Evaporative coolers are energy superstars. Compact versions cool homes and larger units drop the stuffy heat generated within industrial workshops. They cool and deliver sea breeze fresh air with a hint of moisture, a perfectly balanced flow of climate controlled air that suits your comfort level. Similarly, the blended air combines with the integrated dew factor to support the growth of plant life, meaning evaporative coolers are particularly suited for greenhouse applications. It’s when deliberating on these factors that you realize how ideal these devices are for inhabited spaces, but these same comfort-tuned attributes can turn against the habitat if the internal atmosphere lacks balance.
The laws of physics and principles of energy conservation determine how evaporative cooling work. These principles assume a certain percentage of water will enter the cooling space due to the water-soaked pads placed in front of the airflow. The water reservoir provides ample evidence of this evaporative process, so that water must be going somewhere. It’s diffusing invisibly into the atmosphere and creating humidity. This issue is going to create problems down the line unless you address the problem by ensuring airflow is balanced. Consider the following factors before switching on the cooler:
- The provision of natural ventilation
- Relative local humidity
- The architecture of the room
- The incorporation of a venting system
Adjusting Your Airflow
In basic mathematical terms, the amount of air entering the area should equal the air being vented from the cooled space. A passive venting system aids in this arrangement. The airflow leaves the evaporative cooler, breezes past the habitation zone, and passes through an exhaust port to the outside. Unfortunately, architectural features have been known to interfere with this smooth circuit, killing air movement and creating dead air space. The result is warm spots in the summer, areas that conversely become cold during the winter months. Identify these areas and open them up, thus opening the space to the ventilated airflow and minimizing any potential mold and mildew build-up.
Open windows if necessary to keep air fresh and free of stagnancy. These are passive solutions but very necessary steps when incorporating your evaporative cooler into those tough areas that are characterized by eccentric enclosures. These small spaces resist ventilation and must be accounted for when evaluating a dynamic airflow strategy.
Multi-Stage Evaporative Cooling Technology
If humidity is still an issue, consider additional resources. Use a precise electronic thermostat to ensure the unit only turns on when absolutely required. Additionally, look into newer technologies, into indirect (two-stage) evaporative cooling solutions where an additional heat exchanger stage is incorporated into the design. It’s also worth checking out Maisotsenko cycle armed evaporative coolers for even greater energy savings and superior dry operation functionality.