Swamp Cooler 1.0

Sacramento gets hot as balls in the summertime. I have an AC window unit but when the temperature gets over 100°, it can't keep up. No real option to add another AC unit. Decided to experiment with swamp coolers since the humidity in this area never gets too high. Plus the ac should pull some humidity away as well.

This is a rudimentary set up with some material I had laying around. I kind of thought coolers were voodoo science but it does seem to be doing something. Output side is about 5 degrees cooler then the input even with this shit set up.

tl;dr wondering how far you can push this concept? Drawbacks?

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    btw, the materials for this included
    a cheap pond pump
    some air filter medium
    3/8 pipe
    and a Lasko box fan
    sitting on top of a storage container h2o reservoir

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >Drawbacks?
    Uses water, which ain't cheap in California.
    You have to be super careful to keep it clean and free of mold or you will make yourself sick.
    Mineral buildup will cause it to be less effective if you don't keep it clean.
    When it gets humid later in the summer it won't work as well.
    Looks like shit.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I live in a shitty trailer community. The only benefit is that the I don't have a water bill. Or more specifically, I have a flat rate. So not a concern.

      I like tinkering and frankly nobody visits me so I could give a shit about the aesthetics. I guess I am asking is can you build one that would really have an impact as far as helping my AC unit when it gets over100 degrees.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >helping my AC unit
        Oh, if that is what you are going for, no. In fact, it will make your AC work harder and cool less.

        Swamp coolers evaporate water into the air. To convert the liquid water into vapor you have to raise its temperature a bit. This cools the air passing through it but make the air more moist. So, hot dry air in, moister cooler air out.

        Air conditioners go the other way it terms of moisture. Hot air in, dryer cooler air out. Moisture isn't required for them to operate but, if there is any moisture in the air, it will pull it out as much as it can. Your window unit collects this moisture on the coils where it then drops in a pan. It then either evaporates from the pan outside or is allowed to drain out the back. The problem is that, to convert moisture it has to do the opposite of a swamp cooler. It has to pull heat from the air and impart it into the coils where the water collects. This means there is less cooling available to cool the air blowing over the coils.

        TL;DR
        The drier the air the better your AC works.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >It has to pull heat from the air and impart it into the coils where the water collects.
          Sorry, that should have been "pull heat from the water int the air".

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            whether the ac is pulling heat from water or air, that's heat that is no longer inside my home, I'm afraid I don't really see a difference

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              This would be true... if you weren't adding extra humidity to the air by running a swamp cooler at the same time. Again, the drier the air the better your AC works. By added that extra humidity to the air it is making your AC work harder than it normally would. This means it will take longer to cool down your place by the same amount and it will consume more power doing it.

              You might think that the cooling of the AC plus the cooling of the swamp cooler would be greater than just the AC alone even though the AC isn't running at its best. Sadly, that isn't the case. It makes it slightly worse overall. It is a prime example of counter productivity.

              Now, what you could do is use a swamp cooler to cool the outside coils of your AC. This does work and is used in some systems. You have to be very careful of mold, mineral, and dirt buildup on the outside coils though. Other than that it is a better solution.

              You could also look into other cooling options. House fans are great for cycling the air quickly when it finally cools down a bit at night. Exterior shades for windows or even something simple like hanging plants off the eves of the house can help. When we put a climbing vine on a trellis on the west side of my house is noticeably cooled the uninsulated walls of my house. We also put some shade cloth over some of our windows.

        • 1 month ago
          ThatWasMe

          https://i.imgur.com/1zSq1nS.jpeg

          This would be true... if you weren't adding extra humidity to the air by running a swamp cooler at the same time. Again, the drier the air the better your AC works. By added that extra humidity to the air it is making your AC work harder than it normally would. This means it will take longer to cool down your place by the same amount and it will consume more power doing it.

          You might think that the cooling of the AC plus the cooling of the swamp cooler would be greater than just the AC alone even though the AC isn't running at its best. Sadly, that isn't the case. It makes it slightly worse overall. It is a prime example of counter productivity.

          Now, what you could do is use a swamp cooler to cool the outside coils of your AC. This does work and is used in some systems. You have to be very careful of mold, mineral, and dirt buildup on the outside coils though. Other than that it is a better solution.

