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Old 05-10-2014, 07:57 PM   #1
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


My new house has a 20+ year old evaporative cooler on top of the roof. The cooler is ancient and rusted, difficult to service due to the location, and the forced air heating ductwork it feeds into is undersized for the volume of air it pushes. I would like to replace the unit with a (surprisingly inexpensive) new, highly efficient evaporative cooler mounted at ground level that blows air straight through a wall. The cooler would sit in the shade and have a short, straight duct going right through an exterior wall and into the main living/dining/kitchen area.

My hope is due to the direct installation, I could get a very low level of static pressure and choose a small, energy-efficient 1/3 horsepower motor. However, I worry about this installation being able to serviceably cool the entire house (≈ 1100 sf) with all of the air coming through only a single supply vent.

I think I would be able to get adequate airflow into the bedrooms by opening bedroom windows but NOT opening windows in the living/dining/kitchen area, thereby forcing the flow through the main living area, down the hall, and out through the bedrooms.

Does this sound like it would work? Is there some kind of chart or formula for determining the required CFM of the blower given a static pressure value, a square footage, and/or (pipe dream) a house layout? Should I just get a bigger cooler or motor for some wiggle room and be done with it? I would prefer the more efficient, better designed approach. ;-)

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Old 05-10-2014, 09:00 PM   #2
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


What you describe, works great and is the best way to set a cooler up. You dont have that many square feet to cool, so a 4,500 cfm cooler would be just fine. What part of the country are you in?
I prefer to have an even bigger cooler and just slow it down by opening the motor pulley bigger, you get a little bit cooler air and less noise from the unit.

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Old 05-10-2014, 09:25 PM   #3
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


I grew up with a swamp cooler in a window. Works well in a dry climate. If your bedrooms have double hung windows pull the uppers down during the day to allow warmer upper air to escape.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:46 PM   #4
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


Thanks guys. The climate is central New Mexico, so it's just right for an evaporative cooler, and all the houses and businesses around here have them. If a wall vent is appropriate, would it make sense to have the opening higher up on the wall (after all, cool air falls), or does it not really matter?

I'm looking at MasterCool models with the rigid media; if higher up on the wall is better, I'm thinking that an updraft model with an elbow to direct the air into the vent toward the top of the wall would make the most sense. Is the MasterCool a good cooler, or can folks recommend a better one?

One more question: the spec sheet for this model (http://www.essickair.com/wp-content/...Mastercool.pdf) has real-world CFM ratings at various levels of static pressure. Would that be the external static pressure, or the total static pressure (i.e. including that imparted by the pads in the cooler)? Because I'm thinking that the external static pressure of a cooler ducted basically straight through a wall should be very low, right?
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Old 05-11-2014, 05:57 AM   #5
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


Yes the static in one short straight duct shouldn't be much. but its not just the static through the wall duct. Its also the static built up in the house varied by the size and number of open windows.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:53 AM   #6
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


Quote:
Originally Posted by iLikeDirt View Post
Thanks guys. The climate is central New Mexico, so it's just right for an evaporative cooler, and all the houses and businesses around here have them. If a wall vent is appropriate, would it make sense to have the opening higher up on the wall (after all, cool air falls), or does it not really matter?

I'm looking at MasterCool models with the rigid media; if higher up on the wall is better, I'm thinking that an updraft model with an elbow to direct the air into the vent toward the top of the wall would make the most sense. Is the MasterCool a good cooler, or can folks recommend a better one?

