How to Make a Swamp Cooler Colder?

During a hot summer, it feels like you just can’t get your room cool enough. That’s why this guide will give you some simple and effective tips on how to make a swamp cooler colder.

The best is that these simple tips to make your swamp cooler colder don’t require much effort. And no, you don’t need to buy a new one to enjoy the colder air.

We’ll teach you how cold the water should be to get the best results. Not only that, but you’ll also learn tips to help you make your unit more efficient during the hot season.

How to Make Swamp Cooler Colder?

An evaporative cooler will work best if you live in a dry climate. Since they humidify the air, if you already live in a humid environment, you’ll feel very clammy. If you want to give your cooler an easier time, it’s recommended to use them where they’re appropriate.

That said, you can do some simple things to make an evaporative cooler more efficient. Let’s check them out.

Position It Correctly

The first one is placing your cooler in the right place. Evaporative need constant air circulation work. That’s because they’ll take this air in, cool air, and circulate it back into the environment. That’s why you must put it near a partially open window.

Well, partially opening a window is a prerequisite for a swamp cooler, anyway. Position the cooler in a way where it gets the most airflow. You can also put it where the fans are facing you directly.

The size of your cooler will also dictate where you put it. If it’s a smaller or portable cooler, you would expect it to cool only some of your house. These are mainly for cooling a single room.

Try placing the cooler where only the room you want to cool is getting the cold air. You’ll feel that the cooler drops the room’s temperature much faster that way.

Priming The Pads

Devices like these are so popular because they’re pretty straightforward to use. They require little maintenance and are mostly plug-and-play. Of course, you need to manually put water in it to get the pads wet. But the point is they are relatively low on effort.

If you take a few extra steps, like putting water in before turning the unit on, you can get more out of it. Cooler pads need to absorb water before they can start to wick water from the tank.

Filling the tank with water will give it enough water supply and helps pads soak water. This will prime it and give it a head start. If you turn on the fan now, it won’t waste energy and make the blower motor work efficiently. The device can get to work right away.

Related reading: Do Swamp Coolers Work in High Heat?

Change The Pads

The pads on your swamp cooler are critical for it to work correctly. A pad upgrade for your cooler may increase the performance. A 5 to 7 degrees temperature difference can feel like a lot when it’s super hot outside.

Even a well-maintained evaporative cooler will need a pad change now and then. One thing you can do when changing the pads is double up on the pads instead of throwing the old ones.

The old pads, along with the new pads, mean they can hold even more water. Thick pads are the best for this. This video does a fantastic job explaining how well it works. There’s one thing to keep in mind: ensure no gaps in the pads. That’ll undo all the work you just did.

Here’s another bonus tip. Your unit may be able to use a different kinds of pads. So, try to install pads with high saturation point. It will help the pads store hold more water before they reach saturation point. Pads like Aspen cooler pads work great.

Open the Window

With a traditional air conditioner, you would keep the windows closed. This is because you want to stop warm air flowing inside. However, evaporative cooling works a bit differently compared to an air conditioner.

It takes in dry air from outside and pushes cool moisture back into the air. Slightly opening a window or two will give you the best results and help evaporation.

Run a Dehumidifier

Opening the windows doesn’t always work, though. When it’s too hot outside, you can run a dehumidifier close to reduce the moisture in the air and increase the cooling effect.

If the air inside your house is dry, then the moisture in your body will evaporate into the air. Therefore, running a dehumidifier will make you feel more comfortable. So, keeping a dehumidifier beside your cooler will help your unit work better.

Use Cold Water

One of the best ways of getting more performance out of your is if you fill the water tank with cool water. You don’t need any refrigeration to cool the water in the tank, though.

The best water temperature is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This may seem a bit counterintuitive at first. You might think since warm water is closer to the boiling point, it makes sense to use warm water.

But cool to room temperature water works the best and helps cool your home efficiently compared to warm water.

