13 Evaporative Cooler Hacks You Should Know

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Evaporative coolers provide a safe and economical way to cool your home during the warm summer months. If you’re looking for a few tips that can help you maximize the efficiency of your swamp cooler, look no further. We’ve researched the best swamp cooler hacks to help you get the most out of yours, and in this post, we will share them with you.

Here are 13 evaporative cooler hacks that you should know:

  1. Scrape mineral deposits from the cooler
  2. Lubricate the water pump
  3. Flush the cooling reservoir
  4. Only use filtered water
  5. Use the cooler on less humid days
  6. Add a few houseplants
  7. Only use the cooler for spot-cooling
  8. Wipe down the fans and intake grills
  9. Use it with a dehumidifier
  10. Help keep rooms cooler
  11. Prime the cooling pads
  12. Always use cold water
  13. Don’t use ice water

Many people prefer to use an evaporative cooler because they typically cost less to run than traditional AC units. However, it still helps to know the best ways to make the unit run as efficiently as possible. Continue reading to learn how to do just that.

An evaporative air cooler front running blown, 13 Evaporative Cooler Hacks You Should Know

Best Evaporative Cooler Hacks

Heat wave high temperatures

1. Scrape mineral deposits from the cooler

Depending on where you live, your tap water may contain more minerals than other areas. Over time, these minerals can accumulate on the tubes of your cooler and become scale. Hard water scale can negatively affect your cooling system by causing water and air blockages. The best way to remove the scale is to use a small steel wire brush or a scraper to scrape the film away from the tubes and cover it gently.

Check out this wire brush on Amazon.

2. Lubricate the water pump

It’s important to ensure that your water pump is sufficiently lubricated, as it can dry out over time. The pump assists with bringing water from the reservoir to the cooling pads so that the cooler can work properly. Be sure to follow the instructions that came with your cooler before adding lubricant, as you don’t want to overdo it. It’s also a good idea to add the lubricant at the start of the spring or summer season.

3. Flush the cooling reservoir

Regularly draining and flushing the cooling reservoir is another way to keep your evaporative cooler running smoothly. It’s important that this reservoir be kept clean so that the water can flow through the reservoir smoothly during the unit’s operation. It’s best to flush the reservoir at least once every one to two weeks to keep it free of debris and contaminants.

4. Only use filtered water

The cleaner the water in your evaporative cooler, the less you’ll have to worry about buildup and tubing blockages from debris and contaminants. If possible, try to use filtered water when filling up the cooler. This will ensure that the water flows freely inside the cooler so that the pads receive the right amount of water for the unit to operate at optimal efficiency.

5. Use the cooler on less humid days

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your swamp cooler is to use it on days when humidity is high. Keep in mind that evaporator coolers work to lower the indoor temperature by using water that dissipates into the dry air. Once the water evaporates, it naturally cools the temperatures in the room. However, if the room is already humid, the evaporative cooler will simply turn the room into a damp sauna-like space without lowering the temperature much at all.

Check out this swamp cooler on Amazon.

6. Add a few houseplants

Did you know that indoor plants can help to reduce the humidity in a room naturally? House plants suck up extra moisture in the air and can be placed in the same room with the swamp cooler to help them operate more efficiently. Some of the best varieties for dehumidifying a room include various types of cacti and succulents, as well as yucca, peace lilies, and English ivies.

7. Only use the cooler for spot-cooling

Swamp coolers are meant to cool single rooms or small spaces within the home. When you purchase a swamp cooler, the ideal square footage for its cooling ability will be listed on the label on the side next to its airflow rating. It’s best to adhere to the room size specifications to get the most out of the cooler.

8. Wipe down the fans and intake grills

It’s important to clean the intake grills and fans of your evaporative cooler to prevent them from being clogged with bugs, leaves, dirt, or debris. To do this, you can wipe them down with mild soap and a cleaning cloth. You can also use a soft bristle brush.

9. Use it with a dehumidifier

One of the best ways to ensure that your swamp cooler runs efficiently is to ensure that the humidity levels are kept low. If you’re unable to open up the windows outside, you can always install a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier will draw any excess moisture out of your home, making it an ideal environment for the swamp cooler.

However, most quality dehumidifiers can cost upwards of $100. So if you prefer to go with a less expensive alternative, you can also use natural dehumidifiers, including activated charcoal, kitty litter, silica pads, or baking soda in the room to help naturally draw humidity out of the air.

Check out these activated charcoal on Amazon.

10. Help keep rooms cooler

If you have a room with direct light coming in through the windows, it’s best to install a set of blinds or blackout curtains to reduce the heat produced by the windows. This, in turn, will help the room stay cooler while the evaporative cooler is running. It’s also helpful to open a window to create more airflow in the room and reduce the buildup of heat from the sunlight.

11. Prime the cooling pads

It’s important to first prime the cooling pads before using the swamp cooler for the first time. The pads need to fully absorb all of the water before the cooler can operate once the pads are wet, they will allow them to be able to easily wick away water from the tank to stay wet. However, this process can take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes.

When you fill the water reservoir for the first time, give the pads time to soak up the water before actually turning on the fan. This will prevent you from wasting energy on the fan’s operation before it’s able to cool down the room.

Read more about this evaporative cooler on Amazon.

12. Always use cold water

It’s easy to assume that using warm or hot water in the cooler will help the evaporation process, but the opposite is true. The best water temperature for your evaporative cooler is around 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, you can simply turn on the cold water in your kitchen sink to get the best water temperature for the cooler.

13. Don’t use ice water

Ice water is not ideal for use in evaporative coolers. The reason is that the cooler will need to heat the ice so that it will melt before it can evaporate. This will take time and will cause your cooler to use extra energy to melt the ice before utilizing it. This means that it’ll take more time to bring the room’s temperature down, and more energy usage means a higher energy bill.

How Do You Optimize A Swamp Cooler?

The best way to optimize a cooler is to ensure that it is kept clean and well-maintained. Additionally, you always want to keep the cooler in a place where the humidity is below 70% so that the cooler can operate efficiently. Lastly, you want to ensure that the water used in the cooler is at the right temperature and that the cooling pads and tubes are functioning properly.

At What Temperature Does A Swamp Cooler Become Ineffective?

Swamp coolers can work well to lower temperatures by a little over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit. However, the more important concern is the humidity level of the space that they’re cooling. If the humidity level is too high, the coolers will become ineffective.

Should You Leave A Swamp Cooler On All Day?

It is perfectly fine to leave a swamp cooler on all day if you prefer to use it instead of a typical AC unit. However, it is important to note that you may need to re-fill the water reservoir to keep the unit operating. How much and how often you’ll need to re-fill the water will depend on your swamp cooler’s size and brand.

At What Humidity Does A Swamp Cooler Stop Working?

Though this may vary slightly, when the humidity reaches over 70% to 80%, the swamp cooler will reach an operational limitation. When this happens, the cooler will not work as efficiently, resulting in warmer temperatures in the room or space

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that you will find these swamp cooler hacks useful. Remember, the effectiveness of your evaporative cooler depends on a few different factors, including the size of the unit, the current temperature and humidity, and the overall maintenance of your unit. Staying mindful of all these factors will help you find the best ways to optimize your swamp cooler.

Check out our other posts before you go:

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How Often Should An Evaporative Cooler Dump Water?

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