How Effective Are Evaporative Coolers In High Humidity?

In high humidity, our core temperature rises and we sweat to cool down, but sweating only works if the water evaporates. If it’s humid and the air is moist, it’s hard for the air to absorb the perspiration on our skin, making us hot and irritated. Prolonged high humidity causes the body to sweat heavily in an attempt to cool itself, but it dehydrates, overheats, and develops heatstroke, frequently requiring emergency treatment. Heat stroke symptoms can appear quickly or gradually.

Swamp coolers, also known as evaporative coolers, appear to be an ideal home cooling option. They provide a number of advantages over traditional air conditioners. Installing and maintaining them is less expensive, and your electricity bill will thank you. Evaporative air conditioners, as the name indicates, use evaporation to chill the air. Because of this, many people legitimately question whether or not they are suitable for a humid environment. Find out how evaporative cooling works and if it is affected by excessive humidity.

How Evaporative Coolers Operate?

Assume you understand how an air conditioner operates. Air that is hot and humid is pushed through evaporative coils containing refrigerant gas. This gas evaporates and is fed into an external unit as the air loses heat and moisture.

How Evaporative Coolers Operate?

In evaporative cooling, heated air is channelled via wet paddings instead of evaporative coils. The water in the pads acts as a heat sink, absorbing heat from the surrounding air. In addition to this, rather than recirculating the air, these coolers draw in the air and create a continuous flow.

Regular air conditioners use four times as much energy as this form of cooling. There are three distinct categories of evaporative coolers, which are as follows:

  • Direct : Portable and efficient in terms of energy use.
  • Indirect: Stronger, no additional humidity.
  • Mounted: Evaporative coolers that may be installed in a variety of locations throughout the home.

Other benefits:

  • It’s 50% less expensive to install
  • Create a consistent exterior airflow
  • In a dry region, increasing humidity might be beneficial.

Do Evaporative Coolers Work In High Humidity?

Evaporative coolers are more effective when the air outside is hot and dry. However, they can be utilised in environments with high humidity. The best course of action on such oppressively hot, muggy days is to just run the fan inside alone; otherwise, your home will turn into a steam chamber. The air conditioning industry doesn’t refer to evaporative coolers as “swampies” for nothing. On the other hand, the effectiveness of various types of coolers greatly depending on the level of humidity present.

Absorbing water cools the air. This is the principle behind direct evaporative coolers. Relative humidity measures the amount of water vapour already present in a given volume of air. To put it another way, if the RH figure goes up, direct cooling is less efficient.

The indirect ones, on the other hand, operate in a different manner and are thus more effective in humid environments. They use heat exchangers, which are water-filled tubes, to move air through, and the evaporation occurs in a separate chamber. As a result, they are able to not only chill the air but also dry it, exactly like ordinary air conditioners.

Consider purchasing a cooler with a mixed system for the best possible energy savings. They utilise both indirect and direct ways of cooling, and they cool the air in phases during the process. As a direct consequence of this, the dry-bulb and wet-bulb temperatures of the entering airflow are lower.

Despite the foregoing limitations, evaporative cooling can be a viable solution depending on your tastes and how tolerant you and your family are of hot and humid days. For individuals who feel the heat and flush in the face, refrigerated air cooling with reverse cycle air conditioning in a split system or ducted system is the ideal air conditioning solution.

Do Evaporative Coolers Make the Air More Humid?

Direct evaporative coolers chill the airflow by soaking it with water, unlike typical air conditioners. Air that enters the building becomes less hot and more humid than that which leaves. Raising the room’s humidity may be beneficial, as a comfortable interior environment requires a balance of temperature and humidity. When a cooler is running, it’s best to leave some windows open to allow excess moisture and air to escape.

Using these evaporative coolers can save you money, but if you don’t want to deal with the extra moisture, consider using indirect evaporative coolers. They’re more expensive to set up and may not be transportable, but they don’t produce any moisture because of the many cooling mechanisms they use. This technology warms the intake, which enhances efficiency.

A swamp cooler adds how much moisture to the air?

This figure is impacted by weather, cooler type, and running time. Using a swamp cooler for a short period of time can add anywhere from two to five percent of moisture to the air. Most won’t notice or mind the shift.

A well ventilated space is essential to preventing the buildup of excessive humidity. Be aware that those coolers don’t recycle the air, but rather continually bring in fresh air from the outdoors. Open a window to replace warm air with fresh air.


Evaporative coolers have the potential to be quite successful on hot days; the only need is that the days be dry and hot. Swamp coolers are suitable for hot, dry climates like those in the Southwest of the US. In a dry location, it takes a long time to get to saturation stage. Proper ventilation prevents humidification. Keeping a window open replaces heated air with fresh air. By establishing a cross-draft in the room, you can better control the moisture in the air, allowing your swamp cooler to continue to produce chilly air.

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