Meredith, a Boston transplant, wrote us asking, “Do swamp coolers work in the LA climate?” I think this is a perfect opportunity to discuss tips on keeping cool over what is gearing up to be a long, hot summer.
But first, to answer Meredith’s question (she’s concerned because she’s heard “it’s supposed to be dry for them to work, is LA too moist?”) – I must claim ignorance. Swamp coolers supposedly work best in dry climates, and not at all in higher humidity, because their design relies upon cooled water molecules being blown through the machine, which would be hindered by pre-existing moisture in the air.
My first guess would be that yes, because L.A. has a dry desert climate, but our summer humidity averages from about 85% in the mornings to 68% in the afternoons (stats from CityRating). However, as I write this the humidity in the Hollywood Hills is 38%… so, perhaps it all depends on when and where you’re using a swamp cooler in the city. Beach areas, I’d imagine, would prove less effective for the moisture belching swamp coolers than the deep valley.
Have any blogging.la readers had experience with swamp coolers? And now, to broaden the subject, any new tips on keeping your home cool over the summer?
After nearly thirteen summers in Los Angeles, I think the simplest approach to the heat is the best: fans, fans, fans. Air conditioners are bulky and an eyesore, not to mention energy vampires. Besides, it really only gets uncomfortably hot for a dozen or so days over the year that would warrant an air conditioner, so unless your health is negatively effected, enjoy being able to sleep above the covers every once in a while.
On the downside, I don’t know if the multiple fans around my apartment suck as much energy as a single AC box would, but since the building owner prohibits air conditioners anyway (he pays electric, and we have old wiring), I don’t have much of a choice.
I also find me or my girlfriend constantly adjusting the blinds, opening and closing certain windows, and managing light sources, the moderate shade and maximize airflow throughout the day to keep us as comfortable as possible.
Alas, my only big tip to surviving the summer heat is to have enough iced tea and lemon-aid on hand to enjoy it.
(image from Famewhore via Flickr)