Swamp Cooler Thermostats: Useful, But Only If You Understand This

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If you have a swamp cooler in your house, you know the balancing act of keeping your house cool.

You need to focus on the temperature and monitor the fan speed.

Open and close windows.

Essentially, you’re the thermostat.

It shouldn’t be this way!

You can adjust the room temperature in your house by using an electronic swamp cooler thermo­stat.

How does a swamp cooler work?

A traditional swamp cooler controls require you to manually turn the air conditioner on and off, set it to soak the pads, adjust the fan speed, and manually adjust the temperature.

You need to monitor the temperature for this setup.

For example, if it gets too hot, you need to turn on the pump, let it soak the pads, and then turn on the fan.

You need to turn it off or lower it when it gets too hot.

A digital thermostatic device allows you to set the temperature wherever you want.

When the swamp cooler turns on, it keeps running until it reaches the desired room temperature.

You need to decide whether you want the fan set at low or high, but the fan will automatically turn on until it reaches that temperature for you.

Advantages of a swamp cooler thermostat

1. Increased comfort

Using a thermostat to control the temperature of your swamp cooler eliminates the need for guessing. You don’t need to wait until you’re uncomfortable to adjust the cooler settings. It keeps your preferred temperature for you automatically.

2. Timed delay

swamp cooler thermostat

With a traditional controller, you first turn the water pump on, soak the pads, and turn on the fan.

Forgetting to soak the pads long enough means hot air blowing into the house for the first couple of moments after turning on the heater.

The thermostat takes care of this for you.

It uses a timed interval, usually two to five seconds, where it automatically turns the fan on after soaking the pads.

You don’t need to think about it anymore.

3. Timer settings

Some swamp coolers include a timer.

This allows you to place the cooler for 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours and then turn it off.

For example, if you don’t want it running all night long, you can set it so that it shuts off a few hours after you sleep.

You won’t need to turn it on because you’re freezing.

4. Manual settings

You can still manually regulate your swamp cooler if you so choose. The thermostat doesn’t take away that function.

Limitations of a swamp cooler thermostat

There are several advantages of using a swamp cooler thermo­stat, but there are a few things to consider before installing it.

1. It doesn't cool like a fridge.

swamp cooler thermostat

The fridge air feels different from air chilled with a swamp cooler.

Even if your swamp coolers include a thermostat, humidity still influences the comfort level.

The thermostat regulates the temperature.

2. It runs on high voltage power

The thermostat uses a similar voltage of power as phone chargers and curlers.

There are just two companies that manufacture swamp coolers, namely MasterCool® and ArrowCool®.

You should share this with your heating contractor.

What about the airflow?

swamp cooler thermostat

A traditional swamp cooler installation draws outside air into the house and cools it using the swamp cooler.

This chilled air is dispersed throughout the port system. After the air enters your house, it builds up inside.

This is known as positive air pressure.

If you’re already familiar with swamp coolers, you know that the best way to relieve this pressure would be to open the doors and windows.

The air then circulations back outside.

When the air conditioner shuts off, this creates negative pressure inside the house, and the windows will have to be closed to prevent warm outside air from entering the house.

It’s important because using a thermo­stat means you’re no longer the one turning it on and off.

With the old setup, you opened the windows when you turned the cooler on and closed them when you turned it off.

But how does this new feature work now that it’s turned on and off alone?

Fortunately, you don’t need to run and close the windows every time the thermostat turns off the air conditioner.

Barometric dampers and upwards ducts are a simple, innovative solution to the air pressure problem.

Here’s how they work:

A barometric damper is an airtight device installed in the ceiling of one or several rooms in the house. You can choose how many you want and where they go depending on how air flows through your home. Your HVAC technician can help you evaluate how much you need and where to put them.

The damper has hinged flaps that fold up in the attic.

After the thermostat turns the cooler on, it starts to fill the house with cool air.

The house fills with this air, creating positive air pressure that pushes against the coupled flaps, forcing them open. The flaps open, releasing the air into the attic.

Then, the air goes back through the gable vents, which cools down the house.

When the swamp cooler turns off, negative air pressure builds up inside the house, and the dampers in the fan close.

One of the advantages includes leaving your house with the air conditioner running and the windows closed.

Furthermore, it reduces the air temperature, so your swamp coolers don’t have to work too hard.

This could lead to utility bill savings!

What's the bottom line?

A swamp cooler thermo­stat makes life so much easier! Instead of having to turn it on and off and up and down, you can just adjust the temperature where you’d like it.

Keep yourself comfortable and cool this summer.

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