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HomeFactsHow To Install A Swamp Cooler On The Roof

How To Install A Swamp Cooler On The Roof

What Is A Swamp Cooler

How to move a swamp cooler onto the roof

A swamp cooler makes cold air through the evaporation of water. A swamp cooler can easily be installed on your roof by a “do-it-yourselfer”. The trickiest and scariest part would be cutting the hole in your roof.

You will need to install a roof jack before setting your swamp cooler so be sure you know how to do this to properly ensure a leak-proof installation. Because swamp coolers, also known as evaporative coolers, work best while water is actually evaporating, placing them where they catch the most sun is much more important than putting them in the shade hoping to keep the water cool.

If the idea of cutting a hole in your roof makes you nervous they make a swamp cooler called a window mount, that you can actually install on the outside of your house and blow cool air in through a side window. Either of these options will need a water source so you will need to consider how far or how close you are to that. Typically people run a copper or polyline from their hose bib to the swamp cooler. This is the easiest solution and the hose bib attachment to make this possible is very common and easy to find at your local hardware store. Window -mount swamp coolers have a cord already attached so once installed just plug it in and you’re ready to go. A roof mount on the other hand will need power to both the swamp cooler and a control switch. I recommend hiring an electrician for this part, it can be a little tricky.

Swamp Cooler Vs Air Conditioner Cost

When it comes to cooling down homes and buildings, many people decide between swamp coolers and traditional air conditioners. On average, the price of installing a swamp cooler is around $2,500. On the other hand, the average cost of installing a classic air conditioning unit is around $5,377. The vast majority of people opt for air conditioners, with statistics showing that only a small percentage of American homes use swamp coolers. However, there are advantages to both that make each option worthy of consideration.

Swamp coolers have the advantage of being very effective in dry, low-humidity locations. They are simple to use and more affordable overall, in terms of installation and running costs. They are energy-efficient and eco-friendly, requiring the use of no chemicals. On the downside, they are limited in terms of where they can be used, and they become almost useless in humid conditions.

What Size Evaporative Cooler Should I Buy

To figure out how large an evaporative cooler you need, check the cubic feet per minute rating. This is the cubic feet per minute the unit can cool. Calculate the minimum CFM you need by determining the cubic feet of space you want to cool and multiply that total by the number of times you want the air to turn over in an hour.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers suggests from five to nine air changes an hour for residential rooms. Then divide that total by 60 . The result tells you the CFM rating you need. Some models also list a square foot rating, which is less precise but still helpful when choosing the right cooler for your space.

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How A Swamp Cooler Works

Swamp coolers date to ancient Egypt , where homeowners would cool their home by hanging wet towels or blankets over windows and doors wealthier citizens would have servants fan them across containers of water. Today, swamp coolers work by the same principle: A motorized fan pushes air through damp pads, which moisten and cool the air before blowing it into its surroundings.

When air passes over water, microscopic molecules of water evaporate into the air, turning from a liquid into a gas. This process eats up heat, thus cooling the air around it.

According to John Ricart, owner of West Coast Plumbing and Air in Phoenix, swamp coolers can drop the temperature anywhere from 5 to 15 degrees Fahrenheitall for a fraction of the cost of running AC.

However, having an arid climate is a must. If the air is already humidin other words, if your typical humidity is over 50%a swamp cooler wont work. So if you tend to have hot, sticky summers, a swamp cooler isnt for you. Sorry New York! See you later, South Carolina!

How To Install A Swamp Cooler On A Roof

Saving Energy With an Evaporative Cooler ...

A swamp cooler is one of the most used appliances, especially in dry areas with low humidity. So if you have been having issues with how to install your swamp cooler on your roof, then youve come to the right place!

This article guides you on how to install a swamp cooler on a roof without breaking any bones.

  • How Can I Make My Swamp Cooler Colder?
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    How Does A Swamp Cooler Really Work

    Like I said earlier, the swamp cooler works on the principle of evaporative cooling and heres how this happens.

    Firstly, water comes into the swamp cooler through the water supply valve. When the desired water level is reached, the float rises to send a signal, which turns off the water supply valve.

    After this, the pump sends the water in the cooler through the water distribution lines to the sides of the swamp cooler. Right at the sides of the cooler are the pads which are designed to absorb water.

    Warm air from outside comes in through these sides of the swamp cooler and becomes cool. Then, the blower which is also located inside the swamp cooler forces the cool air down the vents, and into the house.

    So anytime you think of cool, moist air, think of a swamp cooler.

