Swamp Cooler: Options To Stay Cool In The Heat


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As summer’s heat increases, every small business owner faces the annual challenge of maintaining a comfortable workspace without spiraling energy bills. The swamp cooler, also known as an evaporative cooler, might be the ideal solution. These devices offer an affordable, energy-efficient, and environmentally-friendly method for cooling. This comprehensive guide will dive deep into swamp coolers and why they could be the perfect cooling solution for your business.

What is a Swamp Cooler?

A swamp cooler, or evaporative cooler, uses the principle of evaporative cooling to lower the air temperature in a room. This method differs from traditional air conditioning units, which use refrigerants to cool the air. Here’s how it works:

Unlike a typical air conditioner that uses a heat exchanger to cool air, an evaporative air conditioner uses the simple evaporation process to generate cooler air. The basic principle involves transforming hot air into cool air by adding water vapor.

How Does a Swamp Cooler Work?

At the heart of every swamp cooler is the process of evaporative cooling. The cooler draws in hot, dry outdoor air through a wet pad, often called an evaporative cooling pad. As the hot air passes through the moist pad, water evaporates into the air, which lowers its temperature. The cooler then pushes this cooled air out into the room, replacing the warm air with a steady stream of fresh, cool air.

Swamp coolers work best in dry climates where the relative humidity is low. The drier the air, the more water it can absorb, and the greater the cooling effect. In more humid climates, the air is already saturated with water vapor, and the cooling power of evaporative coolers decreases.

Differences between Swamp Coolers and Traditional Air Conditioners

The key difference between swamp coolers and traditional air conditioners is their cooling process. While air conditioners use heat exchangers and refrigerants to cool air, swamp coolers rely on natural evaporation. Air conditioners recirculate the same air, while swamp coolers continuously bring in fresh outdoor air, enhancing the air quality.

Swamp coolers are also more energy-efficient than traditional air conditioners. While air conditioning units need a lot of electricity to run the compressor and refrigeration cycle, most evaporative coolers only need enough power for the water pump and electric fan. They consume up to 75% less energy than traditional air conditioning systems, which can significantly lower your energy bill.

The Benefits of a Swamp Cooler for Small Business Owners, Freelancers, and Entrepreneurs

Now that you understand what a swamp cooler is and how it works let’s explore why it might be a beneficial addition to your workspace.

Cost-effectiveness: An Affordable Cooling Solution

Swamp coolers are significantly more affordable than central air conditioners in terms of initial cost and operation. This makes them an attractive choice for small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs with tight budgets.

Environmentally Friendly: Lower Carbon Footprint

In a world increasingly aware of the need for sustainable choices, swamp coolers offer a greener alternative to traditional air conditioning. Since swamp coolers use the natural process of evaporation rather than chemical refrigerants, they have a much lower carbon footprint. They’re a great way for your business to stay cool and remain environmentally conscious.

Portable and Easy Installation: A Good Fit for Temporary Spaces

One of the advantages of a portable swamp cooler is its ease of installation. Unlike a central air conditioner or a window air conditioning unit, you don’t need to alter your building or workspace to accommodate a swamp cooler. Plus, their portability means they can easily be moved from room to room, providing cool air exactly where you need it.

Ideal for Dry Climates

A swamp cooler is an excellent cooling solution if your business is located in an arid climate. They work most efficiently in areas with low relative humidity and can reduce air temperature significantly, providing a steady flow of fresh, cool air.

Improved Air Quality: A Benefit for Health-Conscious Workplaces

Unlike traditional AC units that recirculate the same air, swamp coolers consistently draw in fresh outdoor air. This means that your workspace gets a constant supply of fresh air, free from the recycled and potentially stale air of a closed system.

Key Considerations when Choosing a Swamp Cooler

Before buying a swamp cooler, consider several factors to ensure you choose the right one. Consider the size and cooling capacity of the unit, how portable it is, its energy efficiency, and maintenance requirements.

  • Size and Cooling Capacity: The size of a swamp cooler is directly related to its cooling power. Larger units can cool larger areas, so consider the size of your workspace before buying. Also, remember that most evaporative coolers work best in open areas with good airflow.
  • Portability and Installation Ease: Consider your workspace setup. If you move around often or have multiple rooms, a portable swamp cooler might be a better option. They’re easy to move around and require little to no installation.
  • Energy Efficiency: One of the significant advantages of swamp coolers is their energy efficiency. However, this can vary between models. Be sure to check any unit’s energy rating to ensure it meets your efficiency expectations.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Like all appliances, swamp coolers require routine maintenance. This usually involves cleaning and replacing the evaporative cooler pads and checking the water supply to ensure continuous operation. Opt for a model that is easy to maintain to prevent unnecessary headaches down the line.

