Most of us love air conditioning on a hot summer day – but our bank accounts don’t feel the same. Whether we want to face it or not, air conditioning is expensive. This is why so many people are now turning to the option of a Denver swamp cooler. Swamp coolers, also referred to as Evaporative coolers, are an eco-friendly, cost effective way to keep cool during the summer. They are the best alternative to traditional air cooling systems. But there are some things you need to consider before purchasing one. Let’s take a look:

Denver swamp cooler

Image courtesy of Storyblocks.

1) Will it work where you live?

Evaporative cooling systems are a great alternative to air conditioning systems, but they aren’t for everyone. Depending on where you live and the climate around you, they might not be an effective option. To help you understand why, let’s talk a little bit about how these systems work. Think you’re new to the idea of evaporative cooling? Think again! Evaporative cooling happens all around us. In fact, we can almost guarantee that you have experienced it yourself! What do we mean? Have you ever stepped out of the pool on a hot day and felt cool or cold? If you answered yes, you have experienced evaporative cooling!

In simple terms, evaporative cooling happens when dry air passes over water and the water becomes absorbed by the air. The absorption happens when the vapour pressure and temperature of the water try to equalize with the air. This process transforms water molecules into gas molecules. It also transforms the heat of the air temperature into the cool of the water temperature. And when this happens – voila! – the air in the surrounding area gets cooled.

A Denver Swamp Cooler works on these same principles. A fan draws in warm, dry air, and then passes that air through pads that have been moistened with water. This air is then circulated throughout the surrounding area and again back through the machine. When all’s said and done, a swamp cooler can lower the temperature of an area by up to 4-6 degrees.

So, let’s return to our original question – will it work where you live? The key to Swamp Coolers is hot, dry air. In return, they work great in desert like areas such as those found in United States’ Southwestern areas. You will find that they are most beneficial during the hottest points in the day when humidity levels are less than 60%.

Ironically, a Denver Swamp Cooler wouldn’t work well in a swampy area. Why? It would be too cool and muggy. These coolers work best when humidity is at 60 percent or lower. If you live in a more humid area, portable or window air conditioners may be of more benefit than a swamp cooler.

2) What size cooler do I need?

It’s important to find the right size cooler for your space to ensure it doesn’t have to overwork. You can find the correct size of unit by following this simple formula:

Square footage of room x height of ceiling/2 = CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute)

Your swamp cooler will need to be large enough to handle the CFM calculation.

3) Why should I choose a Swamp Cooler over an AC unit?

The goal of swamp coolers and air conditioners is the same – to cool the space around you. But there are a few reasons why many people are turning to swamp coolers instead. Firstly, they are much more cost-effective and energy-efficient. In fact, swamp coolers use up to 50% less energy than a typical air conditioning unit. The only thing required to operate a swamp cooler is electricity and water. In return, it’s estimated that you can run the cooler for over 8 hours for less than $1. You definitely can’t do that with a regular AC machine!

Secondly, swamp coolers are much more environmentally friendly than AC units. Traditional AC units use refrigerant to cool a space. Unfortunately, this can add pollutants into the environment. Swamp coolers, on the other hand, cause no harm at all. No chemicals = no pollution.

Finally, swamp coolers can actually help to keep your air fresh too. They work best near an open door or window, and help to circulate fresh air throughout the room. This is very different from a regular AC unit that requires an airtight space to work. Swamp coolers also help to humidify the air. In return, many people who suffer from itchy eyes, throat, or other symptoms of dry air can find relief.

4) Is there more than one type of swamp cooler?

Yes. There are actually two different types – industrial, residential, and window. Here are the characteristics of each:

Residential :

  • Casters make moving the unit from space to space simple.
  • Lightweight, easy transportation.
  • Good for personal use in smaller spaces.


  • Used for heavier cooling jobs.
  • Works good in large areas like garages, patios, workshops, etc.


  • Come ready to install.
  • Cannot be moved from room to room.
  • An energy efficient alternative to window AC units.

5) Are Denver Swamp Coolers a lot of maintenance?

Not really. Aside regular cleanings and proper shut down there is really quite little maintenance for a swamp cooler. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Filters and water curtains should be cleaned every other week. Use lukewarm water and mild detergent.
  • Clean the outer shell of the cooler periodically with damp cloth.
  • Finished for the year? Drain the tank, clean the filter/water curtain, and let the cooler dry completely by running the “fan only” function for 1 hour prior to storage.

Get In Touch!

Want to know more about swamp coolers and the maintenance that goes along with them? Contact Torreys Peak Mechanical today! We are an honest, professional, and affordable service company that can answer any of your Denver swamp cooler questions. We can also deal with any maintenance or repair needs that you may have throughout the year. So call us over the phone to find out how we could help you!