I am moving to Colorado, where having a whole house Evaporative (Swamp) Cooler is both effective and low cost option for cooling my home.
Additionally, Colorado is drier, so a whole house humidifier is attractive as well, especially in the dry winter months.
The home in question has central heating. Duct work is present already in the house and it is capable of simply blowing air (with no heat).
Looking at the the basic function of swamp coolers and whole-house humidifiers, they appear to be very, very similar. Is there a system which can fill both functions for the whole house?
The major differences between these systems (at least for units designed to affect a whole house) appear to be:
- Evaporative Coolers take outside air and cool it (humidity is a side effect) whereas humidifiers take an inside air and make it wet (decreases in temperature is a side effect).
- Slight differences in the absorption medium: they appear to be optimized one way or another. I suspect outside of form and fit, they have the same function; to increase surface area so air can take up water.
- Installation preferences: whole-house swamp coolers tend to be outside (on roofs) and require special attention to avoid broken pipes in the winter. Whole-house humidifiers tend to be inside, some even fitting inside/on duct work. The reason for these seem to be simply accessing required resources or duct work more easily.
A bonus: if no commericial options are available, what is the downside of placing one of these in my home (to avoid freezing) with some duct work to taking outside or inside air as I desire?