There used to be more of a debate—which is better—swamp cooler or refrigerated air? The discussion has pretty much been settled, considering they stopped building homes with swamp coolers in Albuquerque decades ago. Still, for people that live in older homes, many have a swamp cooler cooling the home. And that’s why swamp cooler conversions in Albuquerque is one of our most popular services. But, if you live in a house with a swamp cooler and are put off by the expense of a conversion, we’d love to share with you more about the process and why we think it’s worth it.
Swamp Cooler Conversions in Albuquerque
When we talk to folks with swamp coolers, most people do, in fact, want refrigerated air. It’s not very often that we have to convince people that AC is superior. The main trouble with swamp coolers is that they only cool the air to about 20° cooler than the outside temperature, making for some hot days when it’s 100°+ outside.
If we do get objections about refrigerated air, the main one is that some people think that evaporative coolers/swamp coolers put moisture into the air. This is especially appealing to people moving to New Mexico who are nervous about the dry climate. To those folks, we say, while swamp coolers potentially add humidity to your home, you can also get a humidifier in an HVAC system, and the moisture in the air from a swamp cooler is not that significant. Considering the downsides of swamp coolers, the humidity factor alone is not enough to justify them.
Potential Points of Troubleshooting
When we have a client considering a swamp cooler conversion, there are a few things we need to consider. First of all, our team evaluates the ductwork in the home. Some homes don’t have the necessary ductwork, so they need some installed to convert.
Our crews know Albuquerque well, so we generally know just by an address and the neighborhood whether or not the home will have adequate ductwork in place already. In most cases, ductwork can be installed. If that’s just not an option based on the layout of a home, another choice we offer are mini-splits or ductless cooling. According to Bosque Heating, Cooling and plumbing co-owner Carlos Griego,
“The equipment [for mini-splits] is more expensive to install, but the SEER rating is between 20-30, so you make that money back right away with the money you save on your heating and cooling bills.”
Mini-splits can also be a good option if adding a bunch of ductwork to the exterior of the home is going to make it look unsightly. You’re also dealing with thermal gain and loss when the ductwork is exposed to the elements. So if a home doesn’t have the proper ductwork, our technicians will present the client with all the possible options and empower them to make the choice that’s right for them.
Another aspect that may need troubleshooting is the electrical panel. Some homes with swamp coolers have a 110V panel that can’t support a refrigerated air system. In that case, we’d need to replace the electrical panel with a 220V panel, which we can do in-house—no need to hire an electrician.
What About the Expense?
The main thing that prevents people from getting a swamp cooler conversion is the cost. We offer financing for as little as $100 a month, so that’s something to consider for those who want to do the swamp cooler replacement but can’t pay for it in one lump sum.
Another thing to consider is the energy bill savings. As we mentioned, some replacement options like mini-splits make back the investment quickly because the SEER rating is so high. And, if you’re worried about the conversion costing you money on your energy bill, we’re happy to help you analyze if a swamp cooler conversion will save you money or not. Ultimately, Griego shared,
“The number one thing we always do is ask the customer what they’re wanting. Which rooms are hotter and cooler? What are they trying to gain?”
We keep all of a customer’s answers in mind and don’t have an agenda for a one-size-fits-all solution. We want to create a heating and cooling system that maintains the ideal climate for each customer.
If you’re curious about an Albuquerque swamp cooler conversion give us a call! We’d love to check out your home and help you know what your options are!