convert evaporative cooler to refrigerated air

Discussion in 'HVAC' started by GabeT, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. Apr 23, 2014 #1

    GabeT

    GabeT

    GabeT

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    I live in New Mexico where the majority of homes use "Swamp Coolers" to keep their homes cool during the summer.

    I've been thinking about converting my existing system to refrigerated air using the same duct work if possible. Has anyone had any experience doing this? I have a 2000sq ft home with furnace that shares the same duct work with the swamp cooler.

    What components do I need to purchase/have installed to make this happen?

    I want to do some of this work my self, but understand I need to call a pro to do some of the work, soldering etc. Any help would be great, the old swamp cooler just isn't cutting it anymore.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014
  2. Apr 23, 2014 #2

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    We had these things in San Antonio. The fan had to be very strong to push the air through the mesh.

    Anyway,
    "However, unlike air conditioners which rely on BTUs as a means of measuring cooling efficiency, the output of evaporative coolers is rated by CFMs. This measurement essentially describes the cubic feet per minute of air that the swamp cooler can blow into your home, and whether you're cooling a single room or entire home, a basic formula exists for determining the proper size swamp cooler you need."
    from
    http://www.air-n-water.com/evaporative-cooler-size.htm

    In principle you can use the psychrometric chart to convert to BTU/hr of cooling to CFM of moist air but that's beyond my pay grade. :(
    I guess companies that are in zone B & C on the map in the link know best how to do this since they probably sell both types.

    ASHRAE knows this but they're very jealous about lending their costly books to libraries.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014
  3. Apr 23, 2014 #3

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    This like what we see up here in many houses.

    air+conditioner.jpg
     
  4. Apr 23, 2014 #4

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    You might be able to add an HVAC unit upstream of the cooler to help it out but balancing the CFM needed by the HVAC with the cooler may be tricky or impossible.

    Have you found a troubleshooting chart for evap. cooler troubles? Maybe the pad is at the end of it's life.
     
  5. Apr 24, 2014 #5

    GabeT

    GabeT

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    I want to completely get rid of my swamp cooler and retro fit in HVAC into my existing furnace/duct work.
     
  6. Apr 25, 2014 #6

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    An HVAC dries the air and since your air is already dry you may need some type of humidifier that runs when the AC runs. Very dry air gives some people nosebleeds.
     
  7. Apr 25, 2014 #7

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    When it drys the air the water has to be dealt with at the furance, floor drain or??
     
  8. Apr 25, 2014 #8

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Yeah, the condensate.
     
  9. Apr 25, 2014 #9

    GabeT

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    I believe there is a drip line on the furnace to handle that.

    I'll update this thread with more detailed info & pics when I get a chance.
     
  10. Apr 25, 2014 #10

    nealtw

    nealtw

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  11. Apr 25, 2014 #11

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    And maybe the ductwork would need to be redone. You should do a Manual J and a Manual D calculation. IIRC, $49 for each for the online version.

    This
    http://www.degreedays.net/
    may give you some idea of your expected yearly cooling cost at your location, and you already have your electric bills from which you can estimate your cost for your existing cooling system ($1 per night?).

    In this case the new system may never pay for itself except in 'comfort'.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014

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