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Cooling System Basics

August 16, 2013 - 1:08pm


Cooling technologies used in homes and buildings include ventilation, evaporative cooling, air conditioning, absorption cooling, and radiant cooling. Learn more about how these technologies work.


Ventilation allows air to move into and out of homes and buildings either by natural or mechanical means.

Evaporative Cooling

In dry climates, evaporative cooling or "swamp cooling" provides an experience like air conditioning, but with much lower energy use. An evaporative cooler uses the outside air's heat to evaporate water inside the cooler. The heat is drawn out of the air and the cooled air is blown into the space by the cooler's fan.

Air Conditioning

Air conditioners, which employ the same operating principles and basic components as refrigerators, range from small room air conditioners to large central air conditioning units.

Absorption Cooling

Absorption coolers use heat rather than electricity as their energy source. They are most frequently used to cool large commercial buildings.