$80 Off Any Repair


    Swamp Cooler Vs Air Conditioner Comparison Guide

    There is nothing worse than having an issue with your home’s cooling system in the middle of the summer. It always starts in the middle of the night or when you’re not home. 

    If your house is old, it might be time to get a brand new Air Conditioning system at your home. If you’re just building it now, you should also consider how you’re going to heat and cool your home. Also, did you know that there are actually two different ways to do that? You can use a swamp cooler or an air conditioner.

    This will be an extremely important decision to get right. Otherwise, you can be left vastly uncomfortable and even expose yourself to some serious health issues down the road.

    But what’s the difference between the two? And how do you know which one is right for your home?

    Many factors can determine which of these two systems is best for your home. This comparison guide will walk you through the differences between both systems so that you can make your choice with confidence.

    Swamp Cooler Vs. Air Conditioner

    So what’s the difference between a swamp cooler and an air conditioner?

    For starters, an air conditioner unit only blows temperature-controlled air into your home. A swamp cooler, or an evaporative cooler, blows wet air into your home. This means that a swamp cooler will add humidity to your home to cool it down.

    They both work using a large fan to blow air into the house. However, an air conditioner also uses chemical chambers and large motors to ensure the air is at the right temperature.

    An evaporative cooler doesn’t have these parts. It relies on the fan blowing dry, hot air over a wet cooling pad. This can cause the water in the pad to evaporate and spray into your home to cool it down.

    Both have a lot of benefits and disadvantages that come with them. It would be best if you considered all of these things before you decide which one to get.


    The first major difference you should notice between a swamp cooler and an air conditioner is the price. This will, of course, differ by brand and if you’re getting a window unit or a system for your whole home. Where you live can also affect the total price of one of these units.

    Both air conditioners and swamp coolers are going to cost a few thousand dollars if you want a whole new unit installed at your house. However, it’s always going to be cheaper to get a swamp cooler. In some cases, it’s going to be about a thousand dollars cheaper.

    These are also going to be much cheaper to run than an air conditioner. It’s also a lot cheaper to have fixed if it breaks.

    On average, it costs about $3,900 to install a swamp cooler in a fifteen hundred square foot house. An air conditioner unit will cost an average of five thousand dollars in a house of the same size in Denver.

    But that doesn’t necessarily mean that a swamp cooler is the best option for your home. 

    two wall ac units blowing cool air


    Now think about where you live for a moment. Is it hot or cold? Is it humid or dry? 

    Believe it or not, this should be something you should seriously be considering before you decide between a swamp cooler or an air conditioner.

    A swamp cooler is going to blow wet air through your home. If where you live is already humid, then this might not help you too much. But it might feel nice to those who live in dryer areas.

    In areas of extraordinarily high heat and humidity, an evaporative cooler is simply not going to work. The water that the fan is supposed to blow into the house is simply going to evaporate before it can be effective.

    On the other hand, an air conditioner is actually going to dry out the air in your home. This means that those who live in the humidity might feel relief if they have an air conditioner. However, those that live in dryer climates might find themselves more uncomfortable with the extra dryness.

    These problems can be resolved with a humidifier or dehumidifier, but that just means more effort and maintenance for you to do. It’s easiest to get the system that better suits your environment in most cases.


    Some health concerns can arise if you don’t get the more appropriate system for your environment. 

    An air conditioner in Denver, CO. can dry out your eyes and skin. This can, first of all, be extremely uncomfortable. It can also lead to some vision issues later if you are constantly exposed to this extreme dryness.

    A swamp cooler can be a problem for those with respiratory issues such as asthma. The humidity level that these systems can create gets into the lungs and can prevent enough air from getting in. This will be a much bigger problem for those who live in areas that are already humid.

    With a swamp cooler, you run the risk of mold getting blown through your home. They will require constant maintenance in order to prevent these issues. Otherwise, this mold will lead to bad smells in your home as well health issues.

    This is why it’s actually not recommended for those who live in humid areas to choose a swamp cooler over an air conditioner.

    You May Be Interested In: Denver Central Heating & Air Conditioning Combinations

    pretty european woman pink blouse yellow wall covering ears loud noise from ac unit


    If noise is a concern for you and your family, then this will be a big determining factor in your choice. Those who are light sleepers will really need to consider this factor.

    In general, swamp coolers are fairly quiet. Air conditioners, however, can be noisy. 

    In other words, if you enjoy a little white noise when you’re trying to sleep, then an air conditioner might be a good fit for you and your home. However, if you like your home as quiet as possible, then a swamp cooler might be a better idea for you. 

