We’d be neglecting our energy saving responsibilities if we didn’t treat evaporative cooling vents with the same critical eye we reserve for the appliance heart. Tasked with important cooling conveyance duties, these air discharge outlets become the weak link in the environmental control chain when they’re not sealed properly. Prone to draughts, the vents will corrupt energy efficiency gains unless corrective action is taken.
Draughts Undermine Cooling Performance
Consider the cool air as it leaves the evaporative cooler. Supposedly, the bulk of the thermal conversion work is done. The temperature has dropped due to the release of evaporated water in the air. The evaporative effect has employed the laws of thermal dynamics to cool the air. The job is done, as they say, except it isn’t. The output air may have vents and ducts to navigate, which is fine if they function as intended. It’s when the output housings are draughty that the problems start. A cool stream of just cooled air warms significantly when it meets a warm draught. And, since we’re possibly referring to a closed venting system, there’s nowhere for that draught to go now that it’s in the evaporative air stream. In other words, all that work, the pumped water and water-soaked cooling media, has been crippled because of a tiny vent breach.
Sealing Evaporative Cooling Vents
It’s aggravating, this hindsight that has been gained. At some point, perhaps through a maintenance check, temperature measurements have been taken at different points throughout the evaporative cooling system. The temperature at the vents has likely dropped, but it hasn’t fallen far. A draught, a crack in the venting stage, has weakened the cool air current. How do we fix this problem so that it never happens again? If losses that hover around the twenty-percent mark are to be corrected, the leak source must be located. Of course, an old and vibrating vent housing can loosen fasteners, so tighten these sheet metal anchoring screws and bolts. Next, use a caulking gun and an HVAC paste to fill the joint breaches. Finally, fit vent covers to any outlets that aren’t in use, because every disused vent is a potential draught zone.
Don’t waste time and energy over such system shortcomings. The evaporative cooling unit is functioning at peak efficiency, so if there are energy efficiency issues, then the problem exists elsewhere. The best thing to do now is to finish the unit maintenance check, pick up, pack up, and move the energy troubleshooting procedure over to the vents. In all likelihood, this is where the cunning draughts are gaining purchase, so pull out a caulking gun, a screwdriver, and seal the air leaks.