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We used to live in Alice Springs where probably half of our friends had evaprotive systems, we had ducted tho' The temps are often high 30s or into 40s, but it is very seldom humid and therefore they seem to cope fine. Mind you when it rains (luckly onle about once a year!) they are buggered.....40c and humid as you can get......yuc!......strangely we always had lots of visitors then!
I really do think technology has changed since 1999 and newer evaps seem to work pretty well. My experience is the same as Toni's above. However, we only needed to run ours for about 12hrs per day, turned it off when we went to bed, just used bedroom ceiling fans and didn't need it on again until late morning and that was more to stop the house getting hot, rather than to cool an already hot house. We do have slate floors, and they were cold to walk on. I think the design of the house makes a difference too. I don't expect it would work as well if it were humid and hot, rather than dry and hot, but that doesn't happen much in Adelaide. Having said that, it was fairly humid Sat morning and we felt uncomfortable, so I turned it on for an hour and we were fine.
We didn't bother with ours at all never have done people said we were mad not to use it however being from Yorkshire says a lot how I spend a $$$, We did have a couple of extra Ice blocks/Zoopers that were on offer at both Foodland and Coles so I guess $7 for 2 bags was well spent and spent a lot of time at the beach and used the sea to cool down in
Andrew, Lisa, Mason and Isabelle. In Aldinga Beach and loving it.