Winter is fast approaching, which means it’s time to winterize the evaporative cooler, or swamp cooler, as it’s more commonly called in the desert southwest. Follow these seven easy steps to lengthen the life of the cooler and help keep the house warm and better insulated:
- Turn the water off and disconnect the water line from the faucet supplying the water to the cooler. A lock wrench will usually do the trick.
- Safely get on the roof or the side of the house where the swamp cooler is located using a sturdy ladder. Remove the metal panel closest to the power source and unplug the motor and pump, securing the lines together with tie ties above the motor so they are not dangling down.
- Disconnect the water line going into the unit. If using a copper line, make sure it is secured and leave in place. If any water is left in a plastic line, it can freeze and crack, so it is recommended to wind the water line up without breaking it and store in a warm, dry place.
- Drain all water by removing the plug on the bottom of the unit. A lock wrench will work fine if the plug is too tight to loosen with the fingers. While the water is draining, take a squeegee and scrape out any debris or calcium build up. After the water is emptied, take a towel to the bottom of the unit to remove any remaining debris and to ensure the unit remains dry. Water will rust out the unit over time if not properly cleaned and maintained. Screw the plug back on to the bottom of the unit.
- An evaporative cooler coating spray can be used to help protect the bottom of the unit. When purchasing the spray, go ahead and get the correct size replacement pads and canvas cover if needed. Ensuring the unit is clean and pads replaced while winterizing the unit will save time in the spring/summer when it’s time to reconnect. Spray the bottom of the unit with the coating and replace the pads. Clean the pump of any calcium deposits.
- Slide the rectangular metal piece into place where the unit connects to the duct work. For downdraft units, this may need to be done before putting the metal panel back on.
- Return the metal panel on the outside of the unit back in place and then put the canvas cover over the cooler and secure tightly. Carefully climb down the ladder and put all tools back where they belong. Wash hands and occasionally check on the cover to ensure it is still secure, especially in the spring when the winds pick up.