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Choosing a Swamp Cooler for Your Home

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to John in Utah about a swamp cooler. And you know, Tom, in Utah it’s the only place I’ve ever seen swamp coolers …

    TOM: Is that right?

    LESLIE: … and they are pretty darn cool.

    TOM: Yeah, you don’t see them too often anymore.

    LESLIE: John, what’s going on at your house? How can we help?

    JOHN: Well, I got an old swamp cooler that’s rusting out in the pan and so it looks like I have to replace it …

    TOM: OK.

    JOHN: … and there’s a couple different kinds of swamp coolers and I’m trying to decide which one is the best for the top of my house.

    TOM: Alright, what are your options?

    JOHN: Well, I’ve got right now one that’s just got the four sides; the kind you usually see on houses around here and – but there’s another kind called a single-inlet swamp cooler which I see them now at The Home Depot and so on but I really – I don’t know which one is better, you know? I’ve heard that the one is better. I know it’s a little more expensive.

    TOM: Well John, first up let’s kind of define what a swamp cooler is for people that are not familiar with it. A typical refrigeration system uses a refrigerant – Freon or another refrigerant – to basically change the temperature in the plumbing system, in the piping system and they blow air across coils and that’s the way it cools. A swamp cooler is your basic evaporative cooler where water pours over an evaporative pad, air blows over it and that’s how the cooling process happens. Now the difference between a standard swamp cooler and a single-inlet one is a single-inlet cooler is basically a very, very high-tech version of the old-fashioned swamp cooler. It’s more efficient. The evaporative pads are much, much thicker. It usually has a microprocessor-based thermostat and a timer that controls things like speed, water, runtime and the dump functions of the water. And so basically, by buying a single-inlet unit you’re going to have a much more efficient cooling system in your house.

    JOHN: I got you. So it probably is worth the expense then.

    TOM: So I think it probably is worth the expense and that really is going to be the upgrade that’s going to be the appropriate thing for replacement of the old swamp cooler.

    JOHN: Yeah, short of an air conditioner but we like the humidity. I know my wife sure likes it.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: And they really are so efficient and they do cool quite nicely. You know we filmed a bunch of episodes of While You Were Out out in Utah in the middle of August and it was hot and those houses were surprisingly cool.

    JOHN: Yeah, it really does work most of the time. I mean our old swamp cooler that gets up in the mid-90s is a little bit – you know, it kind of stops working at that point but I’m hoping this one’ll handle those 90-degree temperature days. You know?

    TOM: Yeah, and it’s going to handle it a lot more efficiently. John, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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