Outdoor evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers, provide an effective way of cooling the air in indoor and outdoor environments.
They use the evaporative process to remove excess heat from air currents. They have axial fans that then dissipate the cool air currents around the area.
In this review, we will explain why you should prefer swamp coolers to outdoor fans. We will also review the seven best types of outdoor swamp coolers.
How Do Outdoor Swamp Coolers Work?
Outdoor swamp coolers or evaporative coolers are simple electric devices that work by leveraging the natural power of evaporation to reduce air temperature.
Primarily, swamp coolers remove the heat from hot and dry air and circulate cool and moist air around the space. Through evaporation, swamp coolers turn dry and hot air into cool and slightly moist air currents.
The air currents then are spread around the space to create a continuously cool breeze. The cool breeze helps to lower the temperature of the ambient air in an indoor or outdoor space.
Swamp coolers comprise several components. They have static pads cooling pads that are embedded inside them. They also have axial fans used to drive the cool air currents through the space in which they are placed.
The speeds of the axial fans can be adjusted according to one’s needs. Additionally, some swamp coolers have adjustable or oscillating louvers. The movement of the louvers enhances the dissipation of the cool breeze that comes off the cooling pads.
Hot and dry air is pulled into the swamp cooler from outside. The hot and dry air then passes over the pads. The pads are directly supplied with water from the water reservoir of the swamp cooler. The pads remove excess heat from the air and necessary amounts of moisture into the air currents.
This mode of action means that swamp coolers are designed to be used in places where the weather is hot and dry. If the weather is hot and wet, using a swamp cooler may lower the temperature but create a clammy feeling because the air will be excessively moist.
Advantages of Outdoor Swamp Coolers Over Outdoor Fans
Outdoor swamp coolers are better than outdoor fans in many ways. This means that when you need to choose between these two cooling methods, go for outdoor swamps.
This is not to say that outdoor fans are entirely useless. These devices have various benefits that may make them better than any other method. Notably, you will find it easy to carry a fan than an outdoor swamp cooler.
However, here are a few important reasons that will convince you that an outdoor evaporative cooler is better than an outdoor fan.
Greater cooling ability
Swamp coolers have a greater capacity to reduce temperatures than outdoor fans. Fan coolers can reduce the ambient temperature by between 15 degrees Fahrenheit and 20 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature drop is quite large, considering that outdoor fans can reduce temperatures by an average of 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Swamp coolers can reduce ambient temperatures by a large margin because they come with special ice compartments. The ice compartments are located at the top of the water reservoir.
They help to keep the temperature of the pads very low. Hot air that is taken into the swamp coolers experiences very low temperatures of the pads. The natural evaporative process that occurs automatically results in a massive drop in the temperature of the air.
Even swamp coolers that do not have ice compartments are more effective in cooling the air than outdoor fans. This is because one can place ice cubes inside the large water tanks of such swamp coolers. The placement of ice cubes in the water tank will have a similar effect to that of ice cubes being placed in a special compartment.
In general, outdoor fans are lighter than outdoor swamp coolers. However, outdoor swamp coolers have various unique features that make them more suitable for outdoor use than fans.
It is common to find outdoor swamp coolers that have caster wheels. The caster wheels are designed to last for a long time and can be locked in one position. This is important to ensure that the swamp cooler does not roll about when you need it stationary.
Some swamp coolers have a special refill design that allows one to use any water house to keep the water tank full. Such evaporative coolers are ideal for use in outdoor places for a long time.
Even for those swamp coolers that require one to remove the water reservoir before refilling, they can still serve you well when you are using them outdoors.
Where Else Can I Use Outdoor Swamp Coolers?
One of the most amazing things about swamp coolers is that you can use them in different situations. A typical indoor and outdoor swamp cooler is a highly versatile cooling device.
You can place it in the living room, in semi-outdoor places, as well as in entirely outdoor spaces. Fans, on the other hand, are designed to be used in indoor spaces.
Manufacturers of standard fans advise users to avoid placing them outside. This is because fans are not designed to withstand the weather conditions in outdoor environments.
Interestingly, you can use your indoor/outdoor swamp cooler in many other different places.
