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Prepare Your Swamp Cooler for Winter

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Foam "egg crates" (mattress pad) can be used to weatherize your swamp cooler. Remove the cover plate and stuff the egg crate into the empty hole. Be sure your swamp cooler is shut down (water off, power off). Now replace the cover. Go outside and cover the outside of your swamp cooler with plastic and duck tape. You can even use those big black lawn and leaf bags, depending on the size of your swamp cooler, one may fit it perfectly. No more wintery blast from your cooler this winter.

By Debra in CO


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These instructions are a littel simplistic. Its also important to drain the water out of the swamp cooler and its water line especially if you live in a place where it freezes. Otherwise the water can cause the unit to crack as well as the line. There are also one or two panels used to block cold air from coming down in through the cooler and roof into your house. These need to be slid into place and in some units screwed down. If the panel is missing from yours you could use plywood or even cardboard.

By jeanne [5]06/26/2010

O.K. I give up, what is a swamp cooler and why do I want it winterized?

By Larry Galpin12/09/2006

Most Coolers have a slot in the bottom of the big round blower housing. It may be inside the cooler itself, but usually is just outside the cooler. Into this slot you slide a sheet metal damper. Commonly called a "cookie sheet" damper. So named, because it looks like a simple square cookie sheet. The use of this damper blocks cold air from coming down into the house. It also stops warmed air from escaping.

When you insert the damper, you will need to seal the slot with aluminum tape. (available at most hardware stores.

If you have the slot, but no damper, many stores that sell cooler parts may have the damper (Not Home Depot or Lowes). Call around first. Measure across the slot ( usually 18 or 20) and take that measurement to the store.

If you can't find a store that has one, a sheet metal shop can make one in nothing flat.

To help the musty smell, (which is caused by algae) use what is commonly called a "Fresh Air Block" (many brands) This block has algaecides in it and is placed in the pan and slowly dissolves.

If you have questions about Evaporative Coolers feel free to email me. Visit my website,, and use either the Contact or FAQ button. While there, be sure and download the "FREE GIFT just for visiting".

Larry Galpin
Author: Easy Cooler Care  A Do-It-Yourself Guide To Servicing & Repairing Your Evaporative Cooler

By Paul Ziegenfuss [9]07/31/2006

I think they mean something similar to an air conditioner. .....maybe.

By april (Guest Post)06/16/2005

What do you do if your swamp cooler smells musty when you start it in summer? Is there something you can put in it for a more pleasant smell?

By Susan Sanders-Kinzel [9]09/30/2004

Here's a desciption...

They are good for cooling in dry climates.

By kelly09/30/2004

Am I the only one who is wondering just what a Swamp Cooler is? I don't think we have those in Virginia!

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