Evaporative Coolers

      Is a "swamp cooler" smart in a wood shop? If the climate is dry, sure. August 29, 2005

Does anyone use an evaporative cooler in your shop? I've seen them at several shows in the past. I was wondering about rusting table tops and excess moisture in my lumber since the evaporation cooler uses water passing over a pleated paper curtain and air being drawn though it by a fan. Doe anyone have any experience with these?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
I use an evaporative cooler to cool my shop. I have not experienced any of the problems you mentioned. Evaporative coolers only work where the humidity is very low. In my case the humidity in the shop is still low by south eastern or midwest standards. All of the wood that has been stored for any length of time in my shop is 6% or less.

From contributor D:
Here in Tucson where the R/H is about 10% in the summer (except for monsoon season) my swamp cooler works great in my shop. The idea is for proper airflow. As the cooler blows into the shop, it needs an exit as well.

I installed 3 12"x18" HVAC grills in the ceiling of my shop that vent directly into the attic area. I have three turbine vents on my roof, so as the moist air is blown into the shop and cools it the moist air is drawn up into the attic and out the roof by the turbine vents. I have no problems with rusting or warping boards, and it costs about 10% of what A/C costs to run. On a typical 110 or more summer day my shop will be about 80 degrees. Mine is set up on a thermostat so it only runs when the temp is over 80.

From contributor F:
I can speak to Contributor A's shop atmosphere as I've been there, it's a show place (read no excess rust). A major error in the use of an evaporation or swamp cooler is failure to allow for the moisture to evacuate. Home Depot stores in Arizona, New Mexico, etc. are cooled solely by evaporative coolers. Closing the doors keeps the moisture in, and open doors are not a bad thing.

From contributor F:
I should qualify my remarks: When the dew point exceeds 54 degrees, the cooler efficiency is greatly diminished. Units with a second stage are effective to somewhat higher dew point and humidity levels. With that said, circulation is the key.

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