15-20 Minute Assessment

HVAC: Swamp Cooler

Also known as evaporative coolers, swamp coolers blow air through water-soaked pads, where it cools and gains humidity. It then travels through ductwork into your home.

Swamp coolers circulate more fresh air than air conditioners. To encourage airflow, open a few windows when running the unit.

Get a professional inspection every year. In between, inspect the pads every few months for wear and mineral deposits. Watch out for stagnant water in your unit, which can lead to insect breeding, mold, and bacteria.


Every Fall

Repair and replacement costs

Typical Costs

  • Inspect and winterize: $100 – $150
  • Repair: $100 – $300
  • Replace: $1,500 – $3,500

Life span


15 – 20 years

Steps to Assess Your Swamp Cooler


Step 1: Clean debris and plant growth from your swamp cooler. Repair any cracked, bent, corroded, or otherwise damaged water or electrical lines coming from the unit.


Step 2: Check the pads inside the unit every 3 months. If they’re torn, cracked, frayed at the edges, dirty, or otherwise damaged, replace them.


Step 3: Inspect the water lines, pump, and fan inside the unit. Repair cracked, kinked, or otherwise damaged lines. Replace the fan belt if it’s damaged. Clear debris away from the pump.


Step 4: Inspect ductwork coming from the unit. The joints should be tight. Fix peeling, cracked, or worn tape or caulking.


Step 5: Turn it on. If it won’t start, look for a service switch, reset button, or tripped breaker. Call a pro if you hear banging, squeaking, scraping, or other unusual sounds.