One more question: the spec sheet for this model (http://www.essickair.com/wp-content/...Mastercool.pdf) has real-world CFM ratings at various levels of static pressure. Would that be the external static pressure, or the total static pressure (i.e. including that imparted by the pads in the cooler)? Because I'm thinking that the external static pressure of a cooler ducted basically straight through a wall should be very low, right?
That cooler will be fine as it has a plastic liner in the wet section. The one thing I dont like about that cooler is the pump, buy a Dial brand replacement for 30 bucks when you install the cooler.
The only reason for mounting the air outlet in the room up higher, would be to keep people out of the path of air, otherwise it wont make a difference in cooling and you may have to pay extra to order an updraft model, as the big box stores dont stock that model.
Dont stress too much over static pressure, either the small or large model of that cooler will be just fine for your home.
Also be sure to install a purge(dump) pump in the cooler if it doesnt come with one, it will lengthen the life of the pads greatly and they dont waste as much water as a constant bleed off.
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Old 05-11-2014, 12:55 PM   #7
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


Thanks sammy. Would you recommend a different one, or will the MasterCool be fine with a better pump and a purge system?

One more thing: will it be beneficial to install the cooler in an exterior location where it's shaded for much of the day?
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Old 05-11-2014, 01:42 PM   #8
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


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Originally Posted by iLikeDirt View Post
Thanks sammy. Would you recommend a different one, or will the MasterCool be fine with a better pump and a purge system?

One more thing: will it be beneficial to install the cooler in an exterior location where it's shaded for much of the day?
Its been pretty much detirmined that shade doesnt do much for a cooler but it may ease the mind.
The original maker of Mastercool, Adobe air, went out of business years ago and they were the best. Champion bought the name and their version is not as good but there arent too many choices left out there.

My favorite cooler is the Bonaire Durango unit from Australia, Home Depot sells them. They are made out of strong plastic and because they use a fan instead of a blower, they only protrude from the house 10 inches. Also, because its only turning a plastic fan blade, it uses much less electricity with a smaller motor, I think somewhere around 400 watts on high speed. Dont let the small fan fool you, it moves a ton of air and will cool a house bigger than what you have. They also have a 3 speed motor, something you cant get with a standard cooler.

I have installed many of these in Vegas and for the wall mount setup you are doing, that would be my first choice. They run a little less than 500 bucks complete.
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Old 05-11-2014, 02:32 PM   #9
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


Holy moley, that thing looks amazing. Looks a ton easier to install than a big old ground-mounted unit, too. My house has 16" OC studs but that unit has a 22" duct though, which will complicate things for a permanent wall-mounted installation.
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Old 05-11-2014, 03:11 PM   #10
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


Quote:
Originally Posted by iLikeDirt View Post
Holy moley, that thing looks amazing. Looks a ton easier to install than a big old ground-mounted unit, too. My house has 16" OC studs but that unit has a 22" duct though, which will complicate things for a permanent wall-mounted installation.
Just cut the stud and frame around on each side. They have two models of that cooler now, the 4,500 model will be just fine for you, just installed the new version in a house last week. The new one comes with a louver kit for the grill and a remote control, also has a built in bleed off with a very small orifice that wont waste too much water.
Usually if a wall sleeve is smooth, I can cut the hole perfect and just run a nice bead of caulk around it to finish it off but this cooler does require cutting the hole a hair bigger, so you'll want to put a wood moulding trim around it on the inside of the house. Also remember that the sleeve will stick into the room a little, because you will want to shove the cooler completely against the wall on the outside.
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Old 05-11-2014, 03:14 PM   #11
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


Thanks for the trim advice. I've never cut a load-bearing stud in an exterior wall before and am a little bit nervous… Obviously you can build a frame around the hole to transfer the load to the sill plate but is it a problem to have nothing bearing that load during the time between when you cut it and build the frame? Or am I just being paranoid?
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Old 05-11-2014, 05:11 PM   #12
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


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Originally Posted by iLikeDirt View Post
Thanks for the trim advice. I've never cut a load-bearing stud in an exterior wall before and am a little bit nervous… Obviously you can build a frame around the hole to transfer the load to the sill plate but is it a problem to have nothing bearing that load during the time between when you cut it and build the frame? Or am I just being paranoid?
I've been cutting holes in houses since I was a teen, no problems involved cutting one stud.
It's not like the wall is going to sag when you cut the hole, in fact nothing exciting will happen at all.
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Old 05-11-2014, 05:38 PM   #13
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


Ive had evaps all my life. They are super nice (until the dew point gets too high!!).

my suggestions.

