The first step to maximising the performance and lifespan of your evaporative cooler is understanding the importance and benefits of regular maintenance. This comprehensive guide will furnish you with all the know-how you need to establish an effective maintenance routine. Maintaining an evaporative cooler not only secures its optimal functioning but also saves time and cost associated with frequent repairs or total replacement.

Understanding Your Evaporative Cooler

Evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers, utilise evaporation to provide a cooling effect. The key components include a fan, water pump, cooler pads and the housing unit. Regular maintenance of these components is crucial to keep your cooler humming along on hot days. It’s also pivotal to study your specific model, as different models have unique maintenance needs.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Consistent cleaning is the cornerstone of maintaining your evaporative cooler’s efficiency. Basic steps include dusting the exterior, clearing the vent and ducts, and emptying and cleaning the water tank. Additionally, attention should be drawn to maintaining hygiene and preventing the build-up of bacteria or mould. Industry experts typically suggest you undertake a thorough cleaning of the cooler at least once a month during usage season.

Checking and Replacing Cooler Pads

Cooler pads are the heart of your evaporative cooler. They absorb water, providing a cooling effect as the fan blows air over them. Over time, these pads can become clogged or degrade, reducing efficiency. To check their condition, look for signs of wear such as thinning or hardening. If the pads appear worn out, they need to be replaced. Regular checking and replacement of cooler pads, ideally at the start and end of every cooling season, aids in keeping your cooler at its best.

Maintaining the Water System

The water system plays a pivotal role in an evaporative cooler. The water tank and pump require regular attention and cleaning to avoid mineral build-up and bacterial contamination. A neglected water system can lead to inefficient cooling or even damage to the unit. Keep a close eye on water quality and the operational state of the pump; any signs of sludge or unusual noise should prompt a thorough inspection or consultation with a professional.

Winterising Your Evaporative Cooler

Properly preparing your evaporative cooler for winter, or ‘winterisation’, is a critical element of a well-rounded maintenance plan. This entails draining the water tank, thoroughly cleaning the unit, covering it properly, and ensuring secure storage of any removable parts. Failing to winterise your cooler could lead to deterioration or damage during colder months.

When to Call a Professional

While many aspects of cooler maintenance can be managed independently, certain complications require the expertise of a professional. If your cooler isn’t cooling efficiently, it’s making unusual noises, or has recurring issues despite regular maintenance, it’s probably time to call for professional aid. While the cost of professional services varies, regular maintenance can minimise the need for costly emergency call-outs.


In conclusion, the longevity and efficiency of your evaporative cooler hinge largely on regular maintenance. It involves regular cleaning, careful checking and replacement of cooler pads, adequate attentiveness to the water system, and timely winterisation. Adhering to a rigorous maintenance routine will provide you with a well-functioning evaporative cooler, ready to deliver respite from the summer heat year after year. Ensure to call in a professional when necessary to maintain the cooler’s optimal functioning. In doing so, you secure the comfort and satisfaction that only a well-maintained evaporative cooler can deliver.