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Swamp Coolers: In the Sun, or In the Shade?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Wes in Utah is on the line and has a question about a very common form of cooling over there: a swamp cooler. What’s going on?

    WES: Yes. I’m wondering if a cooler – the old-fashioned swamp cooler, evaporative cooler – works better in the sunlight or in the shade?

    TOM: Well, it certainly would work better in the shade. You’re going to get better cooling action without having the added evaporation of all of that direct sunlight on the water. So, it’s a good idea to shade those units when it’s physically possible to do that.

    And you’re right: it’s known both as a swamp cooler and an evaporative cooler. And that’s, essentially, what happens: as the water evaporates, it lowers the temperature of the air and that’s why it becomes more comfortable. And in particularly dry climates, like Utah, swamp coolers are very, very common and very popular and have been for many years.

    WES: OK. So it works better in the shade.

    TOM: Better in the shade. If the opportunity presents itself to shade it, do it, Wes, OK?

    WES: Thank you.

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