Don’t try to use a swamp cooler in an environment with high humidity

I was visiting my cousins out west last month and stayed with them in their house in the desert.

This was the first time in my life that I have ever experienced temperatures over 105 degrees.

It felt like standing inside an oven when I stepped into full sun, which immediately made me seek the shade. My cousins wanted me to play with them outside that day and I have never sweated so much in my life. When we got inside, I was surprised at how humid it felt compared to the outdoor air. Our air conditioners back at home have the opposite effect, where they dry out indoor air while they cool. I learned that many people in desert regions use evaporative “swamp” coolers that release humidity into the air as they lower the temperature. They work by having a material inside that almost resembles an air filter. You fill a water reservoir that keeps the inside material wet while a fan blows air through it. The result of the water evaporating into vapor has a natural cooling effect. However, this will only work in drier environments. You cannot get the same evaporative cooling effect to work in high humidity environments like the south where summer weather is accompanied by moisture levels over 80%. That’s why swamp coolers only work in drier desert climates, although you could always try using one at the risk of creating too much indoor humidity. And as many of us already know, too much indoor humidity creates an environment for toxic mold to grow. That’s why I would stick to a traditional air conditioner, even if I lived in the desert.
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