Top 10 Swamp Cooler Picks From Amazon

Top Pick: Hessaire Indoor/Outdoor Portable Oscillating Evaporative CoolerRunner Up: Gorilla Gadgets Powerful Swamp CoolerBest Value: BALKO 3-IN-1 Windowless Swamp Cooler
Cooling AreaUp to 950 sq ftUp to 1,100 cu ftUp to 250 sq ft
Air Flow Capacity3100 CFM5300 CFM455 CFM
Water Reservoir Size10.3 gallons7 gallons0.8 gallons (for 6-8 hours of use)
PortabilityHeavy-duty wheels and carrying handleCaster wheelsNot specified
Special FeaturesOscillating air vents, 8-hour timer, four fan-only settings, two evaporative settingsLow noise (22 dB), remote control, variable speeds, swing mode3-in-1 (fan, cooler, humidifier), remote and top control panel, variable speeds and modes, 70° oscillation

Hessaire Indoor/Outdoor Portable Oscillating Evaporative Cooler

swamp cooler

Top Pick: The Hessaire is a versatile evaporative swamp cooler capable of cooling indoor and outdoor spaces. This portable unit is designed to leverage water evaporation for cooling, making it an energy-efficient choice. With a robust airflow capacity of 3100 cubic feet per minute, it can efficiently service areas up to 950 square feet, making it suitable for open-plan offices or outdoor business events. Its impressive 10.3-gallon water reservoir facilitates prolonged cooling, reducing the need for frequent water refills.

Key Features:

  • Large Area Coverage: The Hessaire MC37M effectively cools spaces up to 950 square feet, making it ideal for larger areas.
  • Ample Water Reservoir: Boasting a 10.3-gallon water reservoir, this unit can run for extended periods without constant refills.
  • Versatile Settings: With four fan-only settings, two evaporative settings, and an 8-hour timer, this cooler caters to a range of cooling preferences.
  • Oscillating Air Vents: The oscillating air vents ensure even cool air distribution throughout the space.
  • Portable: Equipped with heavy-duty wheels and a carrying handle, it can be easily transported to different areas as needed.
  • Energy Efficient: Utilizing the principle of water evaporation for cooling, this unit offers an energy-saving alternative to conventional air conditioners.

Hessaire Indoor/Outdoor Portable Oscillating Evaporative Cooler

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Gorilla Gadgets Powerful Swamp Cooler

swamp cooler

Runner Up: The Gorilla Gadgets Swamp Cooler provides an efficient and powerful cooling solution that’s ideal for small business environments. It effectively cools spaces up to 1,100 cubic square feet, ensuring comfort for both your clients and staff. The 7-gallon water tank capacity offers extended runtime, freeing you from frequent refills. Its sleek, modern design seamlessly integrates into any workspace aesthetics, while its portability ensures flexibility in placement.

Key Features:

  • Efficient Cooling: The cooler boasts a 5300 CFM air flow capacity to cool sizable spaces.
  • 7-Gallon Water Tank: Its large water tank provides an extended cooling duration, limiting interruptions for refills.
  • Easy Transport: This unit can conveniently move across different rooms with a lightweight design and built-in caster wheels.
  • Modern Design: Aesthetically pleasing, its modern design complements various interior decors.
  • Remote Control: It includes a remote control that works up to 6 meters away, enabling convenient operation.
  • Energy Efficient: As an evaporative air cooler, it uses less energy than typical air conditioning units, helping you to reduce utility bills.
  • Variable Speeds and Swing Mode: With three-speed settings and a swing mode, it provides customized cooling to fit your preferences.
  • Low Noise Level: Operating at a noise level of just 22 dB ensures quiet operation for a peaceful work environment.

Gorilla Gadgets Powerful Swamp Cooler

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BALKO 3-IN-1 Windowless Swamp Cooler

Best Value: The BALKO 3-IN-1 Evaporative Cooler is a compact and versatile cooling device that combines the functions of a fan, air cooler, and humidifier. It’s designed to provide personalized comfort, particularly in dry climates, enhancing indoor comfort by adding much-needed humidity to the air.

