Humid weather may effect swamp cooler proformance

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GRAND JUNCTION; Colo. (KKCO) Summers in the Grand Valley make it difficult to keep your house cool. Another warm weekend is ahead with temperatures nearing 100 degrees. The heat combined with humidity may impact your swamp cooler.

“There are times when it’s just too humid and too hot,” said swamp cooler owner Jerry Hamilton.

Many people have swamp or evaporative coolers because they are cheaper than traditional air conditioners.

"It's good because it draws in fresh air,” Hamilton said. ”Unlike refrigerated air, with a swamp cooler, you actually crack your windows a little bit so it draws the air in and it brings in fresh air.”.

Experts say to crack the windows just enough to where a whistle can be heard.

The coolers work by evaporating water and moving it over the pad, blowing the cold air into the house.

“When it’s hot, say 100 degrees, the overall effectiveness goes down, especially when it gets humid,” said Matt Preiffer, owner of Avalanche Heating Cooling Plumbing.

He says about 89 percent of the time your swamp cooler does a great job.

“If the humidity goes up then our overall evaporation goes down and we don’t have the ability to cool as well,” Peiffer said.

A low humidity of 30-40 percent can cause swamp coolers to appear broken.

“We get a lot of calls where people think the cooler is not operating correctly and everything is indeed operating to the best of its ability,” Peiffer said.

The humidity in the Grand Valley rarely goes above 30 percent. Thursday, humidity hit 28 percent and that was at 6 a.m. when it’s still cool outside.

David Bennett moved to Grand Junction from Dallas about six years ago

“I’ve never had a problem with my swamp cooler keeping up with the temperature. I can set it for whatever I want and it’s usually a lot lower than what I attempted in Dallas,” Bennett said.

In Dallas, the average humidity is 65 percent.

“It is very humid and they don’t use evaporative coolers and I was getting enormous electric bills,” Bennett said.

Just to install a swamp cooler it cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000. Air condition is twice as much to install due to all the duct work. It could cost $7,000 or all the way up to $25,000 depending on your house and the brand you chose.

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