Do Evaporative Coolers Work In High Humidity? How To Use It!

Evaporative coolers produce humid air by absorbing water. Although, in humid climates, indirect/direct evaporative cooling systems hold their performance better. For most people, evaporative cooling is a good way to keep cool, but if the humidity is high, it will run less efficiently. The efficiency of an evaporative cooler is dependent on the humidity of the outside air. The higher the humidity, the less effective evaporation will be.

The cooler works best when the outside air is warm. It uses evaporative cooling to keep your home cool by drawing hot air through wet pads and allowing it to absorb some of the water as it evaporates.

So, you can say, the effectiveness of evaporative coolers in hot, humid conditions depends on the outside temperature and humidity level. They won’t work in humid environments or reduce the temperature of a room by more than 10 to 20 degrees. If you want to know, do evaporative coolers work in high humidity? and how you can get the best results from it then read this article throughout.

How Evaporative Coolers Work

The working of evaporative coolers is very simple. The evaporation process draws in cooler air that surrounds and absorbs the heat produced by all parts of your body when you are active. As a result, your skin will feel cooler than normal because it is constantly cooled by evaporating water vapor created by the fan. Basically, it works like a cooler air conditioner in high-humidity conditions. There are two types of evaporative cooler fans:

  • Internal evaporative cooler fan
  • External evaporative cooler fan

The steps involved in evaporative cooling are:

  1. Evaporative coolers work by pulling air through a wet pad.
  2. The water in the pad absorbs heat from the air and then releases it as it evaporates.
  3. The pads are usually made of fiberglass or foam.
  4. The cool air is then blown back into your home or office.

How Humidity Effects Evaporative Cooling

Evaporative cooling is a physical process that requires both a two-stage and a mechanical cooling system. If you use a two-stage (indirect/direct) evaporative cooling system then you will get 7°C deeper cool than other evaporative cooling systems. This allows it to cool down to around 11°C in dry air and 20°C in wet air. When a one-stage evaporative cooling process is used with outdoor air at 35 °C and 30% relative humidity, the indoor air with higher humidity content, wet-bulb efficiency, and more airflow is required to achieve the same indoor temperature of 25 °C.

In the past, we’ve heard a lot of complaints about evaporative coolers not working in humid regions. Clearly, humid climates are not suitable for evaporative coolers. Recent advancement in evaporative cooling technology has allowed them to provide cooling relief in any climate, including arid zones.

In Dubai, a hybrid system can provide an optimal cooling solution. In a semi-hybrid system, the mechanical system only switches on when the indirect/direct evaporative cooling system cannot provide the required temperature.

In light of the recent pandemic and the need to reduce CO2 emissions, a dairy company in Saudi Arabia replaced their compressor-based packaged AC units with semi-hybrid comfort cooling solutions based on Oxycom’s patented two-stage evaporative cooling technology.

For more info, read: Do Evaporative Coolers Need to Be Vented?

Do Evaporative Coolers Work In High Humidity?

Humidity levels greatly impact swamp coolers’ efficiency. Several factors affect the performance of your swamp cooler, including the outside temperature and humidity. 

Higher humidity means less cooling by evaporation. The swamp cooler can drop temperatures by up to 30 degrees at times of 10% humidity and around 10 degrees at 50% humidity. Even at lower humidity levels, swamp cooling will be negatively affected by the heat as it approaches triple digits. 

At what humidity does evaporative cooling stop working? When outside temperatures exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38°C), the humidity must fall to significantly below 25% to effectively cool your home. Likewise, as temperatures rise, humidity declines. Swamp coolers create a breeze that feels five degrees cooler than it is. In addition, swamp coolers add moisture to the air, which can be beneficial in arid environments but uncomfortable in high humidity.

Do Evaporative Coolers Cause Humidity?

In order to create cold air, the device uses the evaporation of moisture, just as your skin does when it sweats and a breeze feels nice and cool. Why doesn’t evaporative cooling work in high humidity? Because air is passed by a fan through a porous membrane soaked in water. This moist air is then blasted into the room by the unit’s fan, reducing the room temperature rapidly. In the process, all this cool, moist air saturates the room, artificially raising humidity levels. After reaching saturation point (100% humidity), the evaporation process ceases to work.

What Humidity Is Too High For Evaporative Cooling?

The humidity level that is too high for an evaporative cooler to work effectively will depend on the type of cooling system. Installing a humidifier is the most effective way to increase humidity in a room. An evaporative cooler, however, can still cool a room down if humidity levels reach around 50%. At what humidity do evaporative coolers become ineffective? If humidity levels exceed 60% in a room, evaporative coolers will not be effective.

How Can You Make A Cooler More Effective In Humidity?

A simple solution to this problem is adding ice to the air-cooling process, where ice compartments come in handy. You can add ice directly to the tank, but it melts relatively quickly, leaving a temporary effect. Nevertheless, using dry ice near the water tank would provide at least some protection, as it will not readily melt at room temperature.

How To Use Evaporative Cooling In Humid Weather

Let the dry air come in from the outside while letting the moist air go out of the room through the window. You can also open a door. This will help mitigate moisture buildup and help keep the air dry so the swamp cooler can create cold air. 

