An evaporative cooler, also known as a swamp cooler, is a type of air conditioning system that cools homes by evaporating water and blowing the damp, cool air into the house. The water in the machine evaporates into the air, cooling it down while adding humidity at the same time. To keep a good balance, your windows should be left open while running your evaporative cooler. Though the name may be confusing, these units are actually not good for people who live in swamps. For homes situated in climates with very low humidity levels, evaporative coolers can help make the air much more comfortable. They are much more energy efficient then standard air conditioning units and typically cost about half of what an air conditioning unit would cost, making them a great, cost-effective option.
If any problems arise, it is very important to have it repaired promptly. Repairing the issue will help to eliminate more issues over time and keep your unit running at its maximum potential.
The average cost to repair a swamp cooler ranges from $115-$600, with the average homeowner spending around $250including all of the materials and labor fees.
|Swamp Cooler Repair Costs|
|National average cost||$250|
The average cost to repair a swamp cooler is $250, with an average range between $115 and $350. Depending on what repairs are needed, the total cost can be as low as $60, or run all the way up to $600. The labor costs may vary depending on the project, but averages $50-$75 per hour. The following table lists the common repairs and costs.
A swamp cooler float valve performs an important function in your evaporative cooler. The float valve helps to keep a constant water level so that you don’t have dry spots in the cooler pads. Repairing the float valve is important because if the seal becomes cracked or damaged, it can leak. It is important to note that repairing a float valve is almost the same cost of replacing it with a brand new valve. The cost of float valve repair runs between $50 and $75 dollars, including labor fees.
If your swamp cooler pump is not working properly, then it may need some repair. If it is a minor problem with the pump, then repairing the issue can be more cost-effective then replacing it. The cost to repair the pump averages between $60 and $150, depending on the unit and size.
Repairing the motor on a swamp cooler is not a difficult project, but does require some knowledge of how to connect wires. If you are not confident in doing so, it is always important to hire a professional to do the job right. Repairing the motor involves basic steps of repairing the unit by adjusting the pulley, oiling the motor bearing, and fixing the wiring. This job will typically run from $50-$75 per hour, and on average the repair will take 1 to 2 hours. If there are many issues with the motor, then it might make more sense to replace it instead. Motor replacement can average in cost from $60-$600depending on the system and time it takes to repair.
It is always important to consider the option of replacing parts rather than repairing. If the price becomes too high, it is usually more practical to replace the damaged part. Some of the most common replacement parts of a swamp cooler include the motor, belt, pump, bearing, pad, and float valve. In the following table are listed the most common part replacements and their cost, including installation.
|Part replacement||Average cost (including labor fees)|
Belts are important for minimal slippage in the pulleys, making it easy on the bearings to do their job. Over time, belts can become loose, stretch, and eventually wear out, requiring replacement. The cost to replace the belt is very reasonable. You can expect to pay $5-$15 for the part. A professional will charge $50-$70 for installation fees.
The float valve acts to shut off the water supply when the water reaches the required level. The water must be at the right level so the pump can draw it up to the pads, but not too high that it overflows. Float valves are very easy to replace and are very reasonable averaging between $6 and $18 dollars, or $65-$80 including labor fees.
The pads play a huge role in the air cooling process, by evaporating water that cools the motor. Pads should be replaced every so often as they can clog up the pump and cause issues over time. The average cost to replace a pad is $5-$90 per pad. If you hire a professional to do the job, the cost averages $65-$115, which includes the parts. A single system varies in the number of pads, but averages 1-6 pads per system. There are many different types of pads that differ in their material, lifetime, and cost, which are illustrated in the chart below.
|Pad materials||Lifetime||Cost (without installation)|
Bearings are round metal spheres that help the shaft on the blower spin smoothly when moved by the motor. The shaft is constantly spinning, so if the bearings are going bad you will often hear squeaking sounds. This is a good indication that the bearings need replacement. To replace the bearings, you can expect to pay $5-$25 per bearing and $65-$125 including labor fees. There are two common types of bearings: shaft bearings, which are flat ($65-$75), and spider bearings, which have protruding legs ($75-$90).
