How much does energy does running an evap cooler save rather than the AC in Arizona?

Is running your swamp cooler really saving your money? Phoenix energy auditor explains what options are the most cost effective and energy efficient in AZ

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Comment by David Byrnes on August 24, 2015 at 4:13pm

Before central air conditioning, evaporative coolers, or swamp coolers, helped keep homeowners cool. Many older homes in Phoenix had no central air when they were first built and remnants of the original swamp cooler are still visible in a home, such as upducts or a cap in the roof where the evap cooler used to be located.  The advantage of using the evap cooler are lower energy bills because the evap cooler only uses a large blower motor to blow air over a filter drenched in water. Many homeowners who have evap coolers try to hold out on using their AC as long as possible but when the temperature rises above 100 degrees in Phoenix, the evaporative cooling just can't cut it.

Because the evap coolers are so much less to operate, many homeowners figure that they it's cheaper to run the evap cooler in May and June and then switch to central air for July and August.  How much does that method really save though?  As energy auditors and home performance contractors we have seen dozens of homeowners faced with this situation.  The short answer is that homeowners will save more money (and be more comfortable) by capping and sealing the evap duct and just using their central AC in the summer if the ducts are sealed, the home is sealed from the attic and insulation is up to R-38Click here to read the entire post

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