1. I would worry about the noise from 4500 cfm entering the living room. evaps are not quiet. You might think about adding a short duct and some sort of quieting blanket inside the duct. Please besure what ever you use does not produce any fibers or mold that would come into the house (example ductboard, I think)

2. Opening the right amount of windows is important. I was taught to take a dollar bill and put on the inside of the window screen and if it stays in place and does not slip down, you do not have enough windows open!. Of course outside wind could foul this up a bit, but it has worked for me.

3. There is a company in phx that makes a stainless steel wet section for mastercool type systems. WORKS GREAT and no more rust worries.

4. a bleed off is a must! you have to have clean water on the pads or they will clog and the hard water in az and NM will really eat everything up if it is allowed to distill into the natural salts in the water.

5. security: a 16 by 16 whole in the house could be used by bad guys to gain entrance. besure the evap is very secure and cant be easily pryed out. The same goes for windows being open. I have all of my windows setup with keyed deadbolt type sliding window locks, top and bottom. The keys are close at hand if needed for egress. My kids are older and have been trained that in case of fire, bust what ever you have to in order to get out (including windows!!) because I will be very mad if they get burn up!!! Oh and when I leave, I close my windows and open my attic hatch so that the sort of cool exhaust air cools the attic.
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:29 PM   #14
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


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Ive had evaps all my life. They are super nice (until the dew point gets too high!!).

my suggestions.

1. I would worry about the noise from 4500 cfm entering the living room. evaps are not quiet. You might think about adding a short duct and some sort of quieting blanket inside the duct. Please besure what ever you use does not produce any fibers or mold that would come into the house (example ductboard, I think)

2. Opening the right amount of windows is important. I was taught to take a dollar bill and put on the inside of the window screen and if it stays in place and does not slip down, you do not have enough windows open!. Of course outside wind could foul this up a bit, but it has worked for me.

3. There is a company in phx that makes a stainless steel wet section for mastercool type systems. WORKS GREAT and no more rust worries.

4. a bleed off is a must! you have to have clean water on the pads or they will clog and the hard water in az and NM will really eat everything up if it is allowed to distill into the natural salts in the water.

5. security: a 16 by 16 whole in the house could be used by bad guys to gain entrance. besure the evap is very secure and cant be easily pryed out. The same goes for windows being open. I have all of my windows setup with keyed deadbolt type sliding window locks, top and bottom. The keys are close at hand if needed for egress. My kids are older and have been trained that in case of fire, bust what ever you have to in order to get out (including windows!!) because I will be very mad if they get burn up!!! Oh and when I leave, I close my windows and open my attic hatch so that the sort of cool exhaust air cools the attic.

Yes, can be noisy. The Durango cooler is almost silent on low speed and not too bad on medium. He may rarely use high speed.

I've used those stainless steel wet sections from down in Phoenix, converted a bunch of industrial aspen pad coolers with them. I've not been too happy with the water distributor design, or the water supply setup they use. I've talked to them before and they dont seem too interested in hearing about design issues.
I ordered 5,000 bucks worth of Celdek from them last year and they screwed up and cut them all two inches too short on the height!

The cooler the OP may consider, mounts directly to the wall and also fastens inside the house, no one would bother trying to pull it out to break into the house.
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:43 PM   #15
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Acceptable to install whole-house evaporative cooler with only a single supply vent?


Yeah, those Durango coolers look like really slick machines. I'm almost positive I'm going to buy one.

Do you happen to know how much electricity the two Durango models use at the various motor speeds? And how about the theoretical evaporative efficiency of their CELdek pads? They seem to use 2.5" pads while the MasterCool uses 12" pads and claims 90% efficiency. Those huge pads are wicked expensive though.

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