Simple Steps to Make Your Swamp Cooler Colder and More Efficient

Jetstream 230

1 Jul
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Summers can be rough in the U.S. One popular cooling option across the country is maxing out your air conditioner.

Using an air conditioner can help reduce the temperatures instantly. However, using the systems for long periods means consuming more energy and a hefty electricity bill. They’re also likely to release elements harmful to your property and the environment.

Another option is a swamp cooler or evaporative cooler. These units are energy- and eco-friendly cooling solutions.

Before you purchase or even consider a swamp cooler rental, let’s find out more about the unit and how to make it colder and more efficient.

What Is a Swamp Cooler?

The swamp cooler is a device for cooling your space by water evaporation. This unit is different from other air conditioning systems using absorption or vapor compression refrigeration cycles.

Most air conditioners have a closed system, while swamp coolers are an open system and rely on airflow to cool the surrounding air.

Water in the swamp cooler evaporates, and high-energy particles leave the water first, leading to a temperature drop. It’s the same principle at work when a moist cloth on your forehead feels cool on a hot summer day, keeping the temperature of your head lower as water evaporates.

In dry environments, the simple evaporation process can lower air temperature — just as misting the surrounding air on a hot day feels cooler. Swamp coolers use the same idea, but technology makes the process more efficient and less messy.

Parts in a Swamp Cooler

Knowing about the various cooler parts is an excellent idea when you want to make it colder and more efficient.

Here’s a rundown of a swamp cooler’s anatomy. Some parts require regular replacement, while others will last the appliance’s life.

A Hose Connection or Manual Water Fill

Some swamp cooler models have an adapter for your water supply valve. Other units have a manual fill to add water from bottles or other vessels. Both parts bring water into the cooler.


Located on the cooler’s bottom, the float rises on top of the water and shuts off the water supply. Your swamp cooler may stop working or overflow if the float doesn’t work.


This device pumps water through the distribution lines in your cooler while keeping evaporative pads wet.

Evaporative Pads

Evaporative pads help cool and clean your air.

Blower and Motor

The blower and the motor are critical components for drawing air in and out of the appliance.

How a Swamp Cooler Works

Here are the four steps your swamp cooler uses to lower the air temperature.

1. Water Enters the Tank

Turning on the swamp cooler activates the water supply valve to add water to the tank at the bottom. Water continues flowing until the float reaches a certain level and shuts off the water supply valve.

2. Pump Carries Water to the Evaporative Pads

The pump pulls water through the distribution lines and takes it to the evaporative pads.

The blower motor pulls warm air into your evaporative cooler through the pads. The moisture cools the air flowing through the pads. This process is similar to when you exercise and sweat, a fan blowing on your skin will cool you down because of the moisture.

3. Blower Forces Cool Air Out

The blower pulls the cooled air and forces it through the ductwork, and vents into your space.

Simple Tips To Make Your Swamp Cooler Colder and More Efficient

The prospect of cooling your space sustainably and energy-efficiently is exciting. However, the trick to get the most out of your swamp cooler is learning these simple tricks and tips to make it cooler and improve efficiency.

Open Your Windows

Evaporative coolers need a consistent supply of fresh air. Opening the window closest to the intake fan allows warm, dry air to flow into the cooler for fast evaporation.

An open window also facilitates the faster escape of the humidified air stream from your cooler, so your space doesn’t feel clammy.

Use a Dehumidifier

If sweltering temperatures won’t let you open the windows, introduce a dehumidifier to your space cooling system. Dehumidifiers draw excess moisture from the air and store it in a tank ready for emptying.

A dehumidifier makes the air drier, allowing better evaporation and increasing the efficiency of the swamp cooler. Place the dehumidifier close to the evaporative cooler’s intake grill for better results. The placement ensures that only the driest possible air flows through the cooling pads for max evaporation.

Add Houseplants

You can also reduce humidity by introducing houseplants to suck up extra moisture. Some indoor plants satisfy some or most of their water needs by absorbing moisture from the air.

These plants can help keep your space drier, helping the swamp cooler do its job in the most efficient way possible.

Choose an Appropriate Size

Before buying or choosing a swamp cooler rental, make sure it’s suitable for the space you plan to use it in. It’s better to get a slightly higher-sized unit for your space. The additional costs are negligible when you consider the comfort levels you achieve.

A smaller unit may have trouble producing enough cool air to make the space comfortable, affecting efficiency. Also, choose a unit that offers adjustable temperature and airflow settings for the best results.

Regular Maintenance

Swamp coolers perform best after regular cleaning and maintenance. Plan periodic inspections during the hot season to identify potential issues and improve the unit’s efficiency.

Some simple maintenance tasks include:

  • Cleaning the cooling pads and replacing old ones
  • Scraping away mineral deposits on pads
  • Draining and flushing the water tank
  • Lubricating the water pump and motor
  • Inspecting for worn belts, wiring, and switches

Prime the Evaporative Pads

The only way to realize the full potential of your swamp cooler is by priming the cooling pads. Soak the pads in water before turning the unit on and start the evaporative cooling process.

Let the pads absorb water in the tank for at least 15 minutes before turning on the swamp cooler. Also, fill the water tank after soaking pads to ensure continuous operation.

Wrapping Up

A swamp cooler is a great solution to keep your indoor and outdoor space cool. While already energy-efficient and cost-effective, finding ways to make your swamp cooler rental colder and more efficient is an excellent way to save money. Follow the tips above, and the cooler will always run in the best condition.

Research References

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