October 9, 2023

How to Winterize a Swamp Cooler

An essential task that’s easy to overlook in the fall is winterizing your swamp cooler. It takes a small amount of time, and can add years to your cooler’s life. Before visions of complex maintenance tasks fill your mind, let’s dive into the simple steps that’ll keep your swamp cooler in tip-top shape, and why swamp cooler maintenance is so crucial. 

Of course, if you need help with your swamp cooler winterization, the licensed pros at Applewood are always ready to help.

Understanding Your Swamp Cooler

First things first, what is a swamp cooler? Also known as an evaporative cooler, this device works by evaporating water to cool the air. The resulting cold air is then pumped through your home’s ducts by a fan.

These air conditioner alternatives can be a perfect fit for our dry Denver climate in the hotter months. However, when winter strikes, they need a little love to ensure they’re ready for the next summer. Winterizing your swamp cooler:

  • Reduces damage from cold temperatures
  • Prevents cracked pipes
  • Stops mold and mildew growth
  • Slows rust and corrosion
  • Maintains unit efficiency
  • Extends the life of your cooler

Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, make sure you keep your swamp cooler running with regular seasonal maintenance.

6 Steps to Winterize Your Swamp Cooler

A swamp cooler can last up to 25 years, but not if you don’t take care of it. Here are the steps to take each year before the snow falls:

1. Turn Off the Power

Safety should always be your number one priority. Before diving into any maintenance, make sure the unit is unplugged or turned off at the circuit breaker. This not only keeps you safe but ensures that the unit doesn’t accidentally trip on during the winter.

2. Disconnect the Water Supply and Drain the Water

Standing water left in your swamp cooler will freeze and damage your appliance. It’s also corrosive to the metal parts and can become a haven for mold and mildew. 

Follow the water line back to your home and shut the supply off at the connecting valve. Then, remove the hose, empty the water within and store the hose in a dry place.

Open your swamp cooler by removing one or more of the side panels. Using a wrench or pliers, open the drain plug at the bottom and let the water run out.

3. Check Moving Parts

Check all moving parts for signs of wear or damage. A bit of lubrication now can prevent rusting and ensure a smooth start-up when summer rolls around. If you see signs of corrosion, consider sealing with a waterproof metal sealer.

4. Clean or Replace Your Swamp Cooler Pads

The pads that hold the moisture needed to create the cooling effect will eventually wear out. They need to be replaced every year or two. Fall is a good time to swap out your swamp cooler’s pads, especially if they appear moldy. Having fresh cooler pads makes it simple to start your cooler in the spring.

5. Use a Swamp Cooler Cover

Once you’re done with the interior, it’s time to focus on the exterior. Use a durable cover that protects your cooler from snow, ice and winter debris. Ensure it’s securely fastened to weather the winter storms. Most custom covers fit specific models and have a drawstring at the bottom to secure it in place.

6. Seal and Insulate the Ducts

Sealing and insulating the ducts prevents cold air from entering into your home and keeps your heating system from working overtime. Remove the vent covers and fill the interior space with cardboard or insulation board and return the cover. Don’t forget to remove these when you de-winterize your swamp cooler in the spring. 

The Importance of Professional Swamp Cooler Maintenance

While these steps are relatively straightforward, there’s no substitute for periodic check-ups from a professional, especially before winter. A seasoned technician might spot potential issues that are easy to overlook as well as ensure your swamp cooler works efficiently for years to come. 

Schedule Your Swamp Cooler Winterization

Winterizing your swamp cooler isn’t just a chore; it’s an investment in the comfort of your home. By following the above steps, you’re not only ensuring a cozy winter but also a breezy summer. If you’d like Denver’s friendliest and most experienced home service team to ready your evaporative cooler for the winter, contact Applewood today. We keep Colorado homeowners happy and Colorado homes comfortable!

Call  303-328-3060

Schedule Now