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Should I Replace my old Swamp Cooler?

Ah, the good old days of laying in the middle of the hallway and letting that swamp cooler cool you down after a hard day of playing neighborhood football. If you were like most kids in Utah back in the 90’s chances are this is something that you did regularly.  Many homes have stopped using swamp coolers, and are a feature typically found in older homes.  But why have we seen a decline in swamp cooler use for alternatives like central air conditioning.  Perhaps the largest reason is because of the known side effects a swamp cooler has on your health and home.  Below is some basic information about swamp coolers and why making an upgrade may be a good decision for you and your family.

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By learning the potential negatives, you may wish to use a different air conditioning method should your swamp cooler require repairs or extreme maintenance.

Potential health issues with swamp coolers

We are not saying that if you currently have a swamp cooler that you should run to the phone for a replacement.  Rather by learning the potential negatives, you may wish to use a different air conditioning method should your swamp cooler require repairs or extreme maintenance.  One of the biggest health issues with swamp coolers is “mold” and mildew. It’s like an ecosystem up there on your roof. Mold usually grows and builds up in the evaporative cooler pads and the water pan. Many homeowners sometimes forget to replace the pads, and this is where the problem begins. A dirty pad has been known to cause adverse health effects.  This is because it uses water and outside air to cool down the home.

People that suffer from allergies can find relieve by staying up to date with their HVAC system.  The largest thing that can be done is to utilize a HEPA filter to reduce the number of allergens and dander that enters the home.  Swamp coolers tend to get forgotten about and changing out dirty pads gets neglected.  This is probably because, in Utah, most swamp coolers are on the roof (out of sight out of mind type of situation).  When this happens people can suffer from congestions, itchy eyes, runny noses and minor to severe respiratory issues.

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Damage a swamp cooler can do to your home

Swamp coolers can cause damage to your home for various reasons.  For example, we know that hard water is an issue that we all deal with here in Utah.  This common threat can cause havoc on your swamp cooler system causing calcium build up in the water pan, filter pads, and even the motor itself.  The potential damage from a swamp cooler can far outweigh that of a central air system because they must run constantly to keep up with the summer heat.  When a swamp cooler is running they will push moisture and musty air into your living space.  Trapping mildew smells in your wood furniture, carpet and upholstery making it hard to keep your home smelling fresh and clean.

Lastly, there are limitations when it comes to keeping your home cool during a rainstorm.  Swamp coolers perform best when it is hot and dry outside.  However when there is any type of humidity in the air, it is difficult for the unit to properly cool down.  The bottom line is outdated coolers are not an effective way to cool down your home.  Yes, they do generally cost less than a central air system initially.  But the negatives far outweigh the positives when you compare it as a permanent HVAC solution.  Central air requires less maintenance and can lost 4 to 5 times longer than the lifespan of a swamp cooler.  If you are considering upgrading to central air let our licensed and certified professionals at Plumbing Utah Heating & Air help answer any questions you might have.  Call us today at (801) 601-1298 to speak with an HVAC professional and request a comprehensive quote.

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