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Is An Evaporative Cooler Right For My Shop? Our Portacool Jetstream 260 Experience

How an Evaporative Cooler Works

Before you jump to the conclusion that an evaporative cooler will not work for you, let’s take a minute to understand how they work and some of the situations they work best in.  Evaporative cooling occurs all around us every day.  A great example is when you step out of the shower and immediately feel a chill.  You feel cool because dry air passes over the water on your skin, as it passes by the dry air absorbs some of the water.  The process of the liquid water turning into a gas molecules causes a cooling effect as heat exchanges from the higher air temperature to the lower water temperature.  Because evaporation causes cooling, it has been used as a cooling devise.

In your shop, an evaporative cooler will use a fan to draw warm, preferably dry air, inside the unit where it passes over water-moistened media.  Depending on the air temperatures and the humidity, air can be cooled up to 20 degrees.  The fan distributes the cooled air through the shop lowering the temperature.

There are a few items that must be tuned for proper cooling of your shop with an evaporative cooler.  First, evaporative coolers work the best in the afternoon when the temperature is highest and humidity is lowest.   Your shop must NOT be completely closed and some air movement is needed so humidity levels do not build up.  The flow of water over the media needs to be limited and not dripping in order to work best and not add extra humidity.  This type of cooler does not push a mist of water or make items damp.  If used properly, it will not significantly increase the amount of humidity in your shop.  Proper air flow is important.

Tips for Proper Evaporative Cooling

Evaporative coolers can cool almost as well as air conditioners in the right environment.  As with any tool, there are some small items that help to make it work to its maximum capability.  When using an evaporative cooler, make sure you:

  • Use the Right Size Cooler – Choose the right type of system for your shop so you are able to move the air inside the shop properly.
  • Proper Fresh Air Supply– This means leaving a window or a door open in the cooling space to provide adequate fresh airflow. If you don’t do this, humidity will build up in the space and eventually raise the temperature.
  • Adequate Maintenance – Clean or replace the cooling media periodically.  Use clean water and treat the water for bacteria or mineral build up.
  • Dry Media After Use – Run the fan without the water pump running for 15 minutes after use.  This will dry the media and stop bacteria buildup.

Portacool Jetstream 260

Armed with the information above, we moved forward with this type of cooling system for our shop.  Our shop can get very warm when the bay doors are open and during long periods the heat can decrease ones want to finish projects.  The Portacool Jetstream can work in the hot parts of the day as the shop warms.  We will place it in front of the walk in door and open the garage doors slightly to allow for air circulation.  Because Michigan is not a dry area like the deserts of the southwest, we will have a dehumidifier that runs at night to help remove any extra humidity.

Portacool PACJS2601A1 260 Jetstream Portable Evaporative Cooler

Portacool Jetstream 260 Features

  • Efficient evaporative cooler uses approximately the same amps as a standard wet/dry vacuum
  • Larger drain allows for easy and effective maintenance
  • Equipped with KUUL Comfort evaporative media, the highest-quality evaporative media available and made in the USA
  • Liquid level indicator with automatic pump shutoff protects the cooler
  • Lifetime warranty on evaporative cooler housing against manufacturing defects and three year warranty on all electrical components
  • Made in the USA with domestic and global parts

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