Swamp Coolers vs Air Conditioners: Everything You Need To Know

When it comes to cooling your home in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, you have a few options. Two of the most popular are swamp coolers and air conditioners. But before you decide which one is right for you, it’s important to understand the differences between the two and the factors that can influence your decision. In this informative blog, join us as we compare swamp coolers and air conditioners and provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for your home.

Swamp Coolers and Air Conditioners: What Are They?

Swamp coolers, also known as evaporative coolers, use the process of evaporation to cool the air. Similar to how a person sweats and cools down, swamp coolers work by drawing in hot, dry air from outside and blowing it over water-soaked pads, which cool the air. The cooled air is then circulated throughout your home. Swamp coolers are usually the more efficient and affordable option when it comes to cooling your home, but they often require more maintenance and can be noisy.

Air conditioners, on the other hand, use a refrigerant to cool the air, which is why they’re also known as “refrigerated air systems.” Air conditioners work by drawing in hot air, cooling it with the refrigerant, and then blowing it back into your home. While typically more expensive than swamp coolers, air conditioners provide more consistent cooling, which translates to more comfort.

The Main Differences between Swamp Coolers vs Air Conditioners

The two main differences between swamp coolers and air conditioners are the cooling methods they use and the climates in which they work best. Swamp coolers are best suited for dry, arid climates such as New Mexico as they rely on the process of evaporation. Air conditioners, on the other hand, are more effective in all climates, as they use refrigerant to cool the air.

The Benefits of Swamp Coolers

Swamp coolers have a few advantages over air conditioners. The biggest benefit is the lower upfront cost. Swamp coolers are usually less expensive to install than air conditioners, making them a popular choice for those on a budget. They’re also relatively economical to operate, as they use less electricity than air conditioners.

The Drawbacks of Swamp Coolers

Swamp coolers have a few drawbacks that can make them less than ideal for certain climates and situations. Swamp coolers essentially pull outside air into the home and cool the air by a few degrees, without filtration. This means that if outside humidity levels reach above 30%, you’ll typically only be able to cool your indoor air by about 10 degrees. This is usually not enough to keep your home comfortable, and can make your air feel hot and sticky, especially on hot or rainy days.

In addition, because of the lack of filtration, swamp coolers do not remove pollutants and allergens from the air. This can be especially problematic during allergy season and during times of wildfires, when air quality can be especially poor. Finally, swamp coolers can be a source of both mold and mosquitos if they’re not properly cleaned and maintained.

One final drawback of swamp coolers is that they need to be ‘changed over’ when the seasons change. During the summer, water needs to be added to the cooler and the pads that are used to provide cooling need to be cleaned. In the winter, water needs to be drained from the unit and the pads need to be covered to prevent them from freezing.

Scheduling a ‘swamp cooler changeover’ in the spring and fall is important to keep the cooler working properly, as not doing so can easily damage the unit. Unfortunately, this means you need to schedule a changeover twice a year.

The Benefits of Air Conditioners

Relative to swamp coolers, air conditioners have many benefits—the biggest being their efficiency. Air conditioners are much more effective at cooling air than swamp coolers, making them ideal for all climates. They also provide more control over the temperature—allowing you to keep your home at whatever temperature you like—and can remove humidity, pollutants and allergens from your air, as well.

Perhaps the best perk of owning a refrigerated air system is that they don’t require seasonal changeovers. Unlike swamp coolers, which need to be switched over from cooling mode to heating mode when the seasons change, refrigerated air systems can provide both cooling and heating year-round. This means that you don’t have to worry about scheduling a technician to switch the system over in the fall and spring.

What to Consider When Choosing Between Swamp Coolers vs Air Conditioners

When deciding between a swamp cooler and an air conditioner, there are a few factors to consider. First, the size and layout of your home can have a big impact on the type of cooling system you choose. Because air conditioners are more effective at cooling air, they’re usually a better choice for larger spaces.

Second, the climate and weather in your area will also play a role. If you live in an area with high humidity and temperatures or pollutants, an air conditioner may be the better option because it removes moisture and impurities from the air.

Finally, your budget should be taken into consideration. If you have a limited budget, a swamp cooler may be the better choice, as they’re often cheaper. However, while air conditioners are more expensive to purchase upfront, they may also help you save money in the long run. Since they don’t require seasonal changeovers, air conditioners typically require less maintenance and have longer lifespans.

Schedule Your Swamp Cooler Changeover Today!

Need to change over your swamp cooler this summer (or winter)? At Wager Mechanical, we’re proud to offer seamless swamp cooler changeovers for our customers in New Mexico, and have the skills and expertise to make sure the job is done right.

Contact us today to schedule your swamp cooler changeover in Albuquerque, or to learn more about our reliable swamp cooler services. From swamp cooler startups and shutdowns, to repairs, replacements, and changeovers, you can rest easy knowing we can provide the best solution for all your needs!

Want to replace your swamp cooler with an energy-efficient air conditioner?

Prefer to swap out our swamp cooler for an AC unit altogether? For a limited time, you can save on a new AC unit with Wagner Mechanical! Our team of highly trained technicians can help you select the right AC unit for your home and install it quickly and safely, so that you can enjoy the many benefits of refrigerated air all summer long!

Contact us to find out how you can save on your new AC unit today!