Lots of times.
It can under the right conditions increase the effective capacity and
efficiency of the A/C. It also can reduce both as mineral deposits build
up. In addition there is the cost of the water and equipment.
Back in the dark ages of the 1960s and earlier, some outside units
actually had a misting system built in, when water was cheap and
plentiful. Given that today's units are designed to cool without
water, I'd leave it alone. If the compressor blew up, and you tried to
get it repaired under warranty, I'm sure the company would claim you
destroyed it with water. (But you could spray the coils a couple of
times during the cooling season to clean any dirt off and make the heat
transfer more efficient.)
I have a small hose and a pail to catch all the water that comes out
of my AC. I store this water until the pail is about half filled,
then I bottle it and put it in the fridge for drinking water. This is
pure distilled water, and saves me a bundle at the grocery store,
instead of buying bottled water. This actually saves me about $50 a
month that I'd normally spend on distilled drinking water.
My good friend likes that and drinks it, but most people don't like
the lack of minerals that give spring water, and reservoir water, its
good taste. You don't miss that?
I tend not to believe this. "Metals"? The only metals it comes in
contact with is the aluminum in the evaporator fins and the steel in
the pan that forms the bottom of the AC. It spends little time on the
fins before it drops off** and little time in the steel pan as it runs
to the far end. 5 or 10 seconds? People drink out of aluminum cups
all the time, and they cook in steel pots, with hot water. The
evaporator fins are cold and the metal pan is not hot either with all
that water running through it, so that also lessens any dissolving.
Plus the condensate from the coils traps all sorts of flying debris,
dust, and pollen just ot name the two biggies.
Metals risk is low. The fins are aluminum and aluminum is ok, so long
as you do not put acidic foods in the pot (tomatoes most notably).
Heat of evaporation is SO much higher than heat of radiation and heat of
convection. Evaporating water off an AC removes LOTS more heat than
just blowing air across them. The problem is dissolved minerals in the
water. Over time, the waves of successive evaporation will cause
insulating minerals to plate out on the coild. Even if you use RO
water, you get the mineral plating. Only ultra pure distilled water
such as chemical labs use would work and it is NOT cheap water. To be
effective at misting this water, you need about 2 gallons per hour of
Please boil it before drinking to kill the nasties. Also, if this is
'drip' from a central a/c, it's likely the overflow line. If so,
that means the central a/c normal drain down house plumbing
is clogged. Very normal occurrence, but should be cleared or
you're risking the evap pan overflow and water damage to ceiling,
walls, etc. If a window unit, no problem except health. <g>.
While it is water that is condensed out of the air, the cooling coils
can have all kinds of strange bacteria on them. I'd not want to drink
Distilled water is boiled -- thus killing the parasites.
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
I have a small hose and
a pail to catch all the water that comes out
Sam, that's about as far from the truth as you could get. There is more
mold, bacteria, dirt, chemicals, and fungus in that water than you realize.
Do yourself a favor and quit drinking it, before you hurt yourself, or
someone you care about.
Here in AZ it used to be fairly common to see the A/C distributors
sell bolt-on "pre-coolers", which were basically small evaporative
coolers that pre-cooled the air that flowed over the condensor fins.
Don't see them advertised much anymore.
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