Swamp Cooler for Garage

Garage cooling is a significant issue for homeowners living in a warm, dry climate. The enclosed garage space can quickly heat up to an uncomfortable level during the driest months. The states like Utah, Nevada, and Arizona experience drier months with low humidity throughout the year, making it difficult for homeowners to cool their garage units. And, garage air-conditioning alone won’t cool down the garage space in a short time.

This is where swamp cooling comes in to cool the largest garage units in a matter of minutes. It helps to release moisture in the air for faster cooling. Because of their accessibility, swamp coolers are used in many garages, warehouses, and large enclosed spaces in warm places.

So how does swamp cooling work, and can you find the best cooler for your garage? Let’s take a look.

What is a Swamp Cooler for Garage?

A swamp cooler uses moisture to cool air rapidly. It is also known as evaporative air conditioning unit, swamp box, wet air cooler, evaporative air cooler, or more plainly swamp cooler; it cools air through water evaporation. They immediately cool air up to 33 degrees Fahrenheit.

It works by taking warm outside air through wet evaporative cooler pads, hence effectively cooling the air and then blowing the same air out by a blower motor through a vent.

Many people wonder, how does it so rapidly cool the air? Well, a swamp cooler significantly cools the air through the phase transition of liquid water to water vapor. Most homeowners use a swamp cooler over a garage air conditioner that uses “vapor-compression refrigeration” because it can cool air rapidly using less energy than refrigeration.

Swamp cooler’s slim design uses few tools to enable reduced energy consumption. That is why it remains one of the best ways to cool enclosed spaces like garages.

Some of the benefits of swamp cooling are:

  • Cost-efficient cooling –Swamp cooler doesn’t rely on traditional air conditioning parts like compressors or refrigerants that rake up the energy bill.
  • Heavy-duty –Despite being a portable unit, they can work in harsh conditions like patios, garages, warehouses, etc.
  • Double as Commercial-Grade Fan –They can double as a heavy-duty fan for indoor units or outside (when used without water).
  • Prevents health hazards –They reduce dry air symptoms such as itchy eyes, dry skin, and throats, etc.

Swamp Cooler Features

Not every swamp cooler is built the same. Here are some of the key design differences.

  • Continuous use –Evaporative coolers with hose hook up allow for continuous use.
  • Oscillating air evaporative cooler –Cooler models with oscillating louver allow moving air from side to side.
  • Casters – Portable evaporative cooler with heavy-duty casters allow moving and storing efficiently.
  • ABS Plastic –ABS plastic models work for heavy-duty settings such as for industrial spaces.
  • Tank Capacity – Cooler models without a hose would need large tanks to store help store more water.
  • Control with Timer –Cooler models with timer help turn off and on the unit at certain times of the day. You can also opt for a cooler with remote control.
  • Air filtration – Models installed with air filtration eliminate large allergen particles like dust and pollen from the air.

How Does the Swamp Cooler Work?

The swamp cooling (evaporative cooling) technique isn’t that difficult to implement because people have been using this technique for a few thousand years now.

Early Egyptians and Persian, who invented swamp cooling, relied on wind shafts on the roof to trap hot air and pass it over subterranean water to turn it into cool air before passing it down into the building.

Today, we use the same technology but with the help of a cooling unit and evaporative pad that passes outside air through water and into cool air before sending out.

Swamp cooling is the conversion of water into vapor using the thermal energy in the air that results in a dropped air temperature. The energy needed to evaporate the water is taken from the air itself and then thrown into water vapor.

Note: A swamp cooler isn’t the best choice if you live somewhere with a higher humidity level since it increases humidity.

What is Involved in a Swamp Cooler?

A swamp cooler relies on the tap water supply valve, float, pump, evaporative pads, and blower and blower motor.

Water Supply Valve

The water supply valve connects the swamp cooler with the rest of the plumbing inside your house. It brings in cool water into the swamp cooler unit, and without it, the swamp cooler won’t work.


