Evaporative air conditioners need to be shut down for the winter

Does My Evaporative Cooler Need a Winter Shutdown?

Rooftop evaporative coolers are ideal for adding refreshingly cool air to the home during those scorching summer days.

As evaporative systems (swamp cooler in the US), are used only in warmer weather, all fixed units need to be shut down properly before the winter. Shutting down the system can avoid unnecessary wear and tear and also ensures the wellbeing of your family.

With the air flowing from outside through ducts and vents, it’s essential to seal the aperture at the roof to stop the cold winter air from entering and warm air from escaping.

Also, an improperly drained system can leave a stagnant pool of water, which becomes the perfect breeding ground for algae and bacteria. These tiny organisms can find their way into the vents and ultimately end up in the air of your home by Spring.

Performing a winter shutdown on an evaporative air conditioner can:

  • Improve the heating efficiency of a home
  • Reduce the risk of bacteria and algae build up
  • Maintain the condition of the evaporative cooler
  • Isolate the power and water supplies to avoid faults and increase safety

The shutdown is a service that shouldn’t be skipped if you want to maximise the lifespan of an evaporative cooler and maintain the quality of the air inside your home. March to April is the optimal time to be shutting down the unit – before it’s too cold but not before you are done with the cooling capabilities.

So now the million dollar question is, do I call a professional for a winter shutdown or is it something I can do myself with the touch of a button?

The answer depends entirely on the system in use. Many older models require a manual shut down while some modern systems can take care of the job themselves.

rooftop evaporative cooler

Evaporative Air Conditioner Shutdown – What’s Involved?

If your system is from a leading brand and was installed in recent years, then there’s a good chance that it’s equipped with the functions to take care of its own shutdown.

There are several quality options available in Australia that require little input from the owner. For example, the Kaden Classic series evaporative coolers are impressive units designed with its smart water management and automatic winter seal that’s activated via the accompanying remote.

Alternatively, the Braemar Paradigm series by Seeley International is another prime example. This top of the line series of Australian manufactured evaporative coolers (swamp coolers) automatically empties the water reservoir when the system is not in use. AutoWinterseal technology closes the ducts in the off season.

These features are found in newer models, so if your system dates back to a previous decade, the chances are a winter shutdown will be a manual job – one that can be physically demanding.

Metropolitan Air Conditioning is always open, and is available for the task. Contact us for a winter shutdown service and our technicians will:

  • Inspect the wear and condition of the unit
  • Clean and flush the filter and cooling pads
  • Drain and clean the water reservoir to stop vermin from entering
  • Remove dirt and grime before washing with soapy water
  • Empty and clean the pump basket, filter and distributor channels
  • Isolate water supply line
  • Isolate electrical supply
  • Secure the air conditioner with supplied cover or tarpaulin
  • Close off all air vents throughout the home

ducted air con vent

DIY Air Conditioner Winter Shutdown

If you’re looking to save a quid, you can always shut down the system yourself. Just be mindful of the risks and always follow the appropriate safety precautions. If ever in doubt, contact a professional.

First off, disconnect the power to the unit if it’s safe to do so and shut off the tap that supplies the water. Next, the reservoir should be drained and cleaned with soapy water to eliminate the dirt and grime. Then give the filter pads a good clean.

Also, make sure the vents are closed. Leaving them open can be a real chink in your insulation. Finally, it’s time to deploy the cover. By covering the unit in winter, you protect it from potentially freezing conditions and limit the risk of insects and other pests setting up shop.

If you safely follow these steps, your evaporative air conditioner will be nicely primed and ready for another summer of cooling. Remove the cover and switch the water and power back on when the time is right.

For peace of mind, contact us before the weather drops and we’ll put your evaporative cooler into hibernation, ready to wake up nice and fresh when you need it.

Published: 31 Mar, 2021

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