Swamp cooler control?


Active Member
First off, let me say WOW - this forum is awesome. Between this and Homeseer's board I can't imagine finding more information on what I am wanting to do.

Now, with Summer fast approaching, I'm looking for a way to control my swamp cooler. (Evaporative cooling for you east coasters).

1) High Fan
2) Low Fan
3) water pump

Obvioulsy 1 and 2 are never on at the same time.

Heh, in writing this I think I answered my own question. 3 appliance modules should do the trick. But no manual override...hm....

Along these lines, a swamp cooler works much more efficently if a window or 2 are cracked open in the house. Has anyone tried to open and close windows with some type of automation? The old style windows with cranks would be fairly easy, but I'm a bit stumped on the idea of doing it with current designs (slide up and down are the ones I have)

The window thing is probably much further down the road, just thinking out loud here....
If 1 and 2 should never be on at the same time, then I would use a DPDT relay to switch states and then a module to send voltage to the relay coil for switching between the two. A switched voltage to feed the common conductors on the relay would turn it On (if relay is switched in that direction) or Off (if relay is switched in the other direction - coil is also energized).

Regarding the window, there are available sliding door motors (expensive) that might be able to be retrofitted to a double hung window. The problem with casements would be to insure the locks are open, and the high torque that would be needed to turn the knob shaft and a open / close limit switch. Might be easier if you plumbed a duct to vent air and then just use a standard zone control butterfly to open / close the duct.
I agree with DavidL about using a damper type setup. There are plenty of ways to lock/unlock doors, but I don't recall any that open/close them until you get up to the moving doors you have in offices and supermarkets. Very $$$$, because I believe the door and opener need to be installed in a combination. I've heard of door openers that can be retrofitted onto standard residential doors, but every time the mention has been accompanied by comments along the lines of "...and it was a complete piece of cr**!)

I (breifly) researched something along the same lines as you, so I could automatically turn on a whole house fan when the inside/outside temps and humidity were favorable during the fall and spring, but never could find a way to do it that wouldn't create a massive heat entry/exit during the summer/winter. All the dampers/etc. were not completely airtight, and when you get enough dampers to fill the draw from a 4' house fan, the leaks added up to a pretty hefty number. Large enough that the savings in the fall/spring would be offset by the losses in the summer/winter. :( I'm sure I will look into it again someday, as it bugs the heck out of me to hear the AC switch on when it's 60 degrees out. :angry:
Good info guys - the damper idea sounds good. Also I could vent that into the atic - decreasing the temp up there while I'm at it.

As for the control set up, good point DavidL - I think that will be the approach I take.


I have a similiar plan for a whole house fan. My solution was to just announce over the HS speakers to open the windows :angry: