It was a balmy summer’s eve when Sandra stood in her backyard chatting to her neighbour, Adam. The dry Melbourne heat had made for a rather uncomfortable day, which is why, as we eavesdropped on their conversation, we heard Sandra asking “But can I even install an evaporative cooler in my 2 storey house?”
Adam looked around and whispered “I heard there’s some guy who can answer questions like that. Plobby or Plubby…”
“Plummy the Plumber!” A voice suddenly resonated through the yard.
Sandra and Adam looked towards the voice, seeing before them a man in overalls, with a friendly smile, and a seriously decked out toolbelt.
“And the answer is yes! You can install an evaporative cooler in a 2 storey house”.
Plummy the Plumber spun his spanner like he was a cowboy in a Western, smoothly sliding it into his tool belt as he continued, “Of course there are a few things to consider.”
What is an Evaporative Cooler?
As your neighbour was pointing out, an evaporative cooler is something you get when you want low running costs that give you that tangible fresh blast of cool air in your home. That fresh cool breeze in your own home is amazing! It is the perfect system for dry air, which is why it works so well in Victoria’s climate.
On the technical side, the cooler is a unit that sits on your roof, where it connects to ducts that disperse the cooled air into your home through vents. The system works by saturating filter pads at the bottom of the unit with water. A fan at the back of the unit then blows air from outside, through the wet filter pads and into the ducts.
The end result is a tangible, cooling, fresh breeze.
Can you install an Evaporative Cooler in a Double Storey House?
The simple answer is yes you can. The more complex answer considers whether this is the best option, and how it would work for your home.
During Building Construction
If you know you want an evaporative cooler while building, then the ideal would be to discuss this with your builder. They will incorporate provisions for the duct to run downstairs to each optimal location. The Evaporative Cooler and ducts are then installed once the building process has been completed.
Already Built Homes
With an already established home, the most common option is to install the Evaporative Cooler upstairs and position a large vent right above the stairs to push as much air as possible downstairs. In addition, installing a high capacity split system air conditioner downstairs will take care of cooling the main living area.
Your home will dictate which of these options are possible. A professional site inspection from Plum Heating & Cooling will tell you which units are needed, what your options are, and what each option will cost to install.
Why is a Combined Evaporative Cooler and Split System Recommended?
Since humid air doesn’t work so well with an evaporative cooler, and Melbourne can have a few humid days over summer, having a split system downstairs gives you the best of both worlds. During a humid day you can use the downstairs split system to cool your living space during the day, then you can move upstairs to enjoy the cool breeze of the evaporative system when the air is drier in the evening.
Essentially, combining an evaporative cooler with a split system air conditioner enables you to take advantage of the pros of having an evaporative system, while also dealing with some of the potential cons of just relying on this cooling system.
What are some Pros & Cons of using an Evaporative Cooler?
Some of the Pros of using an Evaporative Cooler include:
- Evaporative Cooling is about a 3rd of the price of installing a full Ducted Refrigeration System
- It gives you a genuine cool blast of fresh air that makes you feel like you’ve just stepped out of the water at the beach
- Since the only power it needs is to run the fan, it is a very cheap system to run (approximately 20c an hour)
- You can install a Security Relief Grill for the air to escape so you won’t need your windows open at night
- Uses fresh air, compared to ducted refrigeration which recycles the same air.
Some of the potential Cons of using an Evaporative Cooler include:
- It’s not a reverse cycle system, so it won’t reverse to act as a heating unit as well
- You need to have your windows/doors open when in high operation mode, so the air can leave your home and the fresh air can enter from the vents.
- It will struggle with the humid days. Fortunately Melbourne usually only has around 4 humid hot days a year
A Final Word
“No matter which option you’d like, you need a site inspection to work out which options are viable for your home.”
Plummy smiled and nodded at the two neighbours, while they took in the information he had shared.
Sandra finally looked up and said “Well that was some plum information right there.”
But Plummy was nowhere to be seen.