Warmer weather is approaching and many people are looking to purchase new air conditioning systems or upgrade their existing ones. One question we get a lot is whether we recommend condenser misting systems.
Some people use a manufactured or homemade misting system with the objective of making their AC system more efficient and lower their cooling bill. But while the science behind this idea might make sense, the question is whether it benefits you in the long run.
AC Systems and Misting
Condenser misting systems work using a principle called evaporative cooling. Simply put, evaporative cooling lowers air temperature when the air loses heat transferred to water introduced into an AC unit. By sending out a fine mist around your AC’s condenser, misting systems are intended to reduce the amount of work for your system and make it more efficient. In theory, this process consumes less power and saves money on your energy bill…but does it really make sense in the long run?
It is important to remember that every AC system has many years of investment and design research behind it. Manufacturers are constantly trying to make equipment more efficient. If misting systems were truly a long-term solution, they would be included as part of the original design.
Problems with Condenser Misting Systems
If you use a misting system with your AC unit, you may well pre-cool the air entering the system and reduce its amperage (power) draw, but this may reduce the head pressure below what the system was designed for. When your system is “hacked” it might create larger problems and malfunctions that might necessitate expensive repairs or an entire system replacement.
Another problem is that water is corrosive and although units are designed to be protected from the elements, but a misting system makes the units constantly wet. This can shorten the life of your equipment and creating a secondary problem with scaling building up on the system coils.