Depending on the system, the cost to replace the motor can cost anywhere from $120-$650 including labor fees. You can expect to pay more for larger and more specialized systems. Although repairing your pump may be more cost-effective, replacing the pump can provide you with a more energy-efficient solution, saving you money in the long run.
The pump plays an important role in bringing the water to the evaporative cooler pads. When the pump is not working properly, it is very important to replace it. The cost to replace the pump depends on the type of system you have and averages anywhere from $150-$450.
The cost to fix a swamp cooler averages between $60 and $600, depending on what is wrong with it, who does the repairs, and if you need new parts. An evaporative cooler technician can do the repair and, depending on the company, will charge on a per hour (average $250) or per project basis. The technician will come over and assess the unit and run a few tests to determine what is wrong with the unit and determine a plan for repair.
Over time you may experience some problems. This section will highlight some common problems, their possible causes, and costs of repairing them.
|Problem||Average cost to repair|
|Not blowing air||$60-$650|
|Fan not working||$65-$115|
|Not pumping water||$150-$450|
If your swamp cooler is not working properly and the cost for repair parts and labor becomes too high, it is sometimes more practical and cost-effective to replace the whole unit. The cost of the replacement is approximately $1,400-$6,000, including materials and labor fees.
In order to keep your swamp cooler up and running efficiently, there is some seasonal maintenance that has to occur. Maintenance that needs to be done regularly includes cleaning the system and repairing or replacing any parts that need it. The cost of the maintenance averages between $50 and $550 per year.
Winterizing should take place as soon as you don’t need it. Similar to spring cleaning, you need to prepare it for the cold winter months. This will help to extend its life and keep it running properly the following summer. Winterizing involves draining the unit completely, cleaning out the tray of any sediment and dirt, blowing out the water line, changing the pads, and putting on a cover to protect it from the winter elements. The cost of winterizing averages between $115-$175, not including the parts.
As soon as you are ready to use your swamp cooler, there are some start-up maintenance steps involved. The cost involved in starting-up the system averages $175-$250 and includes replacing belts and bearings, check up on the motor and pads, cleaning and removing rust, and oiling the moving parts.
A standard swamp cooler control/thermostat allows you to manually change the cooler fan speed, set the pump to soak the pads, as well as turn the cooler on and off. However, this is not the only or easiest option. You can also control your swamp cooler by installing a digital control/thermostat that allows you to set the fan speed and temperature and runs automatically until it reaches the desired settings. The cost to change the control/thermostat from a manual to a digital one averages around $125-$300.
The cost to replace a swamp cooler is approximately $1,400-$3,900, including materials and labor fees.
If it is not functioning at top efficiency, and you have tried to replace parts, you may need to contact a professional to consider replacing it. If the repair costs are more expensive than the cost to replace your swamp cooler or parts, then it is a good time to consider replacement instead.
The cost to replace a swamp cooler with central air is approximately $7,000.
A swamp cooler only costs about half of what an AC unit does, using approximately four times less energy to run compared to an air conditioner, making them a cost-effective alternative in the right climate.
The cost to fix a swamp cooler averages $60-$600, depending on what is wrong with it, who does the repairs, and if you need new parts.
One of the most common reasons for a swamp cooler to stop working is because of the fuse or breaker. If there are issues with any of the other parts, the cooler should begin working again once they are either repaired or replaced.
If your swamp cooler pump is not operating efficiently, there are some simple solutions that can help to fix the problem. If you are finding that the water is not covering the base of the pump, then be sure to check the float valve. Sometimes the float valve can be put out of place causing the pump not to function properly. Make sure to check the breaker to make sure it is not tripped.
An evaporative cooler technician.
A swamp cooler uses between 90 and 500 gallons of water per month. The frequency of use, size of the unit, and the outside air humidity are all determining factors in how much water is used.
Cost to repair a swamp cooler varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.