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RE: Non-Structural Question - Air Conditioner

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I had this thought that a great idea would come from you. I have two swamp
coolers and the ducts are roof mounted (I was advised not placing them in
the truss space as they would be prone to collecting condensation). It would
be fairly easy to splice in a new duct with a shut off vent that would close
it off to the house and redirect the airflow to the front of the condenser.
I wouldn't have to worry about mineral build up as there would be no direct
water running over the condenser filters (this was another suggestion - to
run water over the condenser filter and cool down the air coming in).
The cost would only be in the labor and materials to run about 15 feet of
ducts and install a mechanical shutoff to direct all the air flow to the A/C

BTW, I do have a real problem with the cooler pans leaking. I've tried
adjusting the floats and even tried new overflow pumps. Last season I
replaced the cooler pads (about $150.00 but they are suppose to last five
years out here).

Thanks for the idea - it was a great one.


-----Original Message-----
From: Roger Turk [mailto:73527.1356(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2000 11:34 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Non-Structural Question - Air Conditione


You have the right idea in sheltering the condenser on your A/C.  In
actuality, what you are doing is reducing the temperature of the air
crossing the condenser coils to make it more efficiently.  I might have a
suggestion that may work better, and possibly cost less.

Get an old, side draft evaporative cooler that has a good pan that doesn't
leak.  Take the squirrel cage and squirrel cage enclosure out so that you
have nothing inside the cooler other than the recirculating pump and spider
distributer tubes. . Set it on the roof so that the duct opening is facing
the condenser coil.  For initial testing, connect the duct opening to the
condenser end of the A/C with plywood or masonite.  When the A/C compressor
kicks on, it will draw cool air in thru the evaporative cooler and it will
much cooler than any shelter would provide.

It sounds as if you are unaware of having bleeders on your evap cooler
recirculating pumps.  One of the things that builds up mineral deposits in
evaporative coolers is that as the water evaporates, the concentration of
minerals in the water reservoir builds up and eventually leaves a heavy
deposit of lime on the cooler louvers.  I get recirculating pumps that have
built-in bleeders that continuously bleed off a little bit of water
continuously which keeps the mineral concentration down. (Recommended bleed
off is 10 percent, but I don't think that I bleed off that much.)  You can
also get an in-line bleeder adapter that fits between the pump and the
spider.  I pinch the bleeder hose so that only a small, tiny stream of water
comes out, and put the bleeder hose in a hole in the side of bathroom sewer
vent.  Although I usually change pads each year, I can go two years without
changing pads and all I have to do each year is take a stiff brush to the
louvers to remove the loose deposits and vacuum out the pan.

I haven't got my cooler running yet, but then it hasn't hit 100 yet either.
When I shut my cooler down for the winter, I discovered that the roof jack
had rusted thru pretty badly and just picked up a new roof jack this week.

Hope this helps.

Roger Turk

P.S.  A number of years ago, a minister who was a chaplain in the Naval
Reserve commented on his success in cooling his church.  He had the evap
cooler put in a pit in the ground on the east side of the church --- said
that it worked as good as an A/C and was much less expensive to operate.

Dennis Wish wrote:

>>Sorry to take up the bandwidth on this one, but I could use some advice.
home is "Sante-Fe" Style home in the desert near Palm Springs. High summer
temperatures can reach 130 degrees for weeks on end.
I have two Swamp Coolers for temperatures less than 110 degrees (although I
rarely use it over 100 degrees) and a central A/C for hotter temps.
My A/C unit is mounted on the roof (flat roof with parapets).  It is exposed
on all sides to allow adequate air flow, but is subjected to excessive roof
top temperatures during the day. 130 degrees on the ground can be over 170
degrees on the roof.
I want to add some type of solar cover over the A/C unit, but don't want to
penetrate the composition roofing to secure it in place (if at all

Does anyone know of a solar screen that can be placed above the unit like a
box within a box that will shade the condenser but allow adequate air flow.
I have considered using a mist system above the unit (as is common in
outdoor restaurants here in the desert). Mist systems can reduce the ambient
temperature by as much as 30 degrees and therefore make the A/C unit more
efficient. The downside is that our water has a very high mineral content
and this can leave deposits on the A/C condenser filters - plugging up the
air flow.

Do any of you desert dwellers out there have some suggestions to provide
shelter for my A/C unit and make it more efficient? One final comment - the
condenser is taller than the parapet. You can see the unit as you come up
the hill. It was hidden (and shaded) by a massive old tree in the neighbors
yard when we built the house, but the tree was subsequently cut down.
Whatever I do should be attractive.

If necessary, I can provide some pictures of the home to show what the A/C
unit looks like and where it is situated.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.<<