Evaporative Cooler Repair Cost

How much does it cost to repair an evaporative cooler?

An evaporative cooler is a type of air-conditioning system that cools air by evaporating water. It differs from standard A/C units by not using absorption refrigeration or vapor-compression cooling methods. Evaporative coolers are typically more energy efficient than standard A/Cs, and have the added benefit of humidifying the air. In this cost guide, we examine the problems and costs associated with repairing this system.

Common problems

If you hire an HVAC professional to repair your evaporative cooler, they will be able to diagnose the problem by inspecting your unit. The table below shows common problems and the symptoms that can help you identify them, as well as the parts necessary for repair and their costs:

ProblemSymptomsPart NeededPart Price
Overheating due to debris buildupBurning smellFilter/vent$15 - $175
Dry padsWeak coolingPump 1$20 - $70
MoldMildew odorPads$20 - $150 per pad
Not runningWon’t start or blow airMotor$60 - $200
LeakingUsing too much waterFloat valve$5 - $16
Cracked or loose beltLow air flowBlower 2 belt$5 - $11


The problems above have the most common causes and solutions listed, but these may not always be what’s wrong. For example, overheating can also be caused by a faulty motor. Because common symptoms in evaporative coolers can have a variety of causes and solutions, it’s highly recommended that a professional always be hired to diagnose the problem.

Labor

When you hire professionals to inspect your evaporative cooler for problems, you will be charged a diagnostic fee ($70-$150). HVAC service companies often waive the diagnostic fee if you hire them to perform the repairs and the parts necessary to fix the problem.The rate for repair labor is $50-$70 per hour.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • Seasonal preparations are important for keeping your evaporative cooler functioning well and preventing the need for repairs. Professional season preparation services cost an average of $100-$150.
    • Spring: now is when you need to prepare your cooler for the summer. This entails checking the pads and replacing them if necessary, and the replacement of blower 2 belts. All parts of the motor will be inspected, cleaned, oiled and lubricated.
    • Fall: this is the time to prepare for winter. Winterization starts with draining the cooler and cleaning away dirt and sediment. The pads must be changed, and the unit should be covered to protect it from the weather. Covers cost $20-$50.

Additional considerations and costs

Sometimes routine maintenance or environmental factors may prevent your evaporative cooler from working properly. It’s not in often that these are the roots problems with evaporative coolers, rather than a need for repair. Before making the expense of hiring a professional to inspect your unit, consider the following:

  • Evaporative coolers do not work well in humid regions. If you live in a region with even mild humidity and notice your evaporative cooler isn’t cooling your home sufficiently, the problem is likely this, rather than a faulty unit. Even the best evaporative coolers can’t function optimally in humidity.
  • A window or door should be left open when the unit is on, as evaporative coolers need air flow in order to cool effectively. If your cooling seems weak but you always keep your windows and doors shut, try opening a few and seeing if the improved ventilation helps.
  • Always make sure the water tank is full. Since the cooling is produced by the evaporation of water, a lack of water will result in weaker cooling.
  • If you are setting your evaporative cooler on the ground outside, or are cutting a hole in the exterior of your home to accommodate it, your city may require you to obtain zoning and building permits, as well as electrical, plumbing, and ventilation permits. Some permits aren’t required for rooftop units. Permit fees vary by city, but can range from $20 - $100 each.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Pump: A device used to move air, liquid, or gas by mechanical means
2 Blower: An accessory that makes a fireplace more efficient by circulating the warm air in the fireplace to other areas of the home

Cost to repair an evaporative cooler varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

National average

$290

(to replace the pump and summer-preparation servicing)

Low: $55
(to install a new float valve)
High: $540
(to replace the motor, provide winterization servicing, and a winter cover)

Cost to repair an evaporative cooler varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). Get free estimates from air-conditioning and heating contractors in your city.

Alternatives
Cost

Other
$390
Central Humidifier - Install
$150 - $500
Dryer Vent - Install
$90 - $450
Dryer Vent - Cleaning
$1,050 - $5,150
Ductwork - Install
$300-$500
Duct Vent - Clean
$600 - $6,000
Evaporative Cooler - Install
$940 - $1,114
Window - Install
$290
Evaporative Cooler - Repair
$200 - $250
Thermostat - Install

Related
Cost

$350 - $7,200
Air Conditioning - Install
$2,650 - $15,000
$1,800 - $7,000
$165 - $1,170
$50 - $150
Air Conditioning - Annual Maintenance
$1,000 - $6,000
Electric Fired - Install
$2,500 - $8,000
Oil Fired - Install
$2,800 - $8,000
Propane Gas - Install
$25 - $650
Boiler - Repair
$150 - $200
$650 - $45,000
Fireplace - Install
$300 - $1,400
Firepit - Install
$2,000 - $7,000
Furnace - Install
$1,500 - $5,500
Electric - Install
$3,000 - $10,000
Natural Gas - Install
$2,000 - $7,000
Oil - Install
$2,500 - $8,000
Propane - Install
$750 - $2,500
Furnace - Repair
$6,000 - $14,000
Gas Central Heater - Install
$2,000 - $20,000
Heat Pump - Install
$7,500 - $7,500
Geothermal - Install
$15 - $1,700
Heat Pump - Repair
$6,000 - $14,000
$150 - $8,200
Ventilation - Install
$12 - $650
Attic Fan - Install
$70 - $800
Bathroom Fan - Install
$110 - $3,225
Ceiling Fan - Install
 

Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Anderson, SC
-23%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Myers, FL
-7%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Honolulu, HI
+35%
Houston, TX
+24%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Lynn, MA
+19%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milpitas, CA
+33%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Naples, FL
-3%
Nashville, TN
+21%
New York, NY
+77%
North Hollywood, CA
+11%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Pasadena, MD
+5%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Portland, OR
+11%
Raleigh, NC
-3%
Salem, MA
+19%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Francisco, CA
+53%
San Jose, CA
+33%
Santa Clara, CA
+33%
Seattle, WA
+9%

Labor cost in your zipcode