Cleaning your evaporative cooler is not something that should be reserved solely for the springtime. If you have not yet woken your unit from winter storage, now is the time to get it prepared. Cleaning your evaporative cooler regularly throughout the summer will help ensure that it is operating at peak efficiency. Here are a few things to keep in mind when cleaning your evaporative cooler:
Safety First: always turn off the electricity to the cooler at the breaker before doing any kind of maintenance. Turn off the water valve to the unit as well, to prevent any waste.
Be Prepared: get all of your supplies and tools together before beginning. This will not only save you time, but it will minimize the time your evaporative cooler is down for cleaning.
Clean Correctly: do not use any harsh chemicals when cleaning your cooler. Mild dish soap and water will do the trick for most of the cleaning. If any hard water deposits have built up on the water pan, some diluted white vinegar and a soft bristle brush will do the trick. Let the vinegar solution soak in the pan for up to an hour, if necessary, before scrubbing. Rinse everything well with clean water. Do not use harsh cleaners such as bleach. For hard-to-reach places like the fan blades, using a can of pressurized air easily blows the dirt away.
Trust the Media: the media pads are the heart of the evaporative cooler. Their special absorbency and evaporative qualities are designed to ensure the most moisture is released into the air. However, if these pads become clogged with dirt or mineral buildup, the efficiency of the evaporative cooler could decrease. Be sure to keep clean media pads in place throughout the season.
Pump and Dump: installing a purge pump can help keep your evaporative cooler unit cleaner for longer. This pump will flush the water from the water pan at programmed intervals, pumping fresh water into the unit. This helps keep the unit and the media pads from excess buildup.
Regular maintenance does not have to be daunting. Just keep a watchful eye on your evaporative cooler and clean as needed. Then enjoy the cooling benefits of a job well done!