Evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers, are popular in climates where there is high heat and low humidity – like Denver and much of Colorado. Unlike an air conditioning system, which uses refrigerant to cool the air, an evaporative cooler creates humidity and as it evaporates, it cools the air. You could compare it to the way our bodies perspire.
Swamp coolers are efficient and economical to run, but like A/C systems, they need proper maintenance and care when the hot weather gives way to cooler fall temperatures. Regular maintenance prevents rust and mineral buildup from forming and helps to lengthen the life of your unit.
To help you get the most out of your swamp cooler, here are some of the things that should be done in between the summer and winter months:
- Turn the power switch to the off position and completely disconnect the swamp cooler from its power source.
- Shut down the unit’s water source.
- Disconnect the unit’s water line and drain it completely.
- Remove the cooler pads and check for any damage or buildup. If the pads have a bad odor, if they are grey, clogged, or missing completely, you should replace them. If they are in good shape, you should be able to use them for another season.
- Take out the drainage plug at the bottom of the unit and drain all water.
- Remove the filter, drainage plug, overflow plug, and the pump and store them safely away.
- Check the fan belts for wear and damage. You might also want to inspect the motor mounts and frame bolts to make sure they are tight and free of corrosion.
- Clean any exterior rust from the unit and touch up with rust-proof paint.
- Wrap your swamp cooler in a clean tarp and secure with bungee cords or a strong rope to protect it from the elements.
Please note that it is very important to cover your swamp cooler when it’s not in use. This will not only protect the unit itself, but it will stop cold air from entering through your ductwork and compromising your winter comfort.
Should you DIY or call a professional HVAC service?
Many of these tasks can be easily accomplished with minimal effort on your part, but if you aren’t so inclined or would prefer to have a professional take care of things for you, call to schedule your swamp cooler maintenance with your local N.A.T.E. certified HVAC technician. A professional HVAC specialist will be able to get all these tasks done quickly and can diagnose any issues with your swamp cooler before they become anything of concern.
When the fall weather starts to set in, it’s the perfect time to schedule your swamp cooler maintenance. It’s right in-between the busy summer and winter seasons, so you shouldn’t have any problem getting a qualified technician out to your home or business quickly – and then you’ll have one thing less to worry about before the snow flies.