Can You Run An Evaporative Cooler All Day?

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You are looking for answers about whether an evaporative swamp cooler can be in operation for a full 24 hours of the day. There are some considerations to make, including the specific swamp cooler you have and the amount of humidity in the air for your climate. This post will give all of the details and most important information to answer your questions.

A swamp cooler can be in operation for 24 hours of the day, but you will need to ensure it has enough water. Continuous flow coolers will automatically work and will be fine to run all day. Manual swamp coolers require you to add water to the reservoir and change the settings so it will run all day efficiently. 

Now you know that you can run an evaporative swamp cooler all day. You probably have more questions about the best ways to operate your cooling unit for the most efficiency. You are probably wondering how much electricity it uses and how much it will cost you to run on a daily basis. This post will go into comprehensive detail about all of your questions, including the amount of water you can expect your swamp cooler to use. Keep reading to learn more.

Swamp cooler maintenance on reddish shingled roof, Can You Run An Evaporative Cooler All Day?

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Swamp Cooler All Day?

This varies based on the specific system you are using and the cost per kWh. A typical swamp cooler may use about .62 kWh every hour it is running. At a rate of $0.15 per kWh, that equates to $0.09 per hour to run a swamp cooler on a high setting. Multiply that by 24 hours to get a total of $2.23 to run a swamp cooler for 24 hours. Multiply that number by 30 days to get $67 to run your swamp cooler on high for a solid month. Air conditioners use about 25 percent more electricity to operate for the same amount of time.

Does A Swamp Cooler Use A Lot Of Electricity?

The average amount of electricity a swamp cooler uses is less than 1 kilowatt per hour. The average cost of electricity per kilowatt hour is $0.12. This only works out to about $0.10 per hour to pay for electricity to operate your swamp cooler. In contrast, air conditioners use 25 percent more electricity on average than swamp coolers. That would work out to about $0.13 per hour. When you add in the cost of the water, a swamp cooler costs about the same amount as an air conditioner to operate.

Swamp cooler maintenance on reddish shingled roof

Approximate Monthly Water Cost

If your swamp cooler uses about 10 gallons of water at the average municipal water rate, then it will cost about four cents per hour. The cost of water for 24 hours of swamp cooler use would be around $0.96. If you multiply that by 30 days, then the monthly water fee would be about $28.80. This brings the total cost to run a swamp cooler all day at approximately $3.19. This will bring your total monthly cost to $95.70 if you run the swamp cooler for 720 straight hours.

How Much Water Does A Swamp Cooler Use Per Hour?

Swamp coolers use anywhere from 3 to 15 gallons per hour. On average, you can expect your swamp cooler to use 7 to 11 gallons per hour. This is because your cooler needs to replace water constantly as the water evaporates to keep operating. The average cost of water is $0.004 per gallon, which works out to just about $0.04 per hour is the cost of water in running your system. If you operate the swamp cooler for 24 hours, that will work out to $0.96 per day as your swamp cooler’s daily cost.

Which Is Cheaper: Swamp Cooler Or AC?

An air conditioning unit uses about 25 percent more electricity than a swamp cooler on average. Swamp coolers also need water to operate, which accounts for the difference in cost. Swamp coolers are considered more environmentally friendly because it uses less electricity. It costs roughly the same amount to operate either unit for the same amount of time. The swamp cooler is considered more efficient, which may mean less operating time is needed to keep your home cool. Less operating time reduces the total cost of cooling your home. The difference in efficiency depends mostly on the humidity level in the air.

Now we know there is a slight advantage for swamp coolers in terms of cheaper operating costs, but what about the cost of the system? Here is an example of an air conditioning unit that is rated to cool 450 square feet of space. The cost is over $330 for this unit.

Amazon Basics Window-Mounted Air Conditioner (450 SqFt)

Click here to buy Amazon Basics Window-Mounted Air Conditioner from Amazon.

Now we will compare this unit to an evaporative cooler that is rated to cool 500 square feet. This unit costs over $150. It is less than half the price of the air conditioning unit and is rated for an extra 50 square feet of cooling ability.

Hessaire Portable Evaporative Cooler (500 SqFt)

Click here to check out the Hessaire Portable Evaporative Cooler at Amazon.