This simple solution usually surprises people because it involves allowing hot outdoor air to enter the room. Don’t worry, the room will remain cool since the cooler is still running and blowing cold air out, which keeps the room cooler than it would be. Try this before you discard your evaporative cooler if you own one and are concerned it isn’t working properly!

How Much Water Does An Evaporative Cooler Use Per Day?

The amount of water an evaporative cooler uses depends on the size of the unit. It is always best to check your manufacturer’s instructions for exact amounts. Evaporative coolers use both electricity and water, depending on the day’s humidity and the fan speed on which the unit is set to operate. The best portable evaporative cooler unit may use up to 4 liters per hour, while a central system may use 25 liters per hour.

How Do I Choose The Right Type Of Evaporative Cooler For My Needs?

There are many different types of evaporative coolers on the market, and deciding which one is right for you can be difficult. The most important thing to consider when choosing an evaporative cooler is the size of the room you will be cooling. Next, think about what type of cooling you need. There are three main types of evaporative coolers: air-cooled, water-cooled, and hybrid coolers.

  1. Air-cooled evaporative coolers use a fan to move air across the surface of the water or ice to create a cooling effect. They are usually smaller and more affordable than water- or hybrid coolers, but they tend to be less efficient at cooling large rooms.
  2. Water-cooled evaporative coolers use a tank of water or ice that sits on top of a fan to circulate the cold air. They are larger and more expensive than air-cooled coolers, but they are better at cooling large rooms and can be installed in any location.
  3. Hybrid coolers combine features from both air- and water-cooled evaporative coolers, allowing them to be best suited for either small or large rooms.

Can You Use A Humidifier With An Evaporative Cooler?

Yes, you can use a humidifier with an evaporative cooler. However, choosing the right type of humidifier and evaporative cooler is important.

A good humidifier to use with an evaporative cooler is the ultrasonic cool mist humidifier. This humidifier uses a high-frequency sound wave to break up water molecules into tiny droplets that are then dispersed throughout the room. This results in a cool mist that is gentle on the skin and helps to keep your room at a comfortable humidity level.

Another good option for using a humidifier with an evaporative cooler like AquaOasis Cool Mist Humidifier. This can help to keep you and your family comfortable. It is ideal for the bedroom, nursery, or large room where you need a humidifier that runs quietly and evenly throughout the entire space. 


Do evaporative coolers work in high humidity? The answer is it depends. Evaporative cooling is a low-cost cooling system that can cool an area up to 30°F cooler. It is also less expensive than air conditioning, as evaporative cooling requires only electricity and water. This means you don’t have to pay for high electric bills, high water bills, or high humidity control costs! The evaporative cooler is a very efficient cooling system because it uses water to cool air by evaporation, which is an easy process to understand.

Nevertheless, it is less effective in areas with more than 50% humidity. Even so, there are several ways you can utilize to get the best results in areas with high humidity. If high humidity is a problem, then air conditioning should be considered as your cooling solution.

Read more: How To Remove Ice Maker From Samsung Refrigerator?

Evaporative Coolers Effectiveness In High Humidity (FAQs)

Can I use an air cooler while running central air or central heat?

Evaporative air coolers can be used in conjunction with central air and central heat systems. However, we recommend using the evaporative cooler only when the system is not running. This will help to prevent the water from becoming too hot, which could damage the cooler.

What is the typical maintenance routine for an evaporative air cooler?

The basic maintenance routine for an evaporative air cooler is to perform a visual inspection of the unit every six months. During this time, you should check for any potential obstructions in the water flow that could cause damage to the machine.

You should also check the water level, filter, and evaporative pad. If there is any sign of damage or wear on these components, it is recommended that you have them replaced.

Other routine maintenance tasks include checking the evaporative pad for clumps or tears and cleaning the water evaporation system with a mild detergent.

How to prevent mildew and bacteria?

Be sure to change the water every two weeks. To prevent mold and mildew, we recommend draining and replacing the water in the water tank weekly. Wipe down the water tank with a clean cloth. Remove any debris from the water filter sponge (every six months). Clean the evaporative pad with a mild detergent and water once a month.

Can you leave evaporative cooling on overnight?

Yes, you can leave evaporative cooling on overnight. Just be sure to turn it off in the morning and refill the water tank.

Can I use an air cooler in a room without a window?

Air coolers are designed to work best in an environment with a steady supply of cool air. If you have the option, it is always better to have a window on your cooler for ventilation and light.

However, if you do not have a window, using an air cooler in a room without ventilation can work as long as the cooler is running constantly and has good airflow. The cooler will be able to cool down your room faster than if there was no air-cooling system present at all.

My cooler is not cooling down my space. Why?

The air cooler needs to be ventilated properly. You can use the window or door for cross-ventilation, and you should also keep your room well ventilated with fresh air.

Also, it is important to check that there are no air leaks in the cooler. Check for cracks or openings around the unit, and seal them up if necessary. Finally, make sure that your air conditioning unit is properly cooling down your home or office space.

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