Stack of old evaporative cooling pads

How to Maintain Your Evaporative Cooling Media

April 21, 2023 3:21 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Evaporative coolers (sometimes called swamp coolers) take keeping your space cool and comfortable to another level. If you already have one or are considering installing one, this device does a great job keeping a small room, space, or entire home nice and cool. It pays to know how to maintain an evaporative cooling media device to get the most out of your device and have it work effectively for as long as possible.

Steps to Maintain Your Evaporative Cooling Media

When you invest in your unit, you want to get the most out of it. The best way to accomplish this is through regular maintenance.

Safety First

If you have a ground or eave-mounted cooler, it’s likely to be safe for you to inspect your cooler. Always turn off and unplug your device before you begin your inspection. You don’t want to reach near any moving parts during your routine check.

Observe and Make Notes

Each time you check your unit, make a note of any changes as far as damage and wear. If you find something that may impact your device’s operation, call a professional to help you know if it needs repair.

Water Maintenance Is Key to Good Performance

The water quality of your evaporative cooling unit will affect how it works. Drain the water out of your device’s tank at least weekly, if not more frequently, especially if you have hard water. This can help scale down any mineral deposits and may help the longevity of your pad or honeycomb cooling media. 

Pay Attention to Water Quality

Water is crucial to an evaporative cooling media device, so the quality of water you’re using can impact the way it runs. The best way to assure yourself that you’re using the best water in your device is to test your water’s PH levels. 

If you have water with high levels of scaling salts or minerals, consider using distilled or purified water. For those with hard or well water, it’s recommended that you go with a better water source for your device.

Water PH Levels

If your water has a high PH level along with salts and minerals, it can cause buildup on the evaporative media. It can also damage water pumps and distribution performance if scales are allowed to build up. Never use water with a PH over nine, as it can cause extensive damage to the device.

You also want to avoid PH levels that are too low. Anything with a PH under 6.5 may put harmful metals like lead, iron, copper, and zinc into your unit. These metals can corrode and damage your evaporative cooling media.

Avoid Algae and Scum Buildup

Allow your media to dry completely at least once every 24 hours. This is essential to keeping any scum growth from forming. Remember that this on-and-off cycle is okay for this purpose but isn’t recommended during continuous hours of use.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Pad Replacement

Pads need to be replaced with evaporating cooling media. If you’re unsure which kind your unit has, you can check the manual that came with it or call whoever installed it.

Inspect your media for any dry streaks on it. You may use a soft brush to help loosen the debris if necessary. The more often you clean your pad, the better your unit should perform.

There will be a time when your pad isn’t allowing your device to be efficient. Replace the pad yourself, or if you need assistance, call the company that installed it or another qualified professional for help.

If It Smells, Switch It Out

When starting up evaporative cooling media, a slight chemical smell may occur, but you should never ignore it if it smells like mildew. When this happens, don’t continue to run the device. Replace the pad and clean the unit.

Seasonal Evaporative Cooling Media Tips

Depending on where you live, you may have a timeline for maintaining your evaporative cooling media. Each season can bring a new set of steps you should take to maintain and operate your device. 

Spring Maintenance

If your unit has been closed and protected all winter, it’s time to uncover and remove debris. Check and make sure the fan belt for the motor has good tension. Add oil to the bearing of the blower assembly and the motor if it has an oil repository.

Connect the water line, turn on the water supply, and make sure the float valve works correctly. Next, turn on the motor and pump while watching to ensure the cooler pads are evenly covered in water.

Watch your device for several minutes and note anything that seems off or working differently. If there’s anything concerning, call a pro.

Summer Maintenance

This is when you want to check your device weekly, if not more frequently. It’s also a great time to check on your stock of cooler pads. And if you’re low, it’s time to get some more.

Getting Ready for Winter

If you have any buildup in the bottom tray, clean it now. For stubborn minerals and salt, try soaking it in vinegar.

Drain out the water. You should note any clogs in the water trough and clean them out. Make sure the tray is still in good shape without any cracks.

Spread a layer of submarine sealer or another appropriate sealant over the tray to keep it from rusting. Next, disconnect the cooler’s water line so it doesn’t freeze during the cold weather. Finally, cover your device for protection.

Let a Local Pro Help You

Whether you’re thinking about a cooling solution from Annex Air, Nortec, or Johnson Controls, look no further than Premier Industries, Inc. You’ll be working with folks who run family-owned businesses, and we pride ourselves on being friendly and reliable. We also pride ourselves on being able to offer the best devices and parts to meet every need.

Premier Industries, Inc. offers industrial, commercial, residential, and portable evaporative coolers. If you have space that needs cooling or your current device isn’t performing as it used to, we can help. Call now at 602-997-8754 or use our online form to get in touch today!

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This post was written by Mike Nicolini

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