Using an evaporative cooler – outside the desert?

When I lived in the southwest, I was accustomed to hot, dry temperatures. The desert temperatures climbed as high as the 110’s or 120’s on a regular basis, but the lack of humidity made cooling down as simple as finding shade. That’s not to say that you’re safe from the heat as long as you’re under a roof, though. I’d invested in an HVAC system that relied on an evaporative cooling system to keep the house fairly cool, and it worked incredibly well despite using less energy than conventional forced air systems. Imagine my surprise when I found a house in the southeast, where I tried to use the same principle for keeping my house cool. See, evaporative coolers work best when the climate is already dry and hot, because they provide moist, cool air to chill the house. When you apply that system in an already humid place, the air coming in the house is just wet and uncomfortable. That’s why southerners typically stick to central forced air systems to keep their house cool, as they use refrigerant and other chilling chemicals to help cool down the air coming into the house. I wish I’d thought about that before I moved here, because now I have this big portable evaporative cooler that won’t relieve me of the heat! I hate having to use the air conditioner in my house because I don’t have zone control thermostats, so the whole house is treated when I turn on the A/C. I’ll need to find a way to run my air conditioning more efficiently soon, because the temperatures here are only getting higher!

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