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  • 2 Post By raybark
  • 1 Post By Chris in Hamilton

How do you feel about swamp coolers

This is a discussion on How do you feel about swamp coolers within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hey everyone. This is my first year growing my plants under lights. They are grown ...

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  1. #1
    CattyRobb's Avatar
    CattyRobb is offline Senior Member
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    Default How do you feel about swamp coolers

    Hey everyone. This is my first year growing my plants under lights. They are grown in a semi-permeable room (doggie door, older house, etc.). This room is connected to the rest of the house, but there is no air conditioning vent in it. We removed the door and use a two paneled curtain to separate it from the rest of the house, as needed. In the past, I've summered my plants outside, but I still wasn't able to give them quite enough light, especially during the hot part of the year. At our place, it's pretty much full shade with some moving spots of full sun, so really difficult to keep it dialed in correctly. I would winter the plants in the same room they're in now, in a southern window. We have a homemade fountain in a large porch pot that helps keep the humidity up, as well as the "semi-permeable" nature of the room itself. No problem with temps in winter, as I just use a small space heater to keep it above 60. The other half grows his phals in this room in a larger northern window. Now that the summer temperatures are here, it's becoming evident that it will be a problem providing a good day/night temperature differential without growing them so hot during the day as to stress them. At night with the curtains pulled back, the AC will cool it some, but not quite as cool as the rest of the house. I'm thinking it's going to bottom out at about 75 if I'm lucky. I'm not sure the ten degree differential is going to be enough. Have any of you used swamp coolers before? I never have. I've seen a few smaller affordable units online. I don't have big bucks for a super duper awesome and expensive unit right now, as I've about topped out in investing in my hobby for the year already. Are these coolers very effective? Think I could get the room down to 65-70 at night? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please, any feedback on the subject would be very welcome. I like the idea of cooling the room that way, and any added humidity is always a plus. Right now, it averages about 55%. Thanks in advance.

    Sorry should have mentioned my plants under lights are various cattleya hybrids.

  2. #2
    raybark's Avatar
    raybark is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    My first thought is that a day/night temperature differential may not be as important of a requirement as you apparently think. I suspect the added heating by your lights in the daytime, and not at night (coupled with the air conditioning) might be sufficient.

    Evaporative coolers work by taking drier, outside air and evaporating water onto it, which absorbs thermal energy, cooling the air. The more humid the air, the less evaporation and cooling will occur, and at night, when outside temperatures typically lessen, the RH naturally increases.

    If you put one in the grow room, it will boost the humidity, reducing the temp a bit, but that becomes self-limiting. They are mostly used for daytime cooling, to compensate for increased light levels.

  3. #3
    CattyRobb's Avatar
    CattyRobb is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Gotcha. Well I think for now then I should think more in terms of using the ac from the rest of the house to keep it tolerable day and night. Iíve already backed off the light distance as the plants were showing a little stress when it hit 85 in there yesterday. Itís looking like a five to ten degree differential will be the norm for summer. For some reason I thought Catts really appreciated a 15 or 20 degree drop at night. I think Iím going to shorten the day length as well. I was already at 15 hours working up to 16. Iíll probably go to about 14 and see what happens. The plants are drying out just a little faster than I would like. I think they need a little more of a nighttime break.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris in Hamilton View Post
    Agree with Ray on the temperature difference thing. Not all that important. An electric space heater can dry your air out so keep an eye on the humidity when you run that.
    Thanks Chris. So far, it's done pretty well. I never noticed it get under 50% last year, even with the heater running. The new fountain seemed to help quite a bit with that. I will remember to keep an eye on it this next winter though. So many variables have changed for me this year, with these lights running all the time. I will be interested in what happens this winter with the plants getting so much more light. I'm hoping a small humidifier might be all the help I need, if anything. I think I may be able to get away with just running it on occasion, if I need it. Thanks for the heads up.

  4. #4
    Chris in Hamilton's Avatar
    Chris in Hamilton is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Agree with Ray on the temperature difference thing. Not all that important. An electric space heater can dry your air out so keep an eye on the humidity when you run that.

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