Evaporative Cooler Maintenance

Concerning cost-effective cooling in the dry, sweltering summer, nothing beats an evaporative cooler. They are more affordable to both buy and run than universal air conditioner systems which use refrigerant. An evaporative cooler will cool and comfort you, without costing you an arm and a leg.

Recent research shows that evaporative coolers are far superior to traditional air conditioners in terms of cooling capacity. This appliance utilizes just one-third and one-tenth less energy than an air conditioner does.

But, energy efficiency is not the only benefit of this cooler. Evaporative coolers introduce moisture to the air, making an arid climate much more bearable. They reduce temperatures without using any ozone-depleting chemicals.

Unlike air conditioners which recirculate air, evaporative coolers are an open system that works by continually bringing fresh air into a specified cooling area. The filter pads utilized in an evaporative cooler also serve as air filters. They are capable of evacuating airborne dirt, debris and jetsam, and residue particles.

The evaporative coolers may require more frequent maintenance than portable air conditioners, but the support in question tends to be minor. As a rule, the ideal time to begin your air cooler upkeep is as the summer approaches. This will ensure that your device will be prepared for use once the hot months start.

However, as the system is continuously in use during the summer, the maintenance could be necessary even later on. Maintenance usually includes cleaning both the interior and exterior of the system, changing the cooling pads, and assessing the belts.

Basic rules for cooling

If you wish to operate your cooler effectively while saving water, here are some ‘Cool Rules’ for you to follow:

  • Be courageous and delay switching on your cooler till the outside temperature achieves 85 degrees, instead of switching it on at 79 degrees. You will utilize half the amount of water
  • Turn on the water pump a couple of minutes before turning on the fan. If your pad is saturated with water, the cooler will run more efficiently.
  • Crack open the windows in the rooms you are cooling. By doing so, you will ensure there is a circulation of fresh air in your living spaces.
  • Ceiling fans can be used to circulate air inside your home. 
  • You can operate your cooler fan in the evening without the water pump. Fresh air will travel through your home without utilizing any water.
  • Install an indoor temperature regulator on your cooler so that it can be as water-wise and energy-efficient as possible

Internal Parts Overview

For efficient performance, the evaporative cooler needs an internal water pump to keep supplying a constant flow of water. The water might get recycled from a tank/reservoir, which is regular in an independent unit; or it might originate from a pipe connected to the home's water supply, which is usually the case with house-top units. 

All evaporative coolers comes along with a fan. The purpose of the fan is to circulate air across the filter medium and elevate dissipation. By doing so, it helps air blow through the grid or pipe system into the living space you are cooling. This fan is usually protected by a second fiber cushion to sift out dust and residue.

The water finally flows through a filter medium specifically intended to retain as much liquid as it can and provide extreme cooling. The manufacturers tend to produce filters based on aspen fiber, which swell as they retain water. The swelling offers the most significant water retention and cooling capacity. There are also filters based on coconut fibers, cardboard, and synthetic materials.

Amid monthly investigations, the first thing to do is to unplug your appliance, and search for signs of damage and wear. The pressure on the belt and water levels of your water tank need checking as well. To get the best cooling, ascertain that every pad is connected together and uniformly wetted. 

Maintaining the pads is presumably the most significant part, though. It will ensure your cooling system will continue working correctly, and we will discuss it in detail.

Pad Replacement

Routine checks need to be carried out on evaporative cooler pads. When necessary, you should replace them. The cooler pads come in two primary forms: fiber and inflexible sheet. Never hesitate to consult the manual guide or manufacturer if you're not sure which cooler pad to choose.

Fiber pads present the more economical type of cushion, but that also means they will take more of your time to maintain. The pads should be replaced yearly or once every two years, according to the kind of padding. 

To extend the lifespan of the pads, you can always introduce a pad rotation method. You can do that by turning the pad around, so the side that was downstream now becomes upstream.