          You could also look into other cooling options. House fans are great for cycling the air quickly when it finally cools down a bit at night. Exterior shades for windows or even something simple like hanging plants off the eves of the house can help. When we put a climbing vine on a trellis on the west side of my house is noticeably cooled the uninsulated walls of my house. We also put some shade cloth over some of our windows.

          This guy knows what he's talking about, shuddup OP. Listen instead.

          You need to use that free water to cool the backside of your window aircon unit. A small spray, continuous while in operation, will do it. You could add a solenoid to open when the unit kicks on, so you're not wasting it.

          That's how those enormous cooling towers work, essentially.

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    > sacrmento gets hot
    No shit. Everywhere There was a city in canada waaay north of you that got to 122 deg, and burned down. That was a few years ago.

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    if you are using that indoors it will stop working as soon as the inside humidity gets too high. it has to suck dry air from outside. also best case you will get is a 30 degree drop in temperature.

    either get a real swamp cooler, or a bigger AC.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Wow. 30 degrees would be killer. Frankly I would be happy with 10

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        He means 30 degree air coming directly out of the cooler, not a 30 degree drop in the temp inside your house. The air in your house stores a lot of energy. The old chestnut is there is 0.075 pounds of air per cubic foot of space in your house and it takes 0.24 BTU to drop each cubic foot of air by 1 degree Fahrenheit.

        So, if your room is 10x10x8 (800 square feet), it would take 5,760 BTUs to drop it by 30 degrees. The air coming out of a 5,760 BTU AC would be much cooler than 70 degrees though. Your little DIY unit isn't going to output anywhere near 5,000 BTU.

        This is all assuming no leaks, fantastic insulation, no electronics making heat, no people making heat, all that. If you live in a trailer you probably have tons of leaks and shit insulation, so size your AC accordingly, bite the curb when the PG&E bill comes, and have a backup plan for when they have to shut the grid down after burning down another town.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >(800 square feet)
          Ugh. 800 CUBIC feet. My bad.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          oddly enough AC units are sized in square feet. probably so people like OP can understand it.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >This is all assuming no leaks, fantastic insulation, no electronics making heat, no people making heat, all that. If you live in a trailer you probably have tons of leaks and shit insulation, so size your AC accordingly.
          This.

          I got a 12,000 BTU 2 hose unit for a 120 square foot shed with R7 insulation. It cannot keep up with the heat when it's over 95 outside.

          I even insulated the exhaust hose which only helped a little.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Luckily in most of Sac we have SMUD which is a non profit utility that is not affiliated with PG&E. Our rates are lower.

          One additional variable is that this POS mobile home I live in has shit tier electrical service. I blew the MAIN outside service fuse today and it wasn't even 90 degrees outside. At the time I was running my drier so thats my bad, I know that sucks up a ton of amps and also running my main AC which is a 15k BTU 11.5 amp window unit. And I was running my little bedroom unit which is a 8k BTU unit 6 or 7 amp unit. That plus normal background things like my tv,fridge, xbox blew the main. Its fricking a PITA. Moving is not possible at this point. I have toyed with the idea of setting up some solar panels and an inverter just to fuel the 15k unit. For whatever reason, nobody has panels in this community. It's probably an HOA thing. tl;dr my life sucks.

          Guys I wish I could get like a nice Mini split system but the cost even for a MR Cool diy is kind of out of my range and for sure I would have to upgrade the electrical if that is even possible. Plus the HOA nazi would shit kittens if I did it myself and didn't pull a permit.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Like I said before, there are options. Shade the building, shade your windows, cover shit with plants, shutters, shade cloth. Seal gaps. People don't think that helps much but it absolutely does. Simple shit like weatherstripping can make a huge difference. Put thinks like dressers and bookcases against outer walls to buff up the insulation. Buy some decorative carpets and hang them from the walls. Put carpet on the floors if they are hard floors like tile or linoleum. I've seen people that have trailers put some kind of paint or sealant on the roof to color it white. That helps reflect heat.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        30 degree MAXIMUM.

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Turn a fan on your fat ass
    Human swamp cooler

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Just get a second ac unit moron. Just put it on top of the first one.

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Probably buy a more powerful unit and replace with the one you have.

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