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Choosing a Swamp Cooler: Their Types and Features

Choosing the right cooling device is always a crucial decision as this is going to get cash out of your pocket, and if the result is not breezy enough to take your sweat away, it is probably not worth it. Evaporative coolers or swamp coolers are the right product for literally any household or a place with a hot and dry climate. Let’s see in detail why that is the case, and how to choose the best swamp cooler for your needs.

What Is a Swamp Cooler?

Many people have seen it in a neighbor’s place, but how does it work exactly? A swamp cooler is a nature-friendly cooling device that operates with simple water and electricity-powered fan. That is correct — no hazardous cooling agent involved that can poison the air. Here is how this appliance works: 

  • Fill the water tank with clean tap water; you can use chilled water as well.
  • Moisture pads soak the pumped water.
  • The fan inside the box helps to evaporate soaked water.
  • Due to the droplets of evaporated water, a cooled version of air spreads into the room and a drop in temperature occurs. 

What Are the Advantages of a Swamp Cooler?

There are many associated benefits that you should expect when investing in a swamp cooler:

  • No heavy electricity bills. Contrary to their mounted alternatives, swamp coolers are energy efficient as there is no need for burning a large number of watts in simple fan operation. In the longer run, you save a lot of money. 
  • Visible temperature drops. When compared to an ordinary fan, a swamp cooler can help to decrease the room temperature as close to fifteen degrees. The water drops from the evaporation process play its role in doing so.
  • Highly recommended for a dry climate. Since the coolers have their water source inside the body, there is no risk to the natural humidity level. In fact, for the dry environment, this helps to keep up the optimal levels.
  • No hazard to human health. Most cooling agents such refrigerant can undergo odorless leakage and cause damage. Using plain water instead eliminates this risk.
  • No messy installation work needed. These work as a wonder, you do not need technical people to have it functional for you. A simple power socket near the cooling device and you are good to go. Additionally, some of the models can operate on power bank USB ports or the batteries. The product manual can guide you on how to link it correctly.
  • Not heavy on the pocket. The price of a good swamp cooler can be one third less than their counterpart mounted ACs that too with added benefits such as their environment-friendly behavior which includes:
    • No additional hazardous liquid handling involved
    • No excessive hot air being thrown out of the room
    • Dual way money savings in terms of price and electricity consumption

How Many Types Are Available?

The focus of this piece of writing is to guide residential users in understanding the swamp or evaporative coolers. However, one must be aware of the different types available on the market. According to the need, space, and area of service, there are many options for non-residential consumers as well. Here is a guide to understanding the several categories of swamp coolers: 

Categories by technology:

  • Direct. It is an essential type where there is no installation required. It works as a plug and play. You just need to attach it to the power supply and fill water in the container inside. One fan helps to evaporate water and create a cooling breeze. The evaporation process also helps to maintain the desired humidity level of the environment.
  • Indirect. In contrast to the above, this type works with two fans. It works with a heat exchanger and does not alter the natural humidity level. If it is installed in a dry climate, there will be no impact on the dryness. On top of that, this requires installation and operations involving two fans to consume more electricity as well.
  • Two-stage. A hybrid version of both the above types where a water container is required to damp the moisture pads and the heat exchanger to move the hot air outside. This one also needs installation. 

Categories by usage:

  • Residential. This type is designed to service smaller areas like flats, rooms, etc. Relatively small/compact designs can be operated on power banks or even the batteries. Mostly these are for indoors, but you also have the option to go for an outdoor/hybrid version suitable for patios or small sites. 
  • Commercial. As the name indicates, this type is for large businesses such as sports arenas, farms, large sites, etc. 

The service area/size of the room and the cooling mechanism constitutes the main differences in all available types of coolers. However, within these types, there are a variety of sizes and features as well. 

Features of Swamp Cooler

While the common features would be a water tank, moisture pads, a fan, and a power socket, etc. You may find a value deal with additional features to enhance your experience of using this cooling device. The additional features that you may get with additional price or different brand include: 

  • Control the fan speed. Most of the models come with three levels of speed. The speed here indicates how forcefully the fan will run to blow the air. You can set as per your preference or need.
  • Modern visible controls. Unlike the mechanical not-so-aesthetic controls, some models are now equipped with digital controls such as speed, timer, etc. to give you better visibility and operations at the same time.
  • Wireless control. While some models give you an ordinary remote to alter to set the digital controls. Some are technology-savvy controls, such as operating through a mobile app on Wi-Fi, keeping you safe from the tension of finding the tiny remotes.
  • Variety of water tanks. There are many options available. In some, you can remove the tank for easy filling or cleaning, whereas in others, you can link the device with the water source directly. When water is filled to the required level, it automatically stops filling the water.
  • Auto timer controls. Some of the swamp coolers also let you set a timer to auto on/off. It is recommended if you want to let go of the tension of waking up from sleep to switch off or you want to switch it on before you come home from the office.
  • Filtration of air. In addition to the moisture pads, there can be carbon filters to absorb the dust particles, pollen, or smoke and give you fresh air. This is recommended in polluted areas. 


Buying a swamp cooler is a good choice from many different points of view. It’s energy-efficient, easy to use, and helps humidify the air despite giving a sensible temperature drop. Also, it might be your best portable air cooler option, as most residential swamp coolers are compact and easy to move. 

Fawad Malik

Fawad Malik Technology geek by heart, blogger by passion, and founder of, He regularly explores ideas and ways how advanced technology helps individuals, brands and businesses survive and thrive in this competitive landscape. He tends to share the latest tech news, trends, and updates with the community built around Nogentech.

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