Fiber pads produced from Aspen wood tend to receive best recommendations, owing to their duration and effectiveness. Although, they can create flotsam and jetsam (dirt) which will remain in the water tank, which will ask for further upkeep. Media of cellulose fiber get prescribed as well, owing to their cooling capacity and strength over a few seasons. 

Pads of spun aluminum mixed with plastics are the most affordable of all. However, they need regular replacements within a season due to their impermanence. 

Pad coolers made of hard sheet are indeed thicker, and they don’t require such regular replacements. They are a much more expensive choice, though. These pads allow air circulation through a pile of folded sheets of material. 

The main reason why these pads need replacement is that most evaporative coolers use hard water (in simple language, that’s water containing a lot of minerals). While that kind of water dissipates, it keeps scale - a name for mineral deposits - behind on the pad surfaces and cooler. It leads to corrosion and rusting of the metal cooler, lowering the effectiveness of the pad. The damage can lead to frequent pad renewals, and drastically reduce a cooler's life span. 

To hack this issue in the long run, numerous manufacturers incorporated bleed valves which will drain a portion of the. Furthermore, systems known as "sump dump" may clear fluid out of the repository. These systems are beneficial because they additionally flush out a significant part of the debris and garbage gathered inside your water tank. 

The two practices lead to a decreased level of scaling on your cooler. Yet, they will also increase the measure of water the coolers utilize. You could use the hard water that you flushed from the systems for irrigation if the mineral concentration isn't excessive.

Another alternative is softening the water to lessen scaling where conservation is likely to occur. "Softening" implies the use of chemicals which make calcium and all other minerals more easily dissolved in water. It will lessen the rate of the bleed. This will also lead to lowered water usage. In any case, check with your cooler manufacturer before proceeding with this alternative. 

If you're not interested in installing either one of these mechanisms, you must be ready to clean the entire system once throughout the season when you use the cooler in the least. That way, you will manually expel any build-up. You should wash tough (metal) pads in the fall, because then the build-up isn't rigid yet. Coolers with aspen pads need maintenance or replacement during spring.

Thoroughly Clean the Exterior of the Unit

By keeping your evaporative cooler clean, not only will it increase the cooling effectiveness. It will also extend the lifespan of your device. This cleaning should be carried out at regular intervals. 

Wipe down the surface of your cooler with a damp, soft cloth before installing it. Avoid the use of detergents or chemicals that can eventually harm the gadget. Apart from that, protect the evaporative cooler from the direct sun exposure to prevent the fading of the unit’s surface color.

Clean the Water Tank

Before you use it, you will need to ensure that your evaporative cooler’s water tank is neat and clean. In the off chance that you live in regions with hard water, this is quite essential even during the cooling season. Begin the washing of the water tank with soapy water and flushing it out with a clean liquid. Drain the water by a drain plug. Secure that the panel fits properly before replacing and fixing in the screws.

Use Water Treatment Tablets

If your evaporative coolers manufacturer prescribes any water treatment tablets, make sure to use them in your unit regularly. This will help avoid mineral build-up, corrosion control, and to provide fresh air as well.

Shut Down the System When It's Not in Use

As you prepare to set up the evaporative cooler for storage or a shutdown, ensure to turn off the system before unplugging it from the power source. Then drain the water supply. Allow the inside to dry. Clean the cooler reservoir and filters as instructed above, fold the cord over the cord hook (if relevant), store in a cool and dry place after packing the evaporative cooler in its original container.

Summer Swamp Cooler Check-up

Never forget the fact that even during summer, the swamp cooler will always require periodic maintenance, your cooler must be in top shape. Preparation for summer is usually a DIY job. 

