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Hey Jim!

We have a huge Evaporative Cooler on our roof with appropriate duct work throughout the house. Most days it works very well, some days not so well - like today.

Anyway, is it possible to also have an air conditioning unit as well (on the roof) that would use the same duct work, etc.? Ideally, being able to switch to air conditioning, close the windows, etc. would be a nice plus on really hot days - also we live in a really nice house, so having air would be a plus.

This is probably a real off the wall idea, but I thought that I'd run it by someone in the know.

I realize that the air conditioning unit wouldn't be cheap.

Any input will be appreciated.

Ray Anderson (California)

Not knowing exactly what your house (floor plan, roof etc. is or what your existing duct  system is, sizes etc.) it's a bit difficult to answer your question but hear are some facts to think about.
Refrigerated air conditioning is a dry air conditioning that takes all of the humidity out of your house, Evaporative cooling if operated correctly will produce the proper amount of humidity into your home to keep things from drying up such as your skin, construction, furniture, eliminating nose bleeds from dryness etc.
Evaporative cooling is about five times cheaper to operate then refrigerated ac, if it costs you $25 a month to cool with a swamp cooler it will cost $125 a month with refrigeration.
If you have duct work for supply air you also need duct work for return air with refrigeration.
With refrigeration your breathing the same old stuffy air over and over all day, with evap cooler you get a new set of fresh air through the house every three minutes.
Evaporative cooler is about ten times cheaper to maintain if their is a problem.
I have a 4 level house, 4,500 sq feet, I cool the whole house with one 6500 CFM evaporative cooler, just one drop from  the cooler down to the hall ceiling through a 20 X 20 diffuser, no duct work.  

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Jim Barnhart


Fifty + years conditioning the air.


Answer questions about , residential and commercial. Answer questions about sheet metal fabrication. Fifty years plus experience. No answers for oil equipment, No answers for kitchen appliances, No answers for laundry appliances, I don't specialize in one particular area of the HVAC area, I'm more of a General Practitioner, Limited in refrigeration/

Hands on since 1950

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