We are still on track to set one or two high temperature records over the next couple of days. A very strong high pressure ridge will stay over the Great Basin through the weekend, boosting our high temperatures to the mid-90s Friday and near the 100 degree mark on Saturday. All that heat does start to bring in the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms, with Sunday being the most likely here in Reno. The heat wave abates next week with highs falling back into the 80s by mid-week.

Swamp cooler 1

If it isn’t obvious by this time, I’m a big fan of using swamp coolers in this part of the country. Besides the obvious cost savings (in addition to the power savings, they probably average less than a fifth of the cost initially), there are some other nice benefits. They move a higher volume of air and are designed to flush out the atmosphere in your home instead of just recycling stale air, so they may be helpful preventing summertime colds and flus. It also adds a little moisture to our desert-dry air, which is helpful to some who suffer from sinus irritation.

There are some downsides. Because they do move a lot of air, some may find them a little too drafty for their likes. If they are in-window units, they can be noisier than forced air systems. And if you really want them to run at full efficiency, you do need to do some periodic maintenance, since the minerals in your water will precipitate out on the pads, and they will need to be cleaned, replaced or otherwise treated.

All in all, I’m cheap enough to overlook their shortcomings.