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disadvantages of swamp coolers

Disadvantages of Swamp Coolers

Swamp coolers are common options for cooling temperatures in hot spaces, however, despite their versatility, there are many pros and cons to using them. Continue reading for an objective overview of this type of evaporative cooler, along with its benefits and disadvantages to consider.

What Are Swamp Coolers?

A swamp cooler, a type of evaporative cooler, is a portable cooling system that is used to provide cooling in hot spaces using water and evaporation. They are often used in high-demand industries, at outdoor events, in the shipping/ warehouse industry, and at sports events, where they provide an energy-efficient option for decreasing temperatures. While they are known for this function, these are not perfect systems, and they do come with various downsides.

Swamp Cooler Parts

swamp cooler inside

Swamp cooler parts are essential in understanding how these systems function. They are engineered for cooling temperatures using a water evaporation system. These are the most common parts of a swamp cooler:

  • Tank
  • Motor
  • Fan
  • Pump
  • Float
  • Water supply valve
  • Water distribution lines
  • Blower
  • Wet/ evaporative pads

Most swamp coolers operate by using pads that are saturated with water. This source of water cools the air, as it causes a decrease in temperatures. A fan is used to pick up that cooled air, which channels it through the blower out of the fan, providing a powerful jet of cooled air.

One of the disadvantages that comes with this type of operating system is it might require maintenance to keep clean. Additionally, it is susceptible to buildup, which contributes to bacteria, mold, and funguses in the system. Having these toxins infiltrating the air can be extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

swamp cooler drainThe Pros of Swamp Coolers

  • Portable systems that can be used in different environments
  • Very good cooling systems for dry climates because they add humidity to the air
  • No refrigerants or cooling chemicals are used to run these systems
  • Quieter than AC units
  • Can be very cost-effective compared to installing central AC systems
  • More affordable tan installing a central air conditioning system

The Cons of Swamp Coolers

  • They require continuous maintenance to function, such as changing filters which costs money (sometimes hundreds of dollars!)
  • Needed replacement filters add to the Total Cost of Ownership
  • As filters become dirty, the efficiency and effectiveness of the cooler decreases
  • These are not the most powerful portable cooling systems
  • Swamp coolers can be prone to mold and bacteria
  • They can develop a foul, fishy smell
  • Swamp coolers often use outdated technology
  • Most have no oscillation functionality. Cools only one direction at a time
  • Some are very large in size and take equally large floor spaces to accommodate them relative to their cooling capabilities
  • Water hose connection needed for refill. Slip, trip and leak hazards
  • Uncirculated water in the water tank may become a breeding ground for pathogens and mosquitos

Great for Short-Term, But Not Long-Term Cooling

In an emergency or as a last-minute solution, a swamp cooler can be used for heat mitigation. The reason swamp coolers have earned this reputation is while they do provide a necessary function, they do come with many disadvantages. They are a commonly-known option that can be used to cool temperatures in many locations. In an instant, many people know they can get one from a home improvement store if a sudden need arises. They are often not terribly expensive, so this is a big draw.

While they may be useful for the short-term, as a long-term or permanent solution, they are not a solid choice. This is due to their many drawbacks and the amount of maintenance they require to continue running at a powerful, efficient level.

If you need a method of cooling that provides powerful, ample, far-reaching results, without producing harmful bacteria and fungus, swamp coolers will not meet your needs for long. This has to do with how these machines are designed and what they are susceptible to over time.

Consider Alternatives that Don’t Use Filters

While swamp coolers provide sufficient cooling and various benefits, they are not the ideal types of cooling systems for every environment. For busy and demanding work sights, more powerful and efficient cooling machines are much better choices. For example, Power Breezer manufacturers commercial and military-grade atomized evaporative cooling machines for heat mitigation and sanitization. Power Breezer cooling machines use the latest, patent-pending atomized evaporative cooling technology to reduce air temperatures to ensure people within the space are kept safe, comfortable, and cool.

swamp cooler filters cost money

Power Breezer Atomized Cooling is More Efficient


Power Breezer cooling fans are utilized by all branches of the U.S. Military on bases throughout the world. They are used in warehousing for such entities as Amazon and FedEx. During SuperBowl 2021 and throughout the NFL and MLB, these fans are used to keep athletes, coaches, personnel, and spectators cool and safe in high-heat conditions.

How is Power Breezer Different?

power breezer in a stadium

Power Breezer uses a different type of evaporative cooling than swamp coolers called Atomized Evaporative Cooling. Water is dispersed using a powerful fan and an atomizer which takes in water and creates tiny droplets of water which are evaporated, cooling the surrounding environment without making surfaces in the area wet.

Power Breezer systems are used by FritoLay, Pepsi, Cost Plus World Market, International Paper, and West Rock, the U.S. Military, among many others for their heat mitigation needs.

Swamp coolers are a well-known option for cooling temperatures in a convenient, portable, versatile manner, but despite their positive attributes, they come with many disadvantages that are addressed with Power Breezer. If you are seeking a powerful, clean, energy-efficient heat mitigation system that does not require the use of filters or pads – reach out to our team today!

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