The Ultimate Swamp Cooler Quiz

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

The Ultimate Swamp Cooler Quiz
Image: iStockphoto.com/Mark Atkins

About This Quiz

How cool are you? When the summer sets in and you feel hot and sticky, what's the best method for cooling off? Should you opt for a standard air conditioner or take a chance on a swamp cooler? Take this quiz and see whether swamp cooling is for you.
Which of these is a simple example of evaporative cooling?
perspiring a lot after a long mountain climb
wiping the wet tears off your face with a tissue
holding up a wet finger to test for wind direction
Simpler than a weather vane, you just lick your finger and hold it up to check which way the wind is blowing.

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How did the ancient Egyptians employ evaporative cooling?
They would hang wet blankets across their doors and let the air blow through.
Smart crowd, those ancient Egyptians. They'd hang up wet cloths and blankets and the air would cool down as it passed through them.
They used to tie wet garlic cloves up high, which would cool the air down.
They used to blow air from their lungs through wet towels.

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What do they call evaporative coolers in the U.S.?
evaporative air coolers
swamp coolers
Evaporative coolers are usually referred to as swamp coolers in the U.S.
swamp air coolers

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What would be considered optimum weather conditions for a swamp cooler?
hot and dry
Swamp coolers work best under hot and dry weather conditions.
humid
tropical

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What does Benjamin Franklin have to do with evaporative cooling?
He drew the first sketches of early evaporative cooling systems.
He experimented with it using a thermometer, spirits and air.
Franklin came across the notion of evaporative cooling by chance. He went on to conduct experiments on it.
He used an early evaporative cooling system while writing his monumental works.

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What is the basic principle of a swamp cooler?
It takes air from the outside, blows it through wet pads and cools down the inside air.
A swamp cooler draws in outside air, draws it by means of a blower across wet pads and expels cool air.
It draws in outside air, dehumidifies it and cools down the air inside.
It blows air through a blower and releases it to the outside once it has cooled.

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How does evaporation play a part in swamp cooling systems?
Air particles heat up, evaporate into gas state and bind with cooler air particles to cool the inside temperatures.
Water is converted into gas form, which releases heat particles into the surrounding area.
Water releases molecules into the air, drawing in heat from the air.
Evaporation takes place at the surface of a liquid, such as water, where molecules escape into the air, drawing heat from the air and at the same time lowering its temperature and that of the liquid.

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What is meant by wet bulb temperature?
the temperature of a wet light bulb, at zero percent humidity and no electric power
the temperature of a wet thermometer bulb
This is the temperature taken by a thermometer wrapped in a wet cloth, which tells you what the air temperature would be at 100 percent humidity. This temperature is always lower than that of a dry bulb thermometer.
the temperature at which a wet thermometer bulb reaches its maximum evaporative state

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What happens when you leave the door or window open with swamp cooling?
You don't succeed in cooling your home.
You maximize its efficiency, because it needs air circulation.
Unlike conventional air conditioning, which requires a closed area, the intake of outside air actually optimizes the swamp cooler's efficiency.
You put the system in jeopardy, which might necessitate regular repairs.

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Do swamp coolers have a drain pipe or drip pipe as air conditioners do?
No, because there would be nowhere to attach the pipe.
Yes, they have similar ones.
No, because they humidify the air, whereas air conditioners dehumidify.
Air conditioners dehumidify the air and therefore need to drain the humidity in the form of distilled water. Swamp coolers boost humidity and therefore don't need a drain pipe.

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What is the relationship between a swamp cooler and the skin's perspiration?
The swamp cooler causes you to perspire more.
The boosted air humidity, together with skin perspiration, makes for a heightened feeling of coolness.
You get the added effect of the two combined. You feel cooler because of the evaporation of water-laden air from your skin.
You don't feel your perspiration because you're so cool.

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Do swamp coolers use ducts to spread the cool air around?
Yes, otherwise the cool air would be contained in one area.
Mostly not, since they'd have to be larger than air conditioning ductwork.
Usually, swamp coolers don't use ducts; if they did, they'd need larger-than-ordinary ones. Instead, cool air is spread through door and window openings.
It depends on the installation requirements.

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According to the U.S. National Association of Home Builders, purchasing and installing a swamp cooler costs:
$700 - $1,000
A swamp cooler, fully installed, costs between $700 and $1,000, significantly less than air conditioning.
$1,000 - $1,300
$1,000 - $1,700

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How do running costs compare between a swamp cooler and conventional air conditioning?
Air conditioning costs about one third the operating cost of swamp cooling.
Swamp cooling costs about one half the operating cost of air conditioning.
Swamp cooling costs about one third the operating cost of air conditioning.
There's no doubting these figures: Use a swamp cooler and you'll spend about one third of what air conditioning would cost.

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Are swamp coolers better for the environment than air conditioners?
Not by a significant degree.
Yes. They don't use ozone-depleting chemicals.
Much better. While air conditioners use chlorofluorocarbons or, at best, hydrochloroflurocarbons, swamp coolers use no ozone-depleting chemicals.
Yes. They use less hydrochlorofluorocarbons.

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What are the basic parts of a swamp cooler?
blower, pads, pump, water and container
The average swamp cooler requires very basic parts: a blower, pads, a pump, water and a container.
blower, pads, metal grates and water catchment tray
fan, rotation blades, pump, air humidifier

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What is the effect on a swamp cooler with a wet bulb temperature of above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius)?
It will increase the humidity level by 50 percent.
It will work harder by blowing more air through the blower.
It won't be able to keep the temperature at a comfortable level.
The swamp cooler loses its cooling effect when the gap between wet and dry bulb temperatures is low. Thus, it will struggle to keep the temperature at a comfortable level.

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What is the recommendation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding ideal home humidity levels?
between 15 and 40 percent humidity
between 20 and 30 percent humidity
between 30 and 60 percent humidity
The EPA recommends an ideal humidity level of between 30 and 60 percent, low enough to keep mold to a minimum.

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How much water does a swamp cooler require per hour?
1.5 - 3.5 gallons (5.67 - 13.25 liters)
3.5 - 10.5 gallons (13.25 - 39.75 liters)
A swamp cooler needs between 3.5 and 10.5 gallons (13.25 - 39.75 liters) of water per hour to operate.
7.5 - 10.5 gallons (28.39 - 39.75 liters)

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Using a simple evaporative cooling method, tomatoes were found to keep fresh for how long?
15 days
18 days
20 days
This method was demonstrated in Sudan, where tomatoes were found to last up to 20 days under evaporative cooling conditions.

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You Got:
/20
iStockphoto.com/Mark Atkins

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