How Evaporative Cooling Works

Air Temperature Control how evaporative cooling works

How Evaporative Cooling Works

Have you ever wondered how sweat can cool your body on a hot day? The process is called “evaporative cooling,” and it has many applications besides keeping us from overheating. Humans have harnessed the natural power of evaporative cooling for thousands of years to cool their homes. It’s a practice that’s still effective in certain climates today.

The structure of water 

The Structure of Water

Water molecules stick together. This “cohesion” occurs because hydrogen bonds form between the molecules – that is to say, the hydrogen atom of one water molecule bonds with the oxygen atom of another. However, sometimes enough heat energy can break these super strong bonds apart, freeing the water molecules from each other.

movement, heat and evaporation 

Movement, Heat and Evaporation

Atoms make up everything in the universe – including air and water – and they are moving all the time. Gases like water vapor bounce around quickly while solids like ice vibrate slowly, and liquids move at a speed in between. When you apply heat to water, the molecules move faster and faster until some break the hydrogen bonds and evaporate.

Why water cools hot air 

Why Water Cools Hot Air

When you perspire, the heat from your body is used to break the hydrogen bonds in your sweat. This leaves the leftover skin and sweat much cooler as a result. The same thing occurs when hot summer air comes in contact with water. The heat of the air is used to break hydrogen bonds between the water molecules, and the air cools down.

direct evaporative coolers 

Direct Evaporative Coolers

Ancient societies relied on passive cooling systems like windcatchers, but we now have the mechanical power to use direct evaporative cooling for our needs. Most evaporative coolers, sometimes called swamp coolers, use a fan to pull hot air into a heat exchanger containing a wet pad. As the air moves through the pad, some of the water evaporates, cooling and humidifying the air.

other types of evaporative cooling 

Other Types of Evaporative Cooling

Some homes have indirect evaporative air coolers. They create less humidity than direct evaporative coolers because there are two separate air flows into the home instead of just one. Evaporative cooling towers are built near industrial and commercial buildings for a large amount of cooling power. Overhead misters spray tiny water droplets in the air to cool patrons at outdoor malls and restaurants.

Cool air distribution 

Cool Air Distribution

In homes with an evaporative cooler, the cooled and humidified air can be distributed from a central point or through a duct system. For the system to work and the humidity to stay low, homeowners must open their windows and doors so hot air is forced out of the house and replaced by cool air. This constant circulation means that fresh air is cycled into the home 20 to 40 times per hour.1

benefits of evaporative coolers 

Benefits of Evaporative Coolers

Evaporative coolers are more affordable and energy-efficient than traditional air conditioning. They only use 25 percent of the energy required for typical A/C, and they’re half the price, too!1 However, evaporative coolers tend to work best in hot and dry places like the Southwestern United States. Residents in other regions may find an evaporative cooler makes their home too muggy.

install a cooling system 

Install a Cooling System

Not sure what type of cooling system works best for your home? Air Temperature Control can help. We’ve provided air conditioning installation services to Macon, Georgia for more than 30 years and can help develop the ideal cooling solution for your home. Call us at (478) 784-1109 to schedule your appointment today!

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