Evaporative coolers are an attractive alternative to traditional refrigerant/based air conditioning units. While they may not be used as frequently as packaged units and traditional split systems, adjusters should still be familiarized if they must deal with claims involving evaporative coolers.
What Does Evaporative Cooling Mean?
Before we go into the mechanics of evaporative coolers, it is essential to understand how they work. The evaporative process involves the condensation of liquid water into the air. When the liquid changes to a substance, it absorbs heat, reducing temperature.
How do Evaporative Coolers work?
Evaporative cooling systems harness this process to provide cooling in space. A direct-evaporative cooler is most commonly used in residential properties. This system uses water to cool the cooling pad. The fan then draws air from the outside through a wet pad, initiating evaporation. The cool, humid indoor air is then distributed into the home.
There Are Three Types Of Direct Residential Cooling Evaporative Coolers
Portable Coolers are designed to cool a smaller area. These coolers do not need professional installation. They come with wheels, making it easy for you to move from one place to the next.
Side Draft: These systems blow the air directly from the unit’s side into your home. This type can be installed through a window or into a wall. These may require professional installation but no ductwork. They are only able to cool up to one room. However, they can cool more than a portable cooler.
Down Draft: These units are located on the roofs of homes and can provide cooling to the whole house through a “duct system.” These units can be expensive to install and must be made easier to maintain.
Differences between Traditional Air Conditioning Systems and Evaporative Coolers
Conventional air conditioners use a coil with refrigerant filled with transferring heat to cool the area and remove humidity. This type of cooling system is closed. The air from the room is then cycled back through the cooling. The efficiency of this cooling system will decrease if the air is allowed escape from the conditioned space.
An evaporative chiller uses a pump that circulates water through the pads and a fan that pulls air through them. This makes dry air moistened and requires ventilation. While evaporative chillers don’t use ductwork for airflow control, they can be used when they do. The ducts should be bigger than conventional air conditioners to allow for more airflow.
Common Evaporative Cooler Issues
Evaporative coolers require frequent maintenance. Regular maintenance is required to maintain air quality and eliminate odors. You should do this once a month if the evaporative chiller has been on continuously. You may also find minerals and sediment buildup inside the cooler. These must be drained out and cleaned at minimum once per season to keep your system running year. These tasks can become time-consuming, especially if the system is mounted on the roof.
Evaporative Cooler Claim Considerations
Hailstorms are more common in regions with evaporative cool. A hail claim often includes evaporative cooling units, which are often located on the roof. Unlike condensing units, these units do not have a coil susceptible to damage by hail. Hailstorms are rarely a problem, and the unit often shows no damage. Large hailstones can sometimes damage metal panels.