Swamp Coolers, also known as an evaporative cooler, cool the air through water evaporation. This cooling appliance is low maintenance, economical, and eco-friendly to use in your garage in comparison to a typical air conditioner. Plus, they also tend to cost less to buy, and they can cost up to 75% less for daily operation than a typical air conditioner.

How do Swamp Coolers Work?

A swamp cooler can cool the air using evaporating water. This process works by pulling dry air in and moving it over a rigid cooling media or a water-moistened cooling pad, which is where the cool water will evaporate into the air cooling the air internally.

How much lower the temperature gets depends on the current relative humidity and the ambient temperature. When you have a lower humidity that is combined with a high temperature, you will get a higher cooling power. Once the cooled air is released, it is re-circulated back into the environment with the use of an efficient, high-powered fan, which creates a gentle, but cool breeze that lowers the air temperature.

For the best cooling experience, remember that the swamp cooler needs to have constant access to fresh air through an open door or window. If it is in an enclosed space, it won’t cool well. If you don’t have a fresh air supply, you will feel an increase in humidity and the air will begin to feel clammy and damp instead of fresh and cool.

Typically, a swamp cooler will be filled manually with water, similar to a humidifier. You will also find models that come with a direct hose attachment that makes it easier to refill.

How do Swamp Coolers Differ from Air Conditioners?

You will find that different cooling methods work better in different climates. The two basic types of cooling systems that will lower the temperature in your home making it more comfortable are air conditioners and swamp coolers. Both are great systems, but they work in two different ways.

  • Cooling Method
    Perfect for cooling air in houses located in an area with low humidity, swamp coolers work when air is passed over a wet pad while the water found in the pad evaporates into the air. This cools the air and adds some humidity or moisture at the same time. You need to control the water carefully and constantly add to the unit to guarantee that it works properly. If you live in a high humidity area, this is not the best place to use this appliance.


    In comparison, an air conditioner works by condensing and then removing water already found in the air. Next, it uses a chemical that is converted from a gas into a liquid and then, before returning to gas again, the unit will pull the moisture out of the air changing the state of the surrounding air that it cools. The air conditioner then blows this cooled air from the compressor and circulates the warm air back outside. You get more control and precision with an air conditioner over your home’s temperature since you can lower it more. Plus, they’re perfect for those areas that have high humidity levels because they lower the humidity while they cool the air.

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Why are Swamp Coolers Good Solutions for a Windowless Garage?

An inexpensive way to keep your garage cool, a swamp cooler is typically used in a garage in a less humid and dry climate. These energy-efficient machines cool the air by changing water into vapor. During this process, the energy found in the air doesn’t change and the warm dry air is changed into cool and moist air. Keep in mind that a swamp cooler will need a constant supply of water to maintain the moisture in the system, which should be easy to provide in your garage.

While it is often bulky, a swamp cooler is a pretty solid cooling solution for a typical residential garage. While larger units aren’t difficult to install, swamp coolers are also available in portable units that you can easily move around your garage to cool off different areas as needed.

If you are in the market for a swamp cooler, then you may not know which type to choose. There are hundreds of them on the market, and some users favor more than others. If you want to get the best bang for your buck, then we have a list of the best on the market. You don’t have to spend a lot to have cooling capabilities inside or out. Check out these top-rated swamp coolers for garage.

1) Honeywell 525-729CFM Swamp Cooler

Honeywell 525-729CFM Swamp Cooler is one of the best swamp coolers.
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The Honeywell 525-729CFM is an indoor/outdoor portable evaporative cooler. It comes with an additional ice compartment and remote control. It gets rave reviews as one of the best swamp coolers around. It’s perfect for families that want to go outside and stay cool during the scorching months. Whether you want to use it in the summer or the cool evenings of the fall doesn’t matter. The unit can help to circulate warm air, or it can provide a cooling mist while you’re feeling muggy.

If you long for a natural breeze, like the one blowing across a lake, then this system can deliver. You won’t get wet from the chilly water mist as the water quickly evaporates. The beauty of this unit is that it mixes three appliances into one. It can replace your humidifier, fan, and air conditioner. The best part is this unit is a tiny, energy-saving system that won’t break the bank.

The machine is made to recirculate warm air to keep you toasty. However, if the weather warrants air conditioning, then you can add water or ice to the tank, and it becomes a cooling device. The cold, moist breeze is exceptional for those hot, muggy days. Since it has the name Honeywell attached to it, then you know it’s built with superior craftsmanship.

The evaporating air cooler allows you to have an energy-efficient air conditioning option. People also enjoy using them in desert areas where the air is always scorching. When it comes to humidity, these units should not be used when there is more than 60 percent in the air as they become less effective. They can heat or cool up to 320 square feet, but the conditions of the room can alter its capacity.

The product weighs just under 25 lbs., so it’s easy to transport. The dimensions are 18 x 13.9 x 33.7 inches. It receives 3.5 out of 5 stars. Most reviews state that the unit is not good in climates like Florida or the states that surround it because the humidity levels are often far above 60 percent.

However, it gets rave reviews from areas like Arizona, where the heat is more dry than wet. Though the unit is not an air conditioner, it has a similar effect for a very affordable price. When using the ice compartment, users find that it must be refilled often, especially when the temperatures are sizzling outside.

Some users have added these units in their garages. These consumers had favorable reviews and thought they contributed a great deal. It really comes down to where you want to use it and the climate in that area as to whether it would be a good fit.

