Many homeowners need AC to keep them cool during the hot months. Older homes weren’t designed with central AC in place. Even if your home doesn’t have forced heat, installing a new system can be expensive and time-consuming.

The dry climate means that central air is not the only option. Swamp coolers are an alternative to central AC. Swamp coolers are made from a fan that blows warm air through a pad filled with cool water. The water cools the air as it passes through the pad.

Both cooling options have their pros and cons. When faced with the decision, here are some facts about each option.


Installing a swamp cooler is much easier than installing an entire AC system. Central heating is easier to install if it already has central heating. The same ducting as your heating can be used by your AC. This makes it easy to install the compressor and connect the fans and electrical lines to distribute the air throughout the house.

Swamp coolers can be installed on the roof. Although it may look odd on a roof, the unit does not need ducting elsewhere in the house.

How Much Does It Cost To Run

It is the best value in terms of savings because it costs less to install and run the swamp cooler. Central air conditioning compressors use a lot of electricity. To power a fan and water pump, a swamp cooler requires electricity.

The swamp cooler is a more affordable option for summer cooling if you have a tight budget.


Maintenance is necessary for central AC. This includes clearing out debris from the compressor and changing the filters.

Evaporative coolers need more care. They should be winterized before every winter and sealed off. To prevent mildew growth, the pads holding the water must be changed regularly. Pumps can wear and need to be replaced every few decades. Swamp coolers may not be the best fit for people who love to forget about the AC.

Even Cool

The cool air circulation through the home is another difference between central cooling systems and swamp coolers. Swamp coolers don’t usually connect to any ducting. They move through the home via changes in pressure. Keep the windows cranked in every room so that cool air can flow into the home. This forces the warmer air out and pulls cool air into the rooms.

This motion can be hampered by closed doors and home layouts. These are the disadvantages:

Larger homes may require a lower cooling capacity. One cooling unit may not be enough to cool homes of greater square footage.

You can reduce cooling in the upstairs and downstairs areas. Two-story homes may require two swamp coolers, or each floor will be less cool.

Closed-room designs have lower efficiency. It can be difficult to evenly cool homes with closed floor plans.

Temperature Control

Central air conditioning has the added benefit that it can be set to any temperature you like. 65 degrees is the ideal temperature for those who prefer it cold. For those who prefer to feel cool in the summer heat, 78° may be the right temperature.


Swamp coolers are more susceptible to weather changes than central AC units. You can also compare the evaporative cooler vs central air coolers. If the air passing through the cooler is extremely warm and dry, then its evaporative cooling function will not work. If there’s a heat storm or an increase in humidity, the cooler will not work.