Key Features:

  • 3-in-1 Function: BALKO’s evaporative cooler is a fan, air cooler, and humidifier. You can enjoy a cooling breeze by adding water and the included ice packs.
  • Remote and Top Control Panel: This freestanding cooler is conveniently equipped with a remote control. The top control panel allows easy switching between manual and remote control.
  • Designed for Dry Climates: The BALKO cooler improves comfort in dry climates by evaporating water and adding humidity to the air. It’s particularly effective in dry regions.
  • Double Tank Design: BALKO features a double tank that facilitates water recycling for efficient cooling. Its 0.8-gallon capacity can run up to 6-8 hours in humidifying mode, providing continuous cooling.
  • Washable and Removable Tank: This unit comes with a removable water tank, wheels, cooling pad, and rear grille for easy cleaning and maintenance. It’s designed with safety in mind, featuring pinch-proof grills, a fused plug, and built-in circuit protection.
  • Variable Speeds and Modes: The cooler has two modes (normal and cooling) and three wind speeds (low, mid, high) to suit different needs and occasions.
  • Large Coverage Area: This 23-inch cooler has 11-inch air outlets and a 70° oscillation feature. It can quickly cool a room up to 250 sq. ft. with a strong airflow of 455 CFM. It’s an ideal solution for those who find standard floor fans insufficient.

BALKO 3-IN-1 Windowless Swamp Cooler

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Breezewell Evaporative Air Cooler

swamp coolers

The Breezewell 2100 CFM Outdoor Air Conditioner is a versatile solution for maintaining a comfortable atmosphere in outdoor and indoor business settings. The cooler operates on the principle of evaporative cooling, making it a more energy-efficient alternative to traditional air conditioners. It boasts a strong wind flow of up to 2100 CFM, suitable for cooling areas of up to 700 square feet. Its 8-gallon water tank allows for extended use, decreasing the need for constant refills. The top-fill design simplifies the water refill process, while its four rolling casters ensure easy maneuverability.

Key Features:

  • Efficient Cooling: Offering a robust air flow of 2100 CFM, this unit can efficiently cool areas up to 700 square feet.
  • Large Water Tank: Equipped with an 8-gallon water tank, this cooler ensures prolonged cooling without frequent refills.
  • Energy Efficient: Utilizes evaporative cooling, consuming less energy compared to traditional air conditioning units.
  • User-Friendly Top-Fill Design: Its innovative top-fill design simplifies the process of refilling the water tank, saving time and effort.
  • Easy Mobility: Comes with four scroll casters, two of which are lockable, facilitating easy movement and stability on uneven surfaces.
  • Variable Speed Settings: Provides three adjustable speed options, accommodating different cooling needs and preferences.

Breezewell Evaporative Air Cooler

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Honeywell Indoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler

swamp cooler

The Honeywell Indoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler provides an eco-friendly cooling option that also functions as a fan and a humidifier. Its 525 CFM airflow capacity is particularly effective for spot cooling small to medium-sized areas such as offices, living rooms, or covered patios.

This cooler includes features such as a Carbon Dust Air Filter, a remote control for convenient adjustments, an adjustable humidification dial, and an ice compartment for added cooling. Its 7.9-gallon water reservoir ensures prolonged operation, while a low water alarm and energy-saving timer contribute to efficient usage. It operates at a power consumption of only 288W, making it an energy-saving choice for your business.

Key Features:

  • Effective Cooling: Delivers a powerful 525 CFM airflow, ideal for spot cooling small to medium spaces.
  • Multifunctional: Doubles as a fan and humidifier, providing added value and versatility.
  • Low Energy Consumption: Operates at a low power consumption of 288W, making it a cost-effective cooling solution.
  • Large Water Tank: Features a 7.9-gallon water reservoir, ensuring long operation periods.
  • Enhanced Features: Equipped with a Carbon Dust Air Filter, a low water alarm, and an energy-saving timer for efficient usage.
  • Remote Control: Comes with remote control for easy adjustments and settings.

Honeywell Indoor Portable Evaporative Air Cooler

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Alpaca Evaporative Cooler

Evaporative Cooler ALPACA 5400CFM Evaporative Air Cooler,

The ALPACA Evaporative Air Cooler is a highly efficient evaporative cooler designed for both indoor and outdoor use. This cooler uses evaporative cooling technology to generate a refreshing breeze, making it perfect for use in dry climates. It has three-speed wind speed adjustment and is equipped with a large 16-gallon water tank, ensuring prolonged operation without needing frequent refills. Additionally, this cooler has a remote control and a 1-12H timer setting for convenient operation.

