1. CHECK THE AVERAGE HUMIDITY IN YOUR AREA. This may be counter intuitive, but evaporative coolers are much less effective in high humidity. If you live in a high humidity climate then swamp coolers aren’t right for you. Exceptions would be for businesses with boilers like dry cleaner or industrial buildings. Even insulated mechanic shops can have effective swamp coolers that are portable, but air flow is the problem in high humidity areas. Hot and dry weather are ideal ingredients for evaporative coolers.
2. CHECK THE WATER SUPPLY. Make sure valve is turned on. Make sure the hose and pump are hooked up right. Make sure the water distributor is connected properly. Check the pump, hose, and distributor for loose debris and scale build up for blockage. Any restriction in water flow will limit the effectiveness of your cooler. The pads have to be wet to make the cooler work efficiently. Not to mention the pump will work too hard if there are any restrictions in the water flow and it will expire more rapidly.
3. CHECK FOR HOUSE VENTILATION. Unlike AC units, an evaporative cooler works better with natural air flow. So windows opened, doors opened and/or installed ventilation gives ample air flow for the swamp coolers to blow cool air continually. It is critical to consider the air flow of the house when using a swamp cooler.
4. CHECK THE PADS. Usually the number one issue with coolers not working right is that the pads have excessive scale building up. The mineral scale comes from mineral deposits in the water. The keys to keeping the pads fresh are draining the cooler of the water each week, and utilizing a purge pump to keep scale and debris from plugging up the pads. If the pads are as heavy as a brick, its time to change. As a rule of thumb change the aspen pads once per year and the rigid media pads every 3-5 years. Always check them when turning the cooler on for the beginning of the warm season.