Yes, its THAT time of year again!
My roof mounted evaporative cooler has come to the end of its design life, and I need a new one. I have heard that the Champion or Mastercool 2 stage coolers, which are of some use even in humid weather, are the best, and that's what I want. I would prefer central air conditioning because you can keep outside air out during forest fire season, but I can't afford it.
Problem is, I don't even know where to start. Until just a couple of years ago, I had always lived in apartments or condos where this stuff was handled by management if at all. You paid your assessments and central air was provided, or you got a room air conditioner for the bedroom, and that was it. Now, I own my first single family detached house, and, at the age of 69, I'm a babe in the woods.
I checked the Mastercool website, but it doesn't even mention evaporative coolers, only air conditioning, heat pumps, and a bunch of other products. I don't know how much capacity I need for my house, which is a flat roofed, stuccoed, faux adobe 1425 sq. ft house on a slab with a York gas furnace. Also have a gas hot water heater and a gas cooktop, but except for the cooktop, I'd like to move away from gas and go to electric as various systems fall apart, so that at some point, solar panels might make sense. And do you pick the machine you want with advice from the store people, or do you pick the contractor first and rely on them? I would like a contractor who is an authorized service rep for whatever brand I will be using, but how do I find that information? As to sizing, I found a website called http://www.essickair.com/index.htm but it asks some questions I have no idea how to answer.
Don't give me any DIY information. My dog Scout and I are the only mammals in this house, and I am only slightly handier than he. Screwing in and removing light bulbs represents the outer limit of my DIY talents.
Go to The Home Depot and buy a cooler there - they sell Mastercool and install them for a reasonable price. Get the 12 inch pads and a dump pump to keep your water fresh - run the water to your favorite tree. Keep your gas appliances - they're more reliable and the operating cost is half that of electric. There ya go - cheap advice from the sidelines....
Any heating/cooling outfit can help you with this. They will be able to calculate your cooling load and get you the appropriate sized unit for your house. I have personally worked with Anderson Air and had good luck (although I eventually went with AC not a swampy).
I went with Anderson Air last year and had a Master Cooler like swamp cooler installed that works much better than my old traditional swamp cooler in cooling my 1600 sq. ft. house. I was very pleased with their service--my last one went out during the heat of hte summer and they arranged to install that weekend early morning at no extra charge. The pads are more expensive than traditional pads, but they work much much better.
We love our new Mastercool! I called these folks & was very happy. I got a good deal, great service & shopped local.
I checked out your link, cathray, and I note there is a space for customer reviews, but none have been entered. If they are as good as you say, I think it would be a good idea for you to be the first reviewer.
I tried! I could not get past the security test, aaahahahaa. I must be getting old, I couldn't tell what the passwords they wanted me to enter were.
I have had a Mastercool on my roof for 7 or 8 years now and love it.
It is much cooler than the old style swamp coolers, but when it does rain and the humidity soars the cooling effect suffers just like a swamp cooler.
The pads are more expensive but don't need to be changed for 5 to 6 years.
I want to put in a shout out for Samons, They are local, know local conditions and have surprisingly good prices. If they don't do installs, I'm sure they can recommend reliable people who do.
Looks like this is more of the same, but I replaced and undersized swamp cooler with a Mastercool two years ago (I got the 8" pad) and it has never been inadequate for cooling a 1900 sqft space. I think I have the 1 hp motor and with installation it cost about $1200. The fact that the pad doesn't need to be changed every year is a pretty great bonus. I got it from Samon's, which can give you good advice (during the week - they seem to have the B-team working there on the weekends).
I had been given to understand, by a relative I will not name in the interest of family peace, that my cooler needed to be replaced. It turns out it is a perfectly good Champion cooler (not a two stage, though) of relatively recent vintage which was repaired at a cost of $251.85 by TLC Plumbing and Utility. The parts needed cost a total of $37.88--a new pump, a new float, 3 ft of copper wire (the old one had several small holes in it), and 2 fittings. Labor was $197.50, for a subtotal of $235.78, plus $16.47 tax. Oh, also, I had them install a new thermostat I had bought at Samon's for $48.
I highly recommend TLC. They talked themselves out of a $1500.00 installation to do right by me. Can't get better than that.