How Does A Swamp Cooler Work?

Swamp coolers work on the principle of evaporative cooling, and you probably know more about this than you think. But really: how does a swamp cooler work? If you’ve ever wondered which direction the wind was blowing and held a damp finger up in the air to notice which side got cool first, you understand the idea of evaporative cooling.

Similarly, you may have noticed how much cooler it seems outside when you get out of a swimming pool. That’s because the wind is evaporating the water from your skin, cooling you down.

Swamp coolers are sometimes called evaporative coolers or water coolers because the evaporation of water is essential to how they work. Some of these units can be inserted into a window and have large pads outside while others may be portable so they can be taken where the need for them exists.

You may be wondering this: how does a swamp cooler work since it has no compressor and uses relatively little electricity compared with a compressor air conditioner? Keep reading for more details.

Cooling Based On Ancient Principles

In ancient Egypt, in pioneer days in the United States and in many times in between, people cooled their homes by hanging wet blankets or towels in the windows so that the air coming through them would feel cooler than if the moist surface wasn’t there. That’s exactly how swamp coolers work. Today, electric fans draw air past large damp pads made of a variety of materials, then that cooled air is pushed out into the room.

It’s as simple as that.

But a swamp cooler may not work for you. Actually, one of the worst places to use a swamp cooler is a swamp. These machines are named for the way they get a surface saturated with water — like how a swamp is saturated with water — not for where they’re used. They work best in hot, dry areas where you benefit from having more cool humidity in the air. As you can imagine, in a coastal area, for example, where the air is hot and damp, you need a compressor air conditioner that will remove humidity from the air instead of add more of it.

And this brings us to the most important lesson of using a window-mounted or portable swamp cooler: never use it in conjunction with a compressor air conditioner. The two kinds of units work in opposite ways, as I’ve explained, and will actually counteract each other.

Remember:
– Swamp coolers are for hot, dry climates where you can benefit from cool, damp air.
– Compressor air conditioners are for hot, humid climates where you want to get some of the humidity out of the air.

Is A Swamp Cooler Right For You?

Maybe you’re asking the wrong question when considering a swamp cooler. The question isn’t so much how does a swamp cooler work but will it work for me? Use this three step process to find out:

Check your home’s humidity. You need low humidity for a swamp cooler to work well — along with hot temperatures, of course. If the average humidity in your home often exceeds 40 to 50 percent, you need to put aside any thought of getting a swamp cooler and get a compressor air conditioner instead.

Consider where the water will come from. Swamp coolers must have water. For small portable units, this may come from a supply that you pour in when you turn it on. In many cases, you may need to hook the unit up to a water supply. Some people even spray down outside pads with a water hose when its especially hot or the unit is getting old and inefficient to increase the flow of water and also the cooling capacity.

Think about your home’s ventilation. Swamp coolers raise the humidity in your home greatly, so you need good ventilation to clear moisture out to prevent molding of your home and discomfort for you and your family. Opening a window in the evening may be all that’s needed to give you the ventilation you need.

Some Final Thoughts On Swamp Coolers

If you decide to choose a swamp cooler — or several swamp coolers — for your home, be sure you maintain them properly. The most important thing is to keep the unit clean and make sure the water circulates correctly. And make sure clean, fresh water comes into the system frequently for the greatest cooling power.

You can’t use a swamp cooler in a swamp, but you can create a cool, moist atmosphere inside your home that will increase your comfort and the comfort of your entire family when you choose a window model or portable evaporative cooler.

When used correctly and maintained adequately, swamp coolers take advantage of ancient concepts to keep you feeling great even in the hottest weather.

Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner Reliably Provides Cool Air Where Needed

Portable room air conditioners are a great alternative to window air conditioners in locations were there isn’t access to an appropriately sized window or where window units are prohibited.

Before deciding to invest in a single-room air conditioner, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. First, you will need a way to vent the unit to the outside. Second, there may be a built-in water bucket to empty as humidity is removed from the air. Finally, you must have an electric outlet near where you place the unit, preferably one that’s on its own circuit.

But which room air conditioning system is the best choice for your home or office?

I like the Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier. In the room air conditioner review below, I provide some thoughts and observations about the model. And I point out what I consider to be this unit’s biggest selling point.

My Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner Review

the Honeywell portable air conditioner I chose
the Honeywell portable air conditioner I chose

The Honeywell MN12CES 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control— available from Amazon — is among the best room air conditioning units on the market. Single-room air conditioner models seem to come and go, but this is my current favorite — and it comes from a well-respected company with a long history of providing good cooling and heating products.

The technical details of this unit are similar to most of the units I’ve tried. It’s essentially a three-in-one machine. While you’re probably buying it today to cool your home, it can also be set to only dehumidify — something it does automatically while it’s cooling anyway. When a breeze is all that’s needed, there’s a fan-only setting as well.

While many models — especially older ones — collect the water that’s removed from the air in a bucket that must be removed and emptied, this Honeywell in-room air conditioner has an evaporator that allows it to function without the need for an operator to get involved every few hours to empty a bucket. Evaporators make a bit of a whooshing, uneven sound, but units that must be emptied stop working when their buckets are full, meaning they can’t be left unattended for more than a few hours.

In addition, this unit has a sleek and modern design that looks great in any room. That’s certainly an improvement over the industrial look of some units from Honeywell in years past.

To simplify this review, let me just say this: This unit works as you would expect it to work and does a great job cooling. The smaller the space, the better it cools, of course. But it works fine in mid-sized rooms and pretty well in larger ones.

The Honeywell Room Air Conditioner’s Biggest Selling Point

I’ve managed to get several different room air conditioning systems home from warehouse stores in the trunk of my car or in the back seat. Because these things are fairly large units and come in well-padded boxes, getting one home can be a real challenge.

That’s why I was so glad to see the Honeywell model I review above offered for sale on Amazon. As you may know, Amazon offers free shipping on orders over a certain price, and this unit qualified. That means you can have a well-regarded Honeywell single room air conditioner delivered to your home without any shipping charge. As you can imagine, the charge to ship one of these machines would be pretty high if you had to pay it.

I was actually a bit excited to see this unit being offered with free shipping. When I realized that the selling price is also lower than it would be at most retail stores or home improvement centers, that put the icing on the cake.

If you’ve ever tried to lug a similar unit home from a store or can imagine how difficult it would be to get such a bulky item in your car, you can see why I think the free shipping offer from Amazon is this unit’s best selling point.

A Final Thought

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that the free shipping offer is this unit’s best feature because I can’t think of anything else positive to say about it. Most room air conditioning systems work in a similar way, and most of the units on the market are pretty good. When you choose the 12,000 BTU Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier, however, you’re getting a powerful unit from a well-known company. The fact that you’re getting it from a reputable seller with no additional shipping charge is simply a bonus.

It’s hard to do any better than that. If you’re interested in portable room air conditioners, I suggest snapping up one of these before the offer or the price changes. Click here to see the price Amazon is offering you today.

The Perfect Antigravity Chair For Your Patio Or Deck… Or Living Room

Many antigravity chair models cost thousands of dollars, but there are a number of models designed for use on a deck or patio that aren’t nearly as expensive. And some of them are so handsome — and so comfortable — that you might not mind putting them in your living room.

While antigravity chair models go by many names, they’re all based on the same idea. These chairs are designed to be more comfortable on your back and joints than ordinary chairs and to help you relax.

Some makers use the name zero-gravity chair (sometimes written “0 gravity chair”) and some buyers mistakenly call them gravity chairs instead of an anti-gravity chair, but the idea behind these chairs is sound even if no one can decide on exactly what to call them.

a simple antigravity chair that meets my needs well
a simple antigravity chair that meets my needs well

Each model has strengths and weaknesses, but it make sense to start with a very affordable antigravity chair and then try other models down the road, if desired. That’s why I recommend the inexpensive-but-durable Caravan Sports Infinity Zero Gravity Chair.

If you’re like me, your back, hips, legs and feet hurt after a long day of work. Both standing up and sitting down place stress on the back and the legs, and sometimes laying down doesn’t completely relieve pain and stress symptoms.

Fortunately, innovative furniture designers have come up with a solution: the antigravity chair. Because this kind of chair allows you to sit in a reclined position and adjust the position of you legs, it can help ease many types of pain.

