SEATTLE — Bob Fleetwood didn’t find what he was looking for at Stoneway Hardware in Wallingford. He wanted a fan to cool off his new apartment, but there was only one small desk fan left on the shelf.
Manager Jerry Smith said a lot of people have been coming by, asking about ways to stay cool. He says swamp coolers are an alternative to air conditioning units.
“It’s just taking advantage of the fact that when water evaporates, it cools things down,” he explained. “Same as when you sweat and there’s a breeze, it cools you down.”
Smith doesn’t sell swamp coolers at his store, because he said they’re not needed most of the year. But there are videos online that show you how to make one.
“Homemade swamp coolers are popular, or a mist system in front of the fan,” said Smith. “But you got to be real careful, you’re not dripping water into the fan motor for obvious reasons.”
He doesn’t suggest wasting the time building something that could end up being a fire hazard.
“One of the easiest things you can do is stretch a wet towel across your fan. Just put it halfway across. That’s a real basic swamp cooler.”
He says that should work for the few days that we have to deal with this heat.