An evaporative cooler is a must-have appliance if you live in a hot and dry region. They are cheaper to run than air conditioners, smaller and more portable, easier to manipulate, and very convenient too.
Evaporative coolers are not a replacement for air conditioners but provide an alternative source of cooling for homeowners who either can’t afford a standard AC, need supplementary cooling in some areas of the house, or intend to avoid the high running cost of air conditioners.
However, have you ever noticed certain structural damages to electronics in your home, with wetness on the edges or visible rust?
There’s always the question of humidity and how excess moisture in the air may not only affect you and members of your home, but may also cause some damage to furniture, walls, and even electronics.
But just how true is this? Can your evaporative cooler damage electronics? Read on to know more.
Are Evaporative Coolers Bad for Computers?
This depends on a number of factors. If you own an evaporative cooler in a home with a pretty hot and totally dry climate, the swamp cooler may just be able to add only as much humidity as the room and its occupants need to stay healthy.
However, in a room with enough humidity or slightly excess air moisture, a swamp cooler will simply add to that humidity and make the room extremely humid. Such high levels of moisture in the air can affect electronics like computers.
It shouldn’t be a problem if humidity is kept below the dew point, just enough to keep the air fresh and ease breathability and prevent allergies, injuries and damage to furniture.
So, it’s safe to say that evaporative coolers will only damage your computers if they make the air excessively humid. Generally, they are not bad for computers, except your indoor humidity begins to rise beyond the required levels.
Also, if you put a computer close to a running evaporative cooler, it is likely to be damaged because water vapor may drop in its circuitry.
Does Evaporative Cooler Damage Electronics?
Swamp coolers are part of the regularly used appliances, but there are situations when they can become problematic for your electronics. This occurs when a swamp cooler increases indoor relative humidity to the point of condensation.
It is not uncommon to find moisture traces in appliances and electronics used in places where humidity is high, especially when damage has occurred and you decide to play electrician.
Whether it’s a computer, TV set, audio player, satellite decoder, or any other electronic device, they can be affected by condensation caused by excess humidity.
The recommended relative indoor humidity is 30%-50%, and when it rises above this level, there can be consequences. There are many ways this damage can take place and we’ll look at them shortly.
Short circuiting is one of the biggest enemies of electronics and it can also be caused by condensation. When moisture/liquid touches areas in a device’s circuit that shouldn’t come in contact with water, it can cause severe damage.
Corrosion is more of gradual, long-term damage. It’s long-term because the areas affected are not exactly active and so the device won’t go bad immediately.
However, corrosion can affect areas that need to stay active and sharp and cause them to deteriorate until they finally get damaged.
This is common among devices that require some level of airflow. Moisture can go in and mix up with dust which can form clayey objects and clog pathways in the device or appliance. Over time, this can cause overheating and damage to the unit.
On the other hand, we must add that some level of humidity, at the right amount, is good for electronics.
Low humidity or the absence of it can lead to electrostatic discharge, which can cause circuit damage if a conductor comes in contact with electrostatically charged components.
Tips To Avoid Damage to Electronics Due to Evaporative Cooler
There are ways you can minimize the amount of humidity in the air to avoid damage to your electronics. Here are a few to consider.
3 Most Effective Tips to Avoid Damage to Electronics due to Evaporative Cooler
1. Get the Right Size
Getting the perfect size of a swamp cooler for your home is extremely important and quite easy to do as well. Swamp coolers are measured in CFM. To get the right size, you need to calculate the square footage of your home (length x width).
Multiply that by the height and divide the result by 2. This will give you the CFM requirement of your home. Getting the right size would mean getting the right amount of humidity in your home.
2. Airflow and Ventilation
It is also important to air your home and invite proper ventilation to let out some humidity when you run your evaporative cooler.
Due to indoor activities, it is more likely to have more humidity indoors than outdoor. With proper ventilation (opened doors and windows), you should be able to keep the relative humidity in check.
3. Use 2-stage Evaporative Coolers
This is a special kind of evaporative cooler that combines the features of traditional evaporative coolers (direct evaporative cooling) and single-stage evaporative coolers (indirect evaporative cooling using the heat exchanger).
This direct and indirect cooling combination results in higher performance, better energy efficiency, and of course significantly reduced humidity.
Other basic tips include:
- Running a dehumidifier.
- Drying your electronics daily with a dry piece of cloth.
- Avoid using your evaporative cooler all the time.
It’s quite disheartening to realize that the operation of one appliance to make your home more comfortable can affect another. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
With these tips provided above, you can create a safe space for running your evaporative cooler while also preserving the lifespan and proper functioning of your electronics.
Remember, the secret is to keep humidity at between 30% and 50%. You can install a humidistat in your home to help you stay informed of your indoor humidity status.