Here are a few places where you can perfectly use your evaporative swamp cooler to get a cool breeze.
- The air inside gyms can be particularly hot when the place is busy. The presence of many people exercising rigorously at once causes the ambient temperature to rise considerably. Placing an evaporative cooler inside a gym can be the perfect solution to this problem. The device will produce a cool and moist breeze to keep everyone happy and comfortable.
- When the air in your backyard feels dry and hot, you may consider using an evaporative cooler. Placing an evaporative cooler in the backyard will create a conducive environment for everyone. You will enjoy sitting in the backyard either alone or with friends during a hot summer afternoon. The ambient temperature will be comfortable for you to relax in your backyard, even during hot summer days.
- Recreation centers. Just as it is the case in gyms, the air in recreation centers can be quite hot. However, recreation centers differ from gyms because most of them are semi-outdoor in design. Cooling the air in a large recreation center can be a significant challenge. Fans may help, but they cannot provide the moist breeze that everyone may need when they are in a hot and packed recreation center. Extensive evaporative swamps can do this task correctly because they are designed to cool temperatures in such large spaces.
- Grilling areas. Grilling areas are scorching because of the heat generated by the equipment. If you intend to have fun in the area for a long time, it may be an excellent idea to carry a swamp cooler along. You can use any swamp cooler to keep the temperatures down in a grilling zone. Ensure that you match the area’s size to the CFM value of the swamp cooler that you intend to use at the place.
- Street Festivals. As odd as it may sound, you can use a swamp cooler during street festivals. Placing a large swamp cooler at a strategic position in the space where the festival is taking place would be enough to keep everyone comfortable. You can use a swamp cooler that has a continuous refill design. It is easy to carry a swamp cooler if you are moving around because many small models are quite portable.
Best Outdoor Evaporative Cooler
1. Hessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Cooler
The Hessaire MC37M is a compact and versatile evaporative cooler for use in relatively large outdoor spaces that measure about 950 square feet. It has three perfectly designed and compact cooling pads that provide a sufficient cooling capacity of 3,100 CFM.
In addition to the high CFM value, this evaporative cooler has several other features that let you personalize its performance. Notably, the oscillating louvers let you change the direction of flow of the cool air current so that you can carry out zonal cooling. The fans’ three-speed options allow you to adjust the rate at which the evaporative cooler performs when you are using it.
Using this louver is a breeze. It has three manual controls that you can use to adjust between the high, medium, and low levels of performance.
Its refill design allows you to use a standard water hose found in homes to refill the water tank. However, it would have been more convenient to operate this evaporative cooler if it had digital controls.
- Instant and personalized cooling because of the oscillating louvers and three fan speeds
- It has four highly durable casters for excellent portability
- Easy to control simple refill design and only three control options
- The evaporative cooler does not offer the convenience of digital controls
2. Honeywell CO60PM Evaporative Air Cooler
The Honeywell CO60PM is the perfect outdoor evaporative cooler for use in large areas, including patios. It has a large water tank that can hold up to 15 gallons.
This high-capacity water tank complements this evaporative cooler’s useful cooling pads to offer you a cool breeze for a long time. Ideally, this outdoor evaporative cooler can sufficiently lower the temperature in areas that are as large as 850 square feet.
Moving this evaporative cooler from one place to another is hassle-free. It has a compact design and complements the four caster wheels.
You can easily roll it across the compound when you need to move it to a different location. The evaporative cooler is made of highly durable materials, including UV-resistant ones and a GFCI cord.
The only significant drawback of using this outdoor evaporative cooler is its relatively low CFM value of 1540. This means that it takes a long to sufficiently create and supply a cool breeze around the entire area where it is used.
- Suitable for large areas and patios because of the large water tank of 15 gallons
- The use of UV-resistant materials and GFCI cord makes it highly durable
- Adjustable louvers for personalized cooling
- It has a relatively low CFM rate of 1540
3. NewAir, AF-310, Portable Indoor Outdoor Evaporative Air Fan
The NewAir, AF-310 is a small, highly portable, and practical swamp cooler designed for small spaces. It has three cooling modes and fan speeds for your convenience.
