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Evaporative Cooling Drawbacks & Disadvantages for Cooling in Albuquerque

Evaporative Cooling Drawbacks for Albuquerque Residents 


While some people opt for an evaporative cooling system (commonly called a swamp cooler) to keep them comfortable during the hot and dry New Mexico summer, it’s not the right choice for everyone. Before deciding between refrigerated air conditioning and evaporative cooling, it’s important to honestly assess the pros and cons—and how much they matter to you and your family. Because we know each household has their own preferences, the HVAC professionals at B. Carlson Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing have compiled this comprehensive list of evaporative cooling pros and cons for you to consider before making this decision.

Are you considering an evaporative cooler for your Albuquerque home? Call us today at (505) 349-4409 to learn more about this HVAC system!

How Evaporative Coolers Work

Before we jump into some of the drawbacks you might discover with an evaporative cooling system, we thought it would be beneficial to briefly explain how an evaporative cooler would function in your New Mexico home. Unlike a central air conditioner or other common HVAC system, an evaporative cooler uses water as a cooling medium and will therefore add moisture to the air in your home. Since the climate can be very hot and dry in Albuquerque at certain times during the year, many people really like this element of evaporative coolers. However, this can also create additional problems, like clogged pipes, for you and your family. Evaporative coolers will also demand more ventilation than a traditional cooling system, which could impact your home’s indoor air quality—or worse.

Contact the NATE certified technicians at B. Carlson online now to ask about our evaporative cooling options!

The Drawbacks of Evaporative Coolers in Albuquerque

While some people prefer an evaporative cooling system during the summer season in New Mexico, others take issue with various aspects of these coolers. We already mentioned a few earlier but, because we care about the comfort and satisfaction level of each one of our customers at B. Carlson, we wanted to compile a thorough list of possible drawbacks you might find in an evaporative cooler. Some cons include:

  • They depend on dry, outside air to operate effectively. Therefore, on hot, muggy days in the summer, evaporative coolers can blow humid, soggy air into the house.
  • If the humidity levels stay high for several days, the moist pads that make the evaporative cooler work can begin to smell, and the musty odor can also blow into the house.
  • Evaporative coolers cannot be used when there are freezing temperatures outside. When the temperatures start to significantly drop in the fall, you have to turn the evaporative cooler off and you won’t be able to use it again until the last freeze in the spring has passed. Being at the mercy of Mother Nature like this can be tricky and, for many people, frustrating.
  • Evaporative cooling systems require water to keep pads wet, which can be a water consumption issue during drought years. You’ll typically consume between three and 15 gallons of water a day, depending on the size of the cooler and whether or not the water is collected and pumped through the pads more than once.
  • They can also be unreliable at times since their cooling medium, water, is corrosive and can lead to dirty or clogged pipes. This can also impact the overall cooling efficiency.
  • Evaporative coolers require ventilation in order to operate, which means you need to open your windows or doors to create some airflow in your home. This poses safety issues, noise concerns, and the risk of indoor air quality issues, especially during a heavy dust storm.
  • Although evaporative coolers can connect to existing forced air duct systems, they may require larger ductwork to handle the volume of air they require to cool your home since the air delivered by an evaporative system is warmer than the air supplied by an air conditioner and will produce more air flow.

If evaporative cooling is not the right choice for your home and you prefer the more conventional kind of HVAC equipment, consider making the switch to refrigerated air! Or, if you’re not bothered by this list of drawbacks, take a look at some evaporative cooling benefits!

Deciding Between Refrigerated Air or an Evaporative Cooler

So, the question remains: which is the better choice? Well in the end, it’s for you to decide! Both have unique advantages and drawbacks, just like any other two cooling systems you could compare.

Pros & Cons of Swamp Coolers

Swamp coolers are often loved in Albuquerque for the simple fact that they bring fresh air into the home (although allergy sufferers might like this a lot less!), and by the fact that they add some moisture into your living space. Around here, moisture can be hard to come by, so that’s a pretty big draw for sure.

However, where an evaporative system loses is in the fact that they’re somewhat limited in overall cooling power. When the sun’s beating its hardest, a swamp cooler tends to fall behind, leaving your home a fair deal warmer than you may like.

Pros & Cons of Refrigerated Air

In terms of overall performance, home comfort, and reliability, refrigerated air is essentially the best choice hands-down. There’s no amount of hot air or sunbeams that are going to really put the unit to the test, so you never have to stress about a hot day taking away your comfort!

Years back the argument against refrigerated air was the price, since they often were much more expensive than evaporative cooling systems. This is much less of an issue these days! Modern central cooling is one of the more cost-efficient air conditioning options available, and with new high-efficiency technology, you don’t even have to sweat over the energy bill any more.

Evaporative Cooling Services in Albuquerque, NM

Despite the drawbacks listed above, evaporative cooling can still be a great solution for many homes—depending on your specific preferences. For example, while some people mind the additional ventilation required, others enjoy opening their home up to natural light and fresh air. Whether you’re interested in evaporative cooling installation, replacement, repair, or maintenance in the Albuquerque area, or want to learn more about converting to refrigerated air, trust the certified HVAC technicians at B. Carlson Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to get the job done.

To learn more about the different cooling options for your home or to schedule an appointment with a heating and air conditioning professional, call B. Carlson today at (505) 349-4409!

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