Can You Leave A Swamp Cooler On All Night?

It is fine to leave a swamp cooler on throughout the night. A swamp cooler is very effective at night when the air outside is likely to be cooler than the air inside your home. Swamp coolers with manual reservoirs may not be working efficiently by the time you wake up in the morning. When the cooling pad dries out, the air blowing out of the cooler becomes the same temperature as the outside air. If you have an automatic fill swamp cooler, then there is no concern when leaving the swamp cooler on all night.

Does Putting Ice In A Swamp Cooler Help?

Putting ice in a swamp cooler may have limited benefits of colder air after you place the ice in the cooler. This might hinder the process for a longer period of time, however. A swamp cooler is also known as an evaporative cooler. They evaporate the water into the air and send the air through the cooling pad. Water needs to be heated in order to evaporate, and ice will take a longer time to evaporate. The positive effects will not likely outweigh the slow evaporation process that would occur.

This problem can be solved if your specific swamp cooler has an ice water tank. These tanks are designed to not slow the evaporation process that would occur if you placed ice into an evaporative cooler that doesn’t include an ice tank. You can expect cooler air and a humidifying effect when using this kind of swamp cooler with ice in the tank.

Evaporative Air Cooler With Ice Water Cooling

Click here to buy the Evaporative Air Cooler With Ice Water Cooling from Amazon.

What Is A Good Level Of Humidity For A Swamp Cooler?

A swamp cooler operates at optimum efficiency when the relative humidity level is below 50 percent. Swamp coolers are more effective in drier climates and use less electricity than air conditioners. Air conditioning units are more popular in high-humid climates, but there is a way to make swamp coolers work in higher humidity. You can run a dehumidifier to bring down the relative humidity, which will improve the performance of your swamp cooler. Another option is to open more windows to allow the humidified air to be pushed outside while more fresh cool air is sent through the vents to cool your home.

Check out this post to learn more about reducing humidity in your home naturally: “How To Naturally Reduce Humidity In A Room.”

SEAVON Home Dehumdifier (560 Sq Ft)

Click here to check out the SEAVON Home Dehumidifier from Amazon.

Swamp Cooler Maintenance Vs. Air Conditioner

Both swamp coolers and air conditioning units need to be inspected on an annual basis. You may need to clean the air conditioning unit and change a filter once per year. You can perform this service yourself or pay to have it done for $70 to $100. Swamp coolers should be inspected every year as well. The water should be checked to make sure it is storing enough water to work properly. Some swamp cooling units require you to fill up the water reservoir regularly as you would a humidifier.

Air conditioner repairing by technician

Swamp coolers also require you to change the water pad once per year. If you are having difficulty with your swamp cooler during the cooling season, then you will check the pad for any wear and tear. The pad should be replaced if there are any frayed edges or areas for air to move around the pad. You can perform this maintenance yourself or it would cost about $100 for a professional to do this for you.

Dial Manufacturing Spin Roll Evaporative Cooler Pads

Click here to buy Dial Manufacturing Spin Roll Evaporative Cooler Pads from Amazon.

Swamp coolers have fewer parts than air conditioners. When an air conditioner has a malfunction or problem, the repair is likely to be more costly. It is often more cost-effective to buy a new unit when your air conditioning unit needs repairs.

You want to make sure you are keeping up on the maintenance and noticing any problems with your swamp cooling system during the season. Be sure to check out this post to learn more about different kinds of evaporative coolers and how they should operate: “How Often Should An Evaporative Cooler Dump Water?

In Closing

You are able to run an evaporative cooler, or swamp cooler, for 24 hours a day. This will cost about $3.19 per day, including electricity and water usage. Swamp coolers operate best at humidity levels less than 50 percent. When running your swamp cooler for a 24 hour period, you will find that it blows out cooler air at night when humidity is usually reduced.

The cost to run an air conditioner all day might be about the same, even though it uses about 25 percent more electricity. Swamp coolers are more efficient than air conditioning units in drier climates where the relative humidity is less than 50 percent. Air conditioning units cost more to set up and will need to operate for longer periods of time in drier climates. There is no problem with keeping your swamp cooler on for 24 hours straight. You just want to make sure it has access to enough water to work properly.

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