You can toggle across three fan speeds the high, medium, and low, according to your cooling needs at any time. Also, the three fan speeds allow users to tailor the evaporative cooler’s performance to the prevailing conditions.
You will find it easy to carry this evaporative cooler around the home. It is a small and lightweight device. It does not even need caster wheels because one can carry it when there is a need to move it around the compound.
Compared to other large evaporative coolers, the NewAir, AF-310 is quite energy-efficient. It draws out 80 watts of power when running on the high mode. Thus, you will not have to pay a lot for cooling your indoor and outdoor spaces when using this evaporative air conditioner.
Sadly, it has a low cooling capacity that makes it unsuitable for use in large spaces. You will have to get a larger evaporative cooler if the space that you need to cool exceeds 100 square feet.
- Easy to carry around the home because of its small size and compact design
- Low power consumption capacity of 80 watts
- Three-speed settings for effective cooling of small spaces
- Unsuitable for use in large spaces that measure more than 100 square foot
4. Frigidaire, EC200WF, Portable Indoor Outdoor Evaporative Air Fan
If you are looking for a swamp cooler that is the perfect combination of performance and elegance, consider using the Frigidaire, EC200WF.
It has a modern design with a matching white finish that can be used to enhance your patio’s overall feel. This is particularly important because swamp coolers are typically placed where they are visible to everyone around the space where they are used.
It has four fan speeds and a wide-angle of oscillation. The wide oscillation angle is critical in ensuring even and rapid distribution of the cool breeze that the swamp cooler produces when it is working. You can also select the preferred mode of cooling from three distinct options.
The only disadvantage of this swamp cooler is that you cannot use it to cool vast spaces fast enough. This is because it has a relatively low CFM value of only 600.
- Effective cooling because of four fan speeds, wide-angle oscillation, and three modes of cooling
- It uses clean evaporation instead of freon, which is harmful to the environment.
- Modern tubular design with matching crisp white finish for enhanced appearance
- Relatively low CFM of 600 suitable for 250 square feet spaces only
5. Cool-Space AVALANCHE-36-VD Swamp Cooler
The AVALANCHE-36-VD is one of the most powerful, durable, and versatile swamp coolers ideal for use in warehouses and other outdoor spaces with severe conditions.
Thanks to large fans of 36 inches, a powerful motor, and a relatively large water tank that can hold up to 46 gallons of water, this swamp cooler perform excellently. You can use it to sufficiently cool the air in large spaces of about 3,600 square feet.
It has a compact design and caster wheels to make portability easy. You can move it to other places in your compound with relative ease. Moreover, the swamp cooler’s body is made of high-quality and highly durable materials that are also resistant to UV radiation.
As it is the norm, every device has faults. The only significant fault of this swamp cooler relates to the type of control features. it would have been better if the swamp cooler had digital controls. Nevertheless, the manual controls work just fine.
- It has a high cooling capacity of up to 3,600 square feet
- It has a compact design and caster wheels for portability
- It has a 46-gallon tank for your convenience
- The swamp cooler does not have digital controls
6. OEMTOOLS 23976 3-Speed Evaporative Cooler
The OEM TOOLS 23976 swamp cooler has built-in oscillating louvers. The louvers’ oscillation is fundamental because it helps distribute the cool breeze that comes off the pads of the swamp cooler around the area. The faster the oscillation, the quicker the swamp cooler reduces the temperature in the area in which it is placed.
It also has three fan speeds that you can take advantage of to personalize this swamp cooler’s performance. The fan speeds correspond with the rate at which the cool breeze is distributed in the space.
You will have to be contented with the manual controls of this swamp cooler. Swamp coolers that have digital controls are more stylish and offer greater convenience than those with manual controls. It would help if you got to where the swamp is to make small adjustments.
- Its refill design allows connection to a water hose
- The louvers are designed to oscillate automatically when the fan is running
- It has three-speed settings for the convenience of the users
- It does not have digital controls
Outdoor swamp coolers provide a reliable and effective way of cooling the air in indoor and outdoor spaces. They are relatively easy to maintain; one only must occasionally clean the water reservoir. They come with multiple control and safety features for your convenience.