  • Be accurate while checking the level of water in the base tray. It ought to be around one inch beneath the highest indicated point of the plate, shouldn’t surpass the overflow pipe’s uppermost end. An overly increased or decreased water level means that the cooler’s float arm needs adjusting.
  • Be sure that the float valve works perfectly. The danger with the valve sticking is that the water then consistently runs, flooding the tray, as well as creating water waste. If the problem doesn't get fixed even after adjusting your float valve, get an expert. 
  • You must test all of the working parts. Those include the pump, fan belt, and the engine. 
  • You should also control the state of your pads. The working performance depends on how clean the pads are. If they carry excessive mineral deposits, do not hesitate to get new ones.
  • Some models of coolers come with a valve known as "bleed-off", which drains the water recirculating the device. That is a way to avoid extensive mineral development. Ensure the proper adjustment of the valve to remove excess water. Always check your manual guide for the recommendation for best outcomes.

Winterize Swamp Cooler 

At the point when the temperatures start dropping, the time comes to have your swamp cooler winterized. If you can get these few things done, you will limit your cooler issues during springtime when the scorching weather hits again.

  • Eliminate mineral residue from the base plate. You can use vinegar to break up these build-ups.
  • Clean the plate at the base of your device. You do this by draining the water first, and then rubbing it out gently. 
  • Thoroughly look through the water for any obstructed openings. If you notice them, try to remove them as soon as possible.
  • Fully dry the plate and check it to ensure there are no signs of possible cracking.
  • To prevent rust, use a submarine sealer to coat the whole plate.
  • To prevent the cooler's water-line from freezing, remove it and get rid of any liquid that’s left behind. 
  • You should place a cover on your cooler for maximum protection and to save out cold air inside your home.

Cleaning During Spring

  • Remove your cooler cover; separate the panels as well so you can efficiently clean any dirt in the water pan at the base.
  • Check the motor's fan belt tension. When pressed it should move about an inch and a half. Lightly grease the blower's bearing and the engine if required.
  • Try to use brand new cooler pads. Aspen wood fiber pad is a better alternative for adhering to the instructions on the manual guide.
  • Reconnect the water line and switch on the water supply. Check the float valve and make sure it is operating correctly. Adjust the float arm by bending it when necessary.
  • Turn on the recycling pump, ensuring that the pads are evenly soaked. Check for cracks in the casement, or rusted areas in the tray, that can cause leakage.

Weekly Maintenance

An evaporative cooler is indeed not a fixed framework, and the water that circles through the filter pads can get grimy. It might become polluted by microbes, which end up airborne as the fan keeps blowing through the pad. To maintain a clean unit, the water in the reservoir must be drained at least once a week.

Independent systems have a drain plug, mostly located on the base of the house. Turn off the system, then drain out the water by opening the drain plug. Afterward, turn on the fan to dry the filter pad. This weakens any chances of mold development in it. 

Independent units should be replenished with freshwater consistently. The amount you have to include depends on how frequently you use your appliance. It's a smart decision to check the water tank level each day if you regularly use the cooler. 

You don't need to stress over water pollution if you have a housetop unit connected to a supply pipe and a drain. The reason for this is that fresh water is continually circling through the pads.

Monthly Maintenance

The air flowing through the filter pad is a natural mold and mildew deterrent. However, some build ups will undoubtedly find their way in the pad throughout a sweltering summer. Allowing the filter to dry out after changing the water is one of the suitable means to curb this issue. It is best to remove the filter at least once a month and clean it, to avoid any risks.

Give the filter a chance to dry and then soak it in a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water. Then, let it dry out once more. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that doesn't cause any adverse side-effects. That is why it is more suitable for this purpose than bleach. 

After getting out the filter, clean the inside of the filter compartment and the water reservoir with soap and water.

Fan and Water System Maintenance

The fan rotors and engine require regular lubrication to keep them in a perfect working condition. It's best to do this during spring because that's the time when the unit gets restarted. Use a damp rag to clean the fan blades and motor housing, and then lubricate then the motor shaft. It is both a perfect time to supplant the fan filter. 

At regular intervals, it's a good idea to disassemble the fan blades—adhering to directions in the manual guide—and give them a deep cleaning. Use that chance to clean the fan housing as well. While doing this, disengage the water tubes in the system and soak them in a vinegar-water mixture to extract mold and any other dirt.

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