Winterizing, an action that prevents appliances from being caught off-guard by the cold, does apply to evaporative coolers. In plain English, that efficient cooling mechanism relies on water. The liquid is stored inside the appliance, right inside a special reservoir. If a cold snap drops below zero, that water will freeze and expand, which means the parts will fracture and incur serious damage. Look, the mercury is dropping right now.

Don’t Leave Portable Evaporative Coolers in the Cold

The winterizing process has already been described in some detail in a previous post. However, is this just a wise precaution, or is it an essential maintenance routine? After all, users follow precautionary measures all the time, and they do often make a big difference. But for evaporative coolers, well, the procedure goes beyond a precautionary measure. Remember, these essential appliances aren’t stuck on the factory floor. In point of fact, some models are portable; they glide along floors on heavy-duty casters. There’s perhaps a tall portable model in a livestock area, a place that formerly had its windows and doors open. Another unit, used to keep a garden party cool during the summer months, is ready to come in from the cold. Suddenly, this product’s greatest advantage is becoming a serious drawback. What’s the solution? Don’t leave a portable evaporative cooler outside, in a barn, or exposed on some forgotten loading quay.

When the Winter Bite Attacks: Acting as Devil’s Advocate

Just as a test, a perfectly functioning evaporative cooler has been left in a cold room. A window is open. The sun drops, frost ices the glass, and the cold strikes the appliance. The pipes and hoses are expanding as the water solidifies. Likewise, the seals are deforming and the reservoir is bulging. At best, the unit is going to lose several years of operational life. At worst, however, the hoses, seals and reservoir will bulge until they burst. Come the summer, the cooler will leak, at least until an expensive repair service replaces the ice-distorted components. Ultimately, a non-winterized evaporative cooler will become a weakened appliance if it’s hit by cold weather.

In view of the above case study, users should always winterize their evaporative appliances. Remove the water-saturated media so that its spongy cells aren’t ruptured by solid ice deposits. Next, empty the reservoir. The process isn’t quite finished yet, though. There’s water trapped in the hoses and seals. Open up the maintenance hatch, dry every component, and really apply some winterizing effort. Finally, store the equipment in a cool, dry room until its services are required once more.