    There are, of course, a few ways to make an air conditioner a little quieter. These methods might not get the noise level down to where you’d like it, though. Some of these methods are also expensive, so you’d have to consider the extra cost involved in doing that.

    Swamp coolers are also not going to be completely silent either. They’re much quieter, but the fan motor will still make some noise while it’s running.

    This is particularly true if you are using window units. In this case, most of the noise an air conditioner window unit would make would escape outside. This means that it shouldn’t bother you as much as a house system would.

    But an evaporative cooler window unit is going to be much louder. This is because the fan will be blowing inside the room.

    Environmental Friendliness

    Another thing some people may want to consider is the environmental impact their cooling system might have. 

    An air conditioner requires a specific set of chemicals to work. Once your system has used these chemicals, it releases carbon dioxide into the air. Carbon dioxide is one of the primary chemicals that is causing many of today’s climate change issues.

    On the other hand, a swamp cooler doesn’t use any of these chemicals. It doesn’t release carbon dioxide into the air. This will make it a more environmentally friendly option.

    This means that those who live in a suitable environment for a swamp cooler should seriously consider their impact on the environment. 

    However, keep in mind that both systems require electricity to run. If you run your house using renewable energy such as solar panels, this isn’t as big of a concern.

    However, most people will receive their energy from burning fossil fuels. This also puts carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the environment.

    denver ac energy efficiency world with plug


    Both systems have different requirements for installation. This will also depend on how large of a system you are purchasing.

    Smaller window units are always going to be much easier to install for both swamp coolers and air conditioners. A portable ac unit is also going to be very easy to set up.

    So what about a system for the whole house?

    In this case, an air conditioner is going to be more complicated. Central air conditioning units are larger and more complex machines than evaporative coolers. This is part of what makes them more expensive. 

    There are a lot of parts that need to be connected properly for the system to work. Air conditioners also require an opening in your home for an exhaust pipe. This will also prevent your home from filling up with carbon dioxide. 

    On the other hand, a swamp cooler is a much less complicated machine. Aside from ductwork, there isn’t a whole lot of difficult work that needs to be done to install one of these. If your house already has ducts installed, then it’s possible to be able to reuse them for this system.

    Furthermore, this system doesn’t need a window for an exhaust pipe.


    Energy efficiency is going to be vital in determining if you’re getting the best system for your money. It’s also what determines the cost of running your cooling system in your home.

    Once again, it should be noted that an air conditioner is a much more complex machine than a swamp cooler. It has a lot more moving parts inside of it.

    What this means is that more energy is needed to run it. The more energy a machine needs to run, the more it costs to power. 

    On the other hand, a swamp cooler is much simpler. It only needs power to the fan. This indicates that it won’t take nearly as much energy to power. 

    In short, an evaporative cooler is much more energy-efficient than an AC unit. This can save you money on your electricity bill every month. 

    However, an air conditioner is also more precise at temperature control. It can also cool your home to lower temperatures than a swamp cooler can. 

    An evaporative cooler is also going to raise your water bill some. It relies on a filter constantly being damp, which means water has to be dripped onto it every once in a while. An air conditioner does not have this problem.

    You May Want To Read: Cost-Effective Ways To Cool Your House This Summer

    JD's Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning Denver, CO

    Winterizing Your AC in Denver: The Complete Guide for Homeowners


    You should also consider the amount of maintenance you want to do when you’re deciding between a swamp cooler and an air conditioner. There is an enormous difference between the two in this area. 

    An air conditioner is going to need maintenance about once a year at the most. Most central air conditioners only really need maintenance every few years. This makes it especially convenient as you can install one and rarely think about it. 

    A swamp cooler, on the other hand, might need daily maintenance. If you have a system that is not directly connected to your water, you have to make sure the filter stays damp. Even if it’s attached to your water, you still need to make sure the system stays clean.

    If the system isn’t kept clean, then it can get moldy easily. Once again, this can lead to serious health issues if it’s not handled quickly. 

    Get Your Swamp Cooler or Air Conditioner Today

    If you need some relief from the summer heat in your home, then you’re going to want one of these two systems. Whichever you choose, it’s important to have a company that you trust to help you maintain it.

    For Denver air conditioner repairs, you should trust the experts at JD’s Plumbing Services. Our technicians are professionally trained and licensed to help you with whatever your needs are. This includes AC installation and repairs as well as Swamp Cooler services.

    We’re the best in Denver AC repair. So if you need some help cooling your home this summer, then give us a call and see how we can help you today.