Removing an Odor From a Swamp Cooler

When odor is coming out of something that helps to provide us fresh air, it’s not as enticing as the lovely fresh air, but it’s more of a bad smell that we should get rid of no matter what. There are many ways to get rid of a bad odor. But, it all depends on where and what type of component or instrument is the odor coming from. If it is coming from an electric component then chances are there are specific ways to stop that odor as electrical devices are tricky when it comes to cleaning them to get rid of odors. Fear not though, there are always plans and instructions available on how to properly get rid of the worst smell possible.

Swamp coolers, also known as evaporative coolers are an alternative method to a traditional air conditioner. The cooler works by taking air across water filled pads and filters, and then sending the cooled air into the house via a series of ducts. If you are living in a humid climate, it is not advisable to use a swamp cooler as it only increases humidity. The usual problem for swamp coolers are the odors problem that comes from the bacteria and from the mold that grows in the filters. Mold growth could bring to respiratory ailments, so it is important to make sure your cooler is clean all the time. Here are the steps on how to remove the bad odor from the swamp cooler.

You will need:

  1. Replacement filters and pads
  2. Mild soap

Swamp Cooler


  1. First, take off the plug of the swamp cooler before making any services. Then, drain the evaporative cooler pump completely. This step will remove the mineral and sediment deposits. It’s very important to get half of the bad odor out.
  2. Then, use mild soap and water to clean the empty reservoir. Clean all the corners of the reservoir and make sure not to leave a dirty spot. Use a nice smell of soap to clean it up. Leave it off to dry for awhile.
  3. Next, remove the filters and pads and if necessary, replace them. You can also reuse them by cleaning them with soap and water depending on what types of pads and filters you are using. If you are in doubt, always check your cooler’s manual to make sure what type of filters and pads that you are using and whether they can be cleaned or should be replaced.
  4. If your filters and pads need to be replaced, follow the instructions in your swamp cooler’s manual on how to change them and how to add the water.
  5. For maintenance, flush and clean your cooler throughout the seasons if you use it to cool your house. Make sure to empty the cooler’s sump and reservoir to prevent mold and bacteria growth at the end of the cooling season.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC

Additional Reading:

Development and testing of two-stage evaporative cooler [An article from: Building and Environment]

Easy Cooler Care: A Self Help Guide to Servicing and Repairing Your Evaporative Cooler