If you live in an area with a hot dry climate (Gauteng, Free State, Eastern and Northern Cape, North West Province and Western Cape), consider installing an evaporative cooling system in your home. It is an eco-friendly, energy efficient and cost effective alternative to the conventional air conditioner. You have the option of a fixed system or a portable unit which can be moved from room to room.
Air conditioners pump refrigerant (which produce emissions) through compression and evaporative cycles to cool interiors. Evaporative cooling systems chill flowing air by evaporating water. Warm exterior air is blown by fan through a dampened pad or heat exchanger. The airstream cools as the moisture evaporates into it, releasing cool air into the required area.
What you need to know:
- The system uses around 80 – 90% less electricity than comparably sized refrigerant-based air-conditioning systems
- No need to close doors and windows when the evaporative cooler is in use. The cooler operates with cross ventilation exchanging indoor air with natural outdoor air.
- To limit humidity and maintain climate control, you need to make sure that the same volume of air flows out of and into the home. Getting it right may be tricky
- Evaporative coolers can generally cover a larger area compared to area covered by a same sized air-conditioner
- The system is less expensive to operate and maintain than a conventional air-conditioner although regular maintenance is still needed
- The system produces ventilated air which enhances the breathability and quality of the air, improving your home living environment
- The cooling capacity of the cooler is reduced when the humidity is high. It has no dehumidification. As such it is not suited for regions for with a high humidity factor
- The system relies on clean water, free of mineral deposits or high mineral content – mineral deposits may be left on the pads and the cooled interior if the water has a relatively high mineral content
- The cooler device must be drained and cleaned periodically
- The device could sometimes give off a bad odour if filtering foundation (pad) is not adequate or in a state of disrepair
- A poorly maintained system may affect asthma sufferers.
- It is possible to run evaporative cooling systems off solar power.