Swamp Coolers Mid-Summer Checkup

How to perform a mid-summer checkup on your swamp cooler.

swamp cooler maintenanceEvaporative cooler (Swamp cooler) basics.
We have talked about these types of air cooling units in previous articles. Our goal here is to offer tips for summer maintenance and upkeep.

First, we remember that these evaporative coolers are box-shaped appliances utilizing the action of air passing through water to cool.  This is as simple as it gets.

Newer models incorporate a fan inside the unit to pull outside air through the sides of a box and into the house.  On each side the air passes you will find a pad of water-absorbing material. Water is stored at the bottom of the unit in a pan, and a small pump recycles the water up and over (and through) these pads to keep them wet.

There are several maintenance items to check to ensure the unit is functioning at its peak performance.

Check the water flow

For the best cooling the pads want to be damp but not soaked. To ensure the most efficient cooling check the amount of water the pump is moving across the pads. Algae in the water or pump, in the lines, or other possibilities (like debris) can stop or slow the water being moved.

Water level in the tray is important. Maintain the level about one inch below the top, making sure it is below the top of the overflow pipe.  Water level is adjusted with the arm of the float.

Is the valve operating correctly? Is it sticking and causing the tray to overflow? There should be no water coming out the overflow. Push the arm down and make sure water flows into the pan correctly. If you have any issues here, just call me and I’ll come help.

Check the air flow

Now that we have proper water flow, the air flow is next. The amount of air flowing out of your home should equal the amount of air being pumped in. The goal is to maintain humidity inside the house.

Normally windows are opened when the swamp cooler is in operation to balance the air flow. With a room door standing open, the door should close with the air pressure when the balance is correct.   If the door slams shut, open the window more. If the door will not close, the window is open too wide.

Check cooler parts.

Check the pump, the belts and the motor for any irregularities, and replace as needed. Also check the cooler pads. Cleaner pads mean more efficient cooling. Pads can get dirty and also accumulate mineral deposits which will restrict air flow.

So now you know how to check your swamp cooler for summer use. Or – just call us and we will be happy to come provide expert maintenance and advice!