Evaporative Cooler Maintenance
Evaporative cooler doo list
The summer heat is on its way so everyone should have their air conditioning maintenance doo list coming up. An evaporative cooler, or swamp cooler, is an inexpensive way to lower the temperature in your home on hot summer days but they do require some start up maintenance after sitting idle over the winter months.
A doo list for evaporative cooler maintenance may include the following:
Fan belt condition and tensioning
Evaporative pad condition
Evaporative cooler bearing lubrication
The squirrel cage fan in many evaporative coolers will have bearings on each end of the fan shaft with oil reservoirs. These oil reservoirs should be topped off with bearing lubrication oil. When adding oil to the reservoirs try rotating the fan by hand to make sure the bearings turn freely and do not make any grinding noises. If the bearings are difficult to turn or make unusual grinding noises then they should be replaced before operating the fan.
Evaporative cooler belt tension
Check the fan belt for the squirrel cage fan to make sure the belt is not too tight or too loose. You should be able to deflect the belt as much as an inch with one finger. If the belt is too loose it will slip and may squeal and damage the belt. If the belt is too tight it will place excessive stress on the fan and fan motor bearings.
You should also check the belt condition for any fraying or cracking. If the belt is starting to deteriorate then it is time for a new belt.
Evaporative cooler pads
Remove all the panels on the evaporative cooler and spray down the pads to remove any dust or debris and inspect the condition of the pads. If the pads fall apart while cleaning or have become thin in some areas due to material loss or settling then they should be replaced with new pads.
Evaporative cooler water pump
Clean any loose debris out of the evaporative cooler water reservoir and out of the water pump basket. Turn on the water supply and fill the water reservoir enough to operate the pump. Turn the pump on and verify proper water flow to all the panels. If any water supply lines are not providing water then check for leaks, line restrictions or poor pump operation. If any water distribution lines are leaking or have an obstruction then a water distribution replacement kit may be necessary. If the pump is not providing enough water or no water at all then a new pump may be necessary.
You may want to add a water conditioning block to the water reservoir to help reduce the musty swamp cooler smell.
Now you can replace all the side panels and enjoy the cool air from your evaporative cooler.