Fan Photo: Thinkstock
These systems work by drawing air through a water-moistened filter to cool it.The cool air is then blown through the house. Available as portable, fixed-unit or ducted systems, they are fairly inexpensive and use relatively little energy, but can be noisy, obtrusive and use a lot of water.
● Before buying, consider your local climate. Evaporative coolers work more efficiently in areas where the average relative humidity is low.
● For a room of under 25 sq.m, you can use a portable model. Fixed units will cool a room of up to 50 sq.m, but can cost five times as much.
● On portable units, look for directional shutters, variable speed settings and a water-level gauge – all will help you monitor and increase the efficiency of the system.
● When cooling, keep windows and doors open to let damp air out.
● Install the unit on the side of the house facing prevailing warm winds. That way, you can block the warm air and open the windows on the other side to let moisture out.
● If the weather is particularly humid, turn the water supply off and use just the fan.
● During cold weather, cover your roof unit and close vents to stop heat escaping.
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