    Roof Swamp Cooler Prices

    Roof-mounted swamp coolers are more commonly seen in commercial or industrial buildings than residential homes. Prices for roof-mounted coolers range from $2,000 to $7,000. Although it is possible to install them in a regular house, there can be complications and added costs. Installation is much tricker, due to the difficulty of accessing the roof, and maintenance is also harder. Plus, roof-mounted units may increase the risk of roof leaks and need to be connected to ductwork, adding to the installation costs. On the plus side, they are very powerful and can rapidly cool down entire buildings.

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    How Does A Swamp Cooler Work

    take advantage of the natural process of evaporation. This process for home and room cooling goes back to the days of Ancient Egypt when people hung wet cloths over the doors of their homes. When hot, dry air passed over those cloths, it cooled the area down. The same basic idea is used in swamp coolers, which usually feature a fan that draws hot air from outside. That air then passes over a set of damp pads inside the cooler, where the evaporation occurs as the water absorbs the heat. The cooler, moister air is then blown out of the units front into the room or space you are attempting to cool down. Swamp coolers can be used indoors, if they have access to a window or opening to suck in hot, dry air from outdoors, and semi-outdoor locations like garages with the doors open.

    How Can I Make My Swamp Cooler Colder

    How to Install a Swamp Cooler

    Here are a few ways to make your swamp cooler colder:

  • Open a window in the room for the cool air to circulate properly.
  • Place an energy-efficient dehumidifier at the air intake region of the swamp cooler.
  • Place plants like Boston fern, Peace Lily, Aloe, Cacti that absorb moisture easily in your room.
  • Prime the cooling pads in the swamp cooler by getting them wet first.
  • Position the swamp cooler with its intake vent directly in front of a window.
  • Use cold water in the swamp cooler instead of room temperature water.
  • Carry out routine maintenance like cleaning the air intake and outlet vents, checking the cooling pads for molds and if they need to be replaced, washing the water tank, etc.
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    When Should I Remove My Swamp Cooler

    There is not a simple answer to this question because it all depends on your preferences and what your needs are for your home and building. It also depends on why you are wanting to remove your swamp cooler because it no longer works well or because you want to update your cooling system to something more ideal for your home.

    Swamp Cooler Installation Tips

    Your evaporative cooler will need to be installed outside of your home. It can be installed in various locations, depending upon the type of cooler chosen. The three types of coolers are:

    • Down-draft
    • Side-draft
    • Up-draft

    Roof mounted are the most common, although they are more difficult to maintain.

    Figure 1: A typical down-draft swamp cooler

    Figure 2: A typical side-draft cooler.

    Mounted coolers are connected to ducts that bring the cooled air into the rooms of your home. In some cases, existing ductwork is used to move the air to the various rooms. Roof mounted systems are often the easiest to connect to existing duct systems. Alternatively, ductwork can be designed specifically for an evaporative cooler to channel the air into the rooms of your the home. This will depend on what type of system that you are installing. The three systems are:

    • Stand alone evaporative coolers
    • Stand alone alternative to a refrigeration system
    • Combined system

    The only problem associated with the combination system is that refrigeration ducts are often too small to move the amount of air required by evaporative coolers. This causes less airflow and more noise. Also, combined systems require that a damper be installed to separate the units. Otherwise the refrigerated air will escape through the evaporative cooler and the moist air will corrode the refrigeration system. In smaller, open homes, cooled air can be blown into a central location without ductwork.

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    Use Roof Tar Or Waterproofing Membrane To Seal All Openings

    Installing swamp cooler on roof. So forget learning how to install a downdraft evaporative cooler. Most people simply dont want to see that cooler from the front view of their home. Swamp coolers blow cool air into a central location through a diffuser or into duct work which distributes the cool air into different rooms in the house.

    Therefore another consideration is proximity to the duct work or diffuser to which you will connect the cooler. Swamp coolers add water to the air to cool it down raising the humidity in your home. Swamp Cooler Installation and Prices Most homeowners spend between 1695 to 2738 nationally.

    For aesthetic reasons you may want to locate it on the back of your roof. Let trusted independent installers make installing a swamp cooler easier for you. Never drain the cooler onto the roof.

    Install metal bracing legs and brackets to outside roof sealing all holes. Hence the longer installation time. And if that unsightly stain does develop and you are 10 years from a new roof well at least it is on the back side.

    Connect a hose from the drain fitting to a drain or gutter. It will take about 3 to 4 hours to install a swamp cooler on a roof or on the ground especially if the installation requires some ductwork. I decided to install a large swamp cooler in the shop to cool it down a bit.

    The three systems are. Stand alone evaporative coolers designed ductwork. Install a flexible duct from the roof duct to the ceiling register.

    Swamp Cooler Installation Tips

    Can I Run My Swamp Cooler Without The Pump On

    Case Study

    You can run your swamp cooler without the pump on particularly in the evenings. It is useful to run a swamp cooler without the pump in the evening because the temperature at that time of the day is usually cool. So, it wont be necessary to wet the filter pads because cool air will move into your home easily.

