Spring Maintenance Tips For Your Swamp Cooler

Posted on: 27 April 2016

An evaporative air conditioner--commonly called a swamp cooler--runs best when it is provided with some regular spring maintenance. The following tips will help you better maintain your swamp cooler so you don't have to worry about an unexpected break down during the hot days of summer. 

Tip #1: Open it up for the season

If the cooler was properly covered in fall, the first task in spring is to remove your cover and stow it away for summer. Once this is done, remove the outer access panels from the cooler and pull out the drain pan. Chances are some moisture and debris collected here over the winter, so dump it out and rinse it clean before replacing the pan. Finally, reconnect the water line if you had to disconnect it before winter due to freeze concerns. In areas that don't experience freezing temps, your line may still be connected. Finish by turning the water supply back on, if applicable.

Tip #2: Check the fan belt

One of the weakest links in a swamp cooler system is the fan belt – this is the main part that may need replacement. The belt is easy to spot when you have the access panel off the unit. Visually inspect it for any signs of major wear, such as thin areas, warping, or a frayed appearance. It needs to be replaced if you spot damage. Next, press lightly on the belt to check tension. It should move no more than an inch. If it easily moves more, trace the belt to the movable tension post and then adjust this post to tighten the tension.

Tip #3: Switch out the pads

The large felt pads inside the swamp cooler are a vital component of the system since these are what transports the moisture for evaporation. If you didn't change the pads in fall, you will need to do so in spring. Pull the pads out and replace them with new pads. The type and size of the pad, as well as the access point, differs between models so refer to your owner's manual. Once the pads are changed out, you can replace the access panels. 

Tip #4: Get ready to start

You have one last task before fully firing on the evaporator system. This is to turn on the water pump to the cooler and wait a few minutes. By doing this, the pads will become fully saturated with water, which you can then verify that they are moist before proceeding. If the pads don't become moist, there is a pump issue and you need to contact an HVAC contractor (such as one from http://www.controlledcomfort.com). Another benefit of turning on the pump first and moistening the pads is that it improves the cooling from the swamp cooler, resulting in a more comfortable temperature and a more efficient system.

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Working with an HVAC Contractor to Care for Your System

As a homeowner, you know how important your HVAC system is for comfort throughout the year. If the air conditioner or heater is not working properly, it can result in higher energy costs as the system struggles to keep your home temperatures in a comfortable range. Working with an HVAC contractor will help you maintain your system for reliable use long term, and possibly help you cut your power bills enough to notice the savings at the end of the year. Check out the pages on this website to learn more about how to find the perfect HVAC contractor to work with and how you can be of assistance to them when it comes to keeping your system in tip-top shape.