Use Plants To Remove Excess Moisture

If you run your unit near Indoor plants like Cacti or Succulents, do a great job absorbing moisture from the air in the room. You can place different plants efficiently throughout the house to help your cooler perform optimally. Remember, the less humid the air is, the better your unit will work.

And you don’t need to use these two plants. Many plants can absorb water from the air to reduce humidity. Household plants like Aloe, Air plants, Boston fern, English ivy, and others will work too. These simple tricks make your house livelier and increase your unit’s performance.

Clean The Cooling Pads

Cleaning the cooling pads will help your swamp cooler work more efficiently. This will be an annual endeavor. And since pads are an absorbent medium, cleaning it will help you get better airflow.

As a result, you’ll also have cooler air around. Don’t forget to turn the water supply valve off before disassembling your cooler even for a simple pad cleanup. Otherwise, you’ll have a wet mess to deal with.

Keep Your Cooler Clean

Another way to keep you cooler colder and more energy-efficient is simply by keeping it maintained regularly. Parts like the reservoir and pads can get very dirty, especially when you use it extensively. And this may cause the air to flow poorly through your evaporative cooler’s pads.

Start by simply cleaning the exterior and vacuuming the intake grill. The grill can get gunked up from use which degrades the performance. Don’t forget the water tank either.

A vinegar and water solution or soap will do the trick. Proper maintenance is not only a great way to make your cooler colder and more efficient, but it’s also great for longevity. That’s why you should keep your unit clean.

The distribution lines is also as important component. Coolers use this line to pump water through the distribution lines to get the pads wet. You need to clean these lines to ensure they are not clogged.

Maintain the Correct Water Level

Keeping the water level high will also increase cooling performance. Make sure to top of the water in the tank when it’s getting low. Adequate water levels will also help you avoid unnecessary strain on your unit. This will also increase longevity as well.

Can you add the ice to the evaporative cooler to make it cooler?

Although coolers need cold water to work optimally, filling the tank with ice won’t help. This is because adding ice won’t immediately bring the water temperature down.

It needs to melt first. This, of course, takes time, and you won’t be helping the evaporation process that much.

How Cold Does a Swamp Cooler Get?

How cold your evaporative cooler can get depends on how warm it’s outside and relative humidity levels. Driest air is the best for optimal performance.

But depending on the temperature, it might perform differently. That’s why it isn’t possible to give you a single answer on how cool it can get.

With a constant temperature, the cooler’s effectiveness decreases as the RH and relative humidity levels rise. On top of that, if the temperature changes, it’ll cool at a different rate at different humidity levels.

For example, if it’s 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside with an RH of 10%. A standard evaporative cooler can bring the temperature down by 23 degrees to 67-degree Fahrenheit

However, with the same humidity level but a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the cooler can bring the temperature down to just 7 degrees to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, initially, we say a 23-degree reduction. But when the temperature outside was lowered by 10 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, we only saw a 7-degree drop. There’s a clear diminishing return.

Then finally, we have the cooler performance and the liquid you put in it. For example, cold water is better than warm water. In addition, if you’re using a very powerful cooler, you can expect more cooling performance. Go through the cooler swamp specifications to see how well it might cool.

Depending on how many square feet your room is, you might need a bigger unit. Typically, you’ll see the cubic feet per minute listed on the specification sheet. That will give you a good idea of the performance. You can also check out this post for more.

If you’re shopping for one, you must check the temperature and humidity levels. And then, look up an evaporative cooler humidity chart to see what cooling performance you can expect.

Here’s a simple rule of thumb to remember; these devices perform best in high temperatures and when humidity outside is low. They aren’t that effective in high-low temperatures and humid air.


These tips will help you increase the cooling performance using an evaporative cooler. Now that you know how to make a swamp cooler colder, you don’t need to keep your cooler running for hours to get the same performance.

However, the performance will also depend on how dry the air is and your particular device model. But you can’t control the humidity outside. To ensure you get the coldest air possible, try to place your unit in the optimum place and open the windows a bit too.

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