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Swamp coolers, or evaporative air conditioners, are a common alternative to a traditional air conditioner in dry or mild climates. These efficient units can use less energy while also adding some much needed moisture to the air they are cooling. To ensure you are getting the best use from your swamp cooler, avoid the following mistakes.
#1: Not allowing for proper air flow
Unlike a regular air conditioner, which is most efficient when all windows are closed so that none of the cool air escapes, swamp coolers depend upon air flow to circulate the cool air properly. In homes designed for a swamp cooler, this is often allowed for via the design of the home. You may have a switch near your swamp cooler that allows you to open vents. Otherwise, you will need to open two windows at opposite ends of the home by an inch or two. This helps pull the cool air through the home so that it circulates properly.
#2: Skipping annual maintenance
Swamp coolers work by sucking air through moistened pads, which then cools the air via evaporation. These pads degrade over time and they may also develop mildew or become less absorbent.
The time to change them is spring. Although some people do change them in winter before covering the swamp cooler for the season, this allows the new pads to be exposed to the elements and dirt for a whole season. Waiting until spring, when you uncover the unit, ensures that you have fresh pads and a clean swamp cooler. This is also the time to empty the drainage tray and rinse it with a diluted bleach solution so there is no mildew.
#3: Ignoring the water condition
Water quality is very important for a swamp cooler since it plays such an integral role in its operation. Hard water is especially problematic. The mineral deposits from hard water can prematurely clog pads and damage the inner workings of the swamp cooler.
Although you can change pads more often and clean the interior of the swamp cooler with a hard water remover, it makes more sense to solve the problem at its source. If you have hard water, install a whole-house water softener so that the water going to the swamp cooler has the minerals removed.
For more help with your swamp cooler, contact an air conditioner company like CNR Air Conditioning Inc in your area.