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.
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For roof top swamp coolers, thread the filler tube from the outside faucet through a piece of garden hose up to the swamp cooler. this will prevent the tube from deteriorating due to the heat from the sun...
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What could I use in place of the pads in my cooler? I don't have regular pads and until I get some what can I use instead? Any ideas?
In the chicken houses they use cardboard. I'm not sure what that would do to your unit, though. You may have to fashion a "sock" for it.