    Whats more? By running your swamp cooler without the pump, you will conserve water and also conserve the energy required to pump the water.

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    How Much Does It Cost To Install An Evaporative Cooler

    Swamp cooler installation is typically affordable, especially when compared to the costs of installing central air conditioning. Installing an evaporative cooler is usually cheaper than putting in a ductless air conditioner.

    According to Fixr, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $3,500 to install a swamp cooler, depending on where its mounted and how big of a space its meant to cool.

    The installation of an evaporative cooler is minor compared to mini-split air conditioners, too, which are another option for homes without ductwork installed. The choice between the two often comes down to the most energy-efficient solution for the home and what works best budget-wise.

    Swamp Cooler Or Central Air: Which Is Right For You

    • 13 Oct, 2017

    In Utah, having air conditioning to make it through the hottest months of the year is a necessity for many homeowners. However, older homes were not designed with central AC in mind, and installing a new system can be expensive and difficult.

    Fortunately, because Utah has a dry climate, central air is not your only option. Many people opt to install evaporative coolers, otherwise known as “swamp” coolers, instead of central AC. Swamp coolers use a fan that pushes warm air through a pad soaked with cool water. When the air passes through the pad, the water cools the air, which then enters your home.

    There are pros and cons to either cooling option. Here’s what you need to know about each system when you’re faced with the choice.


    It’s much simpler to install a swamp cooler than an entire home AC system. However, if you already have central heating, central air becomes less challenging to install. Your AC can use the same ducting that your heating does, so the process becomes as easy as installing the compressor and hooking up the electrical lines and fans to distribute the air through the home.

    Swamp coolers are normally installed on the roof. The unit can look slightly out of place on a rooftop, but it does not require ducting anywhere else in the house.

    Cost to Run

    For budget savvy consumers, the swamp cooler is the more economical choice for summer cooling.


    Even Cooling

    Temperature Control


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    Why Should Swamp Coolers Be Removed

    Swamp coolers can be removed due to issues that may arise after they have gotten old or because the homeowner wants to modernize their cooling system. After a while swamp coolers can run into problems such as corrosion and water damage, not cooling the home sufficiently, and water leaks. All of these issues can cause problems with the roof and the foundation of the home if the damage extends past the roof. They are also not nearly as effective at cooling homes and buildings than modern air conditioning services are. Another downfall of swamp coolers is the amount of maintenance it takes to keep them running smoothly and for a long time. Modern air conditioners require much less maintenance and repairs and often last longer than typical swamp coolers.

    Swamp coolers are not always reliable and it can be extra frustrating when it is the middle of the summer and the heat is soaking into your home. Not only are there many reasons why swamp coolers should be removed, but knowing when to remove your swamp cooler and what needs to be done following the removal of it.

    How To Operate A Swamp Cooler

    HOW TO D.I.Y, Roofing – Removing swamp cooler from Roof 2021 ! EP. 3
  • Locate the swamp cooler control The swamp cooler control is a panel like any of the types of controllers pictured below. There are also several variations of these as well. Its also important to note that there are manual controllers and digital thermostat controllers. .
  • Turn the pump on The first step is to turn the pump on to wet the pads before turning on the fan. If you have a manual control always turn the pump on for approximately 5 minutes to ensure the pads get wet enough. Then you also turn on the fan to either high or low to begin circulating cool air through your home. If you have a digital thermostat control you can set the pump and fan to turn on automatically by setting a temperature threshold that will turn on the cooler when your home reaches a certain temperature.
  • Always open a window when running your swamp cooler. As swamp coolers push cool air through the duct system in your home that hot air gets pushed out through open windows. This is opposite of refrigerated air conditioning where you keep your windows and doors shut when the air conditioner is on.
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    What Is A Swamp Cooler And Why Do You Need It

    A swamp cooler, also known as an evaporative cooler, is an appliance that adds moisture to the surrounding air and cools it in turn.

    Water from the swamp cooler is converted into vapor to lower the temperature of the air. This is basically termed evaporative cooling and this is why swamp coolers are also known as evaporative coolers.

    So, whats the difference between an air conditioner and a swamp cooler?

    An air conditioner lowers the temperature of the surrounding air better than most swamp coolers can. On the flip side, a swamp cooler is less expensive and easier to install.

    Apart from lowering the temperature of the surrounding air, a swamp cooler also adds moisture to the air. If you live in a low-humidity area, then it is advisable to use a swamp cooler.

    Need a portable swamp cooler? Check out this highly-rated evaporative cooler from Hessaire.

    Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

    So now that weve covered the purpose and need for a swamp cooler, the next question is


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