Swamp Coolers in Midwest

I am looking into ways to cool my kitchen. I have seen post about swamp coolers, anyone in the midwest using one? I think that they would just be adding humidity and we don’t need that. I am also thinking about a portable a/c unit. We have added 2 ovens over the winter and are dreading the summer heat.

Evaporative collers are really only useful in fairly low humidity conditions. If you are already at atmosphere 70% or 80%+ (like we are in GA in summer/spring), you may find limited cooling capacity . . . and they do add humidity to the air a spart of their process.

We have likewise considered portable units, but have opted for an expansion of the colling system. We added a window unit to our pantry/cooler room where our 2-door units stand. It made a HUGE difference in operating efficiency and comfort levels. So, I would suspect that adding the portable units, vented to the outside, would lower your temps. Can’t say anything about your utility bill, though. Ours went up a little, but we weren’t cooling for 2 new ovens in a large space . . . we only cooled about 250 sq feet.

Swamp or evaporative coolers only work good in very dry areas. You indicate you just added 2 ovens. How did you ventilate them and how did you supply the make up air?
If you used a make up air unit that could be the cause of your heat problem. Ninety eight percent of make up air units are not equipped to cool the incoming air during the warm season, You could be pulling 120 degree air off your roof and dumping it into your shop.

We prefer to use the A/C system to provide make up air rather than make up air units.

A well designed ventilation / make up air system should keep your shop comfortable year around .
George Mills

George I am hoping mine is the 2%…it has the hose attached which wets the filters…is that right?

Also how often do those filters need to be changed and what other maintenance besides turning the water on and off and draining the pan during winter & summer?


i too am not looking forward to june-august.

i have a 3.5 ton unit on the roof, can i upgrade that so i can run the air?
it is brand new. would i have to replace that one, or can i add another 3.5 unit.

how well do portable ac units work?

I think we need some advice here from someone in ventilation/ a/c . I too ain’t looking forward to the summer. I have a brand new 5 ton unit on my roof and its still unbearable. i have a make up air unit in front of the oven to replace the air being pumped out.

i have 800 sq foot store, one vent in the front, one above the counter, 2 in the back kitchen . i don’t know if its better to put them elseware or add more vents.

I have just had the HVAC contractor that built my system come in to look at the poorly engineered job they did. I suggested to them that they reroute the makeup air to come in next to the hood and the A/C to come in where the staff are working. The responce was “we never thought of that”. I guess the general thought pattern for them is we are pumping X cubic feet per minute out so we have to pump x cubic feet in. not thinking that we are heating the place with 500+ coming from the oven. If you can beleive this I was required to heat the makeup air for the winter with a $2000 furnace but there is no cooling for the summer.

Famous pizza: Where in the nation are you located? What is the average humidity? How many CFM is the unit supplying? Clean the filters often, mold and bacteria growth can cause respiratory problems for the workers.

Sweating my ** off: It takes 5 ton of A/C just to break even with the heat generated by the equipment in most all pizza shops.We recommend 10 to 12 ton for the average 1200 sq ft carryout shop.More could be required if the ventilation system is not capturing the heat off the oven properly.What do you have for ovens, what type and size hood do you have and how many CFM are you exhausting? As to portable units, they produce as much heat as cooling so the heat produced has to be exhausted to the outside. Those units provide no fresh air.

Bob T: As stated above your five ton of A/C is lucky to just break even with the heat generated by your equipment. Your make up air unit is no doubt dumping super heated air off your roof into your shop. To be comfortable in your shop get rid of the make up air unit and install another 5 ton A/C. How many CFM of air are you exhausting? That will determine how much A?C you need to supply the MUA.

Daddio: Many HVAC contractors have never done a pizza shop. Ventilating a pizza shop is vastly different than cooling down a shoe shop.If you have a make up air unit it is probably dumping super heated air off your roof into your kitchen. Many HVAC contractors do not know that A/C can be used to supply make up air so they put in some A/C ,usually not enough, then put in a make up air unit that cancels out most of the A/C in the summer. Note location of the MUA supply vent and A/C vents is important that air can blow heat out from under the hood and out into the room. You may have enough A/C that you do not need the MUA unit.
How many CFM are you exhausting and how much A/C do you have?

A note about comfort in the kitchen. There is radiant heat from the equipment. That is heat like what comes from the sun. Just as on a bitter cold day, with no wind, if the sun strikes you then you feel the warmth.
You can have a relatively cool kitchen but the radiant heat from the equipment will warm you. Although the proceeding is so, if the room it self is very warm the radiant heat added to room temperature makes working in the kitchen unbearable.
George Mills

Thank you for the response George.

How do you know how much CFM you are pumping out?

The hood i have is about 5 foot by 8 foot for the front ovens.
The kitchen has a 4foot by 6 foot.
I’m assuming the motor on the roof pumping the air out should have some kind of information on it.

Rob T

The hood I have is about 5 foot by 8 foot for the front ovens.
The kitchen has a 4 foot by 6 foot.
I’m assuming the motor on the roof pumping the air out should have some kind of information on it.
Rob T

The Fan on the roof could give some clues but it may be adjustable for various CFM. Also if there are bends in the duct work that increases the size of the fan required but does not change the amount of air exhausted.
Do you know what year your hoods were installed? In 1995 the rules changed. Also what do you have under the 4’ X 6’ hood, various devises call for differing exhaust CFM? What ovens are you using? If you can give me that information I should be able to guesstimate your CFM.

George Mills


my hoods were already here when i purchased the store in 1999. the owner had everything put in around 1997.

i have marsal 660 stacked under the 5X8 one.

i have a 6 burner stove with oven underneath and a Fryer under the 4X6 one in the kitchen.


Hi Rob: Based on what you indicate and probable date of installation you are probably exhausting about 2600 CFM of air. That is If your fans are properly sized. That is also assuming you do not have UL or ETL listed hoods.

You are probably sucking about 6.5 tons of A/C out of your shop. Do you have a make up air unit? If so it is dumping a lot of hot air into your shop.

George Mills