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mtcone 05-19-2008 10:14 AM

Swamp Cooler vs AC
Maybe someone can help me here; I do not know much about the topic. I am a college student (Comp Sci, not HVAC) and I would like to try and save some money on my electricity bill this summer. After doing some research I came across this forum.
My problem is, I do not know which would be the most efficient way to cool a 3 bedroom apartment in Boston. I do not know much about what the humidity is here. I have read that swamp coolers don't work well in some areas because of the humidity. So my question is; does anyone think that a swamp cooler in a large three bedroom apartment would be a better investment than maybe a portable air conditioner, if I am living in Boston, Ma. If anyone could point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it. I am just a poor student, and every buck I can save helps.


If a swamp cooler is, indeed, the best decision... what size/type of swamp cooler should I choose?

elscorcho 05-19-2008 01:31 PM

My father lived in Phoenix for many years, and as hot as it gets there, he rarely used his a/c. It was always the swamp cooler and an attic fan, and his house stayed quite comfortable-one time when I was visiting, it was 117 degrees-and he did'nt have the air on!!!

That being said, it was my understanding that the swamp cooler was only effective in situations where there was very low humidity. I remember him saying that when the "dew point" reached a certain level, you had to turn your air on.

I don't know what the humidity in Boston is like, but I imagine its a lot higher than it is in the Southwest. I'm no expert, but I would think that your money would be better spent on an air conditioner-and you'll probably be a lot more comfortable when July and August roll around.

Just my 2c worth.

mtcone 05-19-2008 01:35 PM

Good stuff. I was really hoping a swamp cooler would be enough. I believe that would keep my electric bill down, which is my greatest concern. I am sure an AC would keep the place cooler, but I don't need it to be frigid. I just want it to be comfortable while saving as much money as possible, in the long run. I don't know much about the humidity level or anything like that, but I suppose it does seem kind of humid sometimes in the summer.

You are probably right, an AC unit would likely be my only option.


Maintenance 6 05-19-2008 02:43 PM

The idea of swamp coolers is that they introduce humidity into the air to absorb some of the heat. That is why they reach a point where they are not effective, such as when the ambiant humidity is already high. That is what makes them very effective in dry climates. Since Boston sits on a waterfront, I'm going to guess that it already has a high humidity.

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