Key Features:

  • Powerful Cooling Capacity: With a 5400 cubic feet per minute airflow capacity, this air cooler can significantly reduce the temperature in your space. The included ice room enhances the cooling effect.
  • Versatile and Portable: This cooler is freestanding and portable, making it easy to move to wherever cooling is needed, be it your garage, patio, pool area, or living room.
  • Energy Efficient: The cooler consumes only one-tenth of the energy of a traditional air conditioner, making it an eco-friendly and cost-effective choice.
  • Large Water Tank: The 16-gallon water tank provides extended use, reducing the need for frequent refills. The Min-Max water level line allows you to monitor the water usage easily.
  • Easy to Use: The cooler features an electronic control panel for easy operation and long-term reliability. It also comes with a full-function remote control and a 1-12H timer setting.
  • Easy Mobility: With built-in handle and 4×360° universal wheels with parking system, it’s easy to move the cooler around.

Alpaca Evaporative Cooler

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PELONIS 3-in-1 Evaporative Air Cooler, Tower Fan & Humidifier

 

The PELONIS 3-in-1 unit offers a versatile and efficient solution for indoor cooling needs. With its three fan speeds and two wind modes, it gives you a range of settings to customize your comfort. Moreover, it doesn’t use refrigerants like an air conditioner and acts as a humidifier in dry climates, making it a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option. This cooler also comes with a 10-hour timer and convenient remote control for ease of use.

Key Features:

  • 3-in-1 Functionality: It serves as a fan, cooler, and humidifier, providing you with a multi-faceted solution to manage your indoor climate.
  • Customizable Settings: With its three fan speeds and two wind modes, you can tailor the cooler’s operation to your specific needs.
  • Economical and Eco-Friendly: Unlike conventional air conditioners, this evaporative air cooler does not use refrigerants, making it a more sustainable choice.
  • Easy to Use and Maintain: It features a 7L removable water tank for easy refilling and a detachable filter for straightforward cleaning and maintenance. It also includes a built-in handle design for effortless transportation.
  • Manufacturer Warranty: PELONIS offers a 1-year manufacturer warranty, ensuring you can confidently purchase.
  • Includes Ice Packs: This cooler comes with 2 ice packs that can be added to the water to enhance its cooling capacity.

PELONIS 3-in-1 Evaporative Air Cooler, Tower Fan & Humidifier

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Air Choice Evaporative Cooler

The Air Choice Evaporative Cooler is a 40″ portable tower fan designed for large spaces, providing a comfortable cooling effect with added humidification. With its 70° oscillation and ability to deliver cool air to spaces of up to 120 sq. ft., it ensures a pleasant environment whether you’re at your desk, on the sofa, or in bed.

Key Features:

  • Large Space Cooling: This evaporative cooler can cool spaces up to 120 sq. ft., thanks to its 70° wide oscillation.
  • Humidification Function: Besides cooling, this device offers humidification, which is beneficial in hot and dry areas or if you’re concerned about skin moisture loss.
  • Energy Efficient and Quiet: As a more energy-efficient alternative to air conditioners, this cooler can help save on electricity bills. It also operates quietly, ensuring no disruption to your sleep.
  • 3 Modes and 3 Speed Settings: The cooler offers three modes (normal, natural, and sleep) and three wind speed settings to suit your comfort level and environment. It also has a sleep mode and an 8-hour timer for added convenience.
  • Portability and Safety: Weighing only 9.40 pounds, this cooler can easily move from one room to another. It features an anti-toppling design for safety, and a tiny fence to prevent children’s fingers or pet paws from getting inserted. It’s also easy to clean thanks to its detachable filter.
  • Includes Remote Control: For added convenience, this cooler has a remote control that allows you to adjust the settings from a distance.
  • LCD Panel: A clear and easy-to-read LCD panel displays the cooler’s current settings and operation status.

Air Choice Evaporative Cooler

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VEVOR Evaporative Air Swamp Cooler

The VEVOR Evaporative Air Cooler is a multi-functional device that keeps your spaces comfortable during hot weather. Its 3-in-1 function allows it to blow, humidify, and cool air, making it perfect for use in dry climates, particularly outdoors. It provides effective cooling over a significant area with a coverage of about 750 sq. ft. and adjustable airflow of up to 2100 CFM.

