Evaporative cooling is a popular alternative to traditional refrigerant-based air conditioners in areas with dry, hot climates. Evaporative cooler are less common than traditional split systems or package units. However, adjusters should still be familiar with them, especially if they work in areas where they can benefit from evaporative cooling.
What’s Evaporative Cooling?
Before we discuss the workings of evaporative coolers, let’s first understand the basics. The process of evaporative cool begins with the liquid evaporating into the surrounding atmosphere. When the liquid transforms into a gas, it absorbs heat and reduces the temperature of the surrounding air.
Evaporative cooling has been practiced for thousands upon thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used this method to cool the homes by placing fabric in water and hanging it up. Air passed through the fabric and absorbed moisture, creating cool breezes.
How Do Evaporative Coolers Works?
This is how evaporative coolants harness the heat to cool a room. Direct evaporative coolers are used for residential properties. A pump circulates water through a reservoir to saturate an evaporative cooler. The fan draws air from outside through the wet pad, initiating the process of evaporation. The cool, humid atmosphere is then distributed throughout the house.
There are three main types of direct residential-evaporative coolers.
Portable Coolers- These can be used to cool small areas. They don’t require professional installation. They can even be moved from one room to another with the help of wheels.
Side Draft- These systems allow air to flow from the unit’s side into the home. This type of evaporative cooler can be installed in the window or through a wall. These may require professional installation, but no ductwork. Although they are limited in their ability to cool one area, they can cool an entire room.
Down Draft – These units are mounted on the roof and can cool the entire home using a duct system. These units can be costly and difficult to maintain.
Evaporative Coolers Are Effective In
To use evaporation to cool the air, it must be dry enough for the moisture to be absorbed. Evaporative coolers are not effective in areas where the relative humidity is less than 60%. Evaporative coolants can’t reduce the temperature by more than 10 degrees if the relative humidity is above 60%. Even in dry climates, the humidity will rise when it does rain. These high humidity periods should not be accompanied by an evaporative cooling unit.
Differences In Evaporative Coolers And Traditional Air Conditioning Systems
A coil of refrigerant is used to cool, transfer heat and humidity conditioned spaces. This type of cooling system uses closed circuit cooling, in which the coolant is used to cycle the air out of the room. Air escaping from the conditioned space can reduce its efficiency.
Instead of refrigerant, an electronic cooler uses a pump and fan to circulate water through the pads. This creates moisture in dry air. Therefore, the area must be ventilated to allow the moist air to escape. Evaporative coolers may not use ductwork to direct their airflow. However, if they do, the size of the ducts must exceed that of traditional air conditioners to accommodate the higher flow rate from the evaporative cooler.
Common Evaporative Cooler Issues
Evaporative coolers require frequent maintenance. Regular cleaning and replacement of cooling pads are necessary to prevent air quality problems and odors. The evaporative coolant should be changed at least once a month. In the cooler, minerals and sediment can build up. The cooler should be cleaned and drained at least once a season to keep it running year after year. These chores can become time-consuming, especially when the system has been mounted on the roof.
Evaporative Cooler Claim Considerations
Regions that have the highest evaporative cooling capacity tend to be more prone to hailstorms. Hail claims often include evaporative coolers, which are usually located on the roof. This system is not as susceptible to hail damage as condensing units. Hailstorms rarely cause damage to the unit. However, hailstones large enough to damage metal panels can cause serious damage. This does not usually affect the system’s functioning, but it must still be considered to adequately restore the system to its pre-loss condition. These panels can usually be replaced rather than replacing the entire unit.
An evaporative cooling system is much less vulnerable to damage than standard HVAC systems. The evaporative coolant is often activated using a simple variable-speed switch. Therefore, there are not many integrated circuit boards. Even though the pump or electric blower motor may still be damaged, these incidents are less frequent than those that cause electrical damage to the refrigerant-based system.