During warm weather, many households start up their evaporative coolers so as to bring their indoor environment under control.
There is still another category of homeowners who may require evaporative cooler installations especially those settling into new homes or replacing their old systems.
Whatever the case, proper installation of evaporative coolers is very important. This is because improperly installed units may break down or offer sub-standard service which will affect the quality of output that you receive vis-à-vis the amount that you paid for the units.
What is an Evaporative Cooler?
An evaporative cooler refers to a simple device that consists of a water-wetted pad and a fan. It also has a small pump that re-circulates water from a part of the cooler cabinet known as a sump in order to keep the pad wet. The aim of the fan is to draw outside air through the pad thereby making it humid and colder. This air is then blown into the house, exhausting out the warmer air through a vent or open window. This is contrary to a refrigeration air conditioning that cools the inside air and re-circulates it back into the house.
In as much as the operation of evaporative coolers seems simple, complications may arise during installation. First and foremost, the evaporative coolers must be installed outdoors and ducted into the house. During winter, these coolers must be freeze protected and isolated from the house.
The Types of Evaporative Coolers
Evaporative coolers come in two main categories; single-stage and two-stage coolers.
The single-stage evaporative coolers are also known as direct evaporative coolers. They are the most common and are oftentimes categorized by the pad style.
- Fiber Pad Coolers
The pads commonly used in these types of coolers are aspen wood fibers packaged in a plastic net. Technology has also enabled the use of synthetic fiber pads which have a wettable surface. The pads are usually one to two inches thick. Fiber pads operate efficiently at low air velocities. This makes them common on coolers that have air inlets on multiple sides. The lifespan of these coolers is about two years.
- Rigid-Sheet Pad Coolers
This type of cooler uses a stack of corrugated sheet material known as a rigid-sheet pad. The material allows air to move through the pad at very high velocities. These pads measure between 8 and 12 inches in thickness. Rigid-sheet pad coolers have a single air inlet and are commonly known as single inlet coolers.
Two-stage coolers have a rigid pad and an indirect evaporative pre-cooler. The pre-coolers cool the air without adding any element of humidity. The pre-cooled air, however, cannot hold as much moisture thereby resulting in both dryer and colder air. These are among the highest priced and best-performing coolers in the market.
Most evaporative coolers have a belt drive system and an adjustable pulley also known as a sheave on the motor. The sheave has two bolts; one securing it to the motor shaft while the other allows the effective diameter of the sheave to be altered. Evaporative coolers do not cost as much as the refrigeration air conditioning and are an excellent option in hot and dry climates.