09 Aug Swamp Coolers Use Ancient Solution for Modern Air Conditioning
In East County San Diego where summer temperatures frequently cross the three-digit threshold, keeping electricity bills low is a major challenge for large warehouse stores. While many resign themselves to traditional air conditioning systems that raise the cost of doing business, an ancient technology presents an interesting and efficient solution.
Evaporative cooling, a concept derived from ancient Egypt and Persia thousands of years ago, produces efficient cooling through water evaporation. These ancient communities utilized dampened mats or porous clay pots to turn a hot, dry breeze into moist, cool temperatures. Modern evaporative coolers, also known in North America as “swamp coolers,” pull fresh outdoor air through moist pads where the air is cooled by evaporation and circulated throughout large spaces. Until now, swamp coolers have not been widely adopted outside of extremely arid areas in Arizona and Australia due to complications related to the use and installation.
“With large warehouse stores like Home Depot and Costco, the doors are always open, which can make traditional air conditioners an expensive solution,” says Gordon Kovtun of KCM Group, a local San Diego construction management company. “Swamp coolers help our clients cut the cost of electricity bills and avoid the expenses of structural and electrical upgrades required to install traditional air conditioning units. Swamp coolers seemed like a risky, temporary solution at first, but it has paid off tremendously and we’ve already installed more of these systems with other projects.”
Compared to traditional cooling systems, the costs to install swamp coolers are typically 20 percent less than air conditioners and use 10 percent less electricity. Swamp coolers are also made of plastic and require no additional structural accommodations, which means they are lighter and will not corrode after ten years (like many traditional air conditioning units).
“What began as an interim fix became a permanent solution as costs were dramatically cut and customer satisfaction remained high as ever. Evaporative cooling is the perfect solution to a complex challenge,” says Kovtun, “It’s an option I’ll definitely be recommending again.”