hated the heat so much that I volunteered to stay in the Army Longer just to be stationed in Europe where it was not as hot.

The nice thing about this roof top cooling unit is that it has a huge fan that  feeds three ducts. One each to two bedrooms and the third forcing air from the upstairs TV room  down to the first floor cooling the first floor as well. To do this with a standard air conditioner would be very very expensive.

I only ran the unit for 30 minutes as it was not that hot inside once I had filled the house with cooler air.

Oh and at night I too most always only run a ceiling fan near my bed

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...