Let’s face it, it gets hot and humid in New Braunfels. In summertime especially, we’ll do nearly anything to escape the heat. Fortunately, we have modern luxuries like air conditioning to keep us cool on even the hottest days. But what other options are there for cooling your home?
Understanding Your Options
While air conditioners are undoubtedly the popular choice in New Braunfels, swamp coolers are another option for in-home cooling and are used by some homes instead of an air conditioning unit. The HVAC services specialists at Legacy Heating and Air have assembled the quick guide on how the two units are distinct so you can better decide which system is right for your home.
Swamp coolers use the process of evaporative cooling to lower the temperature inside the home. At its most basic, a swamp cooler works by drawing warm outdoor air over a pad saturated with water, which evaporates the water. This air is cooled about 15 – 40 degrees Fahrenheit and then pumped into the home.
Rather than using a system of ducts, to get the most effective cooling effect, a swamp cooler system requires that the windows of the home be slightly open. This allows warm air to be pushed out of the home while it is being replaced by cooled fresh air. Unlike air conditioners that recycle the air in a home, a swamp cooler constantly brings fresh air into the home.
Like air conditioners, swamp coolers can be installed as a large central unit, or as a window mount. Swamp coolers can also be installed on the roofs of some homes. In some cases, swamp coolers can even take advantage of the ductwork in a home, but typically, the ducts required are much larger than those needed for an air conditioner.
Swamp coolers should not be used in climates that are humid. Because of their operation, they add additional humidity to the air in the home. The addition of extra humidity into the air can lead to the growth of mold in the home and can have a negative impact on the quality of air indoors. Further, swamp coolers require a near constant supply of water. In areas with regular drought conditions, or with limited access to water, this may be difficult to do. It also can raise the utility bill for the swamp cooler user.
An air conditioning unit operates by moving air over a set of coils filled with a fluid refrigerant, often Freon. This refrigerant cools as it is compressed by coming into contact with the moving air. This cooled air is then moved into the home through the ducts and re-circulated back through the air conditioner for as long as the unit is running. This process of re-circulation vents any hot air generated by the AC unit back outside. The entire system occurs within the AC unit and the ducts themselves and requires that the doors and windows of a home be sealed shut to work effectively. If any doors or windows are left open, it forces the AC unit to work harder to cool the air.
Air conditioners have the added benefit of drying the air it circulates. Water from the air condenses as it passes over the cooling coils, and the water is drained outside. This leads to a dryer home. In humid climates, like New Braunfels, this can help the occupants of the home feel cooler. By drying the air as it circulates, an AC unit is a great way to ensure the long-term quality of indoor air in the home. By removing humidity from the air, your AC unit is decreasing the chances that mold can grow in your home.
Which Is Right For Your Home?
Ultimately, evaporative air, or swamp coolers, work best in climates that are very dry and have very little moisture in the air already. These units require a source of fresh air to circulate through the home when in use. As a result, they’re great for places like Arizona, Colorado, and California.
However, here in New Braunfels, an air conditioner is a better cooling unit for your home. Because the humidity levels are highest in the summer, which is when most residents are using their AC units, using a swamp cooler would only add additional moisture to the air in the home. An AC unit, in comparison, will dry the air in the home, while cooling it as well. The result is that an air conditioner can provide New Braunfels residents a more comfortable cooling effect than a swamp cooler can.
If you’re in need of HVAC services like air conditioner repair for your New Braunfels home, don’t hesitate to call Legacy Heating and Air Conditioning Services. With 30 years of experience, free estimates, and discounts for military and seniors, we are the preferred local HVAC specialists. Call us today to see how we can help keep your home cool.