Can You Use A Dehumidifier With A Swamp Cooler?

Liz Yang

A swamp cooler is a useful household appliance for cooling a room, but it is not as powerful as an air conditioner. When hot days come, you may wonder how to make the room cooler with a swamp cooler. For example, can you use a dehumidifier with a swamp cooler?

It depends. A dehumidifier can improve the efficiency of a swamp cooler by providing drier air. However, it can produce a certain amount of heat, which will cancel out the effect of cooling.

So why can a dehumidifier and a swamp cooler work together, when will they cancel each other, and how can they use them together?

I will go over these questions in this post. I am sure you will know whether or not you should use them together after reading this article.

Why an evaporative cooler and a dehumidifier can work together?

We should first figure out how these two devices work to answer this question. 

How does a swamp cooler work?

A swamp cooler (also known as an evaporative cooler) is an alternative for an AC since it can cool the room. However, it works on a different principle.  

This machine draws hot, dry air via a built-in fan. The air will go through a moistened swamp cooler pad which can absorb the heat, and then the moisture in the pad will evaporate, making the air coming out of the machine cool and humidified. In general, it can lower the temperature by 15° to 40°F

swamp cooler pad

You can use a swamp cooler indoors and outdoors. If you plan to use it indoors, you should keep the windows or doors open as it will increase the humidity level constantly, leaving the room clammy and muggy. 

In addition, a humid environment will affect the performance of your machine since evaporation is inhibited when the air is saturated. To make a swamp cooler work properly, there should be adequate hot, dry air around. That’s why it is recommended to use it in an arid climate.

How does a dehumidifier work?

A dehumidifier also comes with a fan to draw air. When the air gets into the machine, it will pass through an evaporator coil, which cools the air below the dew point and converts water vapor to liquid water.

Next, the colder and drier air will then pass through a refrigerant coil, which will reheat the air before returning it to the room. As a result, the air temperature will rise by 5°F to 15°F above the surrounding temperature.

If you have a desiccant model, the exhaust air will also be warmer after going through the rotor.

In a nutshell, a dehumidifier removes the excess moisture by turning the water vapor into water. As more and more air in the room becomes drier, the humidity level will drop.

Benefits of using a swamp cooler and a dehumidifier?

Now that we already have a basic understanding of these two devices let’s discuss if a dehumidifier can help a swamp cooler in any way. You should use them together if there are some benefits to reap.

Enhance indoor air quality

Assuming you use a swamp cooler constantly, the room can become over-humidified over time, creating a thriving environment for mold to grow.

These mold spores, such as congestion, breathing difficulties, asthma, and other respiratory issues, can wreak havoc on our bodies when we inhale them. 

By running a dehumidifier at the same time, the indoor humidity will be kept within a certain level, which can keep the mold and other germs at bay.

Furthermore, a dehumidifier can make you feel cool because sweat can evaporate faster in a low humidity environment.

Increase the efficiency of your swamp cooler

Again, a swamp cooler requires hot and dry air to function properly. That is to say, when the room is wet, the efficiency of the swamp cooler will fall. 

Sometimes, your cooler can’t get adequate dry air from outside in humid climates. In this case, you can use pair it with a dehumidifier to ensure the cooling efficiency of your cooler.

Can a dehumidifier cancel out a swamp cooler?

Even though a dehumidifier can assist in running a swamp cooler, it can partially offset its cooling effect.

As I mentioned above, a dehumidifier can blow warm air. With that in mind, the temperature raised by a powerful dehumidifier may be higher than the temperature reduced by a swamp cooler.

While dehumidifiers can make us feel cooler due to lower humidity levels, they can also make us uncomfortable if they raise too much temperature.

Factors that affect if you should use a swamp cooler and dehumidifier together

You may feel a bit perplexed on whether you should use them together now since it can be great or not based on what we discussed above. To sort things out, you should consider the factors below.

Humidity 

Combining a swamp cooler and a dehumidifier may not be necessary for dry climates. Because the humidity level is low, a swamp cooler can run for a long time before its efficiency begins to decline significantly.

Similarly, when the environment is relatively wet, you should use them together.

Heat released by a dehumidifier 

The amount of heat released by a dehumidifier is difficult to calculate. However, if you notice that the heat raises the temperature of the room, this is a sign that running them may not be a good idea. A dehumidifier will cancel out the cooling effect.

Because dehumidifiers work harder and produce more heat in high humidity, using them with a swamp cooler in an extremely humid environment may be ineffective.

Temperature 

When the air temperature is extremely high, the swamp cooler is unable to significantly cool the room. Even if running a dehumidifier improves its performance slightly, it will not solve the problem.

Cost 

Running these two electronic devices together means that you need to pay more for electricity. 

While each one of them only consumes a few hundred wattages per hour, these numbers can start to leave a noticeable impression on your electricity bill over time. 

How to use a swamp cooler with a dehumidifier together?

how to use a dehumidifier with a swamp cooler

In addition to the factors, we have elaborated on above, the way you use them matters a lot.

To get the most out of this arrangement, you should place the dehumidifier next to the evaporative air cooler with the vent of your dehumidifier pointing to the inlet of your cooler. 

This ensures that your dehumidifier’s dry and warm air can directly get into the swamp cooler, resulting in more evaporation and a better cooling effect.

Remember to fill the water reservoir of your swamp cooler and empty the dehumidifier water tank regularly for normal operation. 

Sum up

A swamp cooler can benefit from the use of a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier can improve the efficiency of your evaporative cooler and make you feel more comfortable by providing hot, dry air. It can also help to keep mold at bay.

However, the hot air emitted by the dehumidifier may raise the temperature of the room, canceling out the cooling effect of the swamp cooler and low humidity.

You should conduct a test before deciding to constantly run a dehumidifier and swamp.

Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested a lot of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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