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How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Swamp Cooler?

Swamp Cooler Repair Prices

A swamp cooler, or evaporative cooler, is an energy-efficient alternative to air conditioning. The machine lowers indoor air temperatures by blowing air that's cooled through the process of evaporation. With few moving parts, an evaporative cooler requires very little upkeep. Regular use does, however, necessitate routine cooler maintenance, including winterization and summer preparation. If the unit's cooling ability dips or the machine stops working altogether, a service professional should be able to fix the problem for a modest cost.

Swamp Cooler Maintenance

For starters, on days the cooler is in use, you need to make sure that the water tank is full, as a swamp cooler can use a dozen or more gallons of water a day depending on conditions.

On a weekly basis, or at the very least once per month, you should perform a visual inspection of major swamp cooler components. Pads and filters wear out and need to be replaced; the frequency of replacement depends on factors such as how much use the cooler receives, water hardness, and air quality (i.e. pollution, dust, and pollen). The tank and all moving parts should also be cleaned of mineral deposits.

To prepare a swamp cooler for the winter, the unit should be drained and covered. Even if you've diligently kept it clean throughout the summer and fall, the cooler should be thoroughly cleaned and the pads replaced before wintertime inactivity. Fresh pads installed in the fall reduce the amount of rust that occurs on the louver panels during the winter. If winter is the season for preventative swamp cooler maintenance, then spring is the time for a tune up service. This can include inspecting the pads, filters, and moving parts, replacing the belt if necessary, adding motor oil and lubricant, and thoroughly cleaning the cooler of rust and buildup both inside and out.

Swamp Cooler Repairs

While a homeowner with basic mechanical skills can perform some of the maintenance described above, it's still a good idea to let a professional service your swamp cooler once a year. And in cases where the cooler isn't working properly, repairs are best left to a professional.

But before you call a pro due to poor system performance, understand that evaporative coolers don't work as well in humid conditions. For maximum home cooling, outdoor air should be hot and dry. And unlike air conditioners, which work best in an airtight environment, swamp coolers require that you keep a window or door in the home cracked so that air can circulate and escape. Finally, it bears repeating that a swamp cooler requires a steady supply of water to perform its cooling function.

Swamp Cooler Repair Average Costs

  • Hiring a professional to service or repair a swamp cooler might cost as little as $50 and as much as $500 or more depending on what the issue is. In most cases, costs fall in the $150 to $300 range.
  • Repairs that don't require replacement parts, including winterization, usually cost $100 to $150.
  • A spring service costs $150 to $200.
  • Replacing a pump costs $225 to $275.
  • Replacing a motor costs $500 to $600.
  • Replacing pads can cost $125 to $500 depending on the pad type and quality.
  • A new blower belt costs $5 to $10 (not including installation).
  • A swamp cooler cover costs $25 to $50.

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