It’s time to plan for the winter weather. Your evaporative cooler has toiled like a champ through the hot summer, but now the season has taken a swing. Here’s how to winterize your evaporative cooler, to ensure it is serviced and taken care of so that it’s ready for the next hot spell. Begin by remembering what happens to water when a cold snap arrives.

Drain The Water

Turn off the power. If it’s an industrial unit with wheels, pulls the plug and prepare the portable housing for its winter storage spot. Depending on the evaporative cooler type, the water supply needs to be removed, so empty the reservoir or turn off the plumbed water supply.

Dry the Housing

Some users think you can use evaporation when the appliance is inactive. They believe the equipment dries out safely when the reservoir is drained. That’s not exactly a best practice tip, not when trace amounts of water could feed a stray bacterial colony. If at all possible, clean the insides of the appliance. Spend extra time on the filters, for this semi-solid media will provide a bed for mildew if it’s left wet.

Apply Protective Covers

If the unit is dry, you should pull out any covers that came with the unit. These covers stop foreign matter from getting into the working parts. Pull out the replaceable water evaporating media before dressing the unit in its toughened covers. Of course, if you don’t have access to this course of action, you’ll need some other way of keeping the device protected. If it’s portable, roll it into a clean storage area.

Avoid Bad Decisions

What if someone forgets or just doesn’t see the point to these tips? Well, that would be an unwise move. If an evaporative cooler isn’t winterized, you’re cooler will be left full of standing water. Worse still, the winter cold has arrived, so that water will likely become a block of ice. When it is turned on during the first heat wave of the year, breathing problems are likely due to that mildew. That, of course, is assuming the water didn’t freeze and split the hoses inside the equipment during a particularly cold night.

You winterize your evaporative cooler, portable or fixed, to ensure this double punch is properly sidestepped. There’s no standing water to feed mildew, no fluids to expand as they turn to ice, and no minerals drying out in the cooling media. Certainly, the water should be drained, but a meticulous cold weather preparation plan goes further. Everything must be dry and covered if the appliance is to be deemed winterized.