Summer is already on the horizon, and it’s time you thought about the comfort of your living space over the season. A swamp cooler could help you achieve this; it is a box-shaped home appliance with porous surfaces that allow air to flow in and out of the unit. Swamp coolers make use of damp pads inside them to cool the air. Air is pulled in and out of the unit with the help of a fan.
How a swamp cooler works
As the pads have to remain damp, swamp coolers have a water pan at the bottom and a small pump that pumps the water through the cooler. A swamp cooler’s controls comprise of an on/off switch for the water pump and a hi/low button that controls the fan. Once you switch the swamp cooler on, it runs the water through the unit, and you can adjust the fan speed to either low or high depending on your preference.
The cool air is continually circulated through the unit and into your home thus creating a breeze, and lowering your indoor temperatures by around 4-6 degrees. Swamp coolers are ideal for areas with hot and dry air and are most effective in humidity levels that are below 60%.
The following steps will help you prepare your swamp cooler for the summer:
1. Take the sides off of the swamp cooler
Release the clip that holds the panels in place and slide the side panels up and out. Mark the panels appropriately so that you know to which side each belongs. This will make the re-assembly much easier.
2. Clean the swamp cooler
Use a vacuum cleaner or a cleaning solution that can be used on swamp coolers to clean the inside. If you had your unit covered during the winter, this may take only a few minutes as you’ll only be wiping off the dust. For a more efficient cleanup, ensure the unit is uncovered and use a suitable descaling agent.
Replace the swamp cooler water pads
Depending on the unit type, the pads in the swamp cooler could be attached to a rotating drum or they could be flat panels fitted near the side panels. The water pads should be replaced yearly, but you could still replace them sooner if they are worn and stiff.
3. Inspect the swamp cooler rotating belt
Check the rotating belt which turns the motor for signs of cracks, and replace it if necessary. It should also have adequate tension. If you are unsure of how it should be, go through the unit’s manual or contact a professional.
4. Clean the swamp cooler water pan
Use mild soapy water to clean the swamp cooler water pan and inspect it for leakages. Rust inside the unit could be a sign of a leak. Check the water line and drain plug for leakages. If you notice any leaks, consider replacing the water line or tightening the drain plug. You can rub the rust spots with steel wool and spray with a clear coat to contain the rust. Refill the water pan.
5. Ensure the swamp cooler water pump and motor are working properly
Before replacing the side panels on your swamp cooler, plug it into the power supply. Turn on the water pump to ensure that the water will flow accordingly and saturate the cooling pads. If the water flow is sluggish, it could be a sign that the pumping lines are blocked or that the pump is faulty. Check to see that the motor is running smoothly and the fan wheel turning as it should. If everything is working as it should, reassemble the swamp cooler unit.
6. Clear the surrounding area of any debris
Any debris surrounding your swamp cooler may get caught up within, permanently damaging it.
Also, remember to drain the swamp cooler once the summer is over. Clean it up to get rid of minerals and dust buildup so that it does not harden with time and become hard to clean. Also, disconnect the water line and get rid of the water therein to prevent freezing when winter sets in. Cover the unit in preparation for winter once you are sure you will no longer be using it until the next summer.
If you are unsure of how to go about the maintenance of your swamp cooler, The Bee’s technicians are always available to help.