This post is the third in a multi part series on swamp cooler maintenance, repair, and replacement. If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.

Swamp cooler maintenance

Like any other appliance or mechanical system, swamp coolers need maintenance. Since they live outside and only do work in the summer, their maintenance cycle is seasonal. Every fall they need to be winterized, and every spring they need to be de-winterized. Failure to do so will result in damage to the cooler’s lines when freezing temperatures hit and the water inside its lines freezes and expands. When you see a swamp cooler that’s pouring water off the roof in the spring, a broken line is the most likely culprit.

Many swamp coolers are mounted on the roof, so it makes sense to take care of all the necessary maintenance on their seasonal schedule so you don’t have to spend any more time on the roof than necessary.

Of course, the easiest way to handle all of your swamp cooler maintenance is to call the pros at Polar. But, if you’re a DIY type, winterizing and de-winterizing your cooler might be something you want to take on.

Swamp cooler maintenance swamp coolers

Let’s take a look at a checklist for winterizing, de-winterizing, and maintaining an evaporative cooler:


  • Remove the sides of the cooler. Make sure the cooler is off, and disconnect it from power if possible. Then, take off the side panels. Some units use metal clips to hold the side panels on, while others use small screws. If your unit uses screws, be careful with them, as the thin sheet metal of the cooler body can sometimes get stripped out in the screw holes, particularly on older units. It’s a good idea to keep track of which panel went where, as the holes aren’t always all in exactly the same places.

Check back soon for How to do swamp cooler maintenance, when to replace it, and what to replace it with, part 4. In the meantime, check out our page on swamp cooler maintenance.