Evaporative cooling is the most common method for Indian Wells Valley Water District (IWVWD) residential and some commercial customers to deal with our hot summer temperatures due to the relatively low energy cost compared to HVAC. However, evaporative coolers require a significant amount of water because water must be refreshed periodically for maximum efficiency. Units typically either use a purge pump or a continuous bleed line to prevent water from concentrating and depositing calcium carbonate on the pads. Based on testing conducted by IWVWD at our facilities, water use can easily range from 65 gallons per day for units without a purge pump to 160 gallons per day for units equipped with a purge pump. The water discharged during purging or draining can be used to irrigate landscaping (trees, shrubs, roses, etc.). With the need to conserve water in our desert climate, it is important to understand how an evaporative cooler works and how to maintain it properly for maximum efficiency.
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