Why Does My Evaporative Cooler Smell? How To Get Rid of The Smell from Cooler?

Why Does My Evaporative Cooler Smell? How To Keep Swamp Cooler from Smelling?

There’s been so much rave about evaporative coolers even as many parts of the world prepare for this year’s summer as they are also portable and easy to move around.

In the U.S., places like New Mexico, Phoenix, Denver, and areas around the Death Valley are known to use a lot of evaporative coolers for many reasons; first for its cost-effectiveness and also because, unlike air conditioners that further dry the air, evaporative coolers add moisture to the air, thereby providing the much-needed humidity in dry climate.

However, there are a few things you’d have to deal with, such as refilling the water reservoir and ensuring that it never runs on an empty tank. Also, there’s a tendency for evaporative coolers to produce a foul smell during operation.

This might get you worried and you may wonder what is responsible for this smell. Sometimes, it may smell like fish and other times like vinegar.

If you’re reading this, you’re in luck. We’ll tell you why your swamp cooler smells and what you can do to prevent it.

Why Does My Evaporative Cooler Smell?

Evaporative coolers rely on water for cooling. They are also mostly used in hot regions, and when you combine heat and moisture, it’s an invitation to mold and bacteria.

The smell from your evaporative cooler is likely moldy, fishy, or a damp kind of smell and when you notice it, you’d need to check the various components of your swamp cooler.

The thick cooling pad which absorbs water from the reservoir is more likely the chief culprit. It is possible that constant wetness has caused it to develop mildew and mold, which results in a moldy or fishy smell when the system runs.

This swamp cooler pads, when removed, may show signs of algae and slime. It may also have held on to the water for too long and stale water smells. Some other times, the water reservoir itself may have been infested with bacteria and other microbes.

Perhaps, water has been left in there for a long time or it has not been cleaned in a while. Whatever the case, the smell can be pretty bad and because of the fan power of your swamp cooler, the smell saturates the entire room and can make the air unbreathable.

Do New Evaporative Cooler Pads Smell?

Yes, this is very possible and completely normal too. When a new cooler pad is installed and the unit is run for the first time, it is possible to detect a slight smell which, in fact, may only be a tiny amount of aromatic molecules released by the new pad along with water vapor.

Also, it is possible that these pads hold on to some kind of dust left in them during manufacturing and cutting. When mixed with water and forced out by the fan, this can create a certain funny odor in the air and make you a bit uneasy.

However, it is important you know that it is completely normal and should dissipate after a few hours or days.

This is common with rigid cooling pads. Most evaporative cooling pads are tested by the highest quality standards, so you can be sure that this smell from a new pad is neither toxic nor harmful.

The pads “breaking in” period is also accelerated by this process and you’ll notice that the pad itself is rinsed in the process while the water from the reservoir is flushed. Subsequent use after this period should produce fresher, cleaner and more breathable air.

How Do I Get Rid of The Smell in My New Evaporative Cooler?

As earlier said, it is totally normal for your new evaporative cooler to emit a funny smell because of the new cooler pad and its chemical constituents. While this would normally dissipate after a while you can make the smell go away faster by doing the following;

1. Air Out Your Home

Air Out Your Home to Get rid of the Smell in New Evaporative Cooler

This is the most natural reaction to indoor bad smells for most people. It can work in this situation too. Open your windows and doors to allow the bad smell to go outside the house and allow fresh air in.

The more the amount of fresh air that goes through the new pad, the quicker it will stop emitting the bad smell.

2. Rinse and Dump

Rinse and Dump to Get rid of the Smell in New Evaporative Cooler

This is quite simple to achieve. Just continue to run the pump and severely wet out the cooler pads. Allow to rinse and then dump the water. You can repeat the process for as long as necessary. This should provide the rinsing the new pad needs while rinsing the tank as well.

3. Use Liquid Fabric Softener

Use Liquid Fabric Softener to Get rid of the Smell in New Evaporative Cooler

This can be Downy’s Fabric Softener Liquid or any other good product. They come in different flavors and scents and should help remove the smell from your new unit when added to the water before restarting it.

Not only will the bad smell go away, but it will also be replaced by a more pleasant, refreshing soothing aroma.

4. Swamp Cooler Deodorizer

Swamp Cooler Deodorizer to Get rid of the Smell in New Evaporative Cooler

This is another way to remove bad smells from your swamp cooler. The deodorizer can be placed inside the unit to help neutralize the smell that the new cooler produces.

There are quite a number of products out there you can use, including the charcoal deodorizer and many more.

How To Keep Evaporative Cooler from Smelling?

Prevention beats cure every time. This is why you must strive to prevent your evaporative cooler from producing a foul smell, especially when your unit or pad is not new. There are a few ways to do this and it all comes down to one thing: cleanliness and hygiene.

Let’s see a few important and effective tips to keep your swamp cooler from smelling:

1. Clean Your Filters/Pads Regularly

1. Clean Your Filters and Pads Regularly To Keep Swamp Cooler from Smelling

The filter/pad in your swamp cooler is most likely washable and should be washed as frequently as recommended.

We recommend running soap and tap water over the pad at least once every month to remove grime and keep it fresh. Ensure you leave it out to dry completely before reinstalling it.

2. Replace Pads (When due)

Replace Pads To Keep Swamp Cooler from Smelling

Your pads should be replaced at least once every year. This will ensure the cooler pad in your unit is fresh and effective at all times. Old, bad pads can trap mold and bacteria and lead to foul smells.

3. Clean the Water Reservoir Regularly

Clean Water Reservoir Regularly To Keep Swamp Cooler from Smelling

Apart from the evaporative cooler pads, the reservoir can also become home to mold, mildew, bacteria and other microbes which can also cause the unit to smell.

You should clean your cooler’s reservoir by washing it at least once every week to remove dirt, and grime and prevent the growth of algae and mold.

4. Dump Water Daily

Dump Water Daily To Keep Evaporative Cooler from Smelling

Dumping your swamp cooler water is another way to keep things fresh and prevent water from becoming stale and producing a bad smell.

This is automated in many units, but you can also manually flush the water and replace it. Do this at least once daily to keep things fresh.

5. Dry Out Your Cooler Pads Occasionally

Dry Out Your Cooler Pads Occasionally To Keep Evaporative Cooler from Smelling

As we said earlier, mold and mildew thrive in wetness. Leaving your unit’s pad wet continuously will give room for it to trap bacteria and other microbes, as well as develop mold which can smell. You should air your cooler pad at least once every week to remove stale water.

Final Words:

Imagine coming home to a foul smell when all you wanted was a warm bath and soothing rest. No one wants that. If you’ve realized it’s coming from your swamp cooler, you can follow the tips we’ve provided here to get rid of the smell and make your home truly comfortable for you and your family.

Swamp coolers can be a great appliance to have in your home, but you also have a part to play to keep it functioning optimally and offering the cool temperature you desire.

The pads and water reservoir are two key components to pay attention to if you want your unit to stay fresh all the time.

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