Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Pros and Cons of Swamp Coolers

I feel the need to complain at length today. Upon my triumphant return from grocery shopping it took less than a second for me to realize it was just as muggy inside my house as it was outside.

For those of us who live in desert areas, swamp coolers are a pretty good alternative to central cooling when looking at it from a financial point of view. However, on days like today the financial benefits aren't exactly outweighed by the problems swamp coolers cause.

For those of you unfamiliar with the workings of a swamp cooler let me quickly explain. The square unit sits upon the the roof where a very large duct leads into the house. When the cooler is being prompted to turn on, water first filters through four very large pads intended to help with the cooling process. When the pads are sufficiently wet the main blower turns on and sends the cool, moist air through the duct and into the house.

This might lead one to naturally assume summertime in the house is a bit on the damp side. One would be correct. I've had to rescue more than one child from their room because they closed the swollen doors and can't get them open. Then there's the food problem. If it's not in the fridge, or a can, or properly sealed, it's gross. Not only is it stale, but a bit gummy too. Not something you want in a cracker or chip. Seriously.

Still, these things can be dealt with, and due to the savings when it comes to money we don't tend to stress too much. I'm afraid the point in which having a swamp cooler becomes unbearable is when the humidity outside rises to such a point we can feel it amplified inside. Then we all feel the ugh!

Like today. I was pretty certain if it became any more humid in the house we'd see rain clouds forming in the hallway. All the floors feel damp, as does any bit of wood. With the increasing humidity outside comes another un-fun fact: no cooling. The air blowing in simply comes out feeling hot rather than cool.

The only way to help alleviate this added humidity is to turn off the water and just let the fan blow. Less humid, but yet again, more hot. Needless to say I'm grumpy. It's hot, it's humid, I'm getting a headache and all the ceiling fans in the world are not making me feel better.

Hey, at least I can admit it. And I can look forward to the day when hubby and I are so rich we can afford the central cooling without worrying about what it's going to cost us to stay below 76 degrees. Good times, people. Good times.


Team Jensen said...

I completely feel your pain! We often will turn our swamp cooler off at night to get relief thru floor and ceiling fans. UGH.

Debbie D said...

SO sorry. But, I THINK we're on the downside of summer. It's more than 1/2 over, isn't it???? When it's hot and muggy, give me a call. I'd love you to come over and visit at my place (kids too!) Till then, may ceiling fans put you at ease and heavy cloud cover cool the effects of the beating sun :)