Can You Put Ice In An Evaporative Cooler?

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You have an evaporative cooler or swamp cooler that is not working as well as you would like. Maybe you have heard that adding ice to the cooler increases the effectiveness of the machine. It’s a hot day and the swamp cooler is blowing warm or lukewarm air out of the register, so you want to find a solution. We’re here to help you.

You can put ice in an evaporative cooler. This will cool the air that the fan blows into your home. While this provides an immediate boost of cool air, it may diminish the effectiveness of the cooler throughout the day. Water needs to be hot to evaporate, so putting ice in the reservoir will increase the time it takes for the evaporative cooler to work effectively.

Now that you know ice is only a short-term solution, you probably wonder whether it is worth putting ice in your swamp cooler. We will discuss the factors you should consider before putting ice in your evaporative cooler. This post will also detail other ways to make the air cooler or increase the swamp cooler’s efficiency. We will also diagnose potential problems if your swamp cooler is blowing out warm or hot air. Keep reading to learn more.

A cooler inside a living room placed next to a window for proper cooling, Can You Put Ice In An Evaporative Cooler?

Can You Put Ice In An Evaporative Cooler?

You can put ice in an evaporative cooler and it may help you get cooler air right now. Many people swear by this method because they experience the cold air that blows out shortly after adding ice to the reservoir. As the ice begins to melt, cool vapors will be blown out by the fan. This can increase the cooling effect of the fan, but it will also decrease the efficiency of the evaporative cooler.

Here is a video that explains how adding ice to your swamp cooler circulates cooler air into your home. However, this video does not explain how this method can decrease the cooling effect from evaporation, which is the primary cooling effect of your swamp cooler.

An evaporative cooler operates through the process of evaporation. Water evaporates when it is hot. According to this NewAir blog, this method only has a limited effect. A swamp cooler will remove heat from the air through the evaporation process. This does not occur when you add ice. The temperature and humidity in the air will determine the immediate effect of putting ice in your swamp cooler. This method does not work to get cool air throughout the day unless you keep adding more ice.

Since the evaporation process is hindered by ice in the reservoir, the cooling effect comes from blowing cool vapors from the melting ice.

You can take an ordinary fan and point it towards a bowl of ice to get the same effect. If you have access to a regular fan, this is a better option. You would be able to keep your swamp cooler working as intended by cooling through the process of evaporation. The fan with a bowl of ice can provide you immediate relief without minimizing the all-day effectiveness of the evaporative cooler.

Click here to check out the evaporative cooling fan with ice packs from Amazon.

How To Make A Swamp Cooler Colder?

There are some steps to make sure your swamp cooler is operating efficiently. If the swamp cooler pad dries out, then it will not blow out cold air. It will move warm air from the outside into your home. In dry climates, the pad will dry out quickly if the pump is not on.

For the swamp cooler to work throughout the day without frequent intervention, you should keep the pump running. Make sure the pad is not damaged or frayed because this can allow air to move around the pad. Inspect the pad for mold or dirt that can also decrease the effectiveness of the cooler.

Swamp coolers need a window open to work efficiently. For the best results, you should open a window on the opposite side of the room as the swamp cooler. This will create a steady flow that will allow hot air to exit while the cooler sends colder air into your living space. Make sure that the water pump is working properly, otherwise, the cooler will blow out warm air.

For an extended discussion on ways to improve your swamp cooler’s efficiency, check out this post: 13 Evaporative Cooler Hacks You Should Know

How Much Can A Swamp Cooler Cool?

A swamp cooler is able to cool a space by up to 10 degrees in high humid areas. Evaporative coolers are more effective in dry climates and can cool a space up to 30 degrees. You want to ensure you have the right size swamp cooler for the space you are trying to cool. Every swamp cooler will come with a cubic feet per minute (CFM) measurement. Double this CFM number to determine how much indoor space the cooler can reach effectively.

If you are trying to cool a 200 square foot space, you still need to do some math to figure out the calculation. Determine the height measurement of the room and multiply by the square footage of the space. A 200 square foot space at a height of 7 feet is 1,400 cubic feet. You can use a swamp cooler with 700 CFM or higher to cool this space.

Can You Leave Swamp Cooler On Overnight?

A swamp cooler can be left on overnight. The outside air cools off at night and your swamp cooler moves this air through the water-soaked pad into your home. The pad might dry out if you don’t have the pump on during the night. This is not a big problem, because the cooler will still circulate cooler air into your home throughout the night. When you wake up in the morning, you will want to turn the pump on. Otherwise, you can leave the pump on throughout the night to keep the pad soaked.

You can learn more about leaving a swamp cooler on all day by checking out this post: Can You Run An Evaporative Cooler All Day?

Why Does My Swamp Cooler Blow Warm Air?

When the water-pad dries out, your swamp cooler will blow warm air. This can happen if you leave the fan running for several hours or longer without turning on the pump. If you still have a problem after the pump is turned on, then your cooling unit requires additional maintenance. You may need to replace the water pump in the swamp cooler. The only other possible explanation is a worn or frayed pad. You should replace your pad once a year at the beginning of the cooling season.

Dial Manufacturing Spin Roll Cooler Pads

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

In Closing

You can put ice in an evaporative cooler to get a boost of cool air in your home. The cool air is no longer coming from the evaporation process, but from the fan blowing cool water vapors from the melting ice. You can also point a regular house fan towards a bowl of ice to get a similar effect. Putting ice in your swamp cooler will reduce the effectiveness of the evaporative cooling process. Water needs to hot in order to evaporate, so adding ice increases the time it takes for the cooler to effectively cool the space.

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