How To Use Evaporative Cooling (2023)

When there is a lot of heat, many of us struggle to cool off one way or another. People either switch on appliances such as air conditioners and fans to reduce the temperature or can look for cold drinks. One method that has been overlooked is evaporative cooling because only a few people know what it is about.

Another reason for its lower popularity could be that many are already addicted to traditional air conditioning systems. However, there are quite a number of interesting facts about it that should be considered, which would make this an exciting read for you.

What is Evaporative Cooling?

How To Use Evaporative Cooling (1)

Evaporative cooling involves a cooling process where water and air flow are used to reduce heat. It is gradually gaining popularity and is considered an energy-efficient alternative to the more common traditional air conditioning systems.

How Evaporative Air Cooling Works

The natural process of evaporation involves the absorption of heat to bring about cooling, which is the same principle that evaporative air conditioners use. Water is added to a filter or cooling pad inside the evaporative cooler.

A device within the appliance blows air through the filter or the pad, which makes the water evaporate. The evaporation of the water gets heat absorbed from the air, leading to a drop in the air temperature with the cooler air released into the room.

(Video) What is evaporative cooling and how does your evaporative air conditioner work?

What are the Benefits of Evaporative Cooling?

Energy efficiency

Compared to traditional air conditioning systems, less energy is consumed when evaporative air conditioners are used. This means there would be lower energy bills to be paid by those who choose this option.

Environmentally friendly

With all the different technology available these days, more of us are becoming mindful of our environment, and anything that does not support a healthy environment is frowned upon by most people. Since evaporative cooling uses natural processes to cool the air, it is an option considered environmentally friendly, which people can adopt immediately.

Improved air quality

By using evaporative cooling systems, there would be a constant flow of fresh air into the rooms where they are installed. Doing this means the indoor air quality can be significantly improved with this approach.

Types of Evaporative Cooling Systems

There are different evaporative cooling systems, although they all work on the same principle. Differences in these systems are seen in sizes and capacities. The following are some types you can acquaint yourself with;

Portable evaporative coolers

How To Use Evaporative Cooling (2)

Portable evaporative coolers are one type and are also known as swamp coolers. They are designed for small spaces and can be easily moved from one location to the next. These types come with wheels, handles, and a water reservoir, which makes them easy to move around. They can be easily used in bedrooms, living rooms, and small offices.

(Video) What is Evaporative Cooling?


  • They are easy to move around and can be packed or stored for use elsewhere.
  • They use less energy and are more cost-effective to use than traditional air conditioners, which some people are stuck with
  • They have low maintenance requirements.
  • They do not require ductwork or installation.


  • They are only suitable for small spaces and not meant for large rooms.
  • They have limited cooling capacity.
  • They are ineffective when there is high humidity.

Window evaporative coolers

How To Use Evaporative Cooling (3)

With the way window evaporative coolers are designed, they are meant to be installed in a window frame or a hole cut in a wall. This type of evaporative cooler works by pulling in warm air from the outside.

The air is then passed through a wet pad, and eventually, it begins to blow out cool air. Window evaporative coolers can be used for medium-sized rooms and small apartments.


  • They are energy-efficient and cost-effective
  • They are pretty easy to install
  • They have a low maintenance cost
  • It does not require ductwork or complicated installation


  • They have limited cooling capacity
  • They are not effective in areas with high humidity
  • They can be noisy

Central evaporative cooling systems

How To Use Evaporative Cooling (4)

Central evaporative cooling systems are designed and capable of cooling an entire house or building. They have a large unit installed somewhere on the roof or the ground.

They are then connected to ducts that help distribute cool air throughout the building. Central evaporative cooling systems can be conveniently used for large homes, commercial buildings, and industrial spaces.

(Video) How do Evaporative Coolers Work


  • They are energy-efficient and cost-effective
  • They can effectively cool large areas
  • They have low maintenance
  • They can be integrated with other HVAC systems


  • They can be expensive to install
  • They require ductwork and professional installation
  • They are ineffective in areas with high humidity

How to use Evaporative Cooling Effectively

You may have any of these evaporative coolers and not enjoy using them if you do not understand how they may be effectively used. Some tips can be helpful if you already have one or plan to get one.

Proper placement of the unit

You need to look for a strategic location to place the unit. For maximum benefit, it works well in a well-ventilated area, close to a door or a window. This will ensure proper airflow, as the system needs this.

Maintaining proper water levels

People often forget to check the water level in the reservoir. The cooler will not work correctly when the water level drops beyond a certain point. It is, therefore, necessary to refill the reservoir when necessary to ensure that it works optimally.

Cleaning and maintaining the unit

It would be best if you endeavoured to clean the unit regularly by wiping the exterior with a damp cloth. You should clean the interior with a mild detergent to remove any dirt that may be stuck on it. The wet pad should be replaced at least once a season to ensure optimal cooling performance.

Using the unit in a properly ventilated space

Leave the doors and windows open for proper ventilation and airflow. You should avoid using the unit in a closed room or a room with poor ventilation.

Using the unit during the coolest parts of the day

You can use the unit during the coolest parts of the day. For example, during the early morning or late evening hours to maximise its cooling capacity and energy efficiency. It is better to avoid using the unit during the warmest parts of the day or during periods when humidity levels are high.

(Video) What portable evaporative cooler is best? I tried these to find out.

Common Problems with Evaporative Cooling

You may encounter some problems with evaporative air cooling systems. Such issues can include mineral buildup and water leakage. Whatever the difficulties you face with this system, you can always get around it.

Mineral buildup

With use, there can be a buildup of minerals in the water used in evaporative cooling systems. This can eventually lead to clogs and reduce the efficiency of the system. In addition to this, the problem can lead to unpleasant odours.

Regular maintenance is vital for you to avoid this happening. You should endeavour to clean the unit and replace the water regularly. If mineral buildup is already present in the cooler, you can get a commercial mineral scale remover to dissolve and remove the buildup.

Water leakage

Evaporative cooling systems can also suffer from water leakage. Different factors, such as a cracked reservoir or a malfunctioning pump, can cause the situation. The first thing to do is conduct an inspection for apparent sources of leakage, such as reservoir cracks or lost connections.

If you cannot detect the cause of the leakage, it may be necessary to call a professional to inspect the system. Sometimes, a replacement of a part of the cooler may be required.

Speak to a Professional About Evaporative Cooling

One crucial factor to consider is that you can get real value for air cooling systems at reduced running costs. Air conditioners are good, but the high energy bills that come from their constant use may get you thinking of something that is not only equally effective but environmentally friendly. If you are still determining what steps to take, contact a professional aircon company as soon as possible.

(Video) How to make your swamp / evaporative cooler even colder


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Last Updated: 03/08/2023

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