For those of us living in hot summer climates, it is a constant battle to try and escape the heat. Even if you’re spending your time outside, chances are you’re going to try and involve water somehow: swimming, boating, surfing, water fights, or even just running through the sprinklers. However, if you are sweating outside, then eventually you will want a place of refuge where you can cool down. Heat is for the outdoors during the summer, not indoors. Inside you want cool, fresh air to welcome you as you exit the surrounding sauna outside. Typically, most people either resort to a central air conditioning unit or a swamp cooler. But which is better? Which is cheaper? Here, we will discuss the possible pros and cons of both.
Swamp coolers (also known as evaporative coolers) are an open system, meaning that it needs a constant airflow to produce cooler air. Opening windows is a good idea to keep the hot air coming in so that the swamp cooler can use that dry, hot air to evaporate the water inside. This process is called evaporative cooling. It takes the dry air and adds moisture to the air to cool it. This is ideal for areas that have low humidity. The swamp cooler acts as a humidifier, which may be preferable to some. Swamp coolers can be a cheaper alternative to a/c units since they don’t heavily affect your energy bill. Swamp coolers typically cost anywhere between $700 and $1,000 to buy and install. That is quite a bit less than a/c units as we’ll discuss.
While swamp coolers are a great alternative to a/c units, especially if you want to spend less money up front and per month and live in a drier climate, they do require more maintenance. The cooling pads inside need to be changed regularly; swamp coolers also require you to shut down every winter and drain out the water in the system. Conversely, swamp coolers need to be started up again in preparation for the summer months. Failing to properly shut down and start up your swamp cooler at the right time can cause problems leading to expensive repairs.
Swamp coolers are best used in dry climates. If the air is too humid where you live, then the swamp cooler will have a hard time cooling that air. It requires dry air to actually cool it. Also, if you live in an area where there are a lot of allergens and pollutants in the air, then a unit requiring you to open windows may not be the best idea.
Central Air Conditioning
An a/c unit supplies cold air to your home by passing air through the unit over a set of coils which are filled with a refrigerant. The refrigerant cools the air passing over and then sends the newly cooled air throughout your home while also venting the warm air in your home. The cooled air is then recycled over and over through the unit as it continues to run. In order to achieve the preferred cooler temperature, all doors and windows must be closed. If any windows or doors are open, the cool air will escape and cause your unit to worker harder than it needs to. You’ll not only fail to cool your home down as quickly as you want, but you’ll also increase your energy bill and decrease the lifespan of your unit. No one wants that.
An a/c and heating unit is not cheap. You can spend anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. Generally speaking, the nicer (more expensive) the unit, the more efficiently it will run, meaning it may not cost you as much in your monthly electrical bills. If you are able to keep your home at a reasonable temperature (75-78 degrees) and regularly change your air filters, then your monthly bills should be more manageable. You may end up spending up to $60 more per month during the summer, but generally you use less water indoors which should lower your water bill.
As you can see, it can be much more expensive to go with a central a/c and heating system, but air conditioners typically don’t require as much maintenance and have a greater ability to cool the entire home as opposed to just one or two areas near a swamp cooler. If you think you might better benefit from having an a/c unit installed in your home, call us today at Central Heat and Air to discuss your options!