The 7 Best Evaporative Coolers
7. SPT SF-614P
- moves up to 428 cfm air
- honeycomb cooling pad
- remote control under-performs
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
6. Luma Comfort EC220W
- powerful 220-watt motor
- energy efficient
- doesn't work well in high humidity
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
5. Honeywell CS10XE
- spin mode lets the machine rotate
- dust filter works well
- can be noisy on high speed
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
4. Honeywell CL30XC
- has a low water level alarm
- tank is built not to spill
- no ice compartment
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
3. Honeywell CO25MM
- good model for dry climates
- powerful 16-inch fans
- impressive 1270 cfm air flow
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
2. Honeywell CO60PM
- built-in overflow protection
- cools up to 850 square feet
- casters allow easy mobility
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
1. Portacool Cyclone 3000
- simple fan mode
- convenient water hose connection
- requires very little maintenance
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
The Principles Of Evaporative Cooling
The human body regulates its temperature in a variety of ways -- including constriction of blood vessels and the burning of stored fats -- none of which is as common and conspicuous as perspiration. Sweating is the body's primary vehicle of thermoregulation, and can help a person maintain a stable internal body temperature even during intense exercise or in a hot environment.
Sweating works to cool the body down thanks to the effects of evaporative cooling. The average healthy adult can produce between two and four liters of sweat per hour during vigorous exercise, and in the right circumstances this sweat will be able to properly evaporate in order to maintain a healthy internal temperature. The concept is simple: the more you sweat, the cooler you will be. The efficacy of evaporative cooling can be hampered by an extremely humid environment, however, and as we'll see this can have an affect both on human thermoregulation as well as on machinery designed to regulate ambient air temperatures.
Simply stated, evaporative cooling is the process of lowering body or air temperature by releasing water vapor. The process of evaporation absorbs and holds onto latent heat, effectively reducing temperatures. For the athlete who has just finished a race, the body is cooled as the heat is carried away from his or her body. When it comes to cooling the air temperature itself, the heat removed from the air and transferred into the water vapor reduces the ambient temperature.
Evaporative cooling has been used as a form of air conditioning for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations variously employed fountains, tunnels cut down into underground water sources, and "windcatchers" to help keep themselves cool. Today, the same principles employed by the ancients and by your own body can be found in play in the form of the evaporative cooler, an energy efficient air conditioning system that is highly effective under the right circumstances.
Where And When To Use An Evaporative Cooler
If you live in an area prone to high humidity, then an evaporative cooler is probably not the right air conditioning solution for your needs. The cooling created by these units depends on the water stored in their reservoirs or fed in by a water line to efficiently evaporate in order for them to create cool air that can be circulated down into a residence or place of business.
As many evaporative coolers much have access to exterior air, these units might also be a poor choice for anyone who lives in a region with exceedingly poor air quality.
If, however, you live in a relatively temperate zone, an evaporative cooler might be a fine choice for your air conditioning needs. And if you live in an exceedingly arid and hot area, such as in an actual desert climate, then an evaporative cooler might just be the best solution to your HVAC demands. Using one of these units during the long, hot days of summer in a dry region can mean the difference between marked discomfort and a pleasant interior. As evaporative coolers tend to add a bit of moisture to the air they cool, they can be especially well appreciated in those driest areas.
Some evaporative coolers are portable, suitable for setup in a garage, a single large room, or in a smaller office. Others are much larger, able to cool many rooms of a home from a single fixed location. If you think your area is suitable for evaporative cooling, then take the time to consider which unit is right for your needs and preference.
Choosing The Right Evaporative Cooler
Once you have established that your home or workplace is a good candidate for an evaporative cooler based on the average ambient humidity levels and temperature, you must next decide how large a unit you will need. This decision is of course predicated on the size of the area you need cooled.
If you just need to cool down a single bedroom, an office, a garage or workshop, or another single, contained space, there are compact evaporative coolers that cost little more than a hundred dollars, that use only a couple dozen pints of water per fill, and that, over the course of their lifetime, will afford you significant energy savings as opposed to using a traditional vapor compression or absorption-style air conditioning unit. Remember, an evaporative cooler is not just an effective way to keep cool in a dry area, but is also a cost effective approach, too.
On the other end of the spectrum are portable evaporative coolers that cost closer to one thousand dollars, but that can lower interior temperatures by as much as thirty degrees Fahrenheit (or more under the right circumstances, should you even want a temperature that cold) and which can cool hundreds of square feet of interior space.
With a large, powerful evaporative cooler, you can even bring the ambient temperature of outdoor areas lower as well. The units blow cold air around, which helps, but also fill the air with cooling moisture, which can help maintain a cooler, more pleasant temperature even outside on a hot, sunny, dry day. Thus the purchase of a high end portable evaporative cooler could help you be more comfortable inside your home, in the back yard, working in an office, or making sure the customers at your shop or restaurant are offered a pleasant and safe environment.