Do Swamp Coolers Work in High Heat?

Swamp coolers are super-efficient and also cost-effective for cooling. But what about in scorching climates? Many people who buy evaporative coolers may wonder if swamp coolers work in high heat or not.

The issue might not be what you think. Although temperature matters, humidity levels can also impact the cooling performance! And there are other exciting nuances that you might not have been taught.

To clear confusion, we’ll dive deep into how well swamp coolers work in high heat and what you can expect from them.

Do Swamp Coolers Work in High Heat?

Yes, swamp coolers or evaporative coolers work well in high heat and can cool your house during the summer. But how effectively it works depends on a couple of things.

The size and strength of your cooler and the actual temperature outside can affect its efficiency.

Evaporative coolers work through straightforward mechanisms. They bring in hot air, cool it, and then circulate it inside the house. That’s why they do best with a constant flow of fresh air.

Since they also make the atmosphere humid and cool, they work best in dry climates. A good swamp cooler can bring down ambient temperatures by 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

But when it’s scorching, many people use other devices, such as an evaporative or swamp cooler. A fan or a cooling pad paired with a swamp cooler will give you the most effective cooling.

Although that might not sound like a significant benefit, many people use swamp coolers because they’re very cost-effective and require low maintenance.

Another reason is that swamp coolers can make it more comfortable if you live in a dry area since they humidify the air. However, they might not be the best for already humid climates.

If it’s scorching outside, and you desperately need some cool air, don’t worry. There are ways you can increase your swamp cooler’s efficiency. Basic maintenance and keeping an eye on the cooler’s water level can help it run better.

You can also run them at the right time to get the best cooling performance. Since they rely on airflow and the differences between the air, cooling pads, and water, running them when it’s hot outside can improve their performance.

How Much Can a Swamp Cooler Cool?

A swamp cooler’s cooling capacity depends on the size of your cooler and the environment. The air temperature outside and humidity levels play a role here too! You also need to keep the size of your room or house in mind.

Typically, the swamp cooler’s efficiency is reduced in humid climates. You’ll see lesser temperature drops when humidity levels are 15% compared to, say, when it’s 5%.

But typically, a high-quality swamp cooler can cool down the temperature of a room by around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your room has higher humidity, then the cooler performance can get slightly worse. It means that the cooler won’t drop the temperature by that much. These numbers are theoretical, though.

The functional performance of a swamp cooler will depend on factors like how much circulation is there.

It would be best to keep a window partially open for swamp cooler to work. But only open it some of the ways.

That’ll let in more hot air than the cooler can replace. You can check the video below for some excellent tips on making your swamp cooler work more effectively.

At What Temperature Do Swamp Coolers Stop Working?

If the wet bulb temperature is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, your swamp cooler might not be effective and will give you less cooling performance.

Your cooler might work differently than intended when the temperature is too high. In other words, it won’t be able to bring down the room’s temperature.

To check how effectively a swamp cooler will work, you need to understand dry and wet bulb temperatures.

Dry bulb temperature is ambient air temperature. And is measured using regular thermometers.

Wet bulb temperature is measured by wrapping the thermometer in a wet wick. Wet bulb temperature tells you the lowest temperature at which the air can be cooled.

There’s a caveat, though. It will depend on things like personal preference and also humidity.

Humidity is also something to keep in mind here. When it’s humid outside, a swamp cooler won’t work that well.


If you were wondering if swamp coolers work in high heat or not, now you got the answer.

They work well in high heat, but there’s a point of diminishing returns. Also, if it’s very humid outside, it might reduce the effectiveness of the humidifier. But with proper airflow, a high-quality swamp cooler can keep you comfortably cool.

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