Evaporative cooler float lies on the swamp cooler’s bottom. When the water alarm level inside the swamp cooler reaches a specific limit, the float rises and shuts off the water supply valve like the toilet flush unit.


It pumps water through the water distribution lines, keeping the evaporative pads wet.

Evaporative Pads

They line the inside of the swamp cooler. They must be wet for the swamp cooler to work correctly.

Blower and Blower Motor

The blower motor turns the blower, bringing cool air into the ductwork and forcing it out of the home. (Check for warranty)

Here’s how it works.

  1. The valve brings a constant supply of water into the bottom of the evaporative air cooler when you turn on the unit. The water continues to pour until the float reaches a certain level.
  2. Next, the pump brings a supply of water to the evaporative cooler pads through the water distribution lines. If you notice the air isn’t cool enough, you can turn the swamp cooler’s switch to a “pump” to bring more water into the evaporative pads.
  3. When evaporative more excellent pads have water, the blower motor starts to pull in warm air into the cooler through pads. The warm air goes through the pad hence cooling the air through moisture, also known as “evaporative cooling.”
  4. Next, the blower forces cool air through the ductwork and vent, hence cooling the space.

Because of the continuous work, evaporative cooler pads can wear out and fail. You’d need to replace the evaporative cooler to maintain the swamp cooler unit.

What Kind of Space Does it Work Best?

Evaporative air cooler works on all garage types and sizes. They work well for both enclosed and open garage spaces and work best in hot and dry climates. Garages or enclosed spaces located in such places can enjoy a lot with swamp coolers.

They are also appropriate for completely closed garages, semi-open garages, and completely open garages. This is because they add moisture to the air; you can use it almost everywhere.

Outdoor Swamp Coolers

An evaporative air cooler is ideal for outdoor cooling, such as patio, garden, decks, backyards, etc. For larger units, you’d need a powerful unit.

Semi-outdoor swamp coolers

An evaporative air cooler is ideal for semi-outdoor spaces like semi-open garages or covered porches.

Indoor applications

You can use an evaporative air cooler indoors, just like air conditioning units. However, they aren’t recommended for indoor use in a humid environment. Make sure you keep the window open when using your swamp cooler.

An open garage air will require a higher CFM cooler (Cubic feet per minute) compared to closed garage air. CFM airflow is the amount of fresh air cycled through each time.

Square Feet (Cooling Area) CFM
0 to 250 sq. ft. 200 to 750 CFMs
251 to 500 sq. ft. 751 to 2000 CFMs
501 to 1000 sq. ft. 2001 to 4000 CFMs
1001 to 2000 sq. ft. 4001 to 7500 CFMs
Over 2000 sq. ft. 7501 or more CFMs

Add 20% CFMs if:

  • Garage ceilings are higher than the standard 8-feet.
  • Space is exposed to direct sunlight during the day.
  • More than two people will occupy the space.
  • Many heat-generating appliances are present.

Best Swamp Cooler for Garage to Buy

There are three different types of evaporative air coolers on the market; direct evaporative air cooler, indirect evaporative air cooler, and mounted “draft” air cooler.

Direct evaporative air coolers

A direct evaporative cooler is better known as a swamp cooler or standard cooler. These are the most cost-effective temperature management solution.

Some of the popular choices of evaporative air coolers on Amazon are:





Look for water tank capacity with:

  • 1 to 3-gallons of water – Appropriate for small floor spaces like bedroom and kitchen.
  • 3 to 7-gallon -Medium-sized rooms and sunrooms.
  • 7 to 16-gallon – Large room, patios, and garages.

Indirect evaporative air coolers don’t swamp coolers. However, they’re more effective in cooling larger floor spaces in hot climates. And, the mounted cooler is a crossover between direct and indirect cooler. You can choose from ground-mounting, window-mounting, and roof-mounting.

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