My Perfect Antigravity Chair Review

The Caravan Sports Infinity Zero Gravity Chair — available from Amazon — comes in a beige color that matches every kind of patio, deck or home and has a darker brown frame. While its intended for outdoor use, you may soon find that the chair is so comfortable you enjoy having it inside near your television (if your TV is mounted high enough to see it while you’re in the chair) or even in your bedroom as a naptime alternative to your bed.

The frame of this antigravity chair is sturdy steel, and it’s adjustable enough for you to find a comfortable and accommodating position no matter why you’re sitting it. Some of the more expensive models are actuall less adjustable, so that’s a real plus of this model.

The seat is sturdy as well — and it’s carefully attached to the frame with bungee-type cords threaded through metal grommets to make sure the seat’s connection to the frame doesn’t fail before its time.

There are a couple of things you should keep in mind: First, this antigravity chair is only rated for up to 300 pounds and is a bit on the narrow side for wider users, so larger folks may want to choose something a bit roomier and with a higher weight capacity. Also, some users have reported that the steel frame will eventually rust if left in the elements, so simply take the chair inside when you’re not using it to solve that problem.

Moving the chair is no problem at all. The entire chairs folds down to only about five and a half inches thick.

More important than all these details, however, is how one of these sophisticated chairs feels to you. I find it hard to stay awake in a Caravan antigravity chair, an indication that it relieves discomfort. In fact, if you have sleeping problems because of muscle aches or discomfort, you might want to try sleeping in one of these.

The Caravan Sports Infinity Zero Gravity Chair doesn’t actually defy gravity (none of them do, of course), but it can decrease the discomfort you feel because of gravity’s downward-pulling effect. That’s what antigravity chairs are intended to do, and this one does that well for a price that’s hard to beat.

The Caravan Sports Infinity Zero Gravity Chair is a great starter zero-gravity chair — and Amazon is a great place to get it since the reputable online company offers free shipping in many cases.

Click here to see the Amazon price on this comfortable and innovative chair. You’ll be glad you did.

Does A Home Cholesterol Test Kit Really Work?

Whether you want to keep an eye on your numbers yourself so you insurance company doesn’t know them or you simply want to keep a check on your progress between doctor visits, a home cholesterol test kit can really make a difference for you.

Requiring only a drop or two of blood and no doctor’s visit, a home cholesterol test kit is easy to use, but are they really accurate? By most accounts, they provide good information when used correctly by educated patients.

Experts agree that while a home cholesterol test kit is not a substitute for professional medical advice, it can be a useful tool in lowering dangerous cholesterol levels, one of many risk factors for coronary disease. My favorite is the PRIMA Cholesterol and Triglycerides 2-in-1 Test Meter Kit— available from Amazon.


All of these devices are not the same, however. Some only measure total levels while a few break down results into HDL, LDL and triglycerides, allowing users to be fully informed about how much of each type of fat is found in their blood.

While most major medical associations and heart disease prevention organizations have not taken an official position on these products intended to allow users to monitor their own levels, most support monitoring blood fat levels.

These numbers can vary widely depending on what kind of test is used, whether a patient fasted before the measurement was taken and other factors that cannot be controlled during either home or office testing. While that means that a home cholesterol test kit may not always get the same results as a doctor’s visit, each visit to a health care professional may result in different numbers too.

Many medical professionals suggest that patients avoid becoming obsessed or preoccupied with frequently checking any aspect of their health status, but they also admit that frequent checking does no physical harm.

Doctors also caution that blood fat levels are only one risk factor for heart disease. Patients should also consider their other risk factors like smoking, obesity and family history when assessing their risk for heart disease. For understanding these complex factors, there is no substitute for a medical advice.

Still, a home cholesterol test kit can help someone who is concerned that his or her level might be high determine if a problem exists and decide whether a visit to a clinic is necessary. These self-tests can also be useful for people who already know their status to determine if their corrective efforts are working. Because the numbers can vary based on a variety of factors, however, several tests may be needed for confirmation.

When used correctly by people who have a full understanding of heart health issues and risk factors, a home cholesterol test kit can be a useful tool that provides valuable health information without the need for a doctor’s visit.