2) Hessaire Products MC18M Swamp Cooler

 Hessaire Products MC18M Swamp Cooler
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The Hessaire Products MC18M Mobile Evaporative Cooler is very compact, but it has the capability to cool a large space. By simply expending the air intake areas, it can give even cooler temperatures. There’s no need to throw money out the window with cooling costs as this small unit can assist you in staying cool and comfortable. The large 4.8-gallon tank can be filled with ice to enhance the cooling experience.

This swamp cooler gets 3.8 out of 5 stars. Users state that in the high setting, the unit tends to use a lot of water. However, most reviews rave about the efficiency and ability of this swamp cooler. One reviewer stated that the unit helped to keep them cooled in a garage when the temperature was 116 degrees outside. It’s certainly a great help in the heat of summer, and the users show that it’s one better unit out there.

3) Luma Comfort EC220W Swamp Cooler

Luma Comfort EC220W Swamp Cooler is a great alternative to air conditioning.
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The Luma Comfort EC220W High Power 1650 CFM Evaporative Cooler can cool an astounding 650 square foot of space. With a superior cooling area, it’s no wonder so many people turn to this swamp cooler for help in the summer months. This unit is by far the most powerful one made by the Luma Comfort company. Strong enough for commercial applications, this unit brings air in from the outside, and it sends it through the water to cool it. Then, it redistributes the icy air throughout the room. The cooler has three different sides that allow a soothing breeze to penetrate every square foot of your space. One of the best features of this machine is that it also acts as an air purifier too. It can remove any airborne particles that may be hazardous to your lungs. The fact that it uses 80 percent less energy than a traditional AC unit is also astounding.

The cooler is made from ABS plastic, which won’t crack or corrode as it ages. The water container will hold up to 10.6 gallons, which means it doesn’t need to be filled as often as competitor units. You can connect this cooler to a standard garden hose or your kitchen faucet. The strong 220-watt motor gives this system plenty of power to cool even the most substantial areas with ease.

The unit weighs 41.9 pounds, and its dimensions are 27.4 x 17.2 x 41.3 inches. It receives 3.5 out of 5 stars from consumer reviews. Users state that it’s a powerful unit that works well on high. It’s effortless to transport as it comes on wheels. It doesn’t need to be vented out the window, so there is no need to have the unsightly vent hanging out of your home. There is no setup required, you just add water, and it’s ready to go.

Some people didn’t like the fact that it uses a great deal of ice to keep the cold air circulating. It can hold up to 10 gallons of water, which can be quite heavy and time-consuming to carry and refill. It is a bit louder than some units on the market because of its massive size. However, for the area, it cools and its powerful motor, a little noise is to be expected. In general, it’s a great alternative to air conditioning.

Considerations When Choosing the Best Swamp Coolers for Garage

  • Residential Swamp Coolers
    Typically, smaller units that are made for spot cooling, residential swamp coolers usually come with large caster wheels and a carrying handle that makes it easy to move them from room to room. They are a good option if you need a cooler that has the flexibility to move with you.
  • Commercial Swamp Coolers
    Larger units that can cool a large space, commercial swamp coolers usually come with forceful CFMs and large propellers. They also can include an ALCI feature with a GFCI safety plug built in making them perfect for wet and outdoor conditions.
  • Swamp Cooler Sizing
    It is important that your swamp cooler is rated for the space you will be using it in. If it’s too small, it won’t cool the room. If it’s too big, it will be overkill. Make sure you check the CFM rating, or cubic feet per minute, which refer to how much air is passing through the cooler each minute. Typically, the higher the CFM rating, the faster the swamp cooler will cool the air making the coverage of your garage better.
  • Water Tank Capacity
    • 1 to 3-gallon capacity – Small bedrooms, kitchens, sitting rooms, or home offices
    • 3 to 7-gallon capacity – Medium rooms like living rooms, sunrooms, or dens
    • 7 to -12-gallon capacity – Large rooms like bedrooms, living rooms, garages, or cooling multiple rooms
    • 12 to 16-gallon capacity – Patios, pool areas, garages, and large decks
    • 16-gallon and higher capacity – Manufacturing plants, aircraft hangars, construction sites, farming applications, restaurant decks, and sports fields

Other Features to Consider

  • Multiple Cooling Speeds – Multiple cooling speeds will allow you to enjoy cool air faster.
  • Oscillating Louvers – With direct airflow, you can get the best cooling coverage with adjustable louvers that you move by hand or automatic oscillating louvers.
  • Digital Controls – For better precision, you can choose a setting to get a specific cooling temperature.
  • Fill Design – Removable water reservoirs on smaller swamp coolers allow you to fill them using a sink. Some models include a hose hookup or a pour-in design for direct filling.
  • Ice Compartment – Get a better cooling effect by adding ice cubes to an ice compartment.
  • Remote Control – Adjust the settings of your unit from a comfortable distance.
  • Timer – Program your unit to turn off and on at specific times as a great energy-saving feature.
  • Air Filtration – Gets rid of large allergen particles like pollen or dust with some swamp coolers even using activated carbon filters for odor filtration

Bottom Line

Swamp coolers, known also as evaporative coolers, are an environmentally friendly way to cool your garage quickly inside or out. Perfect for both commercial and residential use, they work the best in a hot and dry climate and can be especially effective in a garage or large spaces like a warehouse.