Key Features:

  • Multi-Functional: This cooler can blow, humidify, and cool air, adapting to various environmental conditions to enhance comfort.
  • Oscillation & Adjustable Airflow: With its adjustable airflow of up to 2100 CFM, it can effectively cool a room of about 750 sq. ft. Its louvers can manually adjust vertically, and it can swing horizontally from 0° to 72° automatically for wide coverage.
  • Enhanced Cooling: The cooler comes with four ice packs for additional water cooling. It also has 3-sided rigid high-density cooling pads that increase the evaporative surface area, resulting in more cool air.
  • Remote Control & Timer: The unit can be easily controlled via its touch panel or remote control. Its features include airspeed adjustment, oscillation, sleep mode, and a 12-hour timer function, offering you a convenient and customizable user experience.
  • Large Water Tank with Two Filling Options: It has a 7-gallon tank that can be connected to a garden hose for continuous cooling, saving you from frequent refilling. There’s also a top-filling option that is particularly handy for the elderly and pregnant women as it eliminates the need to bend over.
  • Water Shortage Protection: This feature helps to prevent the cooler from operating when the water level is too low, protecting the device from potential damage.

VEVOR Evaporative Air Swamp Cooler

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LifePlus Swamp Cooler with Remote

The LifePlus Evaporative Air Cooler is a versatile, 3-in-1 cooling solution for spaces up to 350 sq. ft. It operates as a cooling fan, humidifier, and air cooler, providing powerful and efficient cooling. Weighing only 13 lbs and featuring a convenient handle, this cooler is not restricted to one location.

Key Features:

  • Powerful Cooling Effect: This cooler effectively handles large spaces with a high airflow capacity of 1900 CFM. Two ice boxes can be used to cool the water faster, delivering comfortable humidity and energy-efficient cooling.
  • Two Ways of Adding Water: This air conditioner is designed with two methods to add water. You can add water manually at the top for easy operation without bending over. There’s also the option for automatic water filling by connecting a standard garden hose to the included adapter.
  • Continuous Cooling: The large 7.9-gallon water tank allows for up to 10 hours of evaporative cooling, so you’ll only need to refill it once a day.
  • Customizable Settings: The cooler provides personalized comfort with three wind speeds and two wind modes.
  • Adjustable Wind Direction: An automatic horizontal oscillation feature and manual shutters allow for adjustable wind direction. This ensures even distribution of air throughout the room for a comfortable cooling experience.
  • Portable Design: Equipped with four 360° caster wheels (two with brakes)

LifePlus Swamp Cooler with Remote

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How to Maintain Your Swamp Cooler for Optimal Efficiency

Proper swamp cooler maintenance is crucial for its continuous operation and maximum efficiency. Regular cleaning, replacing the evaporative cooling pads when needed, and ensuring the water pump works correctly are all important. Remember to store your swamp cooler properly during the cooler months to ensure it’s ready for the next cooling season.

Frequently Asked Questions

What environments are most suitable for a swamp cooler?

Swamp coolers are ideal for dry climates where the relative humidity is low. They work less efficiently in humid climates as the air is already saturated with water vapor, limiting the evaporation process and the resulting cooling effect.

How often should I replace the pads in my swamp cooler?

The frequency of replacement depends on usage and water quality. However, for most evaporative coolers, it’s recommended to change the pads at least once before each cooling season.

Are swamp coolers energy efficient?

Yes, they consume up to 75% less energy than traditional air conditioning systems. This efficiency can help to lower your energy bill significantly.

How does the humidity of my location affect the performance of a swamp cooler?

Swamp coolers work best in areas with low relative humidity. The drier the air, the more water it can absorb, and the greater the cooling effect. In more humid climates, the cooling effect decreases.

Can a portable swamp cooler cool my entire office or workspace?

The cooling capacity of a portable swamp cooler depends on its size and power. Some units are capable of cooling large areas, while others are better suited for smaller spaces.

A swamp cooler can be a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and efficient solution for cooling your workspace. It provides an excellent alternative for small business owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurs looking for ways to keep their work environment comfortable during the hot summer months.

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Small Business Editor Liane Lonergan is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and a member of the team for 2 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communications and is a former English teacher. She has written news articles and essays throughout her collegiate and professional careers.