Prepare your Swamp Cooler for the winter

Approx Reading Time: 8 minutes

In this blog post, I will be sharing with you how to winterize your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler in 6 simple steps.

Prepare your swamp cooler for the winter

  • Step 1: Cut off the power supply
  • Step 2: Turn off the valve of water attached to your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler
  • Step 3: Drain all the water
  • Step 4: Change the pads
  • Step 5: Clean your swamp or evaporative cooler:
  • Step 6: Cover your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler and cover the vent inside your house:
Prepare your Swamp Cooler for the winter 1

There are four main reasons why it becomes so important to winterize your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler.

  1. Pipes freezing: As soon as the temperature drops, the water inside the pipelines of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler begins to turn into ice, thus expanding in size, which cracks the pipelines and causes them to leak the next summer.
  2. Corrosion: Stagnant water will cause a lot of corrosion inside the metallic tank of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler, which results in rust. If you leave your outdoor swamp cooler or evaporative cooler uncovered throughout the winter season, snowfall and rainfall will get collected inside it.
  3. Algae, mold: As you know, in stagnant water, fungus, algae, mold, and mildew can grow very quickly, so it is essential to drain your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler.
  4. Pests: Pests like critters, mice, and rodents will dwell inside your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler to escape the harshness of the winter season.

Scroll on to read the detailed step by step guide on how to prepare your swamp cooler for the winter

Step 1: Cut off the power supply of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler:

You will not be using your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler throughout the winter months. This is why it is advisable for your safety and the safety of your pets and family to completely cut off the power supply of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler. Before trying to drain out all of the water from your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler and before trying to clean it, it is essential to cut off the power supply to prevent it from accidentally coming on. You must make sure that you unplug the wire of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler from the wall outlet of your house.

Step 2: Turn off the valve of water attached to your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler:

Your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler depends on a pump and a water tank to get the water.  You must turn off the valves that supply water to your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler to prevent it from freezing and expanding inside the pipelines, causing them to burst and start leaking. You must disconnect the pipeline located between the source of water and your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler.

When you have detached the pipeline of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler, you can use compressed air to drain out all of the water found inside it to prevent it from turning into ice.

Step 3: Drain all the water out of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler:

If your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler is a portable one, you can easily remove its tank and drain every drop of water from it. But if you own a bigger unit, you can detach the pan to drain it out completely. You must remember that there is not only water inside the pipelines of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler.  It is also full of mineral deposits and other sediments that settle down at the bottom of the tank of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler.

You must make sure that you remove these mineral deposits and sediments. Otherwise, they will block the pipelines of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler, making it almost impossible to get it started at once during the summer season. If you leave the dust inside the pan of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler, it will turn into fungus, algae, mold, and mildew. At the same time, the water which will stay stagnant throughout the winter season will create a lot of corrosion on the metallic parts of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler and lead to rust.

During the summer season, when you use your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler daily, the water starts evaporating quickly. Still, there is no way for the dust, dirt, and mineral deposits to escape your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler. To remove these, you must use your shop vacuum at low pressure, and then wash the pan of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler using your pressure washer at low pressure. In this way, your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler will be a hundred percent ready for winterization.

It would be best if you remembered to leave the drains open throughout the winter season, so in case any rainwater enters your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler, it can at once flow out instead of getting collected and leading to the growth of fungus, algae, mold, and mildew. 

Step 4: Change the pads of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler:

It's not only the fan and pan of your swamp cooler or an evaporative cooler full of mineral deposits. The cooling pads can also be fully covered by many thick layers of mineral deposits, dust, dirt, debris, and spider webs. It would be best if you never left these dirty cooling pads on your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler throughout the winter season because they can speed up the rusting of metal. It might sound like an economical decision to install the new cooling pads the next summer season when you want to use your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler again.

But you cannot leave your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler without any cooling pads for the winter season because it will allow the rainwater to collect inside it. So you must order new cooling pads and install them before the winterization.

Step 5: Clean your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler:

It would be best if you used a solution of mild household detergent dissolved in a bucket full of warm water to wipe the exterior parts of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler. You must make sure you use a soft piece of cloth instead of abrasive sponges because it will lead to ugly scratches on the polished or the painted surface. To clean the corners and the hard to reach areas of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler, you can use an old toothbrush, but remember to apply gentle and mild strokes.

If you find any fungus, mold, mildew or algae, in the pan of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler, you can use vinegar to kill them. If vinegar fails to do the trick, you can add one cup of bleach to a gallon full of water and use it for scrubbing them off.

It would be best if you coated the exterior walls of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler with a watertight metal sealer. It will make sure that the exterior walls of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler are defended against the attack of rust. Before using the waterproof metal sealer, you must make sure that there are no cracks or holes in the exterior walls of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler.

A good quality waterproof metal sealer can also be used for the pan of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler.

Step 6: Cover your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler and cover the vent inside your house:

A quality cover will protect your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler against the attack of pests like critters, rodents, and moles and prevent them from building their nests inside it. The cover will also protect your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler against the harsh weather elements like snow, storm, rain, and fog. You can easily find swamp cooler or evaporative cooler covers made out of different materials and different sizes and colors online and at your local stores.

If your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler has a unique size, shape, or structure, you can order a custom-designed cover from your local tailor. But you must never show laziness in this matter. You must make sure that the material you purchase for the cover is weather-resistant and water-resistant.

Another essential part that you must make sure is wholly covered throughout the winter season is the vent, which brings the cold air from your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler into your house. If you forget or leave this vent open by mistake, you will face two significant losses:

  1. Cold and chilly air from outside will keep entering your house
  2. You are using heating systems to increase the temperature of your house. In this way, you will have to spend a lot on gas to make the indoor temperature comfortable, which will lead to high energy costs.

To cover the vent that brings the cold air of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler into your house, you must use a strong piece of cardboard that is cut carefully in proper size and thickness. It would be best if you hammered strong and reliable nails into it that can resist the pressure of the wind.

Final remarks

To sum up this blog post, I will say that the winterization of your swamp cooler or evaporative cooler will ensure its proper functioning when you need it for the summer season.