Swamp Cooler Repairs
Because swamp coolers use moisture, their exteriors and parts can rust from neglect. A rusty swamp cooler not only looks unattractive on a roof, but it also runs badly. An inefficient swamp cooler can produce too little cold air for comfort or an excess of moisture that makes indoor air humid and musty. Spoors Heating & Air Conditioning offers complete HVAC services, including swamp cooler parts replacements and repairs.
Swamp coolers can also operate with air conditioners. If you use a swamp cooler AC combination, our technicians can inspect both systems during one appointment to save you time and money on HVAC maintenance.
Common Swamp Cooler Repairs
Some swamp cooler repairs are more common than others. At Spoor’s Heating & Air Conditioning, we perform meticulous, multi-point inspections to find and fix all such problems. Here are the most frequent repairs that we encounter.
Mold is a problem for evaporative coolers that sat inactive for long periods with water left in the reservoirs. Many homeowners turn off their evaporative coolers in the winter but forget to flush out the system first, only to discover extensive mold growth come spring. Mold can be killed with vinegar and baking soda, but winterizing a swamp cooler prevents mold growth altogether.
A crack or hole can derail a swamp cooler by causing water in the reservoir to leak. Without water, an evaporative cooler is ineffective, and running the components dry can irreversibly damage them. Finding a couple of drops of condensation on or near the unit is no big deal. But if you see a trail of water near your swamp cooler, call for repairs.
Like heaters and AC units, swamp coolers use motorized fans to distribute conditioned air. A broken fan won’t push air through the ductwork adequately, and as a result, the swamp cooler uses electricity but doesn’t cool the home. Signs of a bad fan include odd noises and weak airflow. But repairs can be as simple as a new belt or blade or a tune-up.
How Swamp Coolers Work
The idea of evaporative cooling is as old as civilization itself. The first recorded use was by ancient Egyptians, who hung wet blankets across their doorways to cool the incoming desert air. Swamp cooler technology has progressed, but the concept of evaporative cooling is the same. Electric fans pull in dry, warm air from outside. The air passes over damp pads, which are kept moist by small pumps, and that interaction creates evaporation that cools the air. Internal blowers force the cooler air through the HVAC ducts and out the vents.
Pros & Cons Of Evaporative Coolers
Swamp coolers use less electricity than air conditioners, making them desirable for home and business owners who prefer eco-friendly HVAC systems. However, those who use evaporative coolers shouldn’t abandon AC units entirely. First, evaporative cooling won’t lower the air temperatures as much as refrigeration cooling. Second, swamp coolers function better in arid conditions. And while these exist in Northern California during summer, that isn’t the case during the rainy spring and fall.
The origins of the swamp cooler name are unknown, but it could relate to the humidity the systems generate. When an evaporative cooler runs for too long, it creates swampy, musty conditions. Retained water in swamp cooler duct systems also can lead to mold growth. However, most common swamp cooler problems are avoidable if the HVAC system receives routine inspections by certified technicians.
Choosing The Right Swamp Cooler
As much as Californians love their AC units, many also desire cheaper, more eco-friendly ways to cool their homes or offices. Swamp coolers have become a viable complement to AC units, but the question then becomes which is the right swamp cooler for you?
Cubic Feet Per Minute
Swamp cooler capacity is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The higher its CFM rating, the larger the volume of space a swamp cooler cools. If you know the square footage and ceiling height of a room, you can multiply those measurements and halve that figure to calculate the minimum CFM (square footage X ceiling height / 2 = minimum CFM). Outside of the home, homeowners often install evaporative coolers in the garage. The average two-car garage measures 676 square feet with 8-foot ceilings, a space that would require a swamp cooler that produces at least 2,800 CFM (676 X 8 / 2 = 2,704) — CFM is measured in increments of one hundred.
Portable Vs. Whole House Swamp Coolers
When deciding about a swamp cooler, your first choice is between a portable and a whole house unit. Portable coolers move easily from room-to-room, but they only cool individual rooms (or just sections of rooms), take up floor space and stand out visibly. Whole house evaporative coolers exist outside on roofs or lawns, similar to AC units. They must be installed professionally. However, the swamp cooler duct system uses the same ducts that connect to the central HVAC system, which makes swamp cooler installations fast and easy.
Swamp Cooler Manufacturer
Since most swamp coolers achieve similar levels of cooling, models are differentiated by CFM output, energy efficiency, and cost. The lifespan of a swamp cooler can also vary based on the manufacturer, specifically regarding the quality of parts used. Reading online reviews can help you to identify viable swamp cooler models; although, it can also be hard to discern factual from promotional information online. If you can’t decide between two or more models, let our HVAC technicians point out the ideal model for you.
Schedule HVAC Service In Auburn, CA
Spoor’s Heating & Air Conditioning is the go-to HVAC company for swamp cooler service and repairs in Auburn, CA. And our reputation for friendly customer service and fair prices precedes us — just read our local reviews! Call us for all your HVAC needs.