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How to clean a swamp cooler

what do you use to clean swamp cooler pads


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Posted 2013-09-05T21:29:24+0000  by robertterry robertterry

Howdy robberttery,


The two types of pads for evaporative coolers are fiber (made of various materials) and rigid media pads. Fiber pads are inexpensive but require more maintenance/replacement, while rigid media pads are more expensive but require less maintenance and may last for years if properly maintained.

The table below explains their applications and features:



Points to Consider


• Aspen wood 
• Cellulose fiber
• Synthetic fibe

• For units with inlets on many sides
• Most economical
• Usually 1 to 2” thick
• Require regular maintenance/replacement
• Aspen wood is most durable; exact sizes
• Cellulose and synthetic may be cut-to-fit

Rigid Media

Stacked corrugated sheet material

• For units with single inlets
• Require larger upfront investment
• Usually 8 to 12” thick
• Lower maintenance
• Allows air to pass through at lower velocity, resulting in increased humidity 
  and air a few degrees cooler than with fiber pads
• Extremely long lifecycle if maintained

Evaporative coolers come in various sizes, from portable coolers that can be used in any room of the home, to whole-house units which require installation and distribute cool air through various means. The newer mobile units are designed to cool large, open areas like workshops, garages and even patios.


As for cleaning the unit itself, pour the white vinegar into the water reservoir and allow to soak for an hour. Drain into a bucket. Scrub the bottom of the reservoir and rinse with clean water. If the reservoir is leaking, allow to dry completely and seal with silicon sealant. Allow to dry according to the manufacturer's directions.

Remember to regularly check to make sure the cooling pads are in good condition. If they weren't removed prior to end-of-season  storage,  your swamp cooler's cooling pads should be replaced at the beginning of the summer and during mid-season maintenance. If the pads are found to be cracked, they will need to be replaced. In fact, cooling pad inspection may even need to be performed even more frequently based on the quality of your local water supply. Begin by removing the old pads from the unit and washing the pad frame and retainer in order to remove scale and dirt.
Stay Cool,
Posted 2013-09-05T23:51:44+0000  by Dave_HD_OC
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