Just a box with aspen pads, pump, motor, fan and water
TUCSON -- I scrambled up on my roof the other day to put our trusty old evaporative cooler back in to service for the coming hot season. But I quickly found out this wet winter had been especially hard on the old box and major rust had taken over. After many years of cooling, our old cooler had blown it's last chilled breeze in to our older adobe house near Santa Rita Park.
We could switch to A/C, but we're not. I'm getting a new cooler. I've lived in Tucson 16 years now with no house A/C and only coolers and have been cooled been fine. The air quality from coolers seems better than A/C. A/C also uses much more power than a cooler, racking up high electric bills, and A/C units are a lot more expensive. Coolers are much cheaper and easier to maintain and fix. So why bother with A/C in the desert?
During the height of monsoon season coolers can be less effective on some rainy days, but these days are cooler outside anyhow and a few well placed fans in your house make up the difference.
I'm old school and favor appropriate technology. I'm proudly avoiding energy-